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Life’s a journey full of unknown mystery… but applying for a study or intern abroad experience shouldn’t be. We listen to student feedback to make the application process as easy as possible - no small feat considering you’re getting things in order to live in a new country for a while!

But never fear - we’re here to help. There are five basic stages to your study abroad experience, all with a bit of a different timetable. We’ll keep you informed of next steps so you’ll always know what’s needed from you - even if it’s just waiting with excitement! Internship version coming soon!


PRO TIP: Your initial app and $90 fee will unlock access to your online participant community and scholarship applications!

Stage 1. Getting Started – Choose a Program

This is the research phase! We know you’re good at it, so check out the huge variety of programs on our website, where you can browse by term, location, or major. We also know you have questions – our friendly Global Advisors are waiting to answer them! Text or call them at +1-877-617-9090 or fill out this easy online form.

But don’t just take our word for it. Read reviews from students and interns like you on GoAbroad, GoOverseas, Facebook, and Google.

Ready to take the first step? Starting your initial application can be completed easily on mobile and should take less than 10 minutes – all you need to know is your address, GPA, and which program you’re applying for.


Stage 2. Enrollment

Level unlocked! Now that your initial application is in and your fee paid, things can really start moving. You’ll meet your personal Program Enrollment Coordinator, who’s spent time in the location you’re headed to – so ask them your most pressing questions on your welcome call.

In this stage, you’ll work hand-in-hand with your coordinator to complete enrollment for your CIS Abroad application. Their main goal is to get you to full acceptance. We’re talking important things like:

  • Academic course selection
  • Advisor approvals
  • Transcripts

P.S. You’ve done a lot of work to get to this point – time to CELEBRATE! Once you’re officially accepted, that is. (Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know.)


Remember to attend your CIS Abroad LIVE Pre-Departure Orientation! This is a special opportunity to learn important details about your program abroad, as well as a chance to ask questions directly to your Program Enrollment Coordinator AND Site Director. You’ll connect with other group participants in your online community, but this is a cool way to “meet” them before you meet abroad!

All of your hard work has paid off – time to fly!

Stage 3. Pre-Departure

Are you starting to get excited?! It’s real – you’re going to live in another country for who knows how long… (FYI – you can extend your stay while you’re abroad. Just let us know.)

At this stage, there’s much to get done and a few deadlines to juggle, so students who keep after it are the most successful. Here’s a short list of what you’ll be completing during this stage:

  • Financial aid counseling
  • Visa application
  • Meeting payment deadlines (we’ll remind you!)
  • Travel logistics and support, including accident/medical insurance


Stage 4. On-Site Experience

Your amazing on-site experience begins with airport pickup – nothing like feeling cared for after a long flight. Your site director will host an on-site orientation with other CIS Abroad participants, so you’ll get to connect with other participants soon after landing. A city orientation will help you understand and adapt to local life, and a university orientation (for study programs) will help you get familiar with campus and how to get to class. Before long, you’ll feel at home away from home!

Here are the key components of all CIS Abroad on-site experiences:

  • Welcome meal
  • On-site orientation
  • Built-in excursions, including one big-ticket trip
  • The Local Life activities
  • Farewell meal

Remember to look out for our Photo Contests throughout the year to showcase your amazing on-site experiences!


Your experiences abroad don’t have to end once you get back! Keep learning while you travel – explore internships and our new TEFL experiences.

Stage 5. Returning Home/Alumni

You did it! Not only did you live abroad, you changed in ways you never expected. Returning to the U.S. after living abroad can be its own new experience. Our Alumni Coordinator will be here to welcome you back with supportive re-entry resources and ways to connect with others who’ve had similar life-changing experiences.

There are many ways to build on your study abroad experience as an alum:

This program gave me so many opportunities to learn about the Irish culture and took us on trips with locals to get the full experience. I was extremely prepared through CISabroad and was never nervous about any plans. I mostly miss the amazing people and culture of Ireland. - Hannah Beucke
Learn as much about the culture as you can before you go, and while you are there, immerse yourself in that culture and live like a local. - Abby Elliott
Come in with an open mind, make friends, and don’t pass up an opportunity to explore. I now want to go on more adventures and feel more cultured. - Alexa Valenta