In addition to our Australian-based team that help prepare you for your overseas experience, CISaustralia has personal and supportive ‘on the ground’ staff in all host destinations. Our on-site representatives will meet and greet you on arrival and are there to help you with emergencies, issues or concerns around your program. When travelling on a CISaustralia program you will always have someone in country to contact – even if simply for some local advice when you are looking for an activity or dining recommendation, our team wants to ensure you make the most of your time overseas.
Click a country below to learn about our Site Director in that location:
- China and Hong Kong
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Multi-Country (January Travelling Programs)
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa
Pasqual, a South African born and raised in Cape Town, has a passion for people and travel. The travel bug bit her when she embarked on an exchange program to Italy at only 16 and she hasn't stopped since. She completed her Psychology Honours degree at the University of Stellenbosch, volunteering in many organisations assisting the local townships in the surrounding areas. It was there that she was introduced to an international volunteer and student community and witnessed how much they got out of experiencing the uniqueness of South Africa. It is flavour and beat which she wishes to share with you. After her studies she worked as a tour guide in Europe for three years solidifying her passion for making people’s holiday dreams a reality. She then went on to work in operations for the tour company as they made their big move to South East Asia. After living in Thailand for a year she heard the call for home and has since returned. As a registered tourist guide in South Africa she hopes to continue sharing her love for people, travel and her country.
Travel tip: Be brave, be soft, stay open to opportunities and adventure, wear sunscreen and a smile and most importantly always trust your instinct. Travel allows you to view the world but in the end you realise that what you really discovered is yourself.
From Pasqual: “What I love about South Africa: Besides the big five, our glorious coast line and great weather, the people of South Africa is what sets it apart. Vibrant, colourful and diverse; worldly to rural, you can learn important lessons when you see such contrast in one place. We are united by our love for music, dance, food and the intrinsic pull of being children of Africa.”
Meet Frank – our Site Director in Belize
Born and raised in Germany, Frank graduated from the Technical University Munich with a degree in Natural Resource Management before earning a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Tourism Management. He is a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor with diving experience in Portugal, Indonesia and Honduras. Frank is passionate about the great outdoors of Belize and its marine environment, as well as the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage. As Site Director, he is dedicated to providing an extraordinary, educational and fascinating experience for students while preserving his passion for the successful conservation of the unparalleled biodiversity in Belize, as well as introducing volunteers to the concepts of eco-protection.
Meet Ross – our Site Director in Cambodia
Ross was born in Stawell, Victoria in Australia and is now retired after 32 years as a Technician. He has 3 daughters, and after his marriage of 25 years ended he decided to travel, which is when he discovered South East Asia and Cambodia. In 2006, Ross and two other friends decided to help the children in poverty who were scavenging at the local rubbish dump in Phnom Penh. They created an NGO with the mission to provide Education, Medical Care and Family Assistance for the extreme poor. Ross has now lived in Phnom Penh for over 11 years.
Meet Vanny – our Site Coordinator in Cambodia
Vanny Em is from the Takeo province of Cambodia and is the fifth of eight siblings. She attended Pannasastra University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh and has a Bachelor degree in both Finance and Teaching. She is currently completing her MBA degree. Vanny loves teaching children and gets great satisfaction from working and helping poor families, with education and medical needs as well various other issues.
Kirstin holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management & Leadership from Camosun College. She is currently the Client Service Specialist for the International and Indigenous programs within the Executive Programs Department at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria. Prior to joining Gustavson, Kirstin was greatly involved in organizing non-profit festivals in Victoria, BC. When Kirstin is not coordinating programs, she is exploring and photographing the great outdoors with her dogs Jackson and Baxter.
Sally earned her degree in English from University of International Relations in Beijing. Sally is a local Beijinger with over 5 years of experience in international education. She has an extensive background in international education, student services, marketing and university relations. Beijing has offered her great opportunities to meet students from different backgrounds and ideologies. Sally has a great passion for education and travel!
Meet Howa – our Site Director in Shanghai
As program manager, the scope of Howa’s duties includes internship placement and online marketing, as well as event management. He has a knack for problem solving and communication. Howa has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and has worked in the hospitality sector at both Four Seasons Hotel as well as the Ritz-Carlton. From his past experience, he can anticipate and fulfill guests' needs and this will be also be helpful in understanding interns' potential requests. Howa is good at creating a comfortable environment for interns. He believes a feeling of being at home is a benefit to intern's experience!
Meet Jacky – our Site Director in Hong Kong
Jacky is the Associate Director and point of contact for CISaustralia internships in Hong Kong. He advises and arranges interviews with companies for the students. Once a placement has been found, he assists students with the visa process and pre-departure process and will welcome students into Hong Kong until the end of their program.
Jacky was born and raised in Hong Kong. He started studying abroad in the United States since he was 11 years old. Jacky graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He had his life-changing internship in Illinois in an event management company and helped plan and execute large-scale events such as music festivals and wedding exhibitions. He realised the importance of gaining experience abroad and learned a lot throughout his time in the United States. He relates and understands how it feels moving to a new country and will use that experience to make every intern enjoy their time in Hong Kong.
Lisa was born in Costa Rica and has also lived in the United States on several occasions. She is an alumna of Veritas University, where she majored in photography, and is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She is passionate about travel, and has had 10 years of experience leading study abroad groups all throughout Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In her free time, Lisa enjoys going to art exhibits, watching movies, dancing and learning new languages. She speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese, and is currently learning French.
Meet Leah – our Site Director in Czech Republic
Leah is originally from Toronto, Canada but has lived in Prague for the past 8 years. In Canada, Leah was the Cultural Affairs Coordinator at the University of Toronto for 7 years where her responsibilities included the organisation and coordination of a season of arts and cultural events for the staff, faculty, students and surrounding community. In addition to regular/seasonal programming, Leah was responsible for coordinating conferences, workshops, and special projects such as the 'Prague Toronto Theatre Project', an international theatre exchange between the University of Toronto, DAMU (Charles University Theatre program) and Studio Ypsilon Theatre. This project took students from Canada and put them on stage in Prague with actors and students from DAMU to create a unique bilingual creative collaboration. Leah’s responsibilities for this project included publicity, production, fundraising and coordination of accommodations/flights as well as day trips and itineraries for a group of over 40 students, faculty and actors. This was truly an amazing experience and what brought Leah to permanently live in the beautiful city of Prague! Leah is also a professional photographer and graphic designer.
Meet Anna – our Site Director in England
Anna holds a B.A. in English and German from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. The Italian village where she was born was never enough for her and from a young age she decided she wanted to see the world and meet a lot of people from different cultures. Fascinated by foreign languages and travelling, she first studied abroad in London when she was in high school and…oops, she did it again at Humboldt Universität in Berlin a few years after. New York City holds a special place in her heart, ever since she was an intern at the Italian Cultural Institute there. After volunteering and working for the non-profit association, AFS Intercultural Programs, helping hundreds of high school students enrol and prepare for their experience abroad, she moved to London and focused on working with university students. She loves musicals, fashion, drinking green tea, studying Korean and backpacking throughout Southeast Asia.
Meet Linda – our Site Director in England
Linda was born and raised in Skanör, Sweden, but has spent the past eighteen years studying and working in the United States, Australia and Italy. An international student for more than seven years, she holds a Masters in International Relations from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and a Bachelors degree in History and Political Science from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, United States.
Most of her professional experience is within the field of Student Development, but she has also spent more than six years directing a travel program aimed at offering American study abroad students abundant travel opportunities throughout Europe and beyond. As a result, Linda has travelled extensively, visiting more than 60 countries across the globe. Linda has called Florence, Italy, her home for the past 10 years where she has worked within the field of international education, but will shortly be moving to London, England, to continue working with study abroad students within their international education field. In her spare time, she enjoys to read and write and is an avid runner and coffee drinker.
Details coming soon
Meet Valérie – our Site Director in France
Hi, my name is Valérie Runfola. I work as an administrative assistant at IAU College in Aix and look forward to supporting you as the CISaustralia Site Director in Aix. Among other things, I help students with their paperwork such as visa documentation and insurance forms. I also help organise field trips, local cultural activities, coordinate a range of other visits at IAU and plan the schedules for our programs. I had always wanted to work in an international environment so when I had the opportunity to join IAU and support CISaustralia after a 4-month internship, I felt very lucky. Before joining IAU I worked in tourism & hospitality which was what connected me to an education background. I returned to school in 2011 where I studied English & French as a Foreign Language. I know the South of France very well and am originally from Nice, so if you need local support, travel tips, advice on where to eat, what to see and do, I‘ll be happy to help! I am looking forward to meeting you!
Meet Drasko – our Site Director in Paris
Drasko was born in Belgrade, Serbia and graduated from the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Law, where he also obtained a Master’s degree in Constitutional Law. He worked as an associate in a law firm in Belgrade and was hired by the Official Journal to analyse the jurisprudence of the Serbian highest courts. However, he decided to continue his studies abroad and came to France in 2013, where he obtained a second Master’s degree in Comparative Law at Sorbonne University. Drasko was a participant of numerous seminars, conferences and summer schools in Serbia, France and worldwide. He is a national rowing umpire in Serbia and in France and he raced several half marathons. He completed a skydiving course and has an international diver certificate. Drasko is a self-proclaimed expert in finding the best low-cost train and airplane tickets.
Travel Tip: Travel is not only, as Mark Twain said, fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. It is also the best recipe for happiness, so explore, dream and discover.
Meet John – our Site Director in Ireland
John was born and raised in Ireland. He grew up on a dairy farm in Tipperary before heading to college. He studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway and University of Limerick. John adores travelling and has lived and worked in five different European countries. He has taught in Spain, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, worked on farms in the Netherlands and has led study abroad programs in the British Isles and Austria. John believes both international education and travel are essential in today’s world and is on hand to help smooth our participants' paths whilst abroad.
John is married to Anja – 15 years and counting! Together they have a teen (Nathan 14) and tween (Lauren 12). When John isn’t dealing with teen vs tween friction and angst he loves watching westerns, war films and watching/tweeting about sport. He’s completely crazy about almost all sports and promises to take participants to see a match of one kind or another. All in all he’s a very friendly person who always wants to help others achieve their goals.
Romina is a native Roman who graduated with a degree in International Communications at the University for Foreigners of Perugia in 2005. In the same year, she returned to Rome where she started working for IES. In the following two years she decided to study International Relations and enrolled in the MA in International Affairs at the SIOI school in Rome. In 2007, Romina graduated in International Relations at the same University of Perugia and after completing the MA she undertook an internship at the Italian Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. At the beginning of 2008, after completing the internship, Romina was offered a position to work as a Communication and Public Information Officer within the civilian component of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Between 2008 and 2009 she accomplished two missions in Afghanistan. In 2009 she started working for the Italian Development Cooperation Office at the Italian Embassy in Beirut. In Lebanon she worked as a Communication and Public Information Officer and she was also in charge of the joint projects which were later carried out together with the Italian troops within the United Nations mission in Southern Lebanon. In the summer of 2010 Romina left Lebanon to work in Yemen, where she held the same office within the Italian Development Cooperation Department of Sana’s. In the spring of 2011, due to the serious and uncertain situation in Yemen, all the Italian Embassy staff were ordered to leave the country for security reasons. Because of the consequences of the Arab Spring in the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and in Northern Africa, Romina has decided to work in Rome and enjoy with her friends and family the beauty of the 'Eternal City'.
Romina will be present in Italy and available to students for activities, emergencies, issues or concerns around their program, or just if they're feeling out of place and need some support. All students will be formally introduced to her prior to the start of the program and she will maintain contact with you throughout the program, to ensure that everything is going well.
Meet Alessandro – our Site Director in Florence
Alessandro Bruno was born in Maryland and raised in Rome, Italy. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America and China and considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment and its preservation, cultures and languages. This passion led him to obtain a BA in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University. In 2010 he spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Shanghai in China and has since become an even stronger proponent of study abroad programs, no matter where. Alessandro has also successfully completed the National Park Service Law Enforcement Training Program and a Wilderness First Responder course. Among Alessandro’s favourite activities are wakeboarding, kayaking, diving, travelling and getting lost on purpose in new places, eating sushi, learning new languages and cooking.
Meet Jeff – our Site Director in Japan
Jeff was born in central New Jersey, USA. After graduating from Rider University where he studied Business Administration, he worked for a small College in northern New Jersey where he started the Office of International Programs, Study Abroad programs, language programs and established international exchange programs with the College. He was sent to tour Asia to establish international educational exchanges and within ten years working at the College, he established many partnerships and coordinated exchanges for hundreds of students from all over Asia. After establishing over 50 exchange partnerships and travelling throughout Asia extensively, he decided to move to Tokyo to expand on the business. Since then, he has developed many programs and support systems for students from all over the world to study in Japan, as well as specialising in study abroad programs, human resources, teacher management and language and exchange programs in Japan and in other Asian countries.
From Jeff: “Every day, every month, and every year, your life should be stimulating and different from what you are familiar with. Jump into environments different from where you have grown up to know, where you are exposed to different people with different points of view, styles, languages, ideas, food, and philosophies. This makes everyday exciting, fun, stimulating, and forever interesting! Study abroad might be the first step into this life and hopefully just the beginning!”
Meet Jan – our Site Director in Malaysia
Jan shies away from the limelight but is an amazing operator and provides outstanding intern placements and support for our students. Jan will reluctantly admit that she has almost two decades in the Australian higher education sector, spending the last 13 years in and around Asia. Her passion has always been global student mobility. Jan has called Kuala Lumpur home for the last six years. Not bad for a girl from the quiet suburbs of Melbourne.
Meet Teena – our Site Coordinator in Malaysia
For every thinker, you need a do’er. Teena is Jan’s right hand woman. Teena ensures that all operations are project managed with extreme finesse. Teena is the true link between East and West, regularly being dispatched to the depths of the Borneo jungle in order to initiate a new bespoke student program, typically involving some type of orchid or furry arachnid.
Meet Natasha – our Internship Coordinator in Malaysia
It’s the relationship that matters for Natasha. She just loves meeting people from all walks of life. She believes that people come together for a reason. Coming from the island of Borneo and a long service in hospitality, her super-friendly disposition and confidence shine through on the rainiest days. As Internship Coordinator, she’s the bridge that connects the interns and the host. For her, it’s all about making your experience worthwhile! When she’s not on the job, she likes to go for her yoga, watch soppy romantic and dramatic movies, listen to her playlist, try her best to read the books she buys but her most favourite thing to do is to spend time and hang out with her favourite people.
Meet Scott and Sunita – our in country support in Nepal
Scott and Sunita are your CISaustralia on-site support contacts in Nepal. Scott has lived in Nepal for over a decade. He has established health clinics and hospitals in rural communities across Nepal and in 2010 was recognised for the Sir Edmund Hillary Medal for his service in Nepal. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to climb Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak, which is located in Nepal.
Sunita was born and raised in Nepal. Her childhood memories are of persecution for having been born a daughter, rather than a son. Since early childhood, she's felt in the most personal and direct means the oppression that women in Nepal face daily. Sunita has dedicated her life to helping women and children in Nepal to have a better life. Both Scott and Sunita welcome you to be a part of their work, helping women, children and improving lives of thousands in Nepal.
Meet Tiffany – our Site Director in New Caledonia
Tiffany was born in France and started to travel when she was 18 years old in the USA. From that moment, she hasn’t stopped. In addition to other travel, she lived in Finland for 5 years, Italy for a few months and Australia for one year. She has established herself in New Caledonia and has lived there for over 5 years, giving her a good knowledge of the country, culture and its traditions. Tiffany studied Tourism in France and has worked as a tour guide for many years in various countries. She enjoys boating, kiting, scuba diving, hiking and horse riding, as well as meeting new people.
Meet Helena – our Site Director in New Zealand
Helena was born and bred in Wellington, New Zealand but a curious spirit and a former career took her to Australia and throughout Europe. Since returning to NZ she, started “a pay it forward” social enterprise called the Steampunk Food Van that provides meals for people living on the street or in poverty. She is a passionate social entrepreneur who is forever exploring and learning new things about people, community and environmental sustainability. She runs an Upcycle studio in central Wellington and has a commitment to assisting not for profit organisations develop sustainable business models that builds resilience in young people.
In her spare time you will find Helena frollicking about the vast area of NZ that is protected national park, or enjoying a specialty coffee at one of the many cafes that are popping up: New Zealand is fast becoming a nation of coffee drinkers, whilst many Kiwis will still ask if you’d like to join them for a “cuppa tea” when you visit their home. If they do, there’s a good chance they’ve already had their caffeine that morning at their local café or possibly from a home espresso machine. So, if you are looking to study abroad, or gain practical experience by ways of an internship, and enjoy the local culture where the natural beauty of the environment is never more than a stone’s throw away, New Zealand is the destination of choice for you.
Meet Mila – our Site Director in Peru
Milagro (Mila) was born in Cusco, Peru where she completed her primary and secondary studies and pursued a degree in Economics at the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco. Although she did not graduate from San Antonio Abad, she later completed her studies at the Universidad Particular Andina del Cusco, graduating with the title Certified Public Accountant.
After graduating, she began working for a variety of public and private institutions including serving as the Director of the Charity Pharmacies of Cusco. Additionally, she worked for many different municipalities as a supplies and logistics specialist and held the post of Administrative Director for the Municipality of Urubamba, before joining ProPeru as the accountant in 2003. In May 2009, Milagro assumed the post of Administrative Director of ProPeru. She did her Master's degree in Administration with a focus on Tourism at La Universidad San Antonio Abad del Cusco.
Mila looks forward to meeting and supporting all students attending the CISaustralia Rainforest Environmental Conservation and the Community Development and Environmental Change programs in Peru.
Meet Arturo – our Site Director in Peru (Community Development and Environmental Change volunteer programs)
Arturo Paz was born and raised in Lima, Peru. After a long trip to New Zealand in 2014, he decided to make his first big move to Cusco and has worked with ProPeru ever since. He graduated with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management and has a wide range of experience working in the Industry in Peru and abroad. Arturo has always had an adventurous spirit and interest in travel. He loves new experiences and learning about other cultures. Sharing experiences with locals and foreigners, being an active participant and witness of enriching cultural exchanges are what he enjoys the most. Arturo has a passion for contributing to educated and compassionate global citizens.
Meet Elsa – our Site Director in the Philippines
Elsa earned her degree in Psychology and Sociology from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In early 2013, Elsa picked up her life and moved to the Philippines to live and work full time, a country that first stole her heart during a volunteer program in 2009. During her constant trips between the U.S. and the Philippines between 2009 and 2013, Elsa became highly involved with community programs, fundraising, construction projects and children's activities in local Filipino communities. Now serving as CISaustralia's Philippines Site Director, Elsa assists students in adjusting to life in the Philippines and getting the most out of their volunteer experience.
Meet Hannah – our Site Coordinator in the Philippines
Hannah graduated with a degree in Global Studies from Providence College in the USA. During her third year as an undergrad, she set off on two semesters abroad that brought her to India, South Africa, Brazil, Switzerland and Morocco, where she focused on studying health, community and care. This experience sparked Hannah's passion for intentional and purposeful international immersion experiences. Currently, Hannah is living in the Philippines and serves as CISaustralia's Site Coordinator. She works to assure that students are adjusting as smoothly as possible to life in the Philippines, making sure they are able to enjoy their experience as a volunteer fully.
Meet Jeanna – our Site Director in Scotland
Jeanna was born overlooking Loch Ness and grew up in the Highlands of Scotland on the West Coast. She studied in Edinburgh, and after completing her Science degree, went on to work as a local and central government officer often giving lectures to undergraduates in local universities.
"My family has a strong Scottish heritage, on one side Clan MacDougall (who once owned and controlled vast lands in the West of Scotland, the Clan now ‘impoverished’ nobility) and on the other a lineage of Cuthberts going back to St. Cuthbert (whose legacy still influences society today). My Celtic roots give my family our language, music, fun, compassion and culture which continue to this day. Learning and education has been a strong influence in the family over generations.
Like many Scots, I enjoy the fantastic landscape here, from great sailing in the West, to off-road motorcycle and skiing in the Highlands. The rivers and lochs are second to none for a range of leisure and sports. I have been fortunate to travel, and love many parts of our world and Europe; however, I choose to reside in Edinburgh for many reasons, including the wonderful architecture, history, the people, the arts, theatre, restaurants, pubs, writing, thinking and learning that flourishes here. I delight in meeting visitors to our city and country, and share with them the real Scottish experience.”
Meet Blanca – our Site Director in Spain
Currently based in Barcelona, Blanca was raised in the suburbs of Madrid. She first moved abroad for her Erasmus Programme in Holland, where she later received her B.B.A in Tourism Management and Consultancy. She discovered her passion for travelling and cross-cultural experiences while doing a university project in Thailand and Cambodia. After her studies she worked as an AuPair in Germany and spent one year in Switzerland, coordinating volunteers from all over the world and organising camps and events. She has also done an international internship for her Online Marketing studies in Munich. During her free time, Blanca loves meeting new people and playing volleyball, frisbee, table tennis or any other activity under the sun! She started working on the Study Abroad field in Barcelona to help others get the most out of their international experience. Any questions about Cataluña and Spain? Ask her! She will be more than happy to introduce you the local culture.
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa and on-site support in Cape Town (click here)
Meet Logan – our Site Coordinator in Port Elizabeth
Logan has been with the Big Five Wildlife Management and Conservation project in South Africa from inception and has worked in various roles within the reserve. At present, Logan oversees the various components on the project site, including the logistics for volunteer participants and their general wellbeing. Logan’s dream is to travel the world with his grandkids once he retires.
St Lucia – Site Coordinator
Details coming soon
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa (click here)
Zanzibar – Site Coordinator
Details coming soon
Meet David – our Site Director in Thailand
David is based out of Chiang Mai and travels all over Thailand as needed. He was born in the UK and moved to the U.S. when he was 16, completing high school and university in Colorado. As an avid traveller, his first thought on graduation was to travel to Asia. He volunteered and lived with a family in Kathmandu for 2 months before travelling to Thailand. He quickly fell in love with the country and for the last 9 years has worked as a teacher, for local NGOs and now helping Thai people and communities connect with people travelling to Thailand. He loves his work because it allows him to share his love of Thailand and its people with others and at the same time support the great things that people all over Thailand are doing every day. He completed his MA in Asia Pacific Studies in 2013 and is fluent in Thai.
Meet Mana – our Site Coordinator in Thailand
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa and on-site support in Cape Town (click here)
Meet Karlene – our Site Director in Uganda
Karlene is a fellow Aussie, hailing from Western Australia. She manages the lodge accommodation where volunteers stay. She is a Registered Nurse who works in the capacity of volunteer coordinator and helps at the lodge with staff training and development. Karlene’s partner Chris (also from Western Australia), consults in maintenance for the sanctuary and also is around to help with pretty much anything. Karlene’s role as CISaustralia On-site Director, is to assist with any questions/concerns volunteers may have and to provide travel advice. She will also be available in the event of a critical event/incident. Karlene and Chris have been in Uganda since July 2017.
Meet Opio – our Site Coordinator in Uganda
Opio Raymond (surnames are culturally used first in Uganda) is the Head of Guiding Department and is also responsible for working out the rosters for volunteers. Opio’s role as CISaustralia On-site Coordinator is to assist volunteers with any questions/concerns they may have and to provide guidance throughout the program day-to-day.
Ariel grew up in rural New York and got on her first plane at thirteen. Ever since then, she hasn’t been able to stop! She graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Spanish and Peace, Violence and Human Rights. She was lucky enough to study abroad in both Peru and Spain during her time at university. After seeing the world and living abroad, she decided to try it again and lived in Australia for a year, working at CISaustralia. For now, Ariel resides in Massachusetts and works in international education. When she is not working she enjoys stand up paddle boarding, going to concerts, cooking delicious food and dreaming of her next adventure! She is excited to welcome you to Boston!
Meet Lisa – our Site Director in Hawai'i, USA
Lisa has been working for CIS in Hawai'i for over 8 years. Lisa is a native Hawaiian and when not assisting CIS students, she works for the Native Hawaiian Education Council as well as being the President and CEO of the Oceanic Education Council which helps Pacific Islander students gain access to higher education. Lisa is very active in the movement to rejuvenate Hawaiian culture and language and has directed a US Federal Grant devoted to re-integrating the Hawaiian language into the local schools' curriculum for several years.
Lisa arranges numerous excursions throughout the semester that are customised to each group's interests. Past excursions have included surfing or fishing trips, camping and trips to local restaurants. Lisa can also arrange a day of community service for students while studying in Hawai'i. Lisa will be in touch prior to your departure to Hawai'i and is a great resource and contact point during your time in Hawai'i.
Liz was born and raised in New York and graduated from Marist College with a double degree in Psychology and Special Education. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the New York Institute of Technology. She has studied abroad for a semester in Australia as an undergraduate and in Germany as a graduate student.
After her own life-changing study abroad experiences, she was inspired to help other students become as passionate about international education. She is responsible for advising prospective study abroad students throughout the entire application process. In addition, she monitors incoming exchange students by reviewing submitted admissions documents and serving as the liaison between various departments.
During her free time, Liz loves traveling, eating, drinking green tea and playing tennis.
Kailee’s background and continued passion is in Business Administration and Marketing in addition to years of experience working in international education and delivering programs around the world. Kailee will provide students on the IIP-NYC program with 24/7 on-site support. She has been involved in supporting every stage of running a business and, on any given day, has her hands in sales, marketing, HR, finance, customer service, management and much more. In her years in international education, Kailee has been an integral part of all stages of international internships and placements: from initial advising to admissions, enrolment and in-country program delivery. Kailee believes the best way to experience a new city is to live life as a local. She is excited to help you find your way in NYC – her favourite city in the world!
Always on the hunt for new opportunities and grand adventures, Nick has lived and travelled across the United States. He was born in Vietnam, raised in Southern California and as a young adult lived in Colorado then Connecticut and finally Massachusetts before returning to L.A. His travels have also taken him to New York, Tennessee, Florida, Nevada and Hawaii. At home, there’s virtually no area of Los Angeles that Nick isn’t familiar with, from the alleyways of Downtown and the streets of Hollywood to shopping plazas in Beverly Hills and the shores of Malibu. He’s a professional hair stylist and his interests include blockbuster movies, pop music, live performances and spending time with friends. Nick looks forward to meeting new people and helping them get to know Los Angeles through CISaustralia’s USA programs.
Meet Jered – our Site Coordinator in LA (UCLA)
Born and raised in Los Angeles, some of Jered’s favorite things to do around town include taking the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, visiting the Grand Central Library in Downtown L.A., watching movies at ArcLight Cinemas, and driving along Pacific Coast Highway. His own travels have taken him across the United States as well as to England, Ireland, France, Amsterdam, and Mexico.
Jered attended San Jose State University where he studied hospitality management and business administration. He has worked in the hospitality and entertainment industries, and currently heads up marketing and communications at ArtCenter College of Design, a private, nonprofit industrial design and visual arts school located just outside of Los Angeles—so he’s quite familiar with the needs of university students in Southern California.
Jason Obin is a native of the Chicagoland area and alumnus of Loyola University Chicago. He studied Political Science at Loyola for both his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Jason has lived and studied in Germany, Spain and China and has travelled extensively to many other countries. Some of Jason’s favourite pastimes include playing soccer, going to concerts, travelling, studying languages, meeting people from other cultures, and trying new foods and restaurants. Feel free to ask Jason about recommendations on where to see some live music or try some new food while in Chicago!
Meet Mo – our Site Director in Vietnam – Internships
Mo is CISaustralia's Site Director in Vietnam, establishing and maintaining relationships with community development and environmental programs within Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang, and providing support for international students participating in internship placements in Vietnam. Mo is a graduate of Hanoi University of Technology, as well as an Alumni of the U.S department under the Professional Fellow Program, and of JASSO - the Japan for Leadership program. Having worked for many years with a local NGO, Mo moved into international education as Director of International Cooperation of FPT University and has 15 years of experience in coordinating international students in exchange programs in Vietnam.
Meet Thanh – our Site Director in Vietnam – Study
Thanh was born and grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, one of the biggest and most popular cities in Vietnam. She earned her BA in Sociology from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. She also spent more than a year in the Netherlands where she received a certificate of International Communication. Since that study abroad experience, she has been always working in the field of Education, especially assisting Vietnamese students with planning and preparing for studying abroad. She has had opportunities to travel and explore different parts of the world such as Europe (Holland, Belgium, France, Germany), Australia and Asia (China, Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore). Thanh is keen on sharing her Vietnam with visitors. She also enjoys spending time with her son, her friends and relatives, writing her own fiction stories and watching television series.
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa (click here)
Meet Sebastian – our Site Coordinator in Livingstone
Seb became the Site Coordinator in Livingstone after completing his studies in the UK. He is very excited to be back in Zambia after having volunteered in the area a number of times before. He is the coordinator for the Teaching, Sport, Adult Literacy, Math’s and Health programs. When he isn’t working, you can often find him chilling by the pool/bar where he is always happy to spend time getting to know the volunteers over a cold Mosi or two. Seb also enjoys watching films, his favorite being The Truman Show – he will be super impressed if you have seen it, too.
Meet Sjeel – our Site Coordinator in Livingstone
Sjeel got her Bachelor of Business Administration back in Holland. After finishing school she went to South Africa to volunteer for 2 months on a surf project in Cape Town. After travelling for 3 months it was time to get back to work in the Netherlands, so she became a coordinator at a post office. While Sjeel was working she started to miss her time in Africa so she quit her job and is now the Volunteer Coordinator in Livingstone. In her free time you can find Sjeel relaxing around the pool with the volunteers, doing some shopping or watching a Netflix series or two...
Multi-country programs are unique in their travel-study combination. Students on these programs are supported by the country's Site Director, additional support staff who travel with the groups, and the faculty that teach these programs.