Customised Group Programs
Research by the Australian Government highlights continual growth in the number of Australian university students who participate in an international education experience, with short-term mobility programs becoming increasingly popular year on year. Data from the Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum (AUIDF) identified that more than 58,000 Australian students went abroad during their degree in 2019, representing an 11.3% increase from 2018. Nearly 25% of all undergraduate students participated in an international education experience, compared to 19% for all levels of graduating cohorts – an all time high.
Benefits of mobility to the University range from improved student retention, increased student engagement, higher academic performance and increased employability, to global brand awareness and meeting the institution’s overarching strategic goals related to teaching and learning, research, professional development and internationalisation. In addition to this wide range of benefits, Universities and educators have an important role to help prepare students for a global world and to cultivate transformative student learning. Increasingly, Australian Universities understand the importance of providing international and experiential education opportunities as part of their degree programs, and as a key to attracting the best and brightest high school graduates to their institution.
The rapid growth of outbound student mobility has put greater responsibility and accountability on Australian Universities to meet the increasing demand for international experiences. Customised Group Programs are a very popular and exciting way to help meet this demand and increase international education opportunities for students – and CISaustralia is here to help!
The CISaustralia Customised Group Programs team works exclusively with Australian University academics and central outbound mobility staff to provide significant time-saving benefits and expertise in international, domestic or virtual programs, including group study, volunteer or internship experiences (with or without a travelling academic).
If you are an academic staff member (or central University mobility staff person) looking to manage a customised group program, the following short video is of critical importance to you and is highly likely to change the way you think about how you manage your Customised Group Program.
Why Partner with CISaustralia?
The CISaustralia Customised Group Programs team specialises in customising short-term programs – study tours, volunteering (experiential service learning), internships, virtual, language programs or a combination – in almost any destination around the world, including Australia. Our team is made up of travellers who have lived, worked, studied and travelled extensively overseas. We are passionate about international education and believe that everyone should have the opportunity to study, work, live and travel abroad. Our Queensland-based team works exclusively with Australian University academic and mobility staff to support University Customised Group Programs.
Historically, University staff have been responsible for not only teaching the academic course abroad, but also overseeing program administration, logistics, payments, on-site financials, schedule changes, general academic and student support, and all other aspects that come with ensuring a successful program. Universities have also held sole liability for the risk management, duty of care, legalities, insurance, critical incidents and emergency response, as well as program sustainability. With the support of CISaustralia, University staff will save a significant amount of time with the confidence that their Customised Group Program will be professionally designed and executed.
Each program that is supported by CISaustralia is carefully designed and developed by employing a range of structured processes and procedures for a comprehensive and fully customised experience. Our Customised Group Programs team provides extensive support throughout all phases of the program, from initial enquiry all the way through to program completion. For the duration of the program, a dedicated, on-site CISaustralia staff member will remain with the group or be available 24/7 to manage not only the logistics, but also manage and support group dynamics, critical incidents or any emergencies that may arise. Our robust approach and support throughout the entire process allows for the academic staff member to focus on the teaching and learning experience to best meet the program’s academic objectives.
Customised Program Types
Benefits and Inclusions
CISaustralia has been supporting Customised Group Programs since 2013, with staff in over 40 global locations. These relationships and our structured protocols have been tried and tested so you can be confident we have covered all bases.
Whether it’s customising our volunteer and intern programs or creating a unique study tour, the University has complete control and ownership over the program. CISaustralia acts as a behind-the-scenes support.
We build a program specific to the academic staff members’ needs. By customising each aspect of the program, we provide the opportunity to create a unique itinerary that directly aligns with academic objectives.
University staff have reported an average saving of approx. 29 working days associated with the logistical planning and running of a customised academic program with CISaustralia support. This equates to a total savings of approx. $18,600 to the University.
Our Customised Group Programs team can assist with marketing and recruitment efforts. An active approach will assist in meeting minimum enrolment numbers and attaining a reduced per-student program fee.
There will be a lot of questions prior to departure from students. Through our pre-departure materials and online pre-departure session, we make sure that no question is left unanswered.
Every program we support includes a 24/7 Onsite Program Coordinator (OPC) and / or local Site Director, which allows the focus of the academic staff to be on delivering a high-quality academic experience.
Our Risk Management and Emergency Response Plan has been developed to minimise the risk associated with and best respond to any critical incident. A customised Risk Matrix is completed for each program we support.
Upon completion of the program, we will conduct a detailed post-program review to ensure we understand every aspect of how the program went and how we can improve for future programs.
Ready to discuss your program idea but not sure where to start? We’d love to hear from you! Complete this quick, 2-minute enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly after to answer your questions and discuss your proposed program.
At Flinders University we actively encourage our students and academics to engage with CISaustralia and their programs. We have been highly impressed with not only the value and academic integrity that these programs offer our students, but the seamless way in which CISaustralia collaborate with and support our students, academics and professional staff.
The University of Wollongong has been working with CISaustralia since late 2014. CISaustralia organises the logistics of the study tour, including flights, accommodation and bus transfers… Participants of the study tour report overwhelmingly positive feedback about their experience. The CIS staff members, who accompany the group throughout the tour are always professional, considerate and contribute greatly to the smooth running of the study tour. Overall, the professionalism of the CISaustralia team make them a pleasure to work with, and they deliver a well organised study tour for our students.
This will be the fourth year I have worked together with CISaustralia in organising a student study tour to Italy as part of an education degree. Over this time, I have found CIS fabulous to work with. Every detail of the tour is well planned and organised in response to the needs of the University course. Students have found the experience to be life changing – both professionally and personally, with so many different learning experiences encountered at every turn. I have no hesitation in recommending CISaustralia to anyone considering engaging in study tours. I certainly would not try to do this without them, and I am looking forward to continuing the partnership in the years to come.
CISaustralia did an excellent job in organising a 2 week study tour for QUT law and justice students to Cambodia in July 2017. Jane and the team were highly professional, efficient and very responsive to our requests. The focus of the study tour was child protection and human rights so Jane researched a range of relevant organisations and NGOs for the students to visit, as well as organising guest lectures and cultural activities. She also managed all the time-consuming travel and accommodation logistics! The in-country assistance provided by Samantha was exceptional. She had good local knowledge and was an invaluable mentor to our students and support for the academic supervisor. We were very satisfied with our CISaustralia experience and will definitely work with them again in the future.
Coordinating an academic Study Tour program can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. It can also be stressful and time consuming. Having the support of CIS throughout all phases of the planning, the Study Tour itself, and then in reviewing the program takes a lot of pressure off the overall workload. I have found CIS to be professional and positive, responsive to feedback, flexible, and personable. CIS is a cost-effective solution to organising an overseas Study Tour and the team works hard to ensure all arrangements are as requested. The OPC creates a welcoming environment for all students, an important aspect to consider as many students are travelling overseas and/or outside their family for the first time. CIS has the local knowledge on best companies to contact for transport, accommodation, and other logistics; I am comfortable travelling with the plans provided by CIS and feel assured that nothing is being left to chance. When things don’t turn out the way they have been planned, as can be the case when traveling internationally, CIS can think quickly to sort out alternative options and put them in place with a minimum of fuss. CIS is a quality company that are a delight to work with. I am currently planning my fifth Study Tour with CIS, and due to our great working relationship, the annual Study Tour is sure to continue into the future.