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 Lyndal – our Site Director in Cambodia
Lyndal is originally from Queensland, Australia and has worked in the healthcare and travel industries. Her life has been especially fulfilling with constant travel coupled with a career honed in so many places working and training with a variety of rich cultures. Lyndal has been involved with supporting university students as a counselor, parent, social/travel director and has had the best fun doing it. Hosting exchange students from around the world has given her such a great extended family. Family, home, dogs and the sea are her other passions. Her best pieces of advice for all travelling students are “it’s not right or wrong, it’s just different” and “work with what you have and make it fun”.
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.
Meet Kirstin – Our Site Director in Canada
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.
CHINA AND HONG KONG
Meet Sally – our Site Director in Beijing
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 and Virtual Intern Coordinator 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 and Virtual Intern Coordinator 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.
Meet Lisa – our Site Director in Costa Rica
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 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 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 Romina – our Site Director in Rome
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 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 Kyra – our Site Director in the Netherlands (International Relations and Politics in the EU, Leadership and Management in a Global World)
Kyra is the program coordinator for the International Relations & Politics in the EU and Leadership & Management courses. She was born on the island Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) and was raised in Maastricht (the oldest and most beautiful city in the Netherlands) where she studied Tourism and Leisure Management. She lived in Paris for half a year and travelled the world extensively.
Kyra has been in the field of International Education for 10 years and she loves seeing the growth students go through while in Maastricht. Her favourite thing to do is stroll along the many cobblestone streets and having a drink on one of the many terraces in the city.
Meet Iris – our Site Director in the Netherlands (International Environmental Law)
Iris is the program coordinator for the International Environmental Law course. She was born and raised in the Netherlands and studied a Bachelor in Psychology and a Master in Developmental Psychology at Maastricht University. As she aimed at broadening her skills regarding management and policy, she chose to study another Master at Maastricht University, including Governance and Leadership in European Public Health.
Iris studied abroad in Canada for half a year during her Bachelor in Psychology. Since November 2018, she has been an International Relations Officer at CES and is dedicated to enable students to make the best out of their time while in Maastricht. Her study abroad experience leads to her understanding how it feels moving to a new country and meeting new people. Next to her job as an International Relations Officer, Iris very much enjoys both race cycling in the beautiful landscapes and the Burgundian life the South of Limburg has to offer.
Meet Maureen – our Site Director in the Netherlands (Forensic Psychology)
Maureen is the program coordinator for the Forensic Psychology course. She is born in the Netherlands and has been living in Maastricht since 2011. She holds a degree in Psychology from Maastricht University and has almost four years of working experience in the field of International Education. What she enjoys most is getting to know her students and to make sure they have the best study abroad experience possible. Maureen loves hiking and going to cozy restaurants and cafes, luckily Maastricht has plenty of those!
Meet Suzanne – our Site Director in the Netherlands (Positive Psychology)
Suzanne is the program coordinator for the Positive Psychology course. She was born and raised in the Netherlands. Suzanne studied Tourism and has been working as an International Relations Officer at CES since October 2016. She loves the variety of the job and the interaction with students. Her aim is to give her students their best study abroad experience ever. Next to her job as an International Relations Officer, Suzanne enjoys strolling around in beautiful Maastricht and loves to travel. Australia is still on the top of her list of countries she would like to visit!
Meet Christiane – our Site Director in New Caledonia
A native from Lifou Island, Christiane is the manager-owner of her training and consultancy firm. She has over 20 years’ experience in local and international assignments in the Asia-Pacific region for academic, government, para-government and diplomatic organisations.
Christiane has extensive experience in the academic field, having set-up and supported the delivery of several programs such as the University of New Caledonia (UNC) French as a Second Language for Pacific-region students. She also setup the 3-way partnership program between the UNC, the IRD (French Institute for Research and Development) and the Vietnamese Aquaculture Research Institute, which brought Vietnamese PhD students to the Noumea branch of the IRD. She was commissioned by local institutions to prepare young people for training abroad.
She has also been the Director of Cultural Affairs for the New Caledonia South Province government. In this role, she supervised the organisation of cultural events in the Province, organised overseas visits of various academics and artists from and to New Caledonia and participated in the development of public policies to support the interactions of New Caledonia with regional stakeholders.
Christiane is active with Acaroa (alumni association of New Caledonia students having completed undergraduate programs in New Zealand) and Cadres Avenir (alumni association of New Caledonia having completed studies in France & Europe).
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 Lorraine – our Site Director in the Philippines
Lorraine is your CISaustralia in-country Site Coordinator and is available for 24/7 support and assistance during your program when Elsa is not in Tacloban. Lorraine graduated from Leyte Normal University at the top of her class, earning a degree in secondary education. She worked as an online English teacher throughout her college degree, but decided not to pursue a career in teaching after graduation, and instead pursued a job at a local IT company. Lorraine grew up as an only child. In her free time, she enjoys working out, eating and sleeping. Through her role as Site Coordinator, Lorraine works to ensure students are adjusting as smoothly as possible to life in the Philippines and 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 Elena – our Site Director in Spain
Currently based in Barcelona, Elena was born in Girona (north of Barcelona), but has lived in a variety of cities in Spain. She has her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona and a M.A. in Communication, Tourism and New Technologies (e-Tourism) from the University of Barcelona. Her work experience is focused on Place Branding Online and she is the co-founder of the association International Exchange Erasmus Student Network at UPF, which helps to welcome university students to Barcelona. She has worked and studied in various countries throughout Europe (Holland, Turkey, Italy, England) and is a world traveller. Elena has worked with international students for 10 years and enjoys introducing them to the dynamic city of Barcelona. She loves languages, dancing, travelling, culture and, above all, people.
Meet Guillem – our Virtual Intern Coordinator in Spain
Currently based in Barcelona, Guillem was born in Sants, one of the oldest and most multicultural neighbourhoods in the city. He has his B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and an M.A. in Project Management – Agile Methodologies from the IEBS. During his studies in Hospitality, he was chosen to do an internship at Columbia University (New York City) and discovered the world of Study Abroad, which fascinated him from the very first day. His experience in managing different fields allows him to use his expertise to advise students seeking international experiences.
Guillem’s main goal at work is to help young adults to become better professionals and show them how different cultures can work together. He has a lot of experience in counselling and advising, and he loves mentoring and sharing anecdotes with students. He also loves travelling, playing board games, listening to live music and is an avid fan of Lego.
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.
Meet Oliver – our Virtual Intern Coordinator in South Africa
Oliver was raised in Vermont, USA, and studied journalism and communication at the University of Oregon. He fell in love with South Africa in 2003 while an exchange student at the University of Cape Town and later returned to the country in 2005 to begin his career in the field of international education. When not engaged in student exchanges, Oliver enjoys surfing, cycling and spending time in nature with his wife, Leanne, and son, Francis.
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa (click here)
Meet Sally – our Site Coordinator in Zanzibar
Originally from Scotland, Sally has always had a love for Africa and has a great interest in its people and animals. Her love escalated after visiting Zambia in 2016, and she has returned every year since. She worked in Project Management in the UK for many years and took the decision in 2019 to leave the corporate world for something more meaningful and impactful. She volunteered for 2 months in Zanzibar in 2019, fell in love with it and is now working there full-time. Sally is passionate about the project work that this program does and is excited about what the community receives from it.
Meet Lara – our Site Coordinator in Zanzibar
Lara is a Conservation Biologist who has worked in Africa since 2019. Previously specialising in Black Rhino Feeding Ecology, she was thrilled to start a new adventure managing the Dolphin Research and Marine Conservation Project in Zanzibar.
From a young age, Lara has had a keen fascination for the natural world, leading her to pursue further studies in zoology and conservation. She has a keen interest in science communication as she strongly believes that the key to conservation lies in raising public awareness, increasing engagement with local communities and inspiring young minds. Lara is extremely passionate about preserving our environment and is determined to ensure that there is a future for as many species as possible.
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 Aphinyoo (Bui) – our Site Coordinator in Thailand
Bui is your Site Coordinator in Chiang Mai and works to assist David. She is 37 years old she is originally from North Eastern Thailand, but came to Chiang Mai for her degree in English at Chiang Mai University. Bui has lived in Chiang Mai ever since. Bui has worked with CIS since 2015. She is fluent in English having lived in Australia for some time. She enjoys climbing, yoga and boxing as well as working with CIS participants in Thailand to share Thai culture with them.
Meet Chutinan (Chu) – our Site Coordinator in Thailand
Chutinan Klinmalai is a Site Coordinator for CIS in Thailand who has been working with the program for more than 2 years covering all field visits and leisure activities. Chutinan graduated his bachelor’s degree in Political Science (International Relations) and currently doing master graduate program in Disaster Management at Asian Institute of Technology. Apart from CIS work, he is a professional career diplomat with Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, Thailand. He always participates in social activities and volunteer works especially environmental or local community service programs. Comedy is his favorite kind of movie. He enjoys exploring nature in his free time .
Meet Pasqual – our Continent Site Director for Africa and on-site support in Cape Town (click here)
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.
Originally from Northampton, Massachusetts, Lily attended UMass Amherst where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. After graduating she took part in a three-month marketing internship in Hanoi, Vietnam. This led her to stay in Southeast Asia for three years where she worked as an ESL Teacher, Copywriter and Voice-Over Actor in Hanoi. She also took this time to travel extensively throughout Southeast Asia, as well as spent six months in New Zealand.
Lily believes travel is the best way to understand ourselves and the world around us, and is passionate about the power it has to change perspectives and lives. Having first-hand experience as an intern abroad, she is excited to help others have a meaningful and empowering experience in New York City. Aside from travel, Lily enjoys cinema, photography, going to comedy and music events, and rooftop lounging in the nice weather.
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.
Kristin is a native of Portland, Oregon, USA and now lives in Seattle, Washington working remotely for CISaustralia. She has spent a majority of her adult years living overseas, including in France, Ghana, Czech Republic, Morocco, England and Australia. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Education and her favourite part of working in the field is getting to know students and helping them discover the joys of cross-cultural exchange and the personal growth it brings.
Meet Thanh – our Site Director in Vietnam
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 Justin – our Site Coordinator in Livingstone
Justin was born in Johannesburg but moved to Australia when he was young. Every few years he would travel back to visit his family in South Africa. In 2018, Justin decided to extend his trip as a volunteer in Livingstone. In 2019, he returned as the Sports Coordinator for the program and proposed to his long-term girlfriend. He is now back in Zambia for good. Justin has a background in carpentry and building and does what he can to stay out of the office. He is very passionate about physical education and the impact it has on children’s wellbeing. Justin enjoys his sports and is always up for a game of touch footy.