Partner Endorsements

Australian Partner Endorsements

“CISaustralia is our most important partner for students undertaking our global environmental placement unit. Through CISaustralia students are able to participate in real world hands-on environmental work in counties including South Africa, Peru, Tanzania, Belize, Costa Rica and New Zealand. Over the last few years over 350 Deakin University environmental science (wildlife and conservation biology) students have participated in one of the many CISaustralia programs and every student has come home having immersed in a unique international experience and in doing so contributed to conservation on a global scale. Thank you CISaustralia for providing these experiences and for always looking after our students and ensuring they have fantastic hands-on experiences while remaining safe and secure at all times.” Click here to read detailed testimonial from Raylene Cooke

Associate Professor Raylene Cooke, Course Director Wildlife and Conservation Biology | School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science Engineering & Built Environment | Deakin University

“Accommodation Services, La Trobe University, has worked closely with CISaustralia since 2013 in offering our residential student population (approx. 2400+) the opportunity to participate in short term community outreach and academic programs across a variety of overseas destinations. Prior to 2013, Accommodation Services had organised and hosted a number of similar programs in-house, but the logistics and increasing risk involved in such initiatives provided the incentive to seek an external partnership. Having researched and considered a number of other organisations in this space, CISaustralia emerged as our ideal option and preferred partner – largely attributable to the variety of programs and destinations on offer (both with a volunteer and academic focus), the reasonable costs involved, and their clear understanding of both student interests and university requirements. Having now worked with CISaustralia since this time, we have been delighted with the fast, efficient and effective service they have provided to the staff promoting and overseeing the programs each year, and to our student participants.  I would not hesitate to recommend CISaustralia to other university staff who may be in the process of exploring offering such fantastic (and important!) opportunities to their own students.”

Laura Burge, Manager, Residential Education | Accommodation Services | La Trobe University

“With over 30 years of relatively extensive study and independent travel in Asia, I was initially sceptical about the ‘value add’ of CIS in organising my first Study Tour abroad (Vietnam). However, I was greatly impressed with their organisation, itinerary and both local and US-based staff. Extraordinary courtesy and care were accorded to both me and the students, and to the academic requirements of the program. Much of the success in terms of academic learning and developing strong personal relations within and beyond the student cohort was due to the competency and attention of the staff. One of the local guides in particular had exceptional English, a quick wit, deep and broad knowledge of his country and took his duty of care very seriously. As a bonus, the accommodation and quality of the restaurants exceeded our expectations and we were provided with access to various excursions tailored to the course, some of which would otherwise have been difficult to organise. The overwhelming level of student satisfaction was extremely gratifying. I have no reservations in recommending CIS and I hope we can work together again.”

Catherine Burns, PhD | International Business and Asian Studies | Griffith Business School

“We have run a very successful law and politics faculty led program in close coordination with CISaustraia for the last 2 years. The program has been centred around London and Cambridge. CISaustralia managed the logistics, contributed to program design, saving the Faculty significant time, with students and faculty having a very enjoyable and academically enriching experience. The CISaustralia on site staff, Shandin, was engaged, very well trained, ensured the schedule ran efficiently. Shandin also handled a bout of illness that effected a number of our students very professionally and with maximum care for the students. This ensured the other students’ academic and cultural experience was not affected. The review and evaluation process has also been robust and valuable. I would highly recommend CISaustralia to any University or academic staff member looking to embark on a faculty led study tour.”

Professor Clement Macintyre, Politics and International Studies | Politics and Law – UK Study Tour (2015 and 2016) | University of Adelaide

“My experience in having the assistance of CIS in planning, organising and logistical support for a one-month Faculty led study program in North America exceeded all expectations. The CIS team worked brilliantly with my University’s Study Abroad and Exchange Office and with me to tailor a first-rate academic and sightseeing program in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. It was a huge help to be able to leave organisational aspects such as transport, accommodation, conference registration and even meal arrangements to CIS knowing that we were in good hands throughout. An added bonus was having a CIS member with local knowledge accompany us throughout the program, taking us on excursions to many local attractions that it would have been impossible to manage on our own. I have no hesitation in recommending CIS as a first-rate partner in educational study abroad and exchange programs, and look forward to working with them again very soon. Thanks especially to Brad Dorahy in Australia and Rachael Capuano in Canada / US for a wonderful experience!”

Dr. Gregor Urbas, Associate Professor of Law | University of Canberra

“Western Sydney University has worked with CISaustralia since late 2013 and signed a formal agreement in 2014. The University collaborated with CISaustralia to run a faculty-led, short-term study program to Singapore and Malaysia in February 2015, focussing on business and manufacturing. During the development and organisation of the program, CISaustralia provided an excellent level of support and were able to tailor the program to the individual needs of the academic program leader.

Brad and the CISaustralia team are responsive and flexible and work closely with the University to deliver good student and program outcomes. CISaustralia have been actively engaged with our outbound student mobility programme, and have successfully recruited Western Sydney University students to a number of their Summer and Winter short courses. We are very satisfied with the performance and support provided and would not hesitate in recommending CISaustralia services.”

Jo Byng, Director | International Strategy, Mobility and Operations | Western Sydney University

“CISaustralia assisted Monash Abroad in developing its first office-owned mobility program – Sustainable Futures in Indonesia. As this program was the first of its type at Monash Abroad, the expertise in program development by CISaustralia was of great importance. The program took nine students on a non-credit bearing, sustainability-themed program to Jakarta and Yogyakarta. This program was unique as it was coordinated and led by an administrative staff member, which allowed for flexibility in the itinerary. Brad from CISaustralia provided the perfect level of support by touching base during key decision-making periods and being extremely positive and understanding during challenging periods. 

I would absolutely recommend using CISaustralia to assist with coordinating an overseas program. Though reluctant about the idea at first, having a CISaustralia staff member in-country was helpful as it allowed the Monash staff member to focus on the students (and academics for credit-bearing programs). Like a ballerina, our CISaustralia leader, Liz, coordinated the logistical elements seemingly effortlessly – the buses were always there waiting for us, and the restaurants always had a table set aside for us. As Liz was a local, she went above and beyond by connecting us with her personal contacts related to sustainability. Particularly memorable was her introduction to a family-friend that runs a non-profit after school centre for village children.”

Sarah Argles | Indonesia Customised Program, July 2014 | Monash University

“Working with CIS to develop new Customised Faculty Led Programs, starting with our pilot Cybercrime program to Canada and the USA in June 2014, has been an absolute pleasure and truly made the process infinitely easier and more efficient! 

The University of Canberra (UC) has developed a number of programs led by faculty members in the past, largely organised by the Study Abroad Office in conjunction with the faculty member themselves. Working with CIS has significantly reduced the amount of organisational work (in terms of advertising, making bookings, creating an itinerary and on-the-ground planning) required by the academics and administrative staff at UC. This has enabled us to focus on providing high quality academic content and ensuring students are well prepared and informed before departure.

From initial contact and all the way through the process of development, CIS represented by Brad Dorahy and his team have been highly professional, efficient and prompt, and have truly gone out of their way to ensure the program progressed smoothly. Everything was transparent and clear, and any concerns or requests were dealt with and handled quickly and openly. The itinerary was developed with all our needs in mind, and the outcome was a reasonably priced, balanced, full and exciting program! The balance of academic content with fun activities and cultural excursions was perfect. A particular drawcard was the on-the-ground support CIS provides in the form of a staff member joining the program, which provided a unique local insight and was a definite asset to the tour. This was a fantastic first experience, and we are excited to develop the relationship further with the plan to collaborate further with CIS on a number of additional projects for next year.

I honestly can’t recommend going through CIS to develop short-term programs highly enough!! They went above and beyond our expectations to produce a program which has generated feedback from our students such as: “a once-in-a-lifetime experience”, “the most amazing experience” and “pack[ed] with a million fun activities.”

Anna Carlander-Munro | University of Canberra

“The University of Wollongong has been working with CISaustralia since late 2013, assisting the Faculty of Business in coordinating the Economics and Finance Study Tour to Thailand and Laos held in July 2015. CISAustralia organised the logistics of the study tour for us, including flights, accommodation and bus transfers. We were kept informed throughout the lead-up to departure, with both Brad and Jaime prompt in answering any questions we had. CISaustralia were thorough in their planning and organisation, and were able to foresee potential issues that may arise during the study tour e.g. visa costs related to border crossings between Thailand and Laos. Participants of the study tour reported overwhelmingly positive feedback about their experience during the study tour. The CIS staff member, Alex, who accompanied the group throughout the tour was professional, considerate and contributed greatly to the smooth running of the study tour. Overall, the professionalism of the CISaustralia team made them a pleasure to work with, and they delivered a well organised study tour for our students. CISaustralia is an endorsed third party provider for the UOW Office of Global Student Mobility and offers a variety of international short course experiences for UOW students.”  

Sean Lu, International Project Officer | Faculty of Business | University of Wollongong

“I don’t have any suggestions for improvement. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Brad, Chiara, Romina and Alessandro. Chiara undertook most of the pre-program organisation and liaison with me, and I was very satisfied indeed with her professionalism and high level of engagement. Brad oversaw the program and supported it as required in a thoroughly professional manner. Romina and Alessandro were excellent to work with on the ground, and addressed issues around student health, and other issues that arose, superbly well. They combined a strong level of professionalism with a nicely judged and relaxed informality.”

Professor Paul Hetherington, Professor, Writing | Faculty of Arts & Design | University of Canberra

“When we first considered CIS, I thought it would be largely about having a third party sort out accommodation, flights and other logistic considerations. However, I now realise having done the trip, that the logistics is only part of what CIS do. The onsite representative is absolutely vital. Both were lovely people, and very personable, and – just as importantly – were responsible, helpful and caring. They provided a level of personal support to the students that I just would not have been able to manage on my own. I really can’t thank Scott Tayloe and Claire Novotny enough. This was such an amazing experience for me as a teacher, and for the students, because of their professionalism and caring approach. Thank you Scott and Claire. Thanks also to Brad Dorahy — you were always free to talk, at pretty much any hour, and remained positive in trying to resolve any issues that came up in the planning stages. Thank you Brad.”

Dr Kit Messham-Muir, Senior Lecturer | School of Creative Arts | The University of Newcastle

“I am so very happy that I used a program provider in general and CISaustralia specifically to assist with coordinating logistics of the program. The program ran seamlessly and was very low stress. If I were teaching the students, working with CIS would have provided me the freedom to focus purely on academics and engaging with students. 

Brad was very dedicated and patient with setting up the program and agreement with Monash. He was in constant communication and professional with his responses. I look forward to working with CIS again.”

Sarah Argles | Monash Abroad | Monash University

“Overall the service from CIS was very professional and it was really helpful to me when running the subject alone. The on-site rep was the main attraction of using the service and this certainly proved very worthwhile.”

Dr Emma Robertson, Lecturer | College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce | La Trobe University – Bendigo

“STA Travel and CISaustralia have enjoyed a close working relationship over several years. We both share the same values and passion, whilst keeping the participant experience at the forefront of everything we do. We are proud to be able to support CISaustralia with the work they do and look forward to what the future holds.”

Jeff King | STA Travel, Head Office

Overseas Partner Endorsements

“CISaustralia has been an integral part of our programs growth and success in the Philippines. The contribution of services extended through the volunteers has allowed the organization to sustain most of the community-based projects even with limited resources. Volunteers who willingly accepted the challenges faced by the organization to make a difference to the lives of the less privileged.”

Helena Claire “Wimwim” A. Canayong, Director of Operations | Community Development in the Philippines

“Since 2014 I’ve helped dozens of Australian students each year truly experience the Philippines by volunteering with a local NGO. During their time in the Philippines, they spent numerous hours working with community members, established new relationships with Filipinos and fellow international volunteers, learned about the local culture and way of life, and developed connections and memories they’ll never forget. Although students are most intrigued by surface level differences upon arrival, like the climate, Filipino food, or public transportation, when they return home, their minds are enthralled by a new, broader perspective of life, which ultimately changes the way they see themselves and the world.”

Elsa Thomasma, CISaustralia Site Director, Philippines | Community Development in the Philippines

“We have worked with CISaustralia for several years, offering Spanish classes, Costa Rican Spanish immersion and volunteer programs at conservation projects with sea turtles. Due to our constant and clear communication, every logistical detail is taken care of before and during your visit so our customers don’t have to worry about anything but enjoying their trip. Our joint conservation program with endangered sea turtles has always exceeded student expectations because of CISaustralia’s careful planning and communication. Working with CISaustralia has been a delight because of their exceptional program coordination, attention to detail and excellent communication skills despite the thousands of kilometers and time difference between us. Their work ethic is admirable and we can’t wish more from a business partner. As their slogan says, “Creating Opportunities – Changing Lives,” CISaustralia definitely changes lives with these opportunities they create and we’re proud to be a part of that.”

Laura Cordero | Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

“Kwantu Private Game Reserve has been working with CISaustralia for a number of years, and throughout this time, we have found that the participants are always well prepared in advance, motivated, and open minded to new experiences. This greatly assists us on the project by ensuring that everyone shares a common goal and expectations. 

With the assistance of the CISaustralia participants, Kwantu has managed to engage and further a number of meaningful programs on the reserve such as the removal of alien vegetation, improve anti-poaching efforts, monitor the wildlife population and further the community outreach program with the local communities, amongst others. 

During the program, we are pleased to have the assistance of the CISaustralia team to also regularly communicate with participants and ensure that they are enjoying their experience with us.”

Shakir Jeeva | Big Five Wildlife Management and Conservation in South Africa

“There are a limited number of official Registration Centers for UCLA Summer Sessions which promote, recruit and register qualified international students for programs at UCLA. CISaustralia is one such key partner that is uniquely qualified and familiar with UCLA’s policies and procedures required for student registration and enrolment. 

CISaustralia has developed high caliber marketing strategies, as well as provided general information and student guidance in a professional and personalized manner for students. CISaustralia students are amongst our best prepared and we openly welcome their participation in all our summer programs.

CISaustralia has been a UCLA Summer Session partner for several years and I recommend them without reservation.”

Magdalena Barragan, Associate Director, International Student Programs | July in Los Angeles, California at UCLA

“The University of Roehampton has been working closely with CIS for over fifteen years, and we are delighted with our partnership. Over the past few years as well as recruiting for our standard Study Abroad and Summer School programmes, CIS have worked with Roehampton to develop some new custom programmes, specially tailored to meet students’ needs. In 2017 we are delighted to be launching our new J-Term programme, developed jointly with CIS – adding this new short programme into our portfolio is incredibly exciting and we are incredibly grateful for the support and advice provided by CIS staff throughout the development process. Their market expertise has been invaluable in ensuring we have created a programme that works perfectly for the students we seek to serve. The CIS London Site Director is a fantastic resource for students coming to the UK on CIS programmes, and we work closely with them to ensure our offering dovetails with what CIS provide. The CIS regional staff are also wonderful to work with and we have excellent communication with them across the board. From our experiences working with CIS in both the US and Australia, we are confident that our partnership has much more to offer, and look forward to many more years working with CIS across the world!”

Jennifer Wilkinson, University of Roehampton | January in London, England

“It is always a pleasure to work with CISaustralia as every team member is truly dedicated to the students. From the first point of contact to the student’s return home, CISaustralia is there every step of the way to ensure that students are having the best experience possible alongside excellent academic programmes. At the University of Stirling we work very closely with CISaustralia’s representatives in Australia as well as their in-country representative to ensure students enjoy all that Scotland has to offer in the way of culture, history and beautiful scenery. These relationships are valuable to students who have assistance on deciding which destination is best for them; an easy application process; advice on immigration, travel and safety; receive pre-departure information; as well as an orientation to their new short term home. In addition to an easy application and arrival process they have in-country support and extra activities included in the programme, again all for the students! CISaustralia is always positive, friendly and supportive which has led to an invaluable relationship with the University of Stirling and very happy students.”

Amy Easton, Student Recruitment and Admissions, University of Stirling | July in Stirling, Scotland

“Our relationship with CISaustralia has been very positive. Always professional, responsive and efficient, their team has helped streamline the many facets involved with enrolling students in a summer program, and we’ve been lucky to benefit from their knowledge and experience in the field of international education. We’ve enjoyed welcoming their students to our campus here in Boston and watching their students find success in the classroom while also taking the time to enjoy our vibrant city.”

Gregg Charron, Program Manager, Boston University Summer Term | July in Boston, USA

“I am proud to be the Site Director for the CISaustralia Barcelona programs. In the years that we have been working together, I’ve been able to see interns come throughout the year and grow both professionally and personally, not just through their internship placement but also with their engagement in our cultural and professional package. The interns develop their “hard skills” through working hands on at local organisations and their “soft skills” through our workshops such as “Working Across Cultures” and “How to use this experience to help you land your dream job.”

The students in Barcelona have gained a greater appreciation of this Mediterranean capital city through courses at the Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS) where professors make the city the classroom. Whether it’s visiting a Spanish Civil War bomb shelter while studying Spanish history or touring the hallowed F.C. Barcelona museum and grounds to experience how fútbol, politics and life are intertwined in Spain, our students constantly discover new perspectives. 

Our cultural activities are specifically designed to allow the students plenty of time to slow down and talk, and reflect on their experiences. For example, during a 3-hour cooking class, the students have to work together to cook typical Spanish and Catalan meals, then eat them side-by-side, or a hike through breath-taking Montserrat mountain just an hour outside of Barcelona facilitates thought-provoking conversations that are priceless.

We look forward to much more collaboration with our strong partners at CISaustralia for many years to come so that we can provide the type of life-changing experiences so many alumni have already enjoyed.”

Rich Kurtzman, CISaustralia Site Director, Barcelona | Short term study programs (January and July) and Internships in Barcelona, Spain

“UCLA Extension’s relationship with CISaustralia began in 2014 as we developed a customized program that would allow Australian students to live in Los Angeles and join academic credit bearing classes at UCLA Extension for a 6-week intensive program. The program, “Business & Leadership,” offers students a choice of six courses from the fields of entrepreneurship, leadership, entertainment, humanities, marketing, and design thinking.  Students have an opportunity to study with instructors who are current experts in their fields as well as interact with other UCLA Extension students both during class and in social activities. CISaustralia selects exceptional students to attend this program and maintains a close relationship with our office before, during, and after the program to ensure a successful experience. Both students and instructors reported excellent satisfaction with their experience in the program. CISaustralia is a partner that is always willing to collaborate with UCLA Extension with open lines of communication and quick responses, ensuring that the programs exceed expectations. An international collaboration is only as good as its partner. We hope our relationship continues to grow and branch into new emerging areas.”

Van Anderson, Department Director, UCLA Extension | January in Los Angeles, USA at UCLA Extension

“University of Otago Summer School has worked closely with CISaustralia for several years now, helping to bring students to our southern summer programme in the great little city of Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. We really like working with CISaustralia because they care about the students the same way we do and that’s important especially for young people travelling away from home to study – even if it is just across the Tasman. CISaustralia makes it easy for students to come to Otago for a summer of quality education and an international experience at one of New Zealand’s best universities.”

Dr Elaine Webster, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand | January in Dunedin, New Zealand

“I have found it very easy to work with CISaustralia. From all my conversations with different CISaustralia staff through email and Skype, I know that CIS truly cares about the student experience from the point of initial interest to pre-departure guidance and then actually visiting us and insuring quality programming on the ground for the students. I like that CISaustralia makes me feel as though I am part of the team and having me listed on their website so that students can trust that I am a knowledgeable staff member able to help them have the experience they want in a study abroad program.”

Jason Obin, M.A., Loyola University Chicago | July in Chicago, USA

“We have been working with CISaustralia for several years, and they are one of our top partners. The team at CISaustralia are very professional and thorough, in both their selection of programs and participants. We receive approx. 2 large groups each year, plus individuals from CIS, and they have been some of our favorite groups of students to date. The students have arrived at our program well aware of how we operate, as well as the exceptions we have for them. The students have been exceptionally hard working and enthusiastic to learn and practice the work we do, and have been a pleasure to be around each day. By partnering with CISaustralia we are able to reach a targeted group of people interested in our program that we would otherwise not have the resources or staff to obtain. Through CISaustralia we are able to increase the number of participation in our program, reaching a wider audience, getting more hands to complete our on-going projects, and introducing more potential marine conservationists to the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their careers. 

The team at CISaustralia do a great job of staying informed and up to date about the program we run, which save us a lot of time and energy. They continually strive to increase their offerings and information they provide to participants, to ensure everything is accurate and up to date. Additionally, they send staff to our program with the group to get a more in-depth understanding of how we operate, and to ensure that there were no problems along the way. We have had only great experiences with CISaustralia and the students they send to our program, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them well into the future.”

Chad Scott, Program Director | Marine Conservation in Thailand

“CISaustralia have a unique access to Australia Universities and nurture the students with a support network before arrival. For us to have a well-prepared student volunteer is of the utmost importance and results in expectations being correct and focused. But this has been raised to another level with CISaustralia students activity fundraising before arrival and resources supplied. 

With the continuation of regular groups from CISaustralia it means the strong continuity thread at ground level. But also with in the administration and application process between the two organisations. As CISaustralia staff become even more familiar with the programs and teams grow, so does communication systems and confidence with great ownership on deliverables. All to the advantage of students and the positive changes they are part of making.”

Natascha Gibson, Manager | Volunteer programs in Zambia, South Africa and Tanzania

“CISaustralia have set up a collaboration with CHOICE Cambodia that provides University Students with a great opportunity for teacher training in the field. We work together to create an excellent program that ensures the students have the best experience possible. CISaustralia ensures that students are well prepared before they leave for Cambodia. 

It’s a very good partnership and provides a valuable experience for these students. Not only practical teaching experience but they gain a deeper cultural understanding of the real Cambodia. They meet with the villagers, provide help and see the poverty that the underprivileged suffer. So far all of our students have loved their experience. We love to have Australian students teaching our children in the schools. It also allows for our Khmer and Australian teachers to exchange ideas. Cambodia faces many issues – sadly the worst is the exploitation of Cambodian children. A lot of this exploitation is caused by well-meaning tourists. We show our students the problems and how to prevent them. 

In the future, as teachers, we expect the knowledge gained by these Students to be passed on to others to help educate and eliminate child exploitation.”

Ross Wright, Founder CHOICE | Teaching and Community Development in Cambodia

“Universidad Veritas is ecstatic of our long-term partnership with CIS. We started working together over six years ago and the projects and programs that have stemmed from an enriching partnership. About three years ago we began working with CISaustralia, and this has brought dynamism and new opportunities to the possibilities of exciting and adventurous and tropical experiences for Aussies. CIS has an amazing well-structured program in Costa Rica and has worked to co-create the experience of a lifetime for students. Students can opt for a semester, summer or short-term programs in different areas. Besides learning Spanish language, students can take courses in Ecological Photography, Sustainability Studies, Political Science, Environmental Sciences and other English-taught subjects. The Field Marine Biology Short Term program is perfect for marine lovers who want a hands-on experience in conservation and species monitoring. The sky is the limit in creating great programs and courses when you have a valuable partnership such as ours!”

Alejandra Barahona, PhD, Director, Universidad VERITAS | January and July in San Jose, Costa Rica

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