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CISabroad participants CISabroad participants

European Experience: Ireland, Scotland, England, and Spain

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent program, allowed for a great time

Memorable experience was spending my birthday in Africa, on a weekend trip.

I chose this program because it fit my desires the best, and was suggested to me by my study abroad office at my home university.

Great living situation, I was able to live a family and an actual experience the culture.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Excellent program, allowed for a great time.

CIS abroad was an excellent program that allowed me to immerse into Spain's culture really well and maintained an active academic program.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Memorable

My experience this summer has been the most memorable of my life. I have gotten to experience so many different things and cultures. I spent a month in London but while I was there I travelled to Ireland and France, which was amazing to think that I could just go to another country for a weekend! The people I have met have been amazing as well, everybody is so nice and I have made lifelong friends after only meeting and being with them for 1 month. The whole experience seemed like a dream, everyday I would wake up thinking, "this can't be my life right now" and that is the beauty of it, it is such an amazing and memorable experience that you have to enjoy every minute of it! CIS was very helpful with anything that you might need but they seemed a bit unorganized on excursion days but that is bound to happen when trying to keep track of 40 students. Overall, I enjoyed my summer abroad and I can't wait for my next trip back to Europe.

Academics:
Too much work outside of class. We were not able to enjoy London as much because we had to sit and do homework.

Living Situation:
Shower overflowed

Cultural Immersion:
We didn't really interact with british students, only people we met in central london on our own.

Program Administration:
Mostly organized.

Health and Safety:
Never felt fear or worry.

Social Life:
Everybody was always together so there was always something to do.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

The best way to experience many cultures

The European experience is absolutely the best way to experience multiple countries during the summer. You meet new people when you arrive and you can stay friends and most of them throughout the whole experience along with meeting new people along the way. There're so many excursions that you get to go on and a lot of free time to to explore at your own leisure. It is truly amazing to explore all the cultures of these countries, llearning and taking your classroom outside byhaving hands-on learning. It is a great opportunity to have. There are so many historic monuments, museums and famous sights to see and you can pretty much visit it all.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

An Experience You Will Never Forget!

My experience with CIS was great. I study in Paris during the fall semester. The classes were great and I really liked my professors. We would have a class off campus every Tuesday to visit a historical site in the city. It was amazing! I loved my apartment and my roommate and I got along really well. This program included a metro pass which saved me a lot of money. However food was not included which I didn't really mind but I know this is something a lot of people care about. I was able to travel on the weekends to different countries which was amazing! The program also included a weekend trip to Burgundy for a wine tasting which was wonderful as well. The class was very small, there were only 5 of us. The only thing that I really didn't enjoy was how little the US students were immersed into the French university. The website promised us "French Buddies" who were supposed to students from the university that would show us around. This never happened and it was a little difficult to meet French people our age. Overall I had a great experience though. I became very close with the people in my program as well as new friends from other countries that I met during my travels. This was an experience I will never forget!

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    8

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    10

Intriguing

I had a fun time on this trip. Not only did I get to see Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but I got to meet some amazing people as well. I also got to experience a different culture from my own.

Both Dr. Haavisto and Kelli Malone were helpful if anyone had any questions in regards to the places that we were visiting and both were very enthusiastic about teaching the class.

For the most part the hostels that we stayed in were well kept and safe. The big problem that I had was the hostel in Belfast. There were health issues with my room, and safety issues as well.

I found all the information that was given to us interesting, however, I was going into this class thinking there would be more literature involved and discussed.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

Adventure

This experience has been a crazy adventure. I have experienced so many different cultures, seen so many historical sights, and grew as a person. I am the type of person who gets nervous and scared easily. At first, the trip was hard to adjust to. However, I eventually learned to let go and enjoy the ride. Getting nervous did not help anything. It is very hard to describe this experience. I learned so much in such a short amount of time. There were some difficult parts but they did not ruin my experiences. It is amazing to dream about a landmark or country for most of your life and then one day you get to see it in person. Sometimes this journey felt like a dream. I would recommend people to study abroad. It changes your life.

Academics:
I felt academics was good. It was not overbearing. I was able to learn in class and go out and enjoy the city. Sometimes the homework for literature classes was time consuming but other than that I liked the classes.

Living Situation:
In the beginning of the trip the living situation was difficult. We would be in hostels with several girls. One of the hostels however was a total dump. This hostel was in Belfast. I did not feel very safe in the area or in the city in general. The housing at the University was nice. I liked having my own room after living with several girls in a tiny room.

Cultural Immersion:
I believe the program does a really good job of culture immersion. The only thing I would have liked is to live and go to school with students from London while at the University. I would have liked to make friends with local people. .

Program Administration:
I don't know if this includes the people who were in charge at sites but while at London I felt that the person in charge of us was making shortcuts in order to cut cost. I did not like this feeling because I had no idea where my money was going to. If the money was able to cover the more expensive event; I would have rather had my money spent where it was meant to go. An example is that at one point we discovered by another CIS staff that our site director was to be providing lunches for us on excursion days. We only received one lunch for one excursion.

Health and Safety:
I felt safe for the most part but in Belfast I was afraid of the problems with terrorism and and dump of a hostel.

Social Life:
I have met so many new friends on this journey. It is hard to be put in a situation with new people and living together after a couple of hours. I have grown as a person and learned to be nice to people and deal with different personalities.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Academics

    7

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    N/A

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    9

Not too shabby, could improve very easily.

A.) The hostels were very very cheap in some places, and really shouldn't have been for what we paid. ie: Belfast.
B.) Meals should be included for what we paid.
C.) I would have liked even more lecture and led tours, there were times where we were set free but I would have liked a guided tour.
D.) People were great, guides were great (Kelli and Les!!!) overall I had a blast.

Health and Safety:
...belfast did not feel safe at all.

Overall Rating

6/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Very good program, just need to improve on communication.

I think this program overall is awesome but we could tell some of the staff were fairly new. There needs to be better communication between staff as well as students.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    6

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    6

  • Social Life

    10

Cultural Experience.

I loved the school aspect as far as teachers and learning go, I think the trip could have been organized more efficiently.

I loved my teachers GenIs and Veronica. They really did their best to make class time interactive and helpful. I didnt exactly like how far away we all lived from each other or how you all did not include metro card costs.

It would have been better if we could have shorter school days.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    4

  • Living Situation

    5

  • Cultural Immersion

    4

  • Program Administration

    N/A

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Great experience, but poorly planned and executed.

Overall, the program was good. I got to meet some amazing people and see some amazing things. However, I felt like this program was very poorly planned. On the way to Scotland, no one knew what we would be doing because she was calling places the day we arrived in Scotland. It just felt ridiculous. I felt way too rushed at every place we visited. The only time I felt like a considerable amount of planning had gone into our time was in Ireland with our guide there. She planned better and pretty much taught us during that time. The only thing out teacher told us was that we had journals to do everyday. Ireland was the only place that I felt that I earned any type of academic credits and it was because of our guide and bus driver. They were amazing and very easy to talk to if I had any questions. I have loved everything I have seen, however, I felt like it was just thrown together at the last minute. I also thought it was ridiculous that I had to pay $12,000 for this trip and I couldn't even keep my Oyster card. You would think that somewhere in all that money they would budget to let me keep that as a souvenir. Also, there was really no help in the budget ing department. I was very unprepared to pay for every single meal for the first 2 weeks. I lost a good chunk of my money all on food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Academics:
I felt as though the teachers we had were really only wanting to be there on vacation, not for a study abroad trip. One of them was a good teacher. However, I felt like one of our teachers didn't really know anything and that she didn't really want to be there teaching us. She would have rather been out exploring London. I loved the guide we had in Ireland though. She was amazing! I learned so much from her, but she wasn't really our teacher. I learned WAY more from the guides on this trip than the teachers.

Living Situation:
Snoozles was a nice hostel and so was the hostel in Dublin. However, Backpackers in Belfast was awful! There were 8 people in a room that probably was only meant for 4. I also ended up getting bedbugs from this hostel. It was terrible! I also paid 4 euros for my laundry to be done and they didn't even do it. The hostel in Edinburgh was nice. It was a little cramped here and the shower was always either boiling hot or freezing cold. It was, however, one of the favorite places we stayed at. Roehampton was a nice living situation as well.

Cultural Immersion:
We went to some amazing places. However, we would only get to spend at most an hour at places that you should spend a lot more time at. When we were in Northern Ireland, we only got to spend 20 minutes at Dunluce Castle after we had been on the bus for about 3 hours. The worst was when we were in Scotland. We drove 6 hours to get to Loch Ness and then spent 30 minutes there. We then got back on the bus and drove the 6 hour back to Edinburgh. I felt way too rushed at everyplace we went. I would have loved to have more time at these places because I might never get the chance to go back.

Overall Rating

5/ 10

  • Academics

    3

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    3

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    7

My trip was very unorganized and too expensive for what I received.

Overall, my program was very unorganized and too expensive for what I received. Our site director was never around and was very unorganized. We would wait for what seemed like ever for any of our excursions and none of the leaders would know where we should be. The classes were a joke. The living situation was nice except we were over an hour away from Central London. Most of the other students seemed to only be there for an extended vacation so if you want a challenging program with other students really wanting to learn and immerse into another culture, consider one other than this.

Academics:
The classes were a joke. The most we did while in class was watch movies. There were never any discussions and the lectures rarely went along with what we were actually supposed to talk about. We had only one project and it was just to summarize a story. Overall because of the classes I felt defrauded

Living Situation:
The only thing I disliked about my living situation were some of my loud, disrespectful roommates.

Cultural Immersion:
It would have been easier and more convenient to be immersed in the culture if we had been living closer to Central London. It took more than an hour to get to Central, so there were many times I just didn't go anywhere because I didn't want to spend two to three total hours on transportation.

Program Administration:
We only saw our site director once or twice. I felt like she didn't really care about our program because she was never there on excursions or anything. We had one really great assistant, and the program director who came over from the US was great also, but neither of them were there more than one week. We found out that our teachers and assistants would plan excursions or meals (like welcome and farewell) but our site director would strike them out because they would be "too expensive". With the amount of money I payed for this trip, it seems that we could afford more than pizza for a "welcome dinner" and "farewell dinner". Our site director was also very unorganized.

Social Life:
There wasn't anything very close to the campus where we stayed, so going out seemed like a drag to me because of all the time spent on transportation.