We are delighted to announce that CIS Abroad has formed a sustainability committee fondly and internally known as “Green Flags.” We are joining many other organizations in the education abroad field who are working to prioritize sustainability and climate action in our operations and programming abroad.
To guide us in this work we are using the United Nations definition for sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” While many people know about the environmental aspects of sustainability, there are two other pillars also under that umbrella – social and economic sustainability. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encompass these three pillars in their 17 calls to action and the CIS Abroad Sustainability Committee is excited to use the SDGs to guide our initiatives.
President and CEO, Kris Holloway shares:
The connection between human health and the health of our planet has never been more evident. I’m proud to join other international education organizations in raising awareness and committing to actions that lessen our impact on the world’s ecosystems. The issue of climate change and its harmful effects can feel overwhelming and make us turn away. But if every institution or organization commits to a few proactive steps forward, the cumulative effect of these actions can truly make a difference. Join us!
The Committee’s Current Priorities and Actions:
1. Green “Flagging” Our Programs
Our first actions have been to gather information from our site directors and overseas partners to understand which of our existing programs have a sustainability component. We broke this down into two categories, now searchable on our website!
Green Campuses Abroad features our top 5 university partners who are committed to sustainability and climate action.Stay tuned for another blog post with more information on these 5 campuses and what they’re all about!
2. Making Commitments to Sustainability and Climate Action
CIS Abroad is proud to have recently signed the CANIE Accords. CANIE, otherwise known as the Climate Action Network for International Educators, is a volunteer-run organization looking to further action and commitment in the industry. The Accords are a list of 70+ action items that organizations in the industry can take to commit to sustainable and decarbonizing actions.
One of CIS Abroad’s commitments is to create a climate action plan and we are looking forward to working on this and using it as our guide for future short- and long-term goals and initiatives. A few of our other commitments include:
advocating for climate action within our organization
collaborating on global data collection and surveys relating to climate action in the field
replacing print and shipping materials with digital
when catering, using plant-based local products and eliminating single use plastics.
promoting and commemorating Signatory’s commitment to this Accord.
encouraging and supporting personnel to take advantage of climate action events resources provided by CANIE and other organizations
making proprietary resources (e.g. articles, white papers and conference sessions) freely available to all in the sector when they pertain to climate action in international education
We hope you’ll join us in our excitement and progress toward sustainability on this Earth Day!
Hear what students, interns, and alumni have to say
BOLDLY COMMITTED to providing the best experiences abroad
Get to know your Irish classmates; you can learn about the country and culture from them. I have met people from around the world and from around America. Many of them I still stay in contact with them because we had become close friends and learned a lot from one another. These friendships would not be possible without CIS Abroad.
One aspect I enjoyed the most was the freedom that I had to be a student and visitor. My site director was the best at guiding me and always being there in any circumstance, yet I still felt like an adult.
This program changed my life in many ways, but most importantly it taught me how to be adaptable. I thoroughly enjoyed the intern mixers that allowed us to meet others in our program.
Come in with an open mind, make friends, and don't pass up an opportunity to explore. I now want to go on more adventures and feel more cultured.
Edinboro University of PA
I will forever have a respect for all cultures and people. My favorite aspect of the program was the weekend trips and weekly activities planned for the students.
University of Arkansas
The excursions included in the CIS Abroad program were amazing. The site directors chose awesome tour guides for our excursions and made it a great experience. Both the site directors and the tour guides were extremely caring and knowledgeable about their job. I felt safe at all times.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone and met so many friends while studying on the Gold Coast, which has allowed me to stay in contact with people on almost every continent. Being a marketing student, this diverse network will also benefit me on a professional level.
CIS Abroad created a comfortable and eventful atmosphere. This program opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to grow comfortable in my own skin when placed in new surroundings.
Colby Sawyer College
This experience opened my eyes to the beauty of the world and showed me how small my problems really are. It showed me that I can be whoever I want and do whatever I want and that money isn't everything. Lastly, it introduced me to my CISabroad family.
Keene State University
Going abroad with CISabroad was one of my best decisions. I really loved how CIS created a family through orientation, excursions, Facebook posts, rooming assignments, etc. There was never a moment where I felt alone or helpless. I've made friends that I'll have for the rest of my life.
University of South Carolina
This program made me realize how much I want travel, culture and adventure to be a part of my life forever.
One of the best aspects of the program was my site director, who is one of the most wonderful people I've ever met. The difference between my experience and my fellow students' experiences in other programs was very noticeable.
Loyola University Chicago
Studying abroad enhanced my Spanish-speaking skills, gave me deep friendships, and positively challenged the ways I viewed my own family, culture, and country. I’ve become a better student, sister, daughter, and friend. I can never see the world through the same lenses again. To that I am forever grateful.
Point Loma Nazarene University
This program gave me so many opportunities to learn about the Irish culture and took us on trips with locals to get the full experience. I was extremely prepared through CISabroad and was never nervous about any plans. I mostly miss the amazing people and culture of Ireland.
Boise State University
The best aspect of the program was the amazing people I met, the different culture, living in the city, and experiencing new and exciting things everyday.