Our Cultural Curriculum: The Local Life

Seoul FA2022 Cooking Class

At CIS Abroad we are committed to helping your students “live the local life.” Built into each of our programs is our Local Life culture series.

Facilitated by the CIS Abroad Site Director, the activities combine high energy group challenges with more focused cultural encounters and reflections in order to encourage students to:

  • create dialogue about issues in the local environment
  • share cultural experiences and observations with fellow students
  • engage with the local community
  • compare culture(s) at home and abroad


The Purpose of The Local Life

The Local Life series gives the students an opportunity to engage each other, their surroundings, and the local community. Participating in this program leads students to greater cultural understanding on local, global, and personal levels.

Objectives of The Local Life

The main objectives of The Local Life are to increase students’ experience of culture, including cultural differences, and to provide an opportunity for students to process their thoughts. We want to challenge students to understand more of what they are seeing, feeling, and perceiving, while helping them understand more about the issues that confront the local community by increasing cultural awareness, sensitivity, and understanding.

SU19_Intern in Chiang Mai_Peyton Brock_Eastern Kentucky University_@peyton.brock_photo contest 3

The Local Life for Faculty-led Programs

The Local Life program is designed with the ability to be modified to fit an increasing number of faculty-led programs. CIS Abroad recognizes that programs in which student do not take courses with locals require greater cultural introduction to the host community. The Local Life can be implemented to complement the content of any course abroad. Each CIS Abroad faculty-led program is staffed with a CIS Abroad On-Site Program Coordinator to support the faculty and university by running the program logistics on the ground. On-site program coordinators confer with faculty to determine if they wish to implement any of the program elements as an additional aspect of the course abroad. Whether one week long or a full semester program, these activities are extremely useful to help students integrate an understanding of the host cultures into their experience.


The Local Life program creates memorable and lasting impressions through fun, engaging, and challenging activities and sessions. Below are a few examples!

Market Visit and Cooking Classes
The Cultural Gift
Out and About


Paris L.

Semester in Costa Rica 

What are some of your favorite Local Life activities to do with students?

I had the most amazing experience studying abroad in Costa Rica. The CIS Abroad staff did a great job organizing a program that showcased the beauty of Costa Rica academically, culturally, and socially. Through educational and adventurous excursions as well as my classes, I learned a lot about the advantages of cultural exchange…Pura Vida!”

Hear what students, interns, and alumni have to say

BOLDLY COMMITTED to providing the best experiences abroad