Meet Elisenda (Eli) Figuerola!

Meet your onsite program coordinator (OPC)

Elisenda was born and raised in Barcelona. She graduated from the University of Barcelona with a BA in History. As an undergraduate student, Eli (“Ellie”) studied abroad in Lyons, France for a year, an experience she would recommend to any student because she believes it changed the course of her life. After college she lived in Santa Cruz, CA for a few months before pursuing her Master’s in International Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Eli started working in the international education field as a Student Services Coordinator in Barcelona. This experience took her to Colorado to work as a Student Advisor visiting universities across the country for a few months. Colorado was so different from the places she had lived before that she decided to stay in Fort Collins for 2 and half years enjoying the nature and the mountains (she even hiked a fourteener!). There she taught Spanish and worked for a non-profit as well. Recently, she has returned to her native Barcelona, a city she loves living in it because of its enviable weather, unique food markets, outdoors life and wide range of culture offer.

Eli speaks four languages and if you want to learn about Catalan language and culture don’t hesitate to ask her! She is a very friendly person who loves reading, running, wandering the streets of Barcelona and is always ready to help anyone.

Eli will be with you for the duration of your program, and will be there to support you in every way possible to ensure you have a safe, meaningful and a positive experience. She is looking forward to meeting and getting to know you soon!

What’s an OPC? As part of your customized faculty-led program abroad, you will be led and supported by a CISabroad On-Site Program Coordinator (OPC). OPCs are experienced and well trained staff members, there to ensure the schedule goes according to plan. Each OPC attends an extensive training program that involves a range of modules – risk management, emergency response, safety, logistics’, cultural awareness, communication, culture shock, budgeting, social media, La Vida Local and customer service.

The primary role of the OPC is to facilitate the in-country implementation of the assigned customized program, by providing safety / emergency response and logistical support. During the program, the OPC is responsible for managing the day-to-day logistics of the assigned customized program and providing in-country support to both the faculty and students. Using personal travel experience, professional work experience (and where possible language knowledge), the OPC will help create a program environment that is safe and culturally engaging. The CISabroad OPC may or may not be an in country local. The majority of CISabroad OPCs are expats from the US, who have travelled, lived, volunteered, or worked abroad in the program destination. 

The OPC is not a registered tour guide nor expected to provide tours of sites visited during the program. If the program is one that requires specific guided tours of various sites, these will be provided separately. The OPC provides a general neighborhood walking tour to help the group identify the nearest bank/ATM, pharmacy, laundry-mat, grocery store and other similar conveniences. 

 The OPC’s role allows Faculty to focus on the academic objectives and the students to make the most of their time overseas!