Meet Kristine!

Introducing Kristine Downing

Kristine Downing

Kristine has never had an easy time staying in one place for very long. Born and raised in northern Denmark, her family moved to Massachusetts when she was nine years old. After high school she spent time roaming around Europe and exploring her Danish roots, but soon after decided to give the city of Montreal a try. There, she completed a double Bachelor’s Degree from McGill University, with concentrations in Russian Language and Religious Studies.

Her life took somewhat of a drastic turn when her fascination with different cultures and their religions sent her to Nepal to study Buddhism at a Tibetan Monastery. On her first day of class, listening intently to the monk reciting a text, she found herself sitting cross legged next to a fellow American whom she quickly fell in love with. Since then, Kristine has spent much of the past three years traveling to and from Nepal but has recently planted herself in Western Mass. She is currently enjoying a more stationary life and is looking forward to watching her garden grow all summer.

Kristine  spent the previous summer teaching yoga and living on a boat in Copenhagen harbor and can’t wait to share some of the city’s gems with you!

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!