Meet Fran O’Neill

Fran O’Neill , On-Site Program Coordinator

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 2.58.57 PMIn 2009 I graduated from Lancaster University, England with a degree in Psychology. I have pursued various jobs since but have always wanted to have the opportunity to use my travel experience and share my enthusiasm for it with others. Before university I travelled to South America where I worked as a volunteer teaching English to young children and helping in conservation and building projects. It was here I exposed a real passion for travelling and a want to discover the world. During and after university I visited various countries including Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, and I have also been to America, Africa and many European countries. I like to explore the world whenever I can and I am always planning when and where my next adventure will be. I am originally from Chester, England but now live in Toulouse in the South of France with my boyfriend. I very much enjoy all kinds of sports, especially water sports and snow sports, and have recently become a keen triathlete. You can often find me cycling or running around the parks and canals of Toulouse and swimming in the nearby lakes.

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!