**Template** CFLP OPC Introduction

Jessica Jones, Manager, Customized Faculty-Led Programs

OPC Jess Jones photoJess graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in French and Comparative Religion. Raised as a third culture kid Jess has still lived more of her life outside of the United States than in it. She was born in India and grew up in Kuwait, Pakistan, Indonesia and graduated from high school in Abu Dhabi. After all of that, Jess’ biggest culture shock (still to this day) was moving “home” to her passport country, to Mississippi. It was during an attempted escape from the U.S. on a semester study abroad program to the Loire Valley, France, Jess discovered deeply set roots in the Southern U.S. and decided after this life changing realization that the field of education abroad was simply where she belongs. Before moving to MA to manage the Customized Faculty-Led Programs team at CISabroad, Jess worked as interim director of the Office of International Programs at her alma mater. During her tenure at Southern Miss Jess managed several faculty-led programs on the ground in France and the England. Jess has managed CISabroad faculty-led programs in France, England, Ireland, Singapore, Israel, Jordan, Scotland, Indonesia, China and Thailand. She currently lives in Northampton with her husband and their cat, and in her spare time she enjoys being outdoors (even in the winter), people watching, making jewelry, and planning her next overseas adventure.

Jess has visited Ireland twice before, and looks forward to going back with you in March. Jess will travel with your group during your entire time in Ireland and will be there to support you in every way possible to ensure your program abroad is a safe, meaningful and positive one. Jess looks forward to meeting and getting to know you soon!

John Hayes, CISabroad Site Director in Ireland

Ireland Onsite Staff  John HayesJohn was born and raised in Ireland.  He grew up on a dairy farm in Tipperary before heading to college. He studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway and University of Limerick.  John adores travelling and has lived and worked in five different European countries.  He has taught in Spain, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, worked on farms in The Netherlands and has led study abroad programs in the British Isles and Austria.  John believes both International education and travel are essential in today’s world and is on hand to help smooth our participants’ path whilst abroad.

John is married to Anja. 15 years and counting! Together they have a teen (Nathan 14) and tween (Lauren 12). When John isn’t dealing with teen vs. tween friction and angst he loves watching westerns, war films and watching/tweeting about sports. He’s completely crazy about almost all sports and promises to take participants to see a match of one kind or another if their program schedule allows.

The IPHE group will meet with John during the time in Dublin!



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!