Meet Nicole!

Introducing Your On-Site Program Coordinator: Nicole Hughes!

Nicole HeadshotNicole joined the International Education Programs family in November 2015 as a study abroad advisor at Valparaiso University where she advises on faculty-led programs, study abroad, World Internships, volunteer projects, and arts abroad programs. During Nicole’s junior year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she studied in Granada, Spain; not only did she fall in love with the land of wine, olives and flamenco, she also developed an understanding of the importance of international, cross-cultural experiences. Upon graduation, Nicole returned to Spain to teach English in a secondary school in Almeria. While in Spain, she was able to travel extensively throughout the country: her favorite cities include Granada, Sevilla, and Toledo although she would never pass up a day on the beaches of Nerja. In addition to Spain, Nicole has traveled to Italy, Belgium, Morocco, and Hungary. Next on her list is the UK, Nicaragua,and Guatemala.

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!