AIFS Abroad

AIFS Abroad

Why choose AIFS Abroad?

AIFS Abroad is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS Abroad. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and intern abroad to experience all that the world has to offer.

With over half a century in the industry, AIFS Abroad has the resources and experience to provide what students want and need in a study or internship abroad program combined with the institutional strength to safeguard their welfare around the globe. Unlike many other study or internship abroad programs or independent study options, AIFS Abroad program fees are guaranteed in U.S. dollars.

AIFS Abroad offers a wide range of unique programs in Asia, Australia, Europe, South Africa and the Americas. AIFS Abroad campuses typically offer courses in English and/or in foreign languages from beginner to advanced levels, so you don’t even need to know a foreign language to have the opportunity to go abroad.


AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships

AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships, Grants & Financial Support

We believe a study abroad experience is an essential component of well-rounded university education and we are committed to providing financial assistance to as many students as possible in support of their goal to study abroad. AIFS also offers internship and study abroad + internship blended programs to support the development of personal and professional skills.

$500 - $5,000


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Yes, I recommend this program

Do this program!

I don't have enough good things to say about studying abroad with AIFS in Costa Rica. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and AIFS was hands down one of the best parts of the experience. Not only does AIFS have an office building near the university (and none of the other programs do!), but Karla (resident director), Jessenia and Pablo (assistant resident directors) go out of their way to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable. AIFS was by far the most organized, professional, and kind program that I saw and would 1000% choose them again to study abroad. The classes weren't hard and there was a really good balance of academics while also being able to explore the country. If you're deciding which company to choose to study abroad: GO WITH AIFS. You won't regret it.

  • AIFS goes out of their way to support you
  • Great way to practice and grow Spanish
  • Classes are not hard
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No, I don't recommend this program

Great Location, terrible program

London is an absolutely amazing place to study abroad but DO NOT choose this program to do it. It is horribly ran and organized in every aspect from the social events to academics. For starters no information about or program including classes, housing, food, etc was shared until about 2 weeks before departure for London. Then our housing was changed on us last minute from a nice flat with a dining hall right next to the school to essentially a private room at a hostel about 40 minutes away by train. They give you almost no support for food/cooking/dining while you are abroad for three months so be prepared to spend a good amount on top of what you have already paid to keep yourself properly fed. Additionally the classes were pretty horrific as most professors were incredibly disorganized with no syllabi, clear assignments, or regular grading. Finally the support from the staff is an absolute joke, when I was sent to the hospital one night it took them forever to reach out to my friends who had been frantically calling the 24/7 emergency line asking for support and help with the healthcare system in a foreign country. Overall please choose to study abroad in London as you will make so many friends and have great experiences but choose any other program besides AIFS. If you do decide to choose them be sure to take LGBT+ communities with Dominic Janes or any class with Nicole Moody (they were the only two great and helpful adults on staff!)

  • Bad Housing
  • No Assistance
  • Expensive
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Yes, I recommend this program

AIFS ECES Charles University Prague Spring 2022

This program was awesome! ECES at Charles University has a broad range of academic options and AIFS makes the administrative side of things, especially while preparing for the program, easy. AIFS also has fun side trips and social features that supplement the ECES program. Prague is a city with lots to do/a lively social scene, Prague is inexpensive, Prague has lots of history and the city didn't suffer much damage from World War II, and Prague's central location in Europe makes it fairly convenient to travel to other places in Europe. Ideally the program would start about a week earlier and end about a week later. The professors are generally great but make sure you clarify their academic expectations for assignments. Overall the work load is very manageable except during the universal workload waves during midterms and finals. If the program were to spread the work out a little more and not have quite a narrow work-jammed finals period right on the last couple of days.

  • Social scene
  • Travel and financial convenience
  • Historical and academic richness
  • Academic program is overall good but has a couple of minor kinks I mentioned above
  • Program is a week or two too short in my opinion
  • Dorms don't have air conditioning, there aren't any 24 hour markets nearby and the dorm is kind of strict about having guests or alcohol in the building even if you're of legal drinking age
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Yes, I recommend this program

AIFS Study Abroad Semester in Florence

A kind of fun fact about my study abroad experience is that I knew absolutely nobody because I had to petition to my university's study abroad center so I would be able to do my particular program. I chose my particular program because I wanted to be able to have an experience that revolved around Italian Renaissance art, but wanted to be able to spend a whole semester in Italy as opposed to a few weeks during the summer. My program was perfect for an immersive experience, but the school itself was a bit rigorous with very limited absences permitted and lots of schoolwork. While the grades and schoolwork were a lot at times, I did feel like my art skills weren't pushed because I was one of the few art majors so instead of increasing my skillset in painting or drawing, I was treated as an example and didn't really improve. If I did have questions, my professor would do it for me which wasn't very helpful nor was having limited studio hours. I did enjoy having the ability to do still life drawings and paintings outside of class in the beauty of Florence, which was a unique experience I treasure to this day. Pros of this program were that our meal plan was "tickets" that acted as vouchers for a list of restaurants so we could properly try Italian food without breaking the bank, a range of activities to sign up for (like going to a vineyard to pick grapes or having appretivo with Italians), access to notable Italian locations (museums, architecture), three optional group trips within Italy (Siena, Venice, Rome) which also allowed time to explore the city, and great housing options that allowed one to feel like they were really living in the hub of Florence. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, mainly for the food and wine of course haha.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Florence is one of the most exciting cities to live in with its richness in culture and accessibility to other cities via the Santa Maria Novella train station. Really make Florence your own by becoming a regular at a cafe or restaurant so that they begin to recognize you, attending the different events the city has to offer (like the Gelato Festival or the Christmas Market at Santa Croce), hang out at Santo Spirito and meet the locals, and/or try to find what the city has to offer outside of the main hub (like olive oil tastings or going on a bus to get the best view of the city). Of course travel everywhere you possibly can go, but don't forget to take advantage of how you are essentially living in Florence and you get to make it your own.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Certainty in Uncertain Times

Studying abroad with AIFS was life changing and exciting. I studies abroad the Spring semester of 2021 and for the first part of the semester I spent my time exploring not just the magical city of Prague, but the surrounding cities as well. AIFS does a great job of planning activities for the students that vary by interests so there is always something for someone to be doing. In addition, AIFS highlights the Czech culture very well during orientation and shows the students that the Czech Republic is more than just Prague. I was able to attend great classes taught by brilliant professors and really explore all of the secret hidden gems of Prague.

After the first half of my study abroad experience, the COVID-19 virus began to spread. As the virus swept through the continent, AIFS remained calm and was able to provide every student with the support they needed to return to their home country safely. During such stressful times, AIFS relieved many of my anxieties. Putting the students safety and health before anything else, AIFS generously worked with students throughout the pandemic to create a safe environment for studying abroad.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Saw a castle that had a special place where bears were kept!


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose AIFS because of the incredible resources and great pricing. With the all-inclusive pricing model, I knew what I could expect to spend prior to going abroad.

I also knew that I would have a resident director in Hungary for all of my needs and that made both myself and my parents feel confident in the choice of AIFS. AIFS is also one of the few programs offering courses in Hungary and I knew I wanted to study there.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider organized housing, weekend excursions, class options, transportation to Hungary, a meal plan and on-site assistance. You had to register for your classes, plan additional excursions, and manage your finances above the allowance they gave you. With the pricing in Hungary, you could manage pretty well with the meal plan provided.

The excursions were the best I went on offering unique and informative visits by locals in each place we visited. The housing was also very safe and conveniently located.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Have an open mind.

I was a picky eater and very frugal and still am, but when I was abroad, I told myself that I needed to make the purchase and try the weird food because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will never regret trying all of the tapas, the herring, etc., even if it is disgusting and you never want to eat it again it will be a story.

When people tell you later something was great and you know you intentionally missed out on it, you will regret it. My goal going abroad was to have no regrets and I succeeded and if I did it all over again I wouldn't change a thing.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day/week varied from participant to participant.

Students had anywhere from 2-5 days of classes per week. Some students traveled every weekend, some once a month and some only on program excursions (2-3 times the semester).

Classes were really interesting and a large variety were offered. All of my classes were business-related taught by people with real-life experience. I also was required to take a Hungarian class, which made getting around the city so much more fun, though English is very frequently spoken in Hungary.

Other people in my program took walking tours of Hungary, the history of Hungary, and the film of Hungary. All of these were great because they were learning about the place they were living in, which makes it so much better to learn about as you can see where things happened.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was safety. In order to combat this, I made sure to be extra safe when traveling alone.

As a solo female traveler, I knew I was going to be a target. I made sure to stay in safe areas of cities, not be out late at night and when I was out, to stay in heavily populated areas.

As I got more into my time abroad, I realized that eastern Europe is very safe. I never felt in danger of walking home from school from my night class or walking home from dinner with friends. People really left you alone if you kept to yourself and weren't very obviously a loud and obnoxious person. Now I feel much more confident in my ability to avoid trouble, but I also know that I can never ignore my safety and must always prioritize it.

Is there any other advice for prospective travelers?

Make the most of your experience.

It seems obvious but there is never a time in your life when you will have fewer responsibilities, more flexibility and more time to do this. Studying abroad was the greatest experience of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, grab it and don't let go. Make the most of your college experience and enhance it with this incredible way to go outside your comfort zone.

You will never regret it.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What position do you hold at AIFS and what has been your career path?

I am the AIFS RD at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. I studied at Stellenbosch University and received both a BA (Hons) degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate diploma in Education. I taught English at an all-girls school in Stellenbosch for five years.

In addition, I had my own bookshop called Anchorage Book Gallery in Stellenbosch. I then turned my attention toward sports traveling to Europe from 1992 – 1995 every few months playing field hockey. In January of 2003 I started my position at AIFS.

Do you think study abroad will change?

I think that there will be a fundamental shift in thinking how study abroad realizes its educational potential. It may to find other ways of internationalizing the way Americans think which does not necessary means the mobilization of them across the waters. There has been huge growth in Service Providers, but it would be interesting to see where the participation lies.

To me, the student who currently studies abroad is the same student who studied abroad 20 years ago. We just have more of “’them”’ in the States! The fundamental shift will have to be to go back to the basics of what it means to interact across difference and how this achieves learning outcome.

Why is language learning and cultural immersion important to you?

I am passionate about the complexity of our cultures. Living in my country the last 40 years with 11 official languages, where at any given time, almost everybody can speak 2 or 3 languages fluently makes me passionate about the possibility in successful interactions across huge dimensions and differences. I want my students to experience this…but they must be willing to work hard and bring themselves to the table.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of the AIFS team.

A proud moment was when Alumni from years 2003 – 2011 organized an event in New York where we could all celebrate the amazing shared experiences they were all part of during their times with AIFS in South Africa. This initiative showed me how they really felt about being here.

What does your home-country's culture value that is taught in your program?

Because of our complex political history and all the mistakes we have made through generations and generations, the people of our country have a unique way of dealing with our past. Setting up a Truth and Reconciliation committee is one such example where a value of “’take responsibility for your actions”; has been engrained in our nation. American Study abroad students are often silent when they are challenged to always take responsibility for their actions, to always own their actions and to move forward and grow. They are challenged until they actually own it, even if it takes months.

Professional Associations

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