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Why choose API?

College students may study abroad with API in over two dozen countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. With a wide variety of courses offered in almost every major discipline and in various languages of instruction, it is easy for students to find a program that suits their academic interests. API offers high quality language and culture programs for all levels of language learners.

API was founded in 1997 by four women dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable study abroad programs for U.S. students. API has grown rapidly since its founding nearly 20 years ago. We now send more than 4,000 students and participants abroad annually to over 50 cities within twenty nine countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Oceania.

We strive to provide individual attention to every participant and attract students from colleges and universities across the United States, public and private, large and small!


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API Scholarships and Financial Aid Information

API awards millions of dollars in scholarships annually ranging from $250 - $2,000 per student. Terms and conditions may apply.

$250 - $2,000


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No, I don't recommend this program

Unsafe and traumatizing

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I hope it will save at least one person from future, unforgivable damage. I went to the API program in London this past Spring and it was everything but safe and fun. I was in a co-ed flat with two guys and three girls. I ended up being raped by one of the guys. When I opened up to the program to let them know that I felt unsafe and traumatized, they didn’t care about what was best for me, a victim of rape, they only cared about what was best for their program. The only thing they did right was move him out of my flat, which was a given anyways. Other than that they said and did things that have haunted me everyday since. They moved him to another flat in the complex with a shared gym, lobby, and laundry room. Since we were living in the same complex I feared everyday that I would see him. I never wanted to leave my room and when I did do simple things, such as, laundry, I had to always have someone to accompany me. Things that they said were “we have to think about his mental health too, he’s very distraught from this.” This was devastating as they were acknowledging his “mental damage” for getting caught, but not mine of having my life ruined. I’m not trying to be dramatic when I say that. I get sharp flashbacks everyday of the situation to the point that I can’t function and uncontrollably cry. This happened 5 months ago and it will be something that will stick with me for my whole entire life. Their lack of empathy and action towards the situation was repulsing. They covered all of their bases to make sure that they weren’t legally in the wrong, but they were. They kept him in the program and verbally invalidated my experience so much that I questioned the goodness of the world. I was supposed to have a positive life changing experience as I was abroad. However, I can only say that my experience was negatively life changing. They said so many invalidating responses to me that I have tried to block them out of my mind as they were so damaging to my mental health. Every now and then their statements will creep back in and I will regress from my mental progress. I never went to the police because I thought “if this program doesn’t believe me because of the lack of evidence then why would the police?” I want people to be aware that their code of conduct does not line up with their actions. I suggest that if you want to feel safe, find another program, or at the very least, do not agree to a co-ed dorm.

Response from API

Dear Student - It is terrible when anyone has a traumatizing experience, and you have our most sincere compassion and empathy. As we would with any similar situation, we took this claim very seriously and acted promptly to initiate our Emergency Action Plan for this type of incident. This includes, among other things, providing immediate separation between the two individuals, assisting with post-trauma medical care and mental health support, providing the option to involve the local police, and conducting a full and comprehensive investigation by our Student Success Team. We understand the long-term impact an incident such as this can have, and if there is anything we can do to support you further at this time, please reach out to us at

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Yes, I recommend this program

BEST Year of My Life!

I was lucky enough to spend my entire 2018-2019 academic year with API in Florence! I spent months digging through different study abroad programs and providers on GO Overseas' website trying to find the right program for me, and ultimately API was the winner.

I know one of the hardest parts when choosing a study abroad program as a student, is finding the right courses to satisfy your home university's requirements. API and LdM have a great system in place and not once was I worried about not getting into a course I needed or maintaining the right amount of credits. API truly stood out among the other providers because they offered such a wide range of courses that would satisfy both my major (psychology) and minor (studio arts).

The API ladies do a fantastic job on the local tours and I really enjoyed having the small weekend trips available to just API students.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you are worried about being able to satisfy your home university's requirements, I encourage you to explore this program. When I was in your shoes, there were very few programs elsewhere that had enough courses available to satisfy an entire year's worth of study.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I felt at home instantly - even if couldn't grasp the language as quickly!

I first chose Granada with API because it was all-inclusive and was less expensive than other programs. However, I never felt like my experience was missing anything, and friends who studied abroad elsewhere, but who visited Granada, always said they wished they had studied abroad there instead. They could see how happy I was! API brought us on excursions around the city (dancing flamenco in a cave!), to other Spanish cities (exploring the sunny Mediterranean coast of San Jose), and to Paris, France (museums and macarons - need I say more?). API encouraged me to take my classes in Spanish with other non-native speakers from around the world, and even though I was nervous those classes greatly increased my fluency. It was also easier to practice speaking Spanish with locals in Granada because English was not as prevalent there as in bigger cities. Living in a homestay also helped, especially when my señora would invite her extended family over for Sunday lunch. She was the BEST cook (#PaellaLife) who always took my dietary restrictions into account. For picky eaters worried about having to try new food, my señora introduced new things later on in the semester but that first week she provided things that were very familiar to me like spaghetti, yogurt, apple juice, etc. until she knew what I liked. Another perk of Granada being a small college town was that the cost of a night out was so cheap, which was convenient because there were always so many things to do! Getting dinner and drinks at a tapas bar meant only paying for the drinks because the tapas were free (yes really!) Plus, everything was so walkable you never needed a car or public transit unless you were going to the airport. I still dream of my time in Granada and am happy to say that in the years since I returned to the U.S., API has continued to provide support, resources and networking opportunities to keep me feeling connected to the international community!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Pick-pocketing is common in Spain, but it is easy to avoid if you make sure to keep your wallet in your front pocket or to wear a cross body bag. Despite the fact that I was told to never carry my purse in my hand, one day I did and a thief grabbed it and ran off before I could even blink. It definitely shook me emotionally but after speaking to Spaniards they all acted like it wasn't a big deal. While I was irritated at first, I realized that despite this being a common occurrence, it is completely avoidable if you simply carry your belongings properly. Also, I don't know of any thieves ever touching, threatening or harming the victims like they might in the U.S.. Very often victims don’t even know it happened until they reach for their phone or wallet later. Honestly, I felt safer there than in many U.S. cities!
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Yes, I recommend this program

API Study Abroad in Wellington, New Zealand

New Zealand is a spectacular country! Getting the opportunity to explore was made easy through the support of API. They helped handle logistics such as setting up classes and housing, and had on site support to help when miscellaneous challenges popped up. It made it easier to adapt and feel at home in New Zealand having the support of API. It also allowed me to focus on forming relationships, traveling, and explore all this country has to offer! This program is excellent! Would recommend to anyone looking for an adventure, outdoors enthusiasts, food lovers, and people who enjoy beautiful nature and being surrounded by good hearted people.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I had never heard of canyoning before New Zealand. We were on a trip in Queenstown and it was recommended to us so we went for it. We put on wetsuits and helmets and were ziplining, cliff jumping, rope climbing, and slashing around through canyons. This was a thrill and such a unique experience!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Thank you API & Company - Amazing!

I had not only a spectacular experience Abroad at the San José-based Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica thanks to the phenomenal Fall 2018 Language and Culture program created by API, but also an unforgettable one. Grew myself personally, taught me lessons, and gave me some amazing times I will cherish forever. Highly recommend the organization Academic Programs International (API), not just this program / studying abroad in Costa Rica via API! Studying abroad is the best thing I have done thus far, by far!

What would you improve about this program?
Not anything significant off of the top of my head. 5 stars.



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Alumni Interviews

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

Kelly Limberg

Kelly is a recent University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee grad that majored in Marketing and International Business. She constantly pushes herself to the next level and always finds positivity in the things she does.
Kelly Limberg

Why did you choose this program?

I chose API to study abroad with because their profile was the most inviting and comprehendible. The logistics of studying abroad can be very confusing, but API illustrates it so anyone can understand it. API stood out to me because of the economical value, the weekend trips offered, and the on-site advisors.

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

API provided us with the application to John Cabot University, an apartment, weekend trips, safety, and many transportation opportunities. API really made it easy and safe to study abroad, which helped ease my nerves prior to leaving. I had to organize other weekend trips, which I preferred, as well as getting my visa and paperwork all in order before semester started.

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

I would advise them to go on each and every tour/trip API offers because they are honestly very fun, informative, and something that you would probably would not have done with out the help of API. For example, API took us to Capri on Earth day and we were able to be on top of the island in the clouds. It was an experience I will never forget. I would also suggest students to go there with no expectations and to say yes to things you normally would not do.

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

With this program, there was no average day/week. You did attend school weekly; however, API was always offering tours for us to attend (for free too!) Independently, you can literally do anything you want, and with Rome being so big, our days were never average. The thing I miss most about studying abroad is that there was NEVER an average day.

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

Upon going abroad, I was so afraid of being lonely because that is the leading reason why someone becomes homesick. I overcame this by branching out and talking to everyone I met and getting to know a lot of people. I viewed loneliness as something so scary and now I see being alone as a time of peace and for reflection. Now that I've been home for over a year, I make sure to always take time for myself and I feel like it has improved my happiness with myself and those around me.

Is there any other advice you'd like to share with prospective travelers?

Because you are young when considering studying abroad, you can't afford the luxuries of hotel rooms and fancy tours, so you have to be resourceful. There were many times we stayed in places that I would not be caught in today.

As a young traveler, you worry less and experience more than anyone else. You are closer to the culture than you probably ever will be again. I would strongly suggest traveling every weekend you are there, even if it's to a different city. We were lucky enough to only have classes 3 days a week, so we would explore our host city during the week and travel else where on weekends. We would hike, bike, kayak, and walk anywhere in order to create memories that will literally last a lifetime.

Staff Interviews

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

Gerald (Jerry) Seaman

Job Title
Principal and CEO, Harlaxton College
Before becoming Harlaxton’s seventh Principal, Jerry was on the faculty of the University of Evansville (1992-2000), chair of the UE Department of Foreign Languages (1997-2000), Associate Dean of Faculty at Lawrence University (2000-2006), and Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Ripon College (2006-14), serving as interim President in 2011-12. He earned his BA at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and MA and Ph.D at Stanford University.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I'll never forget traveling and camping in Hungary and Yugoslavia in 1985 – the time before the fall of the Berlin Wall, before English had become so pervasive, and before ATM's, personal computers, smart phones, and discount airlines. Being in such unfamiliar and ostensibly politically hostile places brought an initial sense of dislocation and insecurity that was followed later by a greater appreciation of the experiences, routines, settings, landscapes, emotions, and aspirations that define our common human condition.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

It seems like everyday brings a new growth opportunity. I've seen parts of the world previously unknown and, very directly, discovered more about the richness and complexity of Britain, its people, culture, and history since being here.

Harlaxton is the kind of place where today's challenge turns into tomorrow's achievement.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

"I never knew I could have so much fun digging a ditch!" This student comment alone sums up the transformative power of Harlaxton's involvement with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village project. Along with Habitat, there are also a number of community service opportunities that engage our students. These include the Grantham Rotary Club's Swimarathon which raises funds for many local projects, and, globally, supports Rotary's aim of ridding the world of polio.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

My favorite destination is Northumberland, including the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Alnwick Castle, and lunch in the seaside town of Whitby. Northumberland is a beautiful and fundamental part of the British heritage and landscape and, I believe, it is an often-overlooked destination for American students.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We all live and work together in a magical environment where there is "exceptional community spirit" and a "support personal approach." Our mission is to be the premier Study Abroad program in the United Kingdom, and our people endeavor to live that mission every day. Student departures are tear-filled moments – joy that the experience has gone so well, and sorrow that it has had, inevitably, to end.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

We have an exceptional US-UK administrative team and a long history (nearly 50 years) of providing an outstanding Study Abroad experience. Students are taught by excellent faculty from the UK and the US, and life outside the classroom is punctuated by local travel, college-sponsored travel, a Meet-a-Family experience, and a wide array of social and other activities that are focused on students' development as responsible global citizens.

Professional Associations

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