Institute for American Universities (IAU), an American style education institution located in France, Spain, and Morocco, offers semester, summer, January term academic year study abroad and full degree-granting options. IAU has study options in over 15 countries with a wide range of disciplines to choose from. Students can select courses taught in English or can opt for the language immersive option. IAU has been providing study abroad opportunities for U.S. college and university students for over 52 years. IAU offers homestays, field studies (excursions), internships, and volunteer opportunities!


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Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad is one of the greatest investments I have ever made for myself. There’s not much I can say to compare, but studying through IAU is in large part what made it all possible. In high school, we had the opportunity to study two years of Spanish. While I am thankful, this is all we had. I grew up speaking one language but seeking more.

If it wasn’t for IAU, me being given the opportunity to immerse myself in a country that speaks a different language than my own, studying and interning, would have been slim. I wouldn’t have had the capacity to communicate. IAU found professors willing to meet me and my colleagues where we were at in terms of language and provided me with an internship understanding and willing to speak English. IAU pushed me to try my best at immersing myself with the locals through practicing my Spanish and steering me to where locals acquaint.

At every moment, I was treated with respect. There was never a moment where I felt like a burden to faculty; full attention would be granted to me if there was something needed to be followed by additional half-hour 1:1 conversation about cultural differences. IAU pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I am confident saying that I have grown tremendously as a person through studying abroad.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Many speak Catalan but try and speak Spanish over English!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Taking a summer course through IAU along with completing an internship for credit has helped me grow academically, professionally and personally. Throughout the duration of my stay in Spain, the staff continuously offered support and guidance that I may have needed, making me feel apart of their community. Their willingness to accommodate what was best for me specifically helped individualize my experience for optimal growth. IAU genuinely cared about my experience outside of the classroom as well. Although our weekends were free for us to travel and explore, there was one weekend excursion, already planned and paid for. Each weekend the staff extended invitations to give tours throughout the city and suggested many activities for our free time.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
After meeting local college students in the apartments we stayed at, we were invited to one of their favorite restaurants. They introduced me to snails, or escargot. I was not huge fan, but it definitely added to my cultural experiences!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Jump out of your comfort box and go abroad to Aix-en provence France. The school is amazing and offers you lots of resources. I recommend taking French and getting to know your professors. The community is beautiful and very easy to get around. I found the french residents to be very kind. I live with a host family, who took care of me and gave me love away from home. My overall trip was incredible. I felt safe and very free to do what I wanted. I highly recommend going on the bus tours that the school plans for you. IAU will not disappoint you take the leap and go!

What would you improve about this program?
It was perfect!
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Yes, I recommend this program

The professors that went on the trip were wonderful. Incredibly smart and knowledgeable on the material but were also fun, out going, and personable. Each hotel we stayed at was very different. Some were good, some were not so good but we only stayed at each hotel for a maximum of 3 nights so it was never a big issue. We did so many things each day and really took advantage of all the sight seeing. I learned a lot and was exhausted after the trip but i look back fondly of my time aboard. It was really an incredible experience and I miss it.

What would you improve about this program?
Be more clear in course description and course objectives so students understand the course before they go on the trip.

Have more descriptive meal options.. ex: I am not a vegetarian therefore I didnt select the “vegetarian” option before going abroad. But after realizing several meals were prepared and were seafood, i had wished I said i was vegetarian because I dont eat seafood
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Yes, I recommend this program

The French Honors Program at IAU College was a fantastic experience that I highly recommend! I attended in the fall of 2011 and made so many friends that I continue to hear from today. This program is especially great for those who want to polish their French language skills, as students live with host families and sign a contract to speak only in French. If this sounds a little intimidating, students can transition into French around the clock, as not all students at IAU College opt to sign the language contract.

The program becomes what you make of it, and if you work hard to speak, read, and write in French as much as possible, the reward of your improved language skills will clearly present itself over time to you, your friends, host family, professors, and community members living in Aix and elsewhere in France!

When I attended in 2011, many of the students drawn to the program were also interested in meaningful experiences with the French people and culture, which made the program that much better! Give IAU College a try, and you won't be disappointed!

What would you improve about this program?
As someone who wanted to have as much interaction as possible with the French people and culture, I found it was sometimes difficult to break out of the fun and vibrant group of IAU College students, in order to meet more French people of similar age. IAU College does offer a community club/sports/recreational activities introduction day at the start of semesters, and I encourage all students to take advantage and try to jump into any of these group and activities if you want to create a more immersive experience for yourself!
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Alumni Interviews

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

Allison Weber

Allison Weber is a Junior at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, studying Business Management HR with a double major in Marketing and a certification in sales. She is always looking toward the future and taking advantage of her opportunities. Institute of American Universities was a opportunity of a life-time.

Allison Weber

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Aix-en Provence because of the location and culture. I was excited to live with a loving host family, who would teach me the language and tell me stories. The school, community, and residents surpassed all my expectations. This is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Studying abroad introduces you to students/faculty who have similar interests as you, allows you to expand your learning, and opens your mind to new cultures.

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

IAU was very accommodating with living situation, classes and knowledge to thrive away from home. I was lucky to have built a relationship with the IAU staff. They showed interest in me and cared for me as a student. IAU offered me a scholarship that helped me budget my experiences. Before leaving the U.S., IAU sent all of they necessary information for arriving safely.

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

I would advice you to take Beginner French language as a class. This will help you experience the culture and people better. Don't worry about seeing the world all at one time: enjoy what France has to offer. Lastly, get to know the students/faculty; learn to network across the global. Most importantly, have fun.

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

Each day, I spent about 2 to 5 hours studying and going to class, then I would explore the streets of Aix. Some days, I would meet with students for gelato or coffee before going home for dinner with my host family. I loved sitting down at a table at the same time every day to eat and be with my host family. This is where you make genuine connections and learn about the French culture.

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 having problems with the airlines, which I did experience. At the beginning, I was close to missing a flight, which resulted in losing my luggage with 3 days. Traveling got easier with experience. I was also concerned about having personal items stolen, but that never happened, as long as you are responsible.

What's your advice to other abroad students?

My advice to prospective students is to believe in yourself, be positive, and have an open mind. Studying abroad gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my career dreams. I hope one day to return for my masters degree. Don't worry about the small things when you are there: relax and enjoy your time in a new environment.

Staff Interviews

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

Arianna Zabriskie

Job Title
Student Advisor
Arianna is a 2013 graduate from Colorado State University with a passion for travel and education. She is the current student advisor at IAU College and also an alumna of IAU College from 2013.
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What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory would be my first visit to Rome. I was in awe of the culture and loved the cuisine. This trip was after I graduated college when I was teaching English in Paris, France. I took a weekend trip with some other American English teachers I met in Paris. We stumbled upon this random restaurant where we met locals who showed us all around Rome after lunch and even took us out to dinner that evening. I will never forget how hospitable and kind the Italians are!

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

I would say the most underrated destination is Cagliari, Sardinia (Italy). This gem is on an island west of the Italian main land. Take a drive along the southern coast of Sardinia and I promise you will not believe your eyes. The most overrated is Madrid, Spain. I found this city to be a very fast moving city and very Americanized. I personally prefer the village feel in Europe.

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

A successful company is made up of two qualities. One is curiosity and remaining curious about the needs of students, staff and employees. The second is being a "yes" person to make these accommodations happen. At IAU, we pride ourselves in our flexibility and how often we get to say "yes" to the needs of our students, staff and employees.

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

Yes! I learn something new every single day. I work with a very supportive team that challenge me in the best ways each day. It has been an amazing growth experience so far!

What unique qualities does your company possess?

We are unique because we are flexible in our programs and our options for students in general. We love to ask our selves how we can make the student experience that much better.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

I have felt so much pride in IAU when I attended our first alumni reunion. It was incredible to meet alumni from the 60's who described similar experiences and memories that I had attending IAU in 2013. IAU is timeless.

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

The best story I have heard so far was of a student's first experience at the Marchutz School of Fine Arts. They said they felt "home" for the first time. They said they couldn't believe how at home they felt in a town so far away from everything they knew but they did. They said it was love at first site when they stepped foot at the Marchutz studio.

Professional Associations

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