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Academic Excellence

Student in London, England.

A Commitment to Quality 

Academic Excellence is a foundational pillar that anchors AIFS Abroad program initiatives and culture, in concert with our other pillars of Career Readiness; Sustainability; and Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (AIDE). By focusing on the whole student and acknowledging the intersection of their identities, current academic needs, future goals, and the global landscape, we support students so they can thrive in our programs and beyond.

AIFS Abroad is committed to a Learn-Connect-Grow academic framework that brings together our best practices accumulated during 60 years of educating 1.6 million students.

  • AIFS Abroad students.


    By offering an accessible and innovative curriculum, co-curriculum, and global internships, AIFS Abroad prepares students to:

    • Achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals by gaining global insights into their areas of study while accessing relevant coursework that enables on-time degree completion.

    • Identify intercultural connections and comparisons by engaging with their host cultures as their primary learning resource.

    • Broaden and challenge their perspectives and worldviews while deepening their knowledge of global systems.

  • AIFS Abroad students.


    In providing intentional opportunities for meaningful relationship building, AIFS Abroad enables students to:

    • Engage with the diverse communities and cultures of their program location, inspiring a stronger sense of personal, social, and environmental responsibility for our world.

    • Develop global academic and professional networks that become lifelong assets.

    • Experience a positive, caring culture of belonging where participants connect with and learn from each other.

  • AIFS Abroad students.


    With a focus on educating the whole person, AIFS Abroad will support students to:

    • Uncover their strengths as they work independently and with others.

    • Develop a values-driven learning community where resilience, problem-solving, and the ability to thrive amidst new challenges are recognized and appreciated.

    • Ignite a lifelong love of learning through the development of a growth mindset.

Professor in his office.


AIFS Abroad holds long-time intentional partnerships with innovative global universities, including several ranked in the Times Higher Education top 100 Global University and ten universities that hold AACSB and/or EQUIS Business Accreditation. Our experienced onsite Program Directors and staff engage participants in thoughtful cultural activities which deepen knowledge of their host community in addition to providing wraparound student support including individualized advising, CliftonStrengths skill-building, and health and wellness services.

Proud signatory of the CANIE Accord.AIFS Abroad is proud to have an academically rigorous and hands-on School of Record, Fairfield University, whose faculty School of Record Committee reviews all courses offered at the AIFS Abroad Global Education Centers (GECs). Students who study at an AIFS Abroad GEC receive a Fairfield University transcript, including course numbering and departmental assignment. 

Our programs benefit from the collaboration of our Academic Advisory Council composed of eight Ph.D. credentialed leaders from AIFS Abroad sending partner institutions, and teaching faculty from the AIFS Abroad Global Education Centers.

Film intern William in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Navigating Our OpportunitieS

We are proud to offer study and internship opportunities for students from all academic disciplines—from Art and Humanities to STEM and Business—that encompass eight Global Themes. Our program search tool and searchable course database help students secure course information to plan how credits will count towards their degree.

As a commitment to long-term student success, we offer high impact experiential learning opportunities in every AIFS Abroad program site, including award-winning internships, mentored research or community service.

At our four AIFS Abroad Global Education Centers, over 100 long-time faculty teach a comprehensive range of classes, utilize “Place as Text” pedagogy, and provide academic mentorship and support.

AIFS Abroad’s field-leading Global Career Readiness program includes the renowned CliftonStrengths® assessment which provides intern and study participants with personal and professional development tools. This program encourages the student to consider how their academic and personal experience abroad may impact their long-term goals and career trajectories.

Leadership in the Field

As a 60-year-old organization, AIFS is an established expert in international education. Our AIFS Inc. Foundation has funded and collaborated with the Institute for International Education on numerous publications over the years. They include study abroad guides for parents and students, career development guides, reports on education and economic outlooks across world regions, diversity in international education, and global educational mobility.

We were the first education abroad provider organization to sign the CANIE Accord and commit to do our part to fight climate change. But it’s not enough for our organization to be committed; we educate our students about climate change through integrated sustainability education in our GEC curriculum and in the co-curriculum offered on all programs through the AIFS Abroad Green Initiative.

Students in San Jose, Costa Rica.


AIFS Abroad wants to enable participation from our sending partners that centers on academic alignment. Syllabi for our programs are accessible through our student and advisor portals. We offer a free course matching service by the AIFS Abroad Academic Team to help partners map their curriculum to our programs and encourage participation by underserved majors in education abroad.

Enrollment data indicates that many US students will continue to gravitate to in-house university programs like faculty-led. AIFS Abroad supports custom programming that leverages our expertise, facilities, and cultural engagement practices to support your campus learning objectives on traditional customized faculty-led programs (CFL). For institutions that need to fast-track customized faculty-led programming, we offer our Model CFL list of vetted locations and academic themes that complement your institutionally taught course, reducing the time needed to research potential sites and co-curricular activities.

Campuses that would like to offer institutionally branded programs can utilize the AIFS Abroad Group Program model. Group Programs allow faculty or staff to accompany their students on an existing AIFS Abroad catalog program, with the option to teach a specific course for their students. Semester, Summer, January and May term group programs are available.

We are thrilled to be an innovative organization, continually creating new opportunities to meet the academic needs of our US sending institution partners, such as programming for Honors Colleges and first-generation students. Are there students on your campus who can’t go abroad until they find the right academic option?

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A beach in South Africa.

Let’s Connect

Whether you are interested in exploring how AIFS Abroad can support your international program offerings, are looking to partner with us, or have general questions on our programs, our University Relations team is here to support you.

Contact Us