AIFS Update: Coronavirus

Health and Safety Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For over 55 years, AIFS has run programs globally, making program decisions with the health and safety of our participants as the top priority – and we will continue to do so as we face the challenges of the unfolding coronavirus situation.

We will provide students, parents, faculty and all members of our vast study abroad network with frequent and relevant updates which will be published on this page.

AIFS is vigilant in monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. State Department. We also consult with a third-party travel security specialist that advises us on the risks associated with travel to different areas in the world and monitor advice from local authorities. AIFS Study Abroad employees are sheltering in place and working remotely. While we are able to carry on, it does impact our ability to complete day to day operations.

View our Health and Safety Statement and Reopening Plan >>


AIFS Study Abroad Program Updates (as of July 20, 2020)

Spring Semester 2020 Programs

All Spring 2020 semester programs are now complete. Please click here for up-to-date information on academic completion options for spring 2020 programs.

Spring Semester 2020 refunds, which are a prorated portion of room and board, are all being completed.

Summer 2020 Programs

At this time all programs abroad for Summer 2020 have been canceled. View our Summer 2020 refund policy here.

We have introduced Online Summer Programs for students looking to take their first step in their international experience from home this summer.

Fall Semester 2020 Programs

AIFS is pleased to offer virtual programs this Fall. 

Fall Online Programs

Fall On-Site Programs: At this time, all on-site programs for Fall 2020 have been cancelled. View Amended Fall 2020 Refund Policy Here.

January Term 2021 Programs

Spring Semester 2021 Programs

All AIFS programs scheduled for January Term 2021 and Spring 2021 are continuing to run as normal and are open for applications. During this time of uncertainty, we want to assure students that if your January Term 2021 program or Spring Semester 2021 program is canceled by AIFS prior to departure – or if you decide studying abroad is no longer an option before the start of the program – you can choose one of two options:

  • 1. Transfer fees and deposit to a future AIFS program or a Global Experiences internship program
  • 2. Receive a full refund of all fees paid so far
Spring 2021 Refund Policy
January Term 2021 Refund Policy
We will continue to follow all advice from the U.S. State Department, CDC and WHO and provide program updates as needed.

Please rely on trusted sources for information. Both WHO and CDC have excellent up-to-date information regarding 2019-nCoV.


Health and Safety Update: Global Experiences

View health and safety updates from Global Experiences, provider of international internships and part of the AIFS Family.


Contact Information

If you have any questions, please call 800.727.2437 to speak with an AIFS representative.



Q. Can students stay in their host city and in AIFS housing?
A. We strongly advise students to return to the US as soon as possible. AIFS housing will not be available beyond March 20th. We further urge students to contact their home institution, as their status as a student may be adversely impacted for failure to return home promptly.

Q. Is there a date by which students need to leave their housing?
A. Students should plan for departure as soon as possible. Housing will remain available to students until Friday, March 20th. Students having difficulty securing flights must contact their Resident Director to make alternative arrangements.

Q. Who is responsible for changing the flight to an earlier departure?
A. AIFS will make the flight arrangements for students who selected the AIFS optional flight package. Students who booked their own flights should contact their airline directly to change their ticket and let AIFS know if they have any difficulties.

Q. Will AIFS cover the flight change costs?
A. Per the refund policy, students on AIFS flights will ultimately be responsible for their flight change fee. AIFS is making the payment upfront, but it will be charged to the student’s account. Students who made their own flight arrangements are responsible for any costs incurred with changing their flight.

Q. What is the policy if a student is on an AIFS flight, but wants to travel and return home later?
A. Students are strongly advised to leave return home as soon as possible. If a student does not agree to fly home before March 20th they will be responsible for changing their own flight ticket and for any costs associated with this.

Q. Can a student on an AIFS flight return from or to a different city than they originally requested?
A. No. While it is possible to change flight dates, it is not possible to change the routing.

Q. Will students be able to finish courses remotely?
A. This falls under the control of the local universities, but we are working with them to try and facilitate this. We will provide details to students and their home schools as soon as possible.

Q. Will students be able to stay in their host city and finish their courses remotely?
A. Students are strongly advised to return to the US as soon as possible. Students who do not do so may not be able to finish courses remotely and receive academic credit for the semester.

Q. How long does health insurance remain valid?
A. Health insurance remains valid until 30 days beyond the original end date of the program while abroad OR upon return to the US – whichever comes first.

Q. What will students be refunded?
A. We continue to process prorated room and board refunds.

Q. How will this affect financial aid/scholarships?
A. Students should consult with their home school financial aid office and study abroad advisors.

Q. Will students be refunded for future scheduled independent travel?
A. Students must assume responsibility for procuring any refunds directly from the entities through which they booked their independent travel.

Q. Will there be a quarantine process or screening when students return to US?
A. This will be dictated by US border control. Please visit the official US government websites for the latest information.
We appreciate your patience as we work to bring students home as quickly and safely as possible. If you have questions of an urgent nature, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We appreciate your patience as we work to bring students home as quickly and safely as possible. If you have questions of an urgent nature, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q. How do the travel restrictions implemented for much of Europe affect students?
A. This travel restriction does not apply to US citizens or permanent legal residents. For details, please visit the Department of Homeland Security website:

Updated on June 23, 2020