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Customized Faculty-Led Programs
for Educators


Pioneered by AIFS, customized faculty-led study abroad programs are formal arrangements between AIFS and educational institutions in which AIFS provides logistical support, student services, classrooms, housing facilities and cultural activities at a location abroad, plus student medical insurance and over $50 million of liability insurance for the U.S. college/university. This arrangement enables institutions to conduct their own academic programs abroad at minimal expense, from two weeks to a full semester. Start building your institution’s perfect study abroad program today!



How it Works

18-12 Months out

Plan Your Program

AIFS staff work with either faculty or administrators/the study abroad office to determine specific requirements, and then we send a detailed proposal which lists program components, fees, application deadlines and refund policies, so it is absolutely clear what is included in the program fee. All land prices are guaranteed in US dollars, and are not affected by currency fluctuations.

6 Months out

Enroll Your Students

As a partner, the home institution maintains academic control over their students while abroad. The school determines admission criteria and selects and enrolls students. The school retains tuition fees and students pay a non-academic program fee to AIFS. Faculty from the home institution teach their curriculum abroad (with optional use of local adjunct professors).

On location


AIFS provides logistical support, student services, classrooms, housing and cultural activities at the location abroad. Our on-location Program Staff is responsible for the day-to-day running of each program, ensuring everything goes smoothly. They provide logistical and pastoral support, allowing the faculty to focus on the academics. AIFS also offers a full range of social and cultural activities for students. Staff on the overseas campus arrange weekend excursions, theater visits, contact with local students and other cultural activities, adding another valuable dimension to the student’s foreign experience.

Benefits To Your Institution

Customized, Faculty-Led Programs are an excellent study abroad option for many reasons! Here are just a few:


A tailored program that meets the needs of your institution—you decide the program length, time of year and courses.


Your institution retains student tuition fees.

Status Friendly

Student financial aid still applies, making study abroad an option for more students.

Credit Retention

Your institution provides a full academic program, so there is no issue of credit transfer.


Great opportunity to provide faculty development and globalize your campus.

Risk Free

AIFS books the on-site facilities/services and pays any deposits, so there is no financial risk to your institution.


Once the program details have been agreed upon, sit back and let AIFS do all the non-academic planning and make all the on-site arrangements.

Professional Development Opportunities

Site visits, publications, webinars, Clifton Strengths-based programming, workshops, focus groups, and trainings.



AIFS Customized, Faculty-Led Programs organizes study abroad programs around the globe. Below is a selection of locations we have previously offered. If you do not see a specific location listed, please do not hesitate to call or email if you would like additional information.  

Buenos Aires


Vienna | Salzburg 

Viña del Mar  

San Jose 



Cannes | Grenoble | Paris 




Cork | Dublin | Galway 

Florence | Rome | Sicily 


Auckland | Wellington 

Cape Town  

Barcelona | Granada | Madrid | Salamanca | Seville | Valencia 

Belfast | Cambridge | London | Oxford | Edinburgh | Glasgow 

Contact us for more information

A Partner You Can Trust

AIFS was founded in 1964 and is a leading provider of educational and cultural exchange opportunities. Since we were established, over 1.6 million students have participated in our programs.

Each year, more than 5,000 U.S. college students study abroad with AIFS – approximately 2,500 of these are on our customized, faculty-led programs. AIFS currently arranges such study abroad programs for more than 80 U.S. colleges and universities.

Why AIFS Abroad
  • Customizable Programs

    Our highly experienced staff collaborate with you to design a tailor-made program to meet your educational outcomes and practical needs.

  • Comprehensive Insurance & Liability Plans

    Quality medical insurance coverage for students and over $50 million of liability insurance coverage.

  • Social & Environmental Responsibilities

    We’re committed to our goal of carbon neutral programming though our Green Initiative, and our Plan of Action for Access, Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (AIDE).

  • Educator Support

    From planning your program to enrolling students to providing logistical on-the-ground services, AIFS is with you every step of the way.


US Colleges and Unversities arrange CFL programs each year

Over 1.6 Million

AIFS program participants since our founding in 1964

Educator Services

Because each AIFS Customized, Faculty-Led Program is tailored to fit your institution’s needs, the process will differ slightly in every case. Our team will provide personalized service both before and during your study abroad program.

You’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to give us the essential information about your prospective program. Upon receipt, we’ll match you with one of our Program Managers, expert in the program location, who will create a proposal for you. The proposal will list program components, fees, application deadlines and refund policies, so it is absolutely clear what is included in the program fee. All land prices are guaranteed in US dollars and are not affected by currency fluctuations.

  • Highly experienced Customized, Faculty-Led staff with local expertise to help you design a customized program to meet your needs
  • Flexibility on program length and dates—We can accommodate full-year, semester, trimester, quarter, spring break and short term programs, including embedded programs.
  • Access to our online portal for enrollment management
  • Assistance with booking academic visits to supplement classroom teaching

Alongside the Program Manager, you’ll have support from our US based admissions team and regional university relations team who can assist with program promotion as needed. As a partner, the home institution maintains academic control over their students while abroad. Faculty from the home institution teach their curriculum abroad (with optional use of local adjunct professors), and the school determines admission criteria and selects and enrolls students. The school retains tuition fees and students pay a non-academic program fee to AIFS.

  • Promotional materials and advice on how to recruit students
  • Online Student Portal and U.S. Admissions Office to process applications, handle student payments and answer student, family or support network questions
  • Orientation services including extensive materials to help students plan for their program
  • Experienced AIFS Program staff
  • Optional round-trip airport transfers
  • Extensive orientation program
  • Accommodation in apartments, dorms, hotels or homestays (availability varies by location/season/length of program)
  • Meal plans (depending on location)
  • Classrooms with audio/visual equipment
  • Internet access for students & faculty
  • Administrative support for faculty including access to shared office and/or computer facilities, depending on location
  • Local lectures
  • Specialized courses taught by local adjunct professors
  • Inclusive or subsidized cultural program
  • Optional or included overnight trips further afield
  • Unpaid internships and volunteer placements (availability varies by location/length of program)
  • 24/7 emergency contact service and on-site emergency preparedness procedures
  • Quality medical insurance coverage for students (and faculty, if requested) and over $50 million of liability insurance with your institution named as co-insured
  • Program evaluation
A student walking through a field with purple flowers.
A group of students on a roped trail in Ireland.
Student on Bridge

Safety & Security

AIFS considers the health and safety of students to be our first priority. We take a comprehensive approach to preemptively minimizing risk and preparing students for their time abroad. We are also fully prepared to respond to any health or safety issue that may arise while they’re there. With almost 60 years of experience, our policies and procedures related to health and safety are extremely effective and our record is excellent. Additionally, we closely monitor what is being discussed in our field, regarding student health and safety, and we remain responsive to the needs of our college and university partners.

Learn More about Health & Safety

The University of Florida has been affiliated with AIFS for more than 20 years and considers them one of our most trusted partners. As part of our long-lasting relationship, we have been able to send hundreds of students
on their study abroad programs. In the constantly growing world of program providers, AIFS certainly stands out for their professionalism and their expertise in the field.

This program opened my eyes to a culture and society I knew very little about. I made great friends and had a fabulous time during the process. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Yes. You can speak to your regional University Relations Representative or to Paula Messina, University Relations representative for Customized, Faculty-Led programs. Email Paula at to set up a meeting.  

Our program design is collaborative, and we can help adapt your existing program or work with you to build a unique program from scratch.

Generally, we return a program proposal within 4-6 weeks of receiving the initial request. Our team of Program Managers will be in touch with you after the first request to confirm receipt and give an expected timeline.  

Yes. Our Program Managers are experts in our program locations and focus on maximizing opportunities and value for faculty and students. Once submitted, the proposal is open to review and discussion of options. Our goal is to provide a program that meets all your specific academic goals and desired learning outcomes for your students.

Ideally, 12-18 months prior to the start of the program. However, we can work with shorter or longer timelines. Contact your AIFS University Relations representative or reach out to our general email address as soon as possible to start the process.  

To maximize value for students, we suggest a ratio of 1 faculty member to 15 students. That said, each program is different, and the ratio can be customized.  

Contact your AIFS University Relations representative or Paula Messina at or fill out the contact form on this website.

Customized, Faculty-Led Resources

AIFS will work collaboratively with faculty and advisors to ensure the best possible academic and cultural experience for students abroad.

Buildings in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Ready to Start Planning Your Program?

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