AIFS Study Abroad Program Details

AIFS Financial Policies

Terms and conditions

Dates, prices and program descriptions in this catalog constitute a part of the contract between AIFS and the participant. Your final itinerary provided prior to departure constitutes the actual program to be provided by AIFS Study Abroad.

International Flights

For international travel, airline liability for passenger baggage is usually limited. Passengers should request complete terms governing airline liability limitations for their journey upon receipt of final itinerary and/or check-in. It is the responsibility of the passenger to file claims for lost/damaged baggage directly with the airline(s). Equipment, routing and itinerary may be modified by the direct air carrier or by AIFS. Single plane service is not guaranteed. Alternative aircraft of any carrier may be substituted at any time, and aircraft may make additional stops. Such changes will not create a right to cancellation or refund.

Program fees include

Comprehensive insurance/assistance package; specified travel as shown in the detailed itinerary; tuition fees and housing as specified in the itinerary; meals as specified in the program description; sightseeing and entertainment as specified; services of AIFS tour managers; tips.

Program fees do not include

Optional transportation package, $95 nonrefundable application fee, passport fees or certain visa fees; transfers and travel in connection with independent travel; should you choose not to join the optional excursion(s), your independent travel obligations are not included in the program fee: (i) accommodations and meals during any independent travel period, including (ii) overnight accommodations and (iii) transfer to the airport prior to departure when a period of independent travel precedes the return flight; meals not listed in the program description; special beverages with meals; laundry; excess baggage charges (check with each airline for rules); textbooks; overnight and weekend optional excursions while at the university; overnight accommodations, meals and additional domestic transportation expenses in the U.S. due to rescheduled or delayed flights (sometimes paid by the airline); transportation from studentís home to point of international departure and back

Damage deposits

AIFS does not require a damage deposit. Students will be responsible for payment of any damages, campus related charges or other charges incurred in student or family residences while on the program and will be invoiced accordingly. Academic transcripts will be withheld until all fees are paid.

Payment schedule

Upon application, participants must submit a non-refundable payment of $395 ($95 application fee and $300 deposit). AIFS fees can be paid online by credit card (American Express, Visa or Mastercard) or wire transfer. Visit for details. The $395 fee is non-refundable. Upon acceptance, you will be billed for the balance of the program fee due April 1. April 1 is also the payment deadline for optional excursions. Any participant whose check is returned for any reason will be assessed a charge of $35.

Financial security

The AIFS Protection Plan protects every studentís payments with a unique policy issued through a nationally rated insurance company. This policy guarantees you will receive services advertised in the program brochure.

AIFS College Division Refund Policy

The right to refunds is limited. All withdrawals must be in writing either by mail to AIFS Study Abroad, Summer Programs, American Institute For Foreign Study, 1 High Ridge Park, Stamford, CT 06905, email or by fax to (203) 399-5597.

Refunds prior to the start of the program
Using the postmark, email or fax date of a studentís withdrawal letter as the official withdrawal date (or next business day if this is a weekend), the following applies:

If a student withdraws   he/she receives
After final payment deadline and more than 60 days before departure   All payments, minus the non-refundable deposit and application fee of $395, $1,000 and any flight cancellation charges
After final payment deadline and 30 to 60 days before departure   All payments, minus the non-refundable deposit and application fee of $395, 50% of the program fee and any flight cancellation charges
After final payment deadline and less than 30 days before departure   No refund

In addition :

  • If AIFS cancels a program, participants will be notified within 7 days and a full refund or, at the participantís option, credit toward another program will be made within 14 days of cancellation. AIFS will not cancel a program less than 10 days before scheduled departure unless circumstances exist which make it impossible for it to continue.

  • In the unlikely event that the U.S. State Department issues a travel warning before the program starts which advises U.S. citizens not to travel to the program site, AIFS will refund all fees paid minus the non-refundable deposit and application fee of $395 and $1,000.

  • If a program undergoes major changes and participants elect in writing to withdraw from the program, a full refund of all payments except the nonrefundable deposit and application fee of $395 will be processed within 14 days of the cancellation. Major changes mean significant changes in program dates or destination cities. Minor alterations including revised itineraries will not result in refunds.

  • Students who have selected the flight option and withdraw after tickets are issued will be subject to flight charges and cancellation fees.

  • Students who do not notify AIFS in writing of their intent to withdraw before the payment deadline are responsible for all program fees.

Refunds once a program has started

Once the program has started, students who withdraw will receive no refund unless the U.S. State Department issues a travel warning advising U.S. citizens to leave the program site. In the unlikely event of this happening, AIFS would suspend the program and students would receive a pro-rata rebate of fees paid to AIFS for the portion of the program not completed less the non-refundable deposit and application fee of $395. Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons receive no refunds of any kind and forfeit all academic credit.

There are no refunds for meals, accommodation, cultural activities/excursions, tuition or transportation missed by students for any other reasons other than those listed above once the program has started.

Changes in costs, program assignments, itineraries

AIFS reserves the right to make changes to departure dates and cities as may be required and to revise an itinerary route.

  • Origin and destination cities
    Departures are contingent upon adequate enrollment and are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. AIFS reserves the right to reassign participants to alternate departure cities listed on program pages. AIFS will notify participants whether a requested original departure is available no later than 30 days before departure. Destination cities may be changed as long as the change affects only the order of cities visited.

  • Housing
    Participants will be notified of their residence upon arrival on campus. Residences may be changed during the program as required by AIFS.
  • Itineraries
    On certain dates, especially holidays, some attractions or activities may be closed. AIFS reserves the right to substitute attractions, excursions or activities.

  • AIFS reserves the right to make alternate program arrangements, as described above, without offering a refund, and to make changes in program and flight itineraries as may be required.

  • Except for program changes made by AIFS in accordance with the preceding paragraphs, changes in departure or return cities, departure or return dates, hotels and program fees shall constitute ďmajor changes.Ē In the event of a major change occurring before departure, participants will be given the choice, within 14 days, of accepting such a change or of canceling and receiving a full refund. For major changes occurring during the program, participants will be given the choice of accepting or rejecting the changes and receiving a partial refund within 14 days of the return of the program. Participants must request refunds by writing to AIFS within seven days of notification of the major change. AIFS will inform participants of a major change within seven days of learning such a change, and in any case at least 10 days before scheduled departure (or as soon as possible if the change occurs within 10 days before departure).

Sources of Financial Aid:

  • Financial aid
    Financial aid cannot be applied towards deposits, flight fees, or optional excursion fees.

  • Scholarships
    AIFS Scholarships

  • Government loans
    The Department of Education Stafford Student Loan Program offers funds to students whose families show financial need. Details about this and other aid awards are available from your home institutionís Financial Aid Office.

  • Financial aid from the home institution
    Your college or university may agree to apply aid to your AIFS study program. If you plan to use your financial aid award to pay for all or part of your AIFS fees, you must: (1) apply early at the Financial Aid Office on your campus. This will enable you to receive notification of your award and determine before the final AIFS payment deadline whether you will be financially able to participate; (2) arrange to have documentation sent from the Financial Aid Office or lending institution to AIFS stating the amount of the award and date it will be disbursed. The AIFS Financial Aid Information Form, available from AIFS, must be completed by the financial aid officer at your institution or lending agency and returned to the AIFS Study Abroad Summer Programs office in Stamford, CT, prior to the final April 1 payment deadline.

  • Students who have their financial aid package modified or denied after the AIFS program begins are responsible for full payment. Failure to make immediate payment to AIFS will result in being administratively withdrawn. In this case, no refund or academic credit will be granted.

  • Students may also charge all or a part of the program cost to American Express, MasterCard, or Visa.