Helpful Links

Who to Contact

Looking for more information or an answer about your student's study abroad experience? Below is who to contact and when:

Pre-Departure Questions
Contact - AIFS Admissions Officer

In Transit/After Arrival
Student has questions or emergency after arriving at program location
Contact the AIFS Main Office: (800) 727-2437

Family member has non-emergency questions after student has departed for location
Contact the AIFS Main Office: (800) 727-2437

Death or illness in the family, etc.
Contact - If a crisis arises and a family needs to contact a student, they should call AIFS at 1-800-727-2437. During non-business hours, they will be connected to the AIFS Emergency Answering Service. However, please use this Emergency Answering Service only in a true emergency.

Billing Questions
Contact the AIFS Main Office: (800) 727-2437

Post-Program Questions
Contact - AIFS Admissions Officer

Credit Transfer for Semester or
Academic Year Students

Foreign universities do not use the credit system employed by American institutions. Degrees are usually awarded on the basis of a final examination under government-issued charters. AIFS students must make special arrangements to transfer credits, but since AIFS courses are given at recognized universities, there usually is no difficulty in arranging transfer credit toward U.S. degrees provided the proper procedure is followed. For courses in the AIFS Abroad Centers, Fairfield University (in Fairfield Connecticut) is the School of Record for the academic program.

AIFS Admissions Officers are available to assist you in the process. The following procedure is recommended for credit transfer:

  • Read course descriptions for the selected program and select at least five first choice courses for each semester or quarter and at least two second choices.

  • Obtain approval from your academic or study abroad advisor for the preliminary courses selected. A signature is required on the course selection form. Final approval of credit transfer for completed courses is at the discretion of the Registrar or appropriate official at the home institution. Students must ascertain that courses taken meet their individual academic program requirements. Recommended credits in this catalog are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit. A program normally carries 12 to 15 credits spread over five courses of three hours each.

Credit Transfer for
Summer Students

Each American college or university has its own policy on the acceptance of transfer credits. AIFS does not grant credit itself, nor do foreign universities evaluate students’ progress by the awarding of academic credit, the system used by American colleges and universities. AIFS serves in an advisory capacity to American institutions about the foreign equivalences and the amount of credit to award for academic work completed abroad. Transcripts are issued by the host institution, not AIFS.

Most AIFS summer courses are recommended for one semester credit for each week of study abroad since one week’s study on an AIFS program usually requires 15 hours of classroom study (three hours per day for five days). Thus, a 3-week program should enable a student to receive three semester credits; a 4-week program, four semester credits; a 5-week program, five semester credits; and a 6-week program, six semester credits. Some language programs include very intensive courses that enable students to earn more than these suggested limits.

To obtain credit for summer work, arrangements must be made with the home institution before departure abroad to determine whether credit will be granted for courses offered, and to learn which documents are required from the foreign university to ensure credit. Students should meet with their faculty advisor to discuss courses and placement in foreign language programs. Since students are given proficiency tests upon arrival, it is not possible to assure placement in a particular class. The advisor may suggest further meetings with the appropriate official. Florence and Rome applicants should meet with advisors to determine transfer credit before submitting their application, since courses cannot be changed once the application is received.

In cases where the American institution has a list of specific courses and documentation requirements, the student should present the list to the AIFS Resident Director immediately upon arrival at the foreign campus. This is important, as it is difficult to obtain documents, certificates, transcripts or diplomas from foreign universities once you have left campus.

Only the American institution can evaluate work overseas, and in all cases, only the American institution can decide to award transfer credit. Most American institutions grant credit for study abroad provided students contact them before departure and successfully complete the necessary examinations at the foreign university and obtain a proper transcript. Some colleges also require returning students to complete oral or written examinations upon return to the U.S.

For more information how to request a transcript from your time abroad, please visit our Transcripts page: