LAST CHANCE to Apply for SPRING 2023! | SUMMER 2023 Study Abroad & Internship Program Applications NOW OPEN! Search Programs
Request Info

FAQs

General Resources

Student FAQs

General

On an AIFS Abroad program, you can expect the best value for your money and are supported through the entire process. Programs include an optional transportation package, a comprehensive insurance plan, centrally located housing, great cultural activities and excursions, tuition and a dedicated support team on-site and from our offices in Stamford, CT and Annapolis, MD. Most colleges throughout the United States recognize the quality of an AIFS Abroad program and easily accept the credits taken at our locations. More than 50% of our students receive financial support from AIFS in the form of scholarships or grants. In addition, our program fees are guaranteed in U.S. dollars (protecting you against currency fluctuation), we do not charge a credit card transaction fee, and do not require a damage deposit for any of our programs. Plus, AIFS Abroad has developed many resources addressing Access and Diversity for participants and it can be found here.

The application typically includes an official transcript, passport photos, a signed course selection sheet and disciplinary clearance form. Application requirements vary by program; students will have access in their online AIFS Abroad portal to all required forms they must submit. Students applying must have their courses approved by their school as part of the application process.

If your program requires a visa it will be noted on the AIFS Abroad website. Once admitted to the program your AIFS Program Manager will share the required documents on your AIFS Student Portal and will provide guidance on how to apply for your visa. Please note that non-US citizens will be expected to determine and obtain all necessary visas to participate on the program. Any questions regarding the visa process should be referred to your program Program Manager.

The staff at AIFS Abroad can guide you through every step of the process, from submitting your application materials, to applying for a visa if needed, to airport transfers on arrival. The level of attention provided assures a smooth transition to life overseas for our participants.

We know that talking to your family about your plan to study abroad can be stressful at first, especially if they have not gone abroad themselves. As such, we have put together some tips to help you have this conversation.

Students should consult with their academic advisor and the study abroad office at their home university to determine which term best fits into their academic plan.

It’s a big world and there are a lot of great locations to choose from. Before selecting your program location it can help to think about your future. Do you have a dream career goal or a course that you need to take while abroad? If so, let that position direct your focus in exploring locations. You can search by academic discipline or length of time that you want to be abroad.

  • Internships, service learning and volunteer programs all offer additional opportunities to engage with your host culture in meaningful Being able to say you studied abroad and did additional structured activities outside of the classroom can be a huge draw for a potential employer. Make sure to talk with your academic advisor to determine if your major requires an internship or volunteer hours for graduation.
  • The AIFS Abroad blog features posts from current and recent study abroad participants and provides more in-depth information about specific You can also log into your AIFS student account and click the “Ask Alumni” button to see a list of students who studied abroad from your university or in your country of interest.

It varies depending on location and program choice; please call the U.S. office for further details at 1-800-727-2437.

Yes. At AIFS Abroad, we believe in the power of international exchange to bring the world together and want to support all students as they change the way they see their world, no matter their gender, race, religion, age, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Our website has resources to help you throughout your study abroad journey. We also encourage you to visit your university’s study abroad website and office as they might have more information and resources on diversity and inclusion in study abroad. While abroad, if you experience challenges related to your identity or want to talk to someone, we encourage you to connect with your Resident Director in-country. They will be able to provide guidance and support to you as well as point you toward resources in your host country to assist with your experience.

We encourage you to contact Kory Saunders, Director of Inclusion Initiatives, at ksaunders@aifs.com. We also recognize the importance of being able to speak with others who have a shared experience and are a part of your community. If you would like to speak with program alumni, please email alumni@aifs.com and indicate which communities you belong to (ex: student of color, student with a disability, first generation college student, etc.) and we will do our best to connect you with others. We also encourage you to check out the Student Resources section of our website for materials that might be helpful to you throughout your study abroad experience. We also offer scholarships specifically to students of diverse backgrounds. You can find out more about all our scholarships here.

We understand that you might have concerns related to your identity that could affect your decision to study abroad and/or influence your location choice. We are committed to helping you

find the best location for your needs and will do everything we can to support you throughout your study abroad experience. If you would like to discuss concerns related to your identities, you are encouraged to connect with your Admissions Officer or Kory Saunders, Director of Inclusion Initiatives, at ksaunders@aifs.com.

We want to support all our students through their study abroad journey. You should download the applicable access forms from the Student Resources section of the AIFS website. Upon completion, these forms can be returned to the Program Manager for your intended program location. Your Program Manager will review the access form and liaise with our on-site staff to determine which accommodations can be made. Depending on your needs, it might take weeks to be able to confirm answers from our program locations. Your Program Manager will contact you with more information as the process continues.

  • If you do not have a location in mind, but want to go to whichever location can provide the accommodations you need, please email your form to alumni@aifs.com and our Director of Diversity and Alumni Initiatives will connect with Program Managers and On-Site staff to provide recommendations on locations.
  • Please note that AIFS cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor your requests, but we will do everything within our means to ensure you have a fulfilling experience abroad.

When you create your free AIFS Abroad student account, you gain access to our vast alumni network who are happy to answer questions about specific locations and the study abroad process in general. To connect with alumni, click on the “Ask Alumni” button in your AIFS student portal. You can search by program location and host university.

In response to the overwhelming global climate crisis, AIFS Abroad is pleased to make Sustainability a key priority when considering organizational, operational, and programming decisions. We understand that the only way to effectively combat this crisis and mitigate the effects of climate change is to drastically reduce our environmental impact. Therefore, we have launched the AIFS Abroad Green Initiative and are committed to reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2025.

AIFS will be partnering with The Gold Standard to offset carbon emissions from AIFS Abroad operations and programming; undertaking a campaign to educate students on climate change issue and sustainable practices; and adopting “green” business practices as an organization.

Transportation & On-Site

Yes, each AIFS program location has staff on-site who can assist you while abroad as well as provide resources on different aspects of your experience. Bios for overseas staff can be found in the AIFS program sections of the website.

You can select an optional transportation package for all AIFS Abroad programs. Students who choose to book their own flight should meet up with the group at the program location and will need to make their own ground transportation arrangements. Your Program Manager can provide more information on the transportation package.

When you opt for the AIFS transportation package, you can expect the convenience of arranged flights and the ease and safety of pick-up at the airport overseas.

Student housing is included on all AIFS Abroad programs. Although each program varies, housing options include residence halls, host families and shared apartments. AIFS Abroad students generally live with other AIFS participants in arranged housing. More information can be found by visiting the specific program location you are considering and click on the “Destinations” navigation menu.

AIFS Abroad participants are adults and treated as such, so no curfew is required. You are expected to behave as adults and to treat your host families and other residents with courtesy and respect.

Most host families on AIFS Abroad programs have been with AIFS for many years. Generally, they are an older couple with extra space, but the family structure will vary at each program location and household. New host families are taken on by recommendation of our current families and are thoroughly vetted.

A detailed packing list is provided to all students in the online AIFS Abroad acceptance portal.

Detailed information on purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone will be presented during the on-site orientation. Skype and FaceTime have become popular forms of communication for participants and their family/friends back home.

All AIFS program locations have Wi-Fi available to participants at their overseas university. Some program locations have Wi-Fi available in the accommodation as well. Students should check with the Program Manager for their program of interest to learn more about internet connectivity overseas.

Money Matters

AIFS is happy to accept US Financial Aid and any outside grants or scholarships you receive. It is always up to your home institution and the scholarship provider to determine how funds can be applied to study abroad. Students will need to work with their campus study abroad office, financial aid office and their AIFS Program Manager to file the necessary forms for aid to transfer. More than 50% of students receive a grant and/or scholarship from AIFS. Students are encouraged to apply for any funding opportunities for which they are eligible.

Regardless of how much financial aid you are expecting, the following items must be paid in full by the final payment deadline and may not be included in your student’s financial aid package:

  • Optional AIFS Flight Package, fees and flight penalties
  • Optional excursions
  • Enrollment deposit
  • Any remaining balance the student has that the financial aid package does not cover

Yes, AIFS offers scholarships and grants for our semester, January term and summer programs each year.

All the information on the AIFS scholarships can be found on our Scholarships and Grants page.

Absolutely – we would love to have you participate in multiple AIFS Abroad programs and offer a grant for those who do. You are also encouraged to apply for any additional AIFS Abroad scholarships for which you qualify.

Budgeting is very personal. For most of our locations you should budget enough money to cover the cost of course materials, meals, public transport, travel and any other personal expenses. You will be provided additional cost of living information for your program location in your online student portal.

You can access your bank accounts through ATMs abroad with your debit card. Contact your bank to notify them the card will be used overseas and inquire about any fees they might charge and partner banks they work with overseas. More information about banking in your specific program location will be provided in your student portal.

Academics

On our semester programs, you must take a full course load to be considered full-time students due to visa regulations. Typically, this means four to five three-credit courses. On our summer programs, the course load is usually one or two three-credit classes. January term programs typically consist of one, three-credit class.

Your home institution determines how credits will transfer. As a part of your AIFS Abroad application, you will complete a Course Approval Form, which will be signed off by your study abroad office staff and/or faculty at your university. We recommend getting additional courses approved in case you decide to change courses while abroad. An official transcript will be issued by the university abroad and sent to your home university at the end of the semester.

AIFS Abroad offers programs that can accommodate all levels of language learners – from the beginner to fluent and native speakers. While abroad, you will have the opportunity to increase your language competency through language partner programs and homestays with native speakers. According to the most recent AIFS Alumni Outcomes Survey, 48% of program alumni indicated participation in an AIFS Study Abroad Program contributed to their ability to speak a foreign language. Visit the AIFS blog to read posts from participants who studied a language abroad.

Following Your Time Abroad

  • Diversity Abroad: Tips and must ask questions about religion for study abroad students
  • BBC Guide to World Religions: Brief overview of religions around the world with links to additional resources.
  • International Religious Freedom Report: The Department of State’s annual report to congress on international religious freedom, describes the status of religious freedom in every country.
  • KAHAL: Resources for Jewish students going abroad, including information on how to keep Kosher.
  • U.S. Department of State Religious Freedom Information: Information about international religious freedom and includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. 
  • Pluralism Project: The site, hosted by Harvard University, offers extensive information on world religions and focuses on the meaning of religious pluralism.
  • Zabihah: Directory of halal restaurants and stores worldwide.
  • Islamic Finder: Directory of prayer times, Islamic organizations, and mosques worldwide.
  • All Hindu Temples: Hindu temple directory in more than 50 countries.
  • Church Finder: Directory of international church listings.
  • World Buddhist Directory: Searchable directory of Buddhist centers around the world.
  • International Humanist and Ethical Union: IHEU is the world union of over a hundred Humanist, rationalist, secular, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organizations in more than 40 countries.
  • Islamic Finder : Identifies prayer times around the world
  • Kosher Delight: Identifies synagogues and kosher restaurants around the world

Many students find the process of returning to the US to be more challenging than the experience of going abroad. You have experienced another culture and have potentially changed a great deal. You might feel like life back home feels boring compared to your time abroad and be interested in making your career internationally-focused and going abroad again. We understand and have been there too. To minimize the effects of reentry shock, we encourage you to find meaningful ways to share your experience with others and offer several opportunities to do so.

Upon completion of their program abroad, students are mailed one official transcript free of charge to their home school of record. Additional official transcripts are available upon written request.

AIFS Abroad offers several ways for you to share your time abroad with others. Details about all these opportunities can be found on the Alumni section of the website.

COVID-19 and Health & Safety FAQs

Students choosing to leave the program early for personal or other reasons are not entitled to any refund. Completion of academic credit will be determined on a case by case basis. 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.

Absolutely. We have students on the ground right now! Our entire team is dedicated to organizing safe and life-changing opportunities for anyone wishing to participate in our programs. Colleagues in the US and overseas are in continual communication discussing program viability. We appreciate the enthusiasm that students have for future programs and mirror it with our own.

We are working hand in hand with partners such as overseas universities, housing providers, visa processors, host employers, excursion providers to adhere to all location and country-specific COVID-19 regulations. The changeable nature of the regulations necessitates a higher-level of responsibility from our team but also from our participants as well.

We realize that there is ongoing uncertainty as country-specific COVID-19 policies continue to evolve. The decision to make a financial commitment during this time is one we want you to feel comfortable with.

AIFS Abroad Refund Policy

If your program is cancelled prior to it starting you can work with your AIFS Abroad advisor to determine what the best path forward is. You have the ability to:

  • Change location in the case where one or a few locations are closed but others remain open for the same program time period
  • Change programs to a different date or term/season – so if your spring program was cancelled you can move to a summer, fall or even next summer program
  • Participate in a virtual internship with Global Experiences
  • Request a refund of your fees (less deposits or any other costs) if a refund is due.

All participants on any AIFS Abroad program (study abroad, internship or custom faculty led) are covered by a very robust Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) travel and medical insurance as part of their program inclusions. There is no extra cost for this coverage. CISI has published a list of frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 that may be useful to you.

As part of the medical insurance, assistance and security will be provided by On Call International. OnCall has worked in the higher education field for over 20 years and is well known for their proactive and holistic approach to managing travel emergencies. They will provide phone support.

On Call’s Nurse Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This service is for those who aren’t sure if they are ill enough to see a doctor, but would like to seek advice over the phone from a medical professional. Not every illness or injury warrants a trip to the ER or a doctor’s office – this free service will help participants determine how best to treat whatever condition they may have.

AIFS Abroad strongly recommends that students take out CFAR / IFAR insurance which covers cancellation / interruption “for any reason”. Participants have the option of purchasing additional trip cancellation or interruption insurance which allows them to protect their study abroad program. This is at an additional cost and is NOT a program inclusion. This policy includes options to cancel for any reason (CFAR) and interrupt for any reason (IFAR). Details of the Worldwide Trip Protector Plans with travel insurance underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best 2019, are available on the Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) website. Students may purchase their plan directly through the CISI website.

If you are currently proposing, or planning for a customized faculty-led (CFL) program with AIFS Abroad, please be in direct contact with your Program Manager. 

Countries requiring self-isolation / proof of negative test is an ever changing list.

Ensuring that students are tested before departure will be done by comprehensive pre-departure advising and in collaboration with our students who have a due-diligence to ensure they have done everything necessary to be eligible to travel. As COVID protocols continue to be developed by airlines and governments we will be amending our policies and advising our students accordingly.

Should students be required by host country’s mandate to quarantine upon arrival then that will be a mandatory requirement to our program. Failure to adhere to quarantine protocols will result in expulsion from the program. AIFS Abroad will work within the variety of housing providers to ensure the health and well-being of our participants will be looked after. This could be from daily check-ins, meal delivery, etc.

AIFS Abroad uses a variety of housing options for students around the world. This could be student residences, apartments, hotels and homestays.

We are focusing our accommodation to be single occupancy but in some locations this is not possible. In locations where we use Student Residences / Apartment buildings we will be following their visitor restriction policies.

All host families receive additional training regarding COVID protocols for their local area. If someone in the house tests positive for COVID-19 then the appropriate officials will be contacted and the correct quarantine steps put in place. If the person is very ill then of course they will go straight to hospital. If they are well enough to stay at home they will be quarantined as well as other family members as required by the authorities. If needed we have access to additional accommodation so students can quarantine in private rooms if needed.

Students testing positive for COVID would be subject to immediate quarantine in their accommodation or in separate accommodation if required.

Meals/groceries would be arranged to be delivered in a safe and secure manner.

We work closely with our partner universities in each location who in turn are following all local guidelines so that students can safely attend class. These guidelines include practices such as

caps on class size to allow for social distancing, spacing of desks to comply with current requirements, cleaning of classrooms regularly and high traffic areas, access to hand sanitizer at entrances, implementing one-way systems where practical, and enforcing mask wearing where obligatory. In our own facilities we will follow the same guidelines as required locally. These may change as local circumstances dictate.

If face to face classes need to be suspended for any reason we will be able to continue with a virtual delivery model allowing participants to finish the academic portion of the program (thereby not losing progress towards degree completion).

Much of our physical distancing protocols are being developed according to the governmental guidelines in each country and with our institutional and employer partners. This takes into account how many students are allowed in a classroom, how many individuals constitute a “pod” for social events/outings, how many participants can be in accommodations, how many individuals are allowed at a specific host company, etc.

Students should come prepared with enough masks to safely get through the first few weeks of their program. After students become familiar with their surroundings they will be able to communicate with on-site staff to organize additional PPE / sanitizing supplies as needed.

We are constantly monitoring the entry regulations for our countries which are fluid and change often. In all cases, we would defer to local regulations. These are legal requirements, not imposed by AIFS. Some of our countries have been requesting the negative test result as an entry requirement for some time, so we have been monitoring and will communicate all requirements to our students.

AIFS Abroad continues to monitor COVID information from our host countries and advise participants as entry protocols change. Starting with our Spring 2023 programs AIFS will be strongly recommending participants have COVID-19 vaccinations (including booster doses) but will not be mandating vaccinations. Based on regulations that are changing daily, without vaccination/booster doses your movement in your host country may be restricted, your ability to travel independently may be negatively impacted, and AIFS/GE may not be able to deliver the educational program.

Family FAQs

Since 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) has been providing study abroad programs of the highest quality.

On an AIFS program, you can expect the best value for your money and your student is supported through the entire process. Programs include an optional transportation package, a comprehensive insurance plan, centrally located housing, great cultural activities and excursions, tuition and a dedicated support team on-site and from our offices in Stamford, CT, and Annapolis, MD. Most colleges throughout the United States recognize the quality of an AIFS program and easily accept the credits taken at our locations. More than 50% of our students receive financial support from AIFS in the form of scholarships or grants. In addition, our program fees are guaranteed in U.S. dollars (protecting you against currency fluctuation), we do not charge a credit card transaction fee, and do not require a damage deposit for any of our programs.

The staff at AIFS guides students through every step of the process, from submitting their application materials, to applying for a visa, to airport transfers. The level of attention provided assures a smooth transition to life overseas for our participants.

Students should consult with their academic advisor and the study abroad office at their home university to determine which semester best fits into their academic plan.

The AIFS team of Resident Directors abroad and Program Managers here in the United States is equipped to handle all emergencies for our students. The AIFS Protection Package is a comprehensive insurance plan that covers our participants in the event of medical emergency, evacuation and program cancellation. Detailed information regarding the insurance coverage can be found here.

Every country is different, but students receive a detailed packet before they depart explaining the best methods for their family and friends to reach them by mail. Prescription medication should not be mailed to students once they are abroad as it is often held up in Customs. Please work with your doctor and insurance provider to obtain a semester’s worth of medication for the student to carry with him/her.

This number really varies depending on location, but please call our U.S. Office for further details.

We want to support all our students through their study abroad journey. Your student should download the applicable access forms from the Student Resources section of the AIFS website. Upon completion, these forms can be returned to the Program Manager for their intended program location. The Program Manager will review the access form and liaise with our on-site staff to determine which accommodations can be made. Depending on your student’s needs, it might take weeks to be able to confirm answers from our program locations. Your student’s Program Manager will contact them with more information as the process continues.

If your student does not have a location in mind, but wants to go to whichever location can provide the accommodations they need, please have them email their form to alumni@aifs.com and our Director of Diversity and Alumni Initiatives will connect with Admissions and On-Site staff to provide recommendations on locations.

Please note that AIFS cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor your student’s requests, but we will do everything within our means to ensure your student has a fulfilling experience abroad.

Currently less than 10% of US college students study abroad, so having an international experience can be a great way for your student to set themselves apart from their peers in their job search. We offer several ways for program participants to learn how to process their experience and share it in a professional setting.

According to the most recent AIFS Alumni Outcomes Survey, alumni give clear affirmation to the value of studying abroad with regard to career impact. Over half (55%) of alumni reported “developing skills and intercultural competencies which contributed to obtaining my first job after graduation”, and 86% reported that it impacted their “ability to adapt in diverse workplace environments.””

While many students return from abroad with a broadened set of interests for their professional lives, there is also an impact on intrapersonal considerations – with an inward focus on how to match interests and skill sets. A large majority of respondents reported that studying abroad contributed to the importance they place in finding interesting and fulfilling work (79%) and the “importance I place on having personal fulfillment in my work” (81%).

Reentry shock is a common feeling for individuals returning to their home culture after being abroad. Like culture shock, which is experienced while abroad and involves the individual adapting to the differences of a new culture, reentry shock requires the individual to re-adapt to their own culture incorporating the experiences they had abroad. We know how challenging this process can be and offer several ways for program participants to learn how to process their experience and share it in a professional setting.

Absolutely, below are links to a couple of publications that can help to explain the benefits and challenges of the study abroad process.

A Parent Guide to Study Abroad

Studying abroad equips students with real-life, hands-on skills that no classroom can match, while opening up a world of personal and professional opportunities. This book, co-authored by international careers expert Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, International Institute of Education (IIE) President Allan Goodman, and AIFS President and CEO William L. Gertz, contains critical information parents will need to inform themselves, as well as support their high school or college student as they navigate the study abroad experience. Full of practical information written specifically for parents, the authors make a strong case for the importance of parental involvement that can influence and shape a successful cross-cultural experience.

AIFS Student Guide to Study Abroad and Career Development

The goal of this Guide, written by Martin Tillman, is to provide students with a framework to understand the impact and added value of study abroad for their career development. Regardless of duration or destination, we believe students will benefit from considering the career implications of their decision to study abroad.

Making Meaning of Education Abroad

An interactive workbook designed to engage returned education abroad participants in critical reflection and vocabulary-building exercises to successfully articulate their international experiences in academic, community, professional, and advocacy settings. Through a series of structured and intentional activities, students learn how to connect their education abroad stories to their lives, families, peers, and communities at home.

Flight Information

On all of our programs, students are able to select an optional transportation package. Students who choose to book their own flight should meet up with the group at the program location and will need to make their own ground transportation arrangements.

When a student opts for the AIFS Abroad transportation package, they can expect the convenience of arranged flights and the ease and safety of pick-up at the airport overseas.

Residency

Student housing is included on all of our programs. Although each program varies, housing options include residence halls, host families and apartments. AIFS Abroad students generally live with other AIFS participants in arranged housing.

AIFS Abroad participants are adults and treated as such, so no curfew is required. They are expected to behave as adults and to treat their host families and other residents with respect and courtesy.

Most host families used on our program have been with AIFS Abroad for many years. Generally, they are an older couple with extra space, but family structure will vary at each program location and household. New host families are taken on by recommendation of our current families and are thoroughly vetted.

Predeparture

A detailed packing list is provided to all students in their online AIFS acceptance portal.

Detailed information on purchasing a pay-as-you-go phone will be presented during orientation. Also, Skype has become a popular form of communication for our participants and their family/friends back home.

Academic Credit

The application typically includes an official transcript, passport photos, recommendation from a professor, an essay, a signed course selection sheet and disciplinary clearance form. Application

requirements vary by program; students will have access in their online AIFS Abroad portal to all required forms they must submit.

Students applying must have their courses approved by their school as part of the application process.

Most colleges throughout the United States accept the credits earned on AIFS Abroad programs. However, students must confirm credit transfer with their academic advisor and study abroad office at their home university. An official transcript will be issued by the university abroad and sent to each student’s home university at the end of the semester.

On our semester programs, students must take a full course load in order to be considered

full-time students due to visa regulations. Typically this means four to five three-credit courses. On our summer programs, the course load is usually one or two three-credit classes.

Program Cost

AIFS Abroad is happy to accept US Financial Aid and any outside grants or scholarships you receive. It is always up to their home institution and the scholarship provider to determine how funds can be applied to study abroad. Your student will need to work with their campus study abroad office, financial aid office and their AIFS Admissions Officer to file the necessary forms for aid to transfer. More than 50% of students receive a grant and/or scholarship from AIFS. Students are encouraged to apply for any funding opportunities for which they are eligible.

Regardless of how much financial aid you are expecting, the following items must be paid in full by the final payment deadline and may not be included in your student’s financial aid package:

  • Optional AIFS Flight Package, fees and flight penalties
  • Optional Excursions
  • Enrollment deposit

Budgeting is very personal. For most of our locations students should budget enough money to cover the cost of course materials, meals, public transport, travel and any other personal expenses.

Students can access their bank accounts through ATMs abroad with their debit card. Contact your bank to notify them the card will be used overseas and inquire about any fees they might charge.

Yes, AIFS Abroad offers a number of scholarship and grants for our programs. All the information on AIFS Abroad Scholarships, Grants and Financial Assistance can be found on our website.

Internship FAQs

Future Intern

As with many internships, the vast majority of our internship placements are unpaid. We look for opportunities that allow our interns to gain the best possible experience while adhering to local laws and visa restrictions. If an employer offers you a stipend or other form of compensation you are welcome to accept it.

Interning abroad is an amazing opportunity to travel and gain practical work experience. Our team is passionate about providing you with individual attention, career development, and the resources you will need to succeed in your internship and your future career.

In order to begin the process of finding you the right internship placement, we need to assure our host employers that you are a serious candidate. After applying for an internship, our program deposit secures your place in our program so we can begin working on the placement process.

Applications for all programs are taken on a rolling basis. There are often limited placements in popular fields so we recommend people apply and make their program deposit as soon as possible to get the placement process started early. Program deadlines indicate the last date we can accept participants for that season which is usually based on accommodation availability and visa deadlines.

Each internship program tuition includes a guaranteed internship, housing, personalized career development including access to the StrengthsFinder® assessment, pre-departure and visa assistance from a Program Advisor, support from local staff in each host city, social events, and medical/travel insurance.

The program tuition does not include airfare, transportation costs within the city, visa costs (where applicable), and any personal expenses.

It depends on the location. While some visa’s require you to be a currently enrolled university student or have graduated within a year, there is no education requirement for the program. Check out the Eligibility section of each location to learn more about the specific eligibility requirements for your desired location.

You must be 18 years or older and have some university coursework completed.

Yes! Outside of your internship hours, your nights and weekends belong to you. You are free to explore your host city, country, and continent, as you’d like. AIFS Abroad also offers planned social events and excursions on weekends and evenings. We encourage all of our participants to fully embrace all that each city has to offer and travel as much as possible during their free time.

We have had interns who were offered full-time employment upon completion of their internship. This would be entirely up to the placement company and would be organized directly with you, as AIFS Abroad does not facilitate full-time employment beyond the internships. However, most do make excellent contacts while interning abroad that help open doors to future employment.

Yes, we often have limited placements available in a given career field or location. We encourage you to apply and enroll early so we have time to assist you with the visa process (where needed) and find the best possible internship placement for you.

No, you do not need to be a U.S.citizen to participate in an AIFS Abroad internship program. However, each location has different visa requirements and restrictions. For more details visit the eligibility page for each location.

GE Virtuoso is a new international internship product from the market-leading internship brand Global Experiences. Virtuoso blends GE’s classic intern abroad program quality with a digital connection to an internationally based employer.

We think it is! The success of a virtual international internship lies in the hands of the intern. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight your ability to manage your schedule and prioritize tasks for an international employer. As a GE virtual intern, you will learn how to effectively speak to future employers about what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained during your virtual international internship.

Parent

The housing will differ for each location ranging from shared apartments to student dorms. We provide housing that is secure and as centrally located within the city as possible.

We prepare interns for their time in their host city through pre-departure webinars and discussions about safety. We also guarantee 24/7 logistical, medical, and legal support through a dedicated team of on-location staff.

Global Experiences takes great pride in the quality of internships that we are able to provide our participants. We take the time to get to know our interns and find them internships that will fit the needs of their career goals and interests. We will not know what company your child will be interning for until after he or she has enrolled and gone through our extensive career development process and completed an interview with a potential employer.

Each internship is customized to each person; meaning your child may do different tasks than an intern who held that same internship the year before. Most internships will be 30-40 hours a week and will include hands-on responsibilities. Visit the examples of internships for an idea of what the typical responsibilities are for an intern within a specific industry.

No, we do not pay our host employers. The companies and partners we work with agree to take interns from Global Experiences because they know our company will help them find a qualified, hard-working intern to join their team for the Summer, Spring, or Fall.

The program tuition does not include airfare, transportation costs within the city, visa costs (where applicable), and any personal expenses.

Some interns have been offered full-time foreign job opportunities after the internship ends, but hiring is completely up to the employer. Global Experiences is only responsible for the internship and does not facilitate full-time employment.

The initial enrollment deposit is non-refundable, and we have a refund policy in place for the other funds for the program. The timing of when the cancellation occurs before the program start date will determine how much money we are able to refund or transfer to a future program. If funds have been paid out for program costs like housing or insurance, those funds will most likely not be recuperated. Please speak with a Program Consultant or Program Advisor for more information.

Our goal is to find the best possible internship placements that will provide our participants with real-world responsibilities and the skills they will need for the future. We do not want to sacrifice the quality of the internship by only finding paid placements in these cities. We also must follow the legal regulations for visas in each of our host cities.

Your Program Advisor will contact your child when a company has expressed interest in interviewing the candidate. Participants must go through the career development process with a Program Advisor prior to interviewing with companies. Interviews can place as early as five months prior to the internship start date.

Global Experiences works with employers in our host network, who also host our interns on location. They are international businesses who know our model and are familiar with hosting our interns. Employers and interns will work together remotely, via video conferencing, email, and chat to accomplish projects and tasks together. Similar to our on-location internships, Global Experience staff conduct a virtual site visit with employer and student and check in on both parties throughout the experience.

Virtual Internship FAQs

GE Virtuoso is a new international internship product from the market-leading internship brand Global Experiences. Virtuoso blends GE’s classic intern abroad program quality with a digital connection to an internationally based employer.

GE Virtuoso’s placement process works the same way that GE’s international internships do. You will work with a GE Admissions Counselor when applying to the program. If accepted, you will be guaranteed an internship in your career field. Once you pay the program fee to enroll in the program, your Program Advisor will work with you directly to complete some professional development activities and arrange an interview for you with an employer. If the interview goes well, then you’ll complete your virtual international internship with that employer.

The success of a virtual international internship lies in the hands of the intern. This is an excellent opportunity to highlight your ability to manage your schedule and prioritize tasks. As a GE intern, you will learn how to effectively speak to future employers about what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve gained during your virtual international internship.

Through GE, you are entering a structured program with verified employers and a strong focus on professional development. Every participant takes the CliftonStrengths assessment and receives personalized coaching, plus one-on-one consultation calls, interview prep, cover letter and resume revision. During the program, participants benefit from welcome and exit orientations, virtual site visits, and check-ins with GE staff. Students also have the option to earn credit alongside their internship with a maximum of 12 credit hours.

No, you do not need to be a current student to participate in GE Virtuoso. You must be 18 years or older and have some university coursework completed. The upper age limit is 30 years old, but exceptions are possible.

As with many internships, the vast majority of our internship placements are unpaid. Compensation is at the discretion of the employer. We look for employment opportunities that allow our interns to gain the best possible hands-on work experience.

This can vary based on the agreed schedule with the employer, as well as your personal internship goals.

The internship will last a minimum of 8 weeks. Internships can be extended at the discretion of the employer. Virtual internships will be a minimum of 25 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Navigating the time difference is one of the skills developed through a virtual international internship. It is up to the intern and the employer to work out a schedule that works for them. While GE offers guidelines, this will vary based on the location of your host employer and career field.

Each virtual internship program tuition includes a guaranteed internship in your approved career field, personalized career development including access to the StrengthsFinder® assessment, resumé and interview preparation, telework training, dedicated Program Advisor, virtual events and check-ins, and much more.