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SOCIAL IDENTITY & ACCESS

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the experience knowing that your time abroad will be different than at home. The resources, community and support available to you abroad will likely be different as well. Your program staff will provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation. 

When abroad, let AIFS Abroad staff know if you are experiencing challenges. Being able to speak to someone about your experience can often be helpful. They can provide tips and resources for navigating this new environment. Please notify us immediately of any incidents that make you uncomfortable or if you should happen to feel unsafe at all. 

Our FAQs page features additional information and accommodation forms for you to communicate any specific support you need during your time abroad. We encourage you to download and complete the appropriate form(s) from the site and return them your program coordinators. Letting us know before you arrive abroad will allow us to better assist you throughout your study abroad or internship experience.

Study Abroad

Argentina

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. In Buenos Aires the law requires the city to be accessible to people with physical disabilities. However, it is common to find a car parked in front of a curb cut in the sidewalk, elevators too small to accommodate a wheelchair or building entrances with no access ramps. Few crosswalks have auditory and visual signals and public transport is not fully adapted for people with motor disabilities: few buses have access ramps, and many stops are unsuitable for wheelchairs. However, our staff in Buenos Aires is committed to helping students with mobility considerations navigate their time abroad successfully. The University of Belgrano is well adapted for people with disabilities and those using wheelchairs. It has wide spaces, big classrooms, access ramps and elevators. There is a student support office where help and advice can be found. The AIFS office is not wheelchair accessible, however, we are able to carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as needed.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There is a wide range of clubs and groups where an older student can feel comfortable. Buenos Aires is inclusive of all generations; it is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Argentina as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter while studying at the University of Belgrano and the day-to-day aspects of Argentinian cultural life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Argentina is considered one of the most advanced nations in the world in terms of LGBTQIA+ rights. Same-sex marriages and adoptions are legal, and Trans people are allowed to register with the preferred name and gender.

Non-binary Students: In July 2021, Argentina became the first Latin American country to formally recognize non-binary individuals. There is a growing social awareness in Buenos Aires concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. In Spanish, most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for human beings (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms but not many. If a student needs hormonal treatment, it is possible to access it in Buenos Aires. AIFS staff will be able to help with locating a physician.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medication should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss a mental health plan for while they are abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medication). AIFS offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, and this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Although Buenos Aires is a diverse city in many aspects, unfortunately, in Argentina there have been and continue to be discriminatory behaviors related to the ethnic characteristics or national origin of the people. Discrimination of a racist nature is often closely related to discriminatory behavior due to socio-economic and political causes. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff or with the police.

Religion: The official religion of the country is Roman Catholic Apostolic. Despite having an official religion, in Argentina there is total freedom of worship. AIFS staff is happy to advise any student who wants to practice their religion in Buenos Aires on where to locate places of worship.

Students on a Budget: In addition to the AIFS cultural activities included in the program, Buenos Aires offers many free or discounted cultural and recreational opportunities, including museums, theater, cinema, cultural centers, and concerts. There are free events at the university and local transport is affordable. Your Resident Director will provide you with information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Conscription was abolished in Argentina in 1995 and only a small number of citizens serve in the military. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: In order to maintain good mental and physical health, students can participate in various activities. It is also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. The University offers free soccer and running. Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, public pools and more are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists.

Women Abroad: Women in Argentina enjoy almost equal status to men socially, however there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment options, and household duties. While incidents of sexual assault in the capital are statistically low, attacks do occur. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Argentine society.

Safety: Argentina is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Australia

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Murdoch is a very accessible campus with wheelchair lifts and/or elevators and ramps providing access to buildings across campus. Most traffic signals are fitted with audio, visual and touch signals, public transport is fitted with ramps and audio aids. Accessible housing is available if required. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities. Many of Australia’s key attractions, including many national parks, provide access for those with limited mobility and several sites also address the needs of visitors with visual or aural impairments. All of Australia’s suburban rail networks and most urban buses are wheelchair accessible. Outside of Australia’s cities the level of accommodations available to individuals with disabilities vary greatly.

Adult Students: Almost 50% of Murdoch’s student population is considered mature aged, meaning that students of non-traditional age will feel at home and welcomed on campus. Your Resident Director will help you with more information.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Australia as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter while studying at Murdoch and the day-to-day aspects of Australian cultural life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in Australia in 2017 and Perth is generally welcoming and accepting to members of the LGBTQIA+ community. At Murdoch University support for LGBTQIA+ students and staff is readily available through the Equity and Social Inclusion Office.

Non-binary Students: Australia was one of the first countries to legally recognize non-binary status, and a person can legally change their gender or opt not to declare a gender on documents by providing a gender declaration. Non-binary pronouns are slowly being introduced but are not widely used. Gender neutral bathrooms are slowly becoming available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. There are some unisex bathrooms on campus at Murdoch University and these are listed on the campus map.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require, including in courses, before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Murdoch University has both general practitioners and counsellors on campus with bookings readily available for students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, and this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: People of Color are minoritized in Perth and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. Murdoch University prides itself on inclusivity and the Student Guild is proud to have numerous Ethnic and Multicultural Societies active on campus. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff or with the police.

Religion: Although Australia has no official religion, the most common throughout the country is Catholicism. Murdoch is welcoming of people from all faiths and there is a worship center on campus that can be used by anyone. Throughout the week you will find prayer sessions and masses here. Your Resident Director can provide with a list of places of worship for all faiths in Perth.

Students on a Budget: We understand some students may have limited financial means, and that it can be an expensive city in which to live. We always aim to provide a variety of free and subsidized activities in the social program, so that all participants have an equal opportunity to attend. Australia also has student discounts available at most tourist attractions and free entry to most museums for students.

Veterans: Service in the military in Australia is well respected and that service is appreciated through holidays such as Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), GP’s and counsellors are readily available on campus. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Health and Wellbeing, as it is referred to in Australia, is widely celebrated and encouraged amongst all generations with a range of local and national initiatives. Murdoch University’s Zone Fitness Centre has a range of facilities and classes which are available to students at a discounted rate, as well as various sports clubs and groups in and around campus. There are also support groups and centres on campus for mental health/wellbeing.

Women Abroad: Australia was one of the first countries to grant women suffrage, doing so in 1895. Although the battle against sexist male chauvinism had to be fought there as elsewhere, women in Australia today enjoy the same legal status and rights as men. Additionally, many women are prevalent in varying levels of government, commerce, and academia. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Australian society.

Safety: Australia is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Austria

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. In Salzburg and Austria all public places must be easily accessible for people with physical disabilities by law, so you should find it easy getting around the city. The classrooms and the AIFS office are wheelchair accessible as are most bars, restaurants and shopping malls throughout the city and Austria. However, visiting some tourist sites could be problematic, because of the local terrain or historical buildings that cannot comply with accessibility regulations.

Adult Students: Non-traditional age students are known as mature students in Austria. They account for a small percentage of the student body. Salzburg offers many opportunities to engage with other students or locals and you will be able to meet some like-minded people here. A wide range of cultural events and offers, museums, theaters, sports facilities and many more activities will be available during the program. Student discounts are typically only offered to those 26 and younger.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country will be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter while studying and the day-to-day aspects of Austrian life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community in Salzburg is rather liberal. While the younger generation is accepting, the elder generation might express reservations about these issues. Since the end of 2018 same sex marriage is legal by law. The HOSI society in Salzburg offers space for information, meetings, and counselling for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary Students: Austria recognizes a third gender in official documents. The German language is quite restrictive and there is no commonly used pronoun for non-binary people yet, but Austria cites recommendations as “divers”, “inter”, “offen”. Although AIFS in Salzburg does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: Students who have any kind of neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns are strongly encouraged to make the Resident Director aware of your situation, so they can better support you throughout your experience abroad, including providing access to professional help while in Salzburg. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, and this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: The population in Salzburg/Austria is predominantly white. Salzburg is a city used to different cultural and ethnic identities as there are lot of tourists visiting from all over the world. However, People of Color are minoritized in Salzburg and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff or with the police.

Religion: Austria is a Roman Catholic country. However, the numbers of people practicing other faiths has risen in recent times. All major religions are recognized by the government. There are places of worship for other faiths such as e.g. Muslim and Jewish, and a small Buddhist community.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Salzburg to experience local culture inexpensively. Students can join the University Library for free. Many of the city’s attractions offer reduced prices for students (with student ID and age under 26 years); it is also possible to receive reduced prices for cinema and theater. Your Resident Director will provide you information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Service in the military is well respected, every year on October 26 the military offers a public show in Vienna. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. Please let your Resident Director know if you have any concerns or need anything while abroad.

Health and Wellness: Salzburg offers a lot of possibilities to be active and practice different kind of sports. Walking and running can be practiced all over the city and students may use the local university gym for a minimal fee. Vegetarian and vegan alternatives to the meat-heavy Austrian diet are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists.

Women Abroad: The Austrian concept of “equal treatment” differs substantially from the United States idea of “equal rights.” Austrian legislation not only aims at establishing equality in realms where there is discrimination against women, but it also attempts to provide women with additional benefits related to the inequities inherent in the gender-specific division of labor. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Austrian society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. In general Salzburg is a quite safe place to live.

Barbados

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, specific accommodations should be discussed in detail with your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director before your arrival. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Barbados still has some limitation for people with mobility issues. Many areas still have uneven sidewalks, or don’t have any at all and public transport is generally not conditioned for wheelchair access. Accessible housing is available if needed.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Barbados as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter while studying in Bridgetown and the day-to-day aspects of life in Barbados which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Homosexuality is illegal in Barbados and gay marriage is not recognised. Discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community has been recorded in a Human Right’s Watch report and students should be aware of this when planning their study abroad experience. Students should be aware that their identity might not be fully supported by locals in Barbados, but AIFS staff are available to support you while abroad. Currently, we are unable to provide access to trans* friendly doctors or access to hormone replacement therapy.

Non-binary Students: There are currently no laws protecting trans people in Barbados and discrimination against them is common. Unisex bathrooms are not common, and students could encounter issues when using a bathroom of choice. Students should be aware that their identity might not be fully supported by locals in Barbados, but AIFS staff are available to support you while abroad.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in countr and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. UWI has a Disability Services Coordinator who can work with students who require accommodations. Students will need to submit documentation, complete a student intake questionnaire, and register with offices on campus to access these services. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Bridgetown is a racially and ethnically homogenous location with more than 92% of the population being Black and of Afro-Caribbean and mixed descent. US citizens are typically welcomed with open arms and most Students of Color do not report having any issues in these locations.

Students who are not Black might also find they receive additional attention (stares, being pointed at, etc.) from locals who observe the differences in appearance. Students should be prepared to receive questions and compliments about their differing appearance and cultural background. Although this experience provides an opportunity to engage in conversation, learn about their culture and share a bit of your own, this often-well-intentioned admiration can also come across as objectification or harassment and be burdensome for the recipient.

Religion: Barbadians are a very spiritual and religious people. Students should feel supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Barbados. There are more than 100 faith denominations in Barbados, but the society is predominantly Anglican.

Students on a Budget: We understand some students may have limited financial means, so to counteract this, a variety of free or subsidised activities are included in the social program. All beaches on Barbados have free, public access and the island offers free, group-led hikes weekly by the Barbados Hiking Association. If you have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) card, you can always present it when you arrive and inquire about discounts upon entry.

Veterans: Service in the military is respected in Barbados. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Near the campus and student housing, you can find gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools, etc. Your Resident Director will be able to provide suggestions on arrival.

Women Abroad: Some women experience unwanted attention including stares, whistles, comments or sounds made when walking past. Swim wear is only to be worn on the beach in Barbados, so students are encouraged to follow suit to avoid unwanted attention from locals. Commuters will cram onto a minibus rather than wait for the next ride – don’t take offense if your personal space is suddenly split in half. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in local society.

Safety: Although Barbados is considered safe, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, be vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Chile

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, specific accommodations should be discussed in detail with your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director before your arrival. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Although the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez campus is accessible for students who use a wheelchair, the AIFS office is not, but staff will make arrangments to meet with students in accessible locations. The terrain of Viña del Mar and Valparaiso is difficult for those with mobility limitations as it is very hilly, contains uneven roads, and lots of steps. Students with mobility issues may find it less accommodating and will find accessibility to be different than in the United States. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as required.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or what interests, you will be able to meet some like-minded people, AIFS staff are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Chile as it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Chile is considered a conservative country. The movement for gay rights is not widely embraced throughout the country. Chile legalized civil unions for both same-sex and unmarried couples in January 2015. A bill recognizing transgender rights is in the works. However, the university campuses are liberal, progressive places where support for LGBTQIA+ rights is strong. Discretion should be considered when travelling in more rural or remote parts of Chile.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Chile, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for human beings (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are very few unisex bathrooms.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Despite its lack of racial diversity, Chilean society does not have a history of racism or bigotry and Chileans exhibit a wider range of skin tones than its race category percentages might indicate. Hispanic-American students may not be perceived as being North American. Chileans may assume that Hispanic Americans understand the culture and language and thus expect them to interact socially with more ease. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff or with the police.

Religion: Chile is a predominantly Catholic nation, although it has small Protestant and Evangelical communities across the country. Discrimination based on religion is rare; freedom and tolerance of various religions is widely accepted and practiced. Your Resident Director can provide more information on local places of worship.

Students on a Budget: In addition to the cultural activities included in the program, Viña del Mar is nicknamed the ‘Garden City’ and the city does provide numerous opportunities for enjoying the outdoors for free through green spaces and the beaches. Students who have limited financial means have plenty of opportunity to experience the local culture at low cost. Throughout the program three main meals are included daily, so students don’t need to worry about budgeting for meals. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Service in the military is respected in Chile. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Students can join the University Sports Center that includes basketball, soccer, volleyball, aerobics and yoga. Also, near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga, reiki, mindfulness, public pools and more are readily available. Your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interest. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, and this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Chilean society is considered to be somewhat conservative and infused with a degree of machismo. The experience of women travelers can be different from traveling in the United States. Women may experience harassment in the form of cat calling and other forms of objectification by local men. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Chilean society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Costa Rica

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. By law, individuals with disabilities must have equal conditions of quality, opportunity, rights and duties. However, not all buildings or public transport are accessible yet. Most communities do not have sidewalks, and very few have ramps. Students on the AIFS program in Costa Rica will find the campus and classroom accessible. Unfortunately, our office has steps, and a ramp cannot be added, but our Resident Director will regularly meet with students outside on campus. Homestays are accessible as are hotels on excursions. Some activities may be challenging for students with mobility limitations due to uneven terrain, especially when visiting some rain forest areas and more remote locations. In addition, Costa Ricans sometimes give nicknames to people based on their physical characteristics, including disabilities, and students may experience prejudice or jokes about their disability.

Adult Students: In Costa Rica, almost half of its college student population is non-traditional age. People study and work at the same time to provide for their families. For this reason, there are not specific groups or clubs for older students as it is already part of the local culture.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar. Our staff are here to support you as you transition to being a student abroad – please don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re feeling unsure.

LGBTQIA+: There is no legal prohibition of homosexuality in Costa Rica. The country recognizes transgender people in the Costa Rican ID and since 2020 same-sex marriage is legal. However, there still remains a degree of intolerance in a very conservative Costa Rican society.

Non-binary Students: For students who have a non-binary gender, there are efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun. The AIFS San José office has neutral bathrooms. In the city, there are some unisex bathrooms but not many. The AIFS San José and Veritas Housing coordination will accommodate the students based on the student preferences and needs.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees. Veritas offers psychological support on campus with an English-speaking mental health professional. Students should approach their Resident Director if they feel they need professional help while in Costa Rica.

Race & Ethnicity: In June 2015, the country celebrated the declaration of Costa Rica in its political constitution as a multi-ethnic and pluricultural state, as an advance in respect for diversity and human rights of the entire population. In October 2019, Costa Rica implemented a new law that penalizes acts of racism in national sport events. People of Color are minoritized in Costa Rica and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff. Costa Rican culture is not politically correct, so a stranger might refer to your skin color (or body complexion) to draw your attention and start talking to you.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the religion of Costa Rica (it is even noted in the Constitution), there are many places of worship for other faiths – Evangelic, Muslim, Jewish, amongst others. It is important to take on account that Veritas University may not grant exemptions for religious festivities or holidays to be absent of class; this will be analyzed case by case. Your Resident Director will provide you with a list of places of worship for all faiths in San José.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of inexpensive opportunities in San José to experience local culture. There are markets, parks, certain sport facilities and also several places to hike for free in the region. San José is home to several museums which offer affordable entrance. The National Theater provides opportunities every week to see a show at a discounted rate. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Costa Rica has not had an army since December 1, 1948 and does not support any military organization or act. Members of the military from other countries will not receive any special attention in Costa Rica. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Near the campus and student housing, gyms, public pools and more are readily available; your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interest.

Women Abroad: Women in Costa Rica enjoy almost equal status as men socially, however there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. Women’s increased educational achievement and life expectancy has not translated into improvements in economic opportunities or benefits. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Costa Rican society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Czech Republic

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Prague has undergone many improvements in the past 10 years to make the city accessible for individuals who are physically disabled. Public transport offers low trams with ramps, and most metro stations are accessible through elevators. The city has placed visual and auditory signals at crosswalks. The Faculty of Arts, Charles University building and all its facilities, including the library are wheelchair accessible. The Economical University of Prague is also accessible by wheelchair or crutches. The AIFS Office has an elevator and wide doorways to provide access for students who use a wheelchair, although the restroom is not accessible. We can carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings. The default housing options for AIFS Prague are also wheelchair accessible.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are various Czech and expat clubs and groups in Prague which an older student may find interesting. Your Resident Director can provide you with information on these groups. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet like-minded people in Prague. History, music, art, architecture, gardens, theater, sport, language and film are just some of the activities that you can find yourself drawn towards while abroad.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system in the Czech Republic like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Prague and the Czech Republic is a mostly atheist country and quite tolerant towards the LGBTQIA+ community. Registered partnerships for same-sex couples was recognized by Czech law in 2006 and there is a continuous effort of LGBTQIA+ activists to reach the legal status of marriage. There are many queer-friendly bars and clubs around Prague. It is also possible to get involved in LGBTQIA+ student groups.

Non-binary Students: Binary gender concepts are embedded into the language structure and grammar of Czech, finding a way to address non-binary people correctly and respectfully still needs to be worked out. It is easier to reflect the non-binary identity in written form using both female*male suffix.

There are some unisex bathrooms in Prague but not many, and the host university has no gender-neutral restrooms. Using a bathroom of choice could be an issue in the public space.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly and can better support you throughout your experience in the Czech Republic. We work with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. Universities also offer support to the students and can accommodate certain learning disabilities. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: People of Color are minoritized in Prague and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff. On a day to day basis, racism is not usually considered to be a problem but you should still be aware if you come from a diverse ethnical background as the Czech Republic is still majorly a homogenous society.

Religion: Although the majority of Czechs are atheists, there are many places of worship in Prague including – Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish institutions, amongst others. The AIFS office staff will provide you with contacts to places of worship for your specific faith.

Students on a Budget: The Czech Republic can be a student’s paradise as it has a lower cost of living compared to other European cities. Students who have limited financial means have plenty of inexpensive opportunities to experience the local culture. Throughout the year, students can visit museums and galleries, watch a ballet/opera, and use sports facilities at a discounted rate. In the summer there are free festivals and social gatherings in public spaces. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable cultural opportunities at orientation and throughout the program, such as the travel stipend for the Czech Republic.

Veterans: If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists who can be of help. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: There is a small gym in the dorm, but many students join the Prague YMCA. It is a modern facility and has many workout classes, exercise class, and relaxation options. In both universities (Charles Uni and The University of Economics), students can also choose to attend classes from the sports department.

Women Abroad: Women in the Czech Republic enjoy almost equal status as men socially, however there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment (sector), and household duties. While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in local society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Prague has undergone many improvements in the past 10 years to make the city accessible for individuals who are physically disabled. Public transport offers low trams with ramps, and most metro stations are accessible through elevators. The city has placed visual and auditory signals at crosswalks. The Faculty of Arts, Charles University building and all its facilities, including the library are wheelchair accessible. The Economical University of Prague is also accessible by wheelchair or crutches. The AIFS Office has an elevator and wide doorways to provide access for students who use a wheelchair, although the restroom is not accessible. We can carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings. The default housing options for AIFS Prague are also wheelchair accessible.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are various Czech and expat clubs and groups in Prague which an older student may find interesting. Your Resident Director can provide you with information on these groups. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet like-minded people in Prague. History, music, art, architecture, gardens, theater, sport, language and film are just some of the activities that you can find yourself drawn towards while abroad.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system in the Czech Republic like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Prague and the Czech Republic is a mostly atheist country and quite tolerant towards the LGBTQIA+ community. Registered partnerships for same-sex couples was recognized by Czech law in 2006 and there is a continuous effort of LGBTQIA+ activists to reach the legal status of marriage. There are many queer-friendly bars and clubs around Prague. It is also possible to get involved in LGBTQIA+ student groups.

Non-binary Students: Binary gender concepts are embedded into the language structure and grammar of Czech, finding a way to address non-binary people correctly and respectfully still needs to be worked out. It is easier to reflect the non-binary identity in written form using both female*male suffix. There are some unisex bathrooms in Prague but not many, and the host university has no gender-neutral restrooms. Using a bathroom of choice could be an issue in the public space.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health:If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly and can better support you throughout your experience in the Czech Republic. We work with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. Universities also offer support to the students and can accommodate certain learning disabilities. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: People of Color are minoritized in Prague and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff. On a day to day basis, racism is not usually considered to be a problem but you should still be aware if you come from a diverse ethnical background as the Czech Republic is still majorly a homogenous society.

Religion: Although the majority of Czechs are atheists, there are many places of worship in Prague including – Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and Jewish institutions, amongst others. The AIFS office staff will provide you with contacts to places of worship for your specific faith..

Students on a Budget: The Czech Republic can be a student’s paradise as it has a lower cost of living compared to other European cities. Students who have limited financial means have plenty of inexpensive opportunities to experience the local culture. Throughout the year, students can visit museums and galleries, watch a ballet/opera, and use sports facilities at a discounted rate. In the summer there are free festivals and social gatherings in public spaces. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable cultural opportunities at orientation and throughout the program, such as the travel stipend for the Czech Republic.

Veterans: If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists who can be of help. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: There is a small gym in the dorm, but many students join the Prague YMCA. It is a modern facility and has many workout classes, exercise class, and relaxation options. In both universities (Charles Uni and The University of Economics), students can also choose to attend classes from the sports department.

Women Abroad: Women in the Czech Republic enjoy almost equal status as men socially, however there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment (sector), and household duties. While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in local society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Ecuador

Access & Mobility: The Galápagos program is very active, including almost daily hikes and swims, which are a requirement of the course, so if you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know upon application so that they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. While the USFQ campus in Cumbayá, Quito is recently constructed and accessible with ramps throughout, Quito city itself is very hilly with many cobbled streets. Sidewalks are often narrow, and many do not have curb cuts. It is the same on the Galápagos Islands, where development has been restricted, with dirt tracks, cobbled roads, and high and narrow sidewalks which are not accessible for those who use wheelchairs. Buses in Quito and on the Islands are older, and not accessible as there are only steps to board. You will be required to climb in and out of boats and load luggage onto vehicles and boats on transfer days.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet some like-minded people in the locations visited on this program.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Ecuador as it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country will be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Ecuador was one of the first countries in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, doing so in 1998. Additionally, the 2016 Gender Identity Law allows Ecuadorians to state their gender identity rather than the sex assigned at birth on their state ID cards. Despite this, gay marriage is still not legal (civil partnerships, however, are), and same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt. The older generation is still very conservative, having lived most of their lives in a culture where same-sex relationships were illegal. Both Quito and Guayaquil host annual Gay Pride marches and have a selection of gay bars. The Galápagos Islands themselves don’t have a scene to speak of, but they do regularly host LGBTQIA+ touring groups.

Non-binary Students: There are currently no unisex facilities at the USFQ campus in the Galápagos islands. Many bars and restaurants will just have one restroom for all patrons. In Spanish, a gender-neutral pronoun is often highlighted with an “X”- i.e. Latinx rather than Latino (masculine pronoun) or Latina (feminine pronoun). @ is also used, i.e. chic@s. These are more common in written form rather than spoken Spanish. Discussions are still taking place on how they are to be pronounced.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. While the USFQ has a clinic on campus in Cumbayá, Quito, resources on the Galápagos islands are limited. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Internet connection on the islands is limited and it will be difficult to sustain a strong enough connection for a Skype appointment, for example. This will unfortunately also limit access to the AIFS English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, which connects students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat.

Race & Ethnicity: While the four inhabited islands are home to only 25,000 people collectively, due to the hugely popular tourist industry bringing over 200,000 people to the islands each year, an increasing number of foreign workers from all corners of the world now form part of the local community, even on a short-term basis. Students on previous programs have not reported any problems with locals, however, if students should feel unsafe or experience microaggressions or racism, they are encouraged to report the incident to staff on-site.

Religion: Ecuador is a predominantly Roman Catholic country and has been since the Spanish colonization. There are also small communities of people of Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist faith. On the Galápagos, you will find a small selection of churches representing a variety of Christian denominations.

Students on a Budget: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided on most days (travel days are the main exception), along with all equipment such as snorkel gear if needed. The itinerary is full and although there is little free time throughout the program, there is no need to incur further expense to enjoy the islands. A small fund is recommended for social activities and souvenirs.

Veterans: Although military service is respected in Ecuador, it is not honored through any days of remembrance currently. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. Internet connection on the islands is limited and it will be difficult to sustain a strong enough connection for a Skype appointment, for example. This will unfortunately also limit access to the AIFS English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, which connects students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat.

Health and Wellness: The Galápagos program itself is very physically active with plenty of hiking, swimming and snorkeling. There are no sports facilities at the USFQ campus but there are plenty of paths to hike if you have the time and energy after class. Your Resident Director and local guides will advise on how to do so safely. AIFS and USFQ staff will explain during orientation how to stay healthy. There are small medical centers on the island that can deal with minor illnesses, and a larger university health center back on campus in Quito. Persons requiring complex medical treatment are usually flown from the islands to the mainland.

Women Abroad: Ecuadorian society is considered to be somewhat conservative and infused with a degree of machismo. Gender roles vary greatly across Ecuadorian socio-economic groups and ethnicities, ranging from equal to male–dominated. Gender roles are also tied to the heavily Catholic influence of a patriarchal society. Oftentimes, local men are under the impression that women from other countries are more liberal and may be emboldened to attempt interactions that are not considered locally acceptable. Generally, these comments do not rise to the level of sexual harassment but can still cause some women to feel uncomfortable. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Ecuadorian society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

England

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The UK has a long history of not discriminating against anybody with a disability. London is fairly accessible, and most buildings have been outfitted with accessible entry, restrooms and elevators/lifts for those with mobility concerns. The U.K. offers a great deal of services for people who are mobility, sight, or hearing-impaired including advice centers, transport services, and travel aids. Crosswalks are common and often accompanied by warning sounds / flashing lights. All buses and taxis are accessible in a wheelchair, and some tube stations. Due to the age of the buildings on the London campus there are lots of steps and few elevators in many buildings, so if you are in a wheelchair, access can be difficult. However, there are classrooms which are accessible and there are a limited amount of accessible studio apartments available for students who need them so informing AIFS of your access needs will help staff plan your classes and housing. Homestays are not accessible for students using wheelchairs.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. History, music, art, architecture, gardens, theater, sport, language and film are just some of the activities that you can find yourself drawn towards while abroad. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is not a recognized designation in the education system in England like it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find or non-existent. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of British life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Ensuring that the LGBTQIA+ community feels truly valued, happy and safe is of great importance to the London goverment. All Londoners, regardless of ethnicity, race, sexuality, disability or gender should be able to fulfil their potential in the capital, making the city a welcoming, open place for everyone. British society is generally accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. Laws protect LGBTQIA+ individuals from hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. It has recognized same-sex civil unions since 2005. There is an active LGBTQIA+ student run club at nearby Imperial College called “IQ” and they welcome all students, regardless of sexuality.

Non-binary Students: Although non-binary status in the UK is not yet legally recognized, UK society is generally accepting. Non-binary pronouns are slowly being introduced but are not widely used. Gender neutral bathrooms are slowly becoming available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. Although AIFS in London does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible. Staff and faculty have had experience with non-binary students and will do their best to ensure that students will be protected and respected.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise any students who regularly visit a counsellor at home to discuss a mental health plan before the study abroad program begins. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in London and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: London is home to over eight million people and according to data from the office for national statistics is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. There is a hugely diverse collection of religions, food, ethnicities all across the city, with clubs and societies open to all. All of us at AIFS are very confident that no matter your background, you will feel at home in London and have a fulfilling and inspiring experience. However, if students should feel unsafe or experience microaggressions or racism, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff.

Religion: In the UK as a whole, Christianity has been found to be the largest religious group with 59% of the population, followed by Muslims with 5%. The proportion of people who reported that they did not have a religion is now a quarter of the population. There are thousands of places of worship throughout London. These can range from ancient cathedrals to modern community center-based gatherings. The Resident Director and the rest of the AIFS team can provide you with information on places of worship for all faiths in London.

Students on a Budget: According to recent statistics (Higher Educations Statistics Agency 2017), London is home to more than 350,000 students. In the city as a whole, there are a huge range of free and/or discounted activities from which to choose. A large number of London museums and art galleries are free. During orientation and throughout the program all students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in London and exploring local culture. Students will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: The Armed Forces are well respected and visible in everyday life, from the changing of the guard on Whitehall or the public wearing poppies all through November to honor the lives lost in past conflicts on Remembrance Sunday. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: While there is no dedicated gym on campus, students pay discounted rates to use the facilities at Imperial College and can join their Student Union for clubs and societies. Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, and more are readily available; your Resident Director will be able to provide a list and suggestions for art workshops and other clubs and societies. London is a very easy city to run and walk in, with countless green spaces and parks. Organic food, allergy-free and fresh produce is sold in all supermarkets. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Many individuals in the UK understand that to treat individuals differently on account of sex/gender is unfair but are less sensitive to the broad picture of sexual discrimination. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in English society.

Safety: England is a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Resident Director will provide you with more details during orientation.

France

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. By French law all public places and local transportation are equipped for disabled people, unfortunately some parts of the city and campus may still be difficult to access with a wheelchair. Some historical buildings may have limited disabled accommodations. Auditory signals around the city are rare. Specific beaches are wheelchair accessible. Accessible housing is limited but available.

Adult Students: Even though the majority of the students in the program and on campus are under 30 years old, the Campus International de Cannes welcome students from all over the world and every age range. There are various French clubs and groups in Cannes which an older student may find interesting.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in France as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: For years, France has taken an active role in promoting and protecting the fundamental human rights of LGBTQIA+ people all around the world. France has recognized same-sex civil unions since 1999. Usually, LGBTQIA+ students don’t have any integration problem on campus and in the local city life. Cannes has a strong LGBTQIA+ community and there are gay bars and clubs in the city.

Non-binary Students: The French language has introduced pronouns that are gender neutral but the broader French public is not fully aware of them and therefore their use is limited. Discussion of non-binary and transgender communities is an on-going conversation in France and with the growing social awareness is providing integration opportunities for all ages. Gender neutral bathrooms are slowly becoming available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. There are some unisex bathrooms on campus. Staff and faculty have had experience with non-binary students and will do their best to ensure that students feel protected and respected.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: While racism may exist in some places in France, it is usually not a concern in Cannes. Cannes is a very cosmopolitan city with a varied international population welcoming millions of tourists coming from all over the world. The local population is very proud of its diverse international population and treats everyone equally. Students of Color planning to study abroad in France will find a country that is very knowledgeable of life in the U.S. and some find France to be less prejudiced, in general, than many parts of the U.S.

Religion: Although the Catholicism is the main faith in France, there are many places of worship for other faiths –Protestant, Muslim, Jewish and Orthodox amongst others. France is a secular state and obvious signs of religion are frowned upon in public.

Students on a Budget: Cannes and the French Riviera is well known to be a wealthy area; however, students will get discounted fees in most museums, concerts, theater plays, sporting events and even in some hair dressers. Your Resident Director will give you free invitations to some social events that will take place in the city and will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities throughout the semester.

Veterans: Service in the military in France is well respected and that service is appreciated through holidays such as Armistice Day. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. AIFS can provide specific advice before you arrive on services available to Veterans either in terms of connecting with local associations or providing counselling. AIFS offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Health and Wellness: Students have free access to a small gym, plus a volleyball and basketball court on campus. Fitness or yoga classes are often available on the sun terrace. Near the campus gyms, clubs, public pool, dance classes and more are available for an affordable fee. Students can run along the seafront or swim in the Mediterranean.

Women Abroad: By law, equal status between women and men exists in France. However, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, prohibits sexual harassment, and provides civil penalties. While is France is statistically a safe place for women, women travelers have been encouraged to avoid smiling at or making prolonged eye contact with men they do not know as this may be interpreted as an invitation to make advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in French society.

Safety: France is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country. French law requires local transport and public spaces to be accessible to those with mobility concerns. Grenoble and the campus are considered well-adapted to those with physical disabilities. Local public transport is accessible to those with mobility limitations. However, only a few crosswalks have audible signals. Some historical buildings may have limited disabled accommodations. AIFS is committed to finding accommodation that is wheelchair accessible as required.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. Grenoble has various groups an older student may find interesting. However, the majority of students, on the university campus and in the program are under 30.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in France as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Grenoble has a strong LGBTQIA+ community with associations, cafés, etc. both on campus and in the city. In general, France is tolerant towards diverse sexual orientation and gay marriage is legal. While transitioning students are still not particularly visible or common, there is no problem with integration into campus or local life. The University Grenoble Alpes charter respects diversity in all areas of life.

Non-binary Students: The French language has introduced pronouns that are gender neutral but the broader French public is not fully aware of them and therefore their use is limited. Discussion of non-binary and transgender communities is an on-going conversation in France and with the growing social awareness is providing integration opportunities for all ages. The Université Grenoble Alpes charter respects all faiths, gender, and ethnic backgrounds. Staff and faculty have had experience with non-binary students and will do their best to ensure that students will be protected and respected.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan while they are abroad. The university health centre provides free counselling services but currently only in French. English-speaking therapists are available outside the university health system. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: While racism may exist in some areas of France, it is not usually a problem in Grenoble where there is a large and varied international population not just including students. There are international clubs on campus and several associations in Grenoble. Additional information is available in the AIFS office. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff.

Religion: Although the Catholic Church is the main faith in France, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, amongst others. There are bible groups and religious organizations (in French and English) on campus. France is a secular state and obvious signs of religion are frowned upon in public.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of affordable opportunities in Grenoble to experience local culture. Nearly all local city museums are free for students. There are reduced price tickets for concerts, plays, sporting events, restaurants, hairdressers and many other activities and areas of life. For this reason, Grenoble is regularly voted the best university town in France.

Veterans: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of affordable opportunities in Grenoble to experience local culture. Nearly all local city museums are free for students. There are reduced price tickets for concerts, plays, sporting events, restaurants, hairdressers and many other activities and areas of life. For this reason, Grenoble is regularly voted the best university town in France.

Health and Wellness: Once students have their campus sports card, they have access to a wide variety of sports including an Olympic sized pool, climbing wall, tennis courts, etc. There is a ski club with reduced price options. Yoga, pilates, art, theater, music and choir opportunities are open to all abilities and ages, through the university and in the city. Grenoble has an extensive network of cycle paths and bicycles are inexpensive to rent.

Women Abroad: By law, equal status between women and men exists in France. However, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, prohibits sexual harassment, and provides civil penalties. While France is statistically a safe place for women, women travelers have been encouraged to avoid smiling at or making prolonged eye contact with men they do not know as this may be interpreted as an invitation to make advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in French society.

Safety: France is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. French law requires local transport and public spaces to be accessible to those with mobility concerns. Although Paris has invested much money in recent years in modernizing its transportation and service-industry facilities to provide greater access, as an old city it can still prove challenging to those with physical disabilities. The metro is not fully accessible, but all buses have a ramp. Some student dorms have ground floor purpose-built rooms, which may be available on request. Some classrooms are accessible. The AIFS office is accessible only via a set of stairs and has no disabled bathroom facilities. However, alternative arrangements can be made to meet with students in wheelchair accessible locations. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as needed.

Adult Students: There are a large number of English-speaking clubs in Paris which an older student may find interesting. The Anglophone community is very active, organizing a wide variety of cultural events, fundraisers and team sports to which new members are welcome.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in France as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Paris has a lively LGBTQIA+ community and is a very tolerant and sexually-open city. France has recognized same-sex civil unions since 1999. Laws protect individuals and groups from all hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality. The city hall website provides plenty of information in English about events, venues and activities of interest to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary Students: The French language has introduced pronouns that are gender neutral but the broader French public is not fully aware of them and therefore their use is limited. Discussion of non-binary and transgender communities is an on-going conversation in France and with the growing social awareness is providing integration opportunities for all ages. Gender neutral bathrooms do exist (there is one in the AIFS office) but they are not common. There should be no problem however with using the bathroom of your choice. Paris offers several housing options and can easily cater for most requirements. Please check with local staff with any gender-related housing concerns.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. Students with mental health concerns should approach their Resident Director if they feel they need professional help while in Paris. We work with a network of fully trained English-speaking specialists who can provide a range of psychiatric services. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss this with their home doctor prior to departure. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Racism is not very prevalent in Paris although students may find that there is less racial sensitivity in France than in the U.S. People of Color are minoritized in Paris and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to the AIFS on-site staff.

Religion: Although France is a predominantly Catholic country, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist amongst others. The American church in Paris organizes regular services as well as community activities. France is a secular state and obvious signs of religion are frowned upon in public.

Students on a Budget: Paris can be a fairly expensive city but as a student you will automatically benefit from numerous reductions in cinemas, hair salons, and museums. Affordable places to eat are all around the campus and in the Latin Quarter. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program and students will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Veterans in Paris are a well-respected part of the community. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) with their doctor for while they are abroad. If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), AIFS can organize consultations with an English-speaking mental-health professional. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: The French enjoy different sports and physical activity and as in many big cities, moving about Paris can often feel like a workout in itself! Local parks are beautiful places to run in and cycling is also possible. Health food, vegan and organic stores abound, whilst activities like yoga or pilates are readily available. Every district has an open air food market twice a week in which locally grown, seasonal produce can be found.

Women Abroad: By law, equal status between women and men exists in France. However, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, prohibits sexual harassment, and provides civil penalties. While Paris is statistically a safe place for women, women travelers have been encouraged to avoid smiling at or making prolonged eye contact with men they do not know as in France, this may be interpreted as an invitation to make advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in French society.

Safety: France is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Germany

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Resident Director and Program Advisor or Program Manager know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Most traffic lights in Berlin have auditory and visual signals, all buses and most other public transportation are accessible. Berlin is quite flat and has smoothly paved roads. New public buildings are accessible but most apartment buildings and many historical buildings all over Germany are only partially accessible. Accessible public restrooms require planning ahead but are available. The AIFS Berlin office is not accessible but alternate meeting points can be arranged. The current housing options in Berlin are not equipped for those who use a wheelchair, however, AIFS staff is committed to finding alternative housing. The campus at Freie Universität is accessible.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, there is a wide range of expat clubs and groups where an older student can feel comfortable. However, student reductions are typically only offered to students under 26 years at most cultural institutions. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Being a first-generation college student is only slowly becoming a recognized designation in the German education system, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help them to navigate the new academic environment they will encounter while studying at the Freie Universität and the day-to-day aspects of German cultural life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Germany has introduced a third gender choice for its inter citizens in 2019, same-sex marriage was made legal in 2017, and Berlin is considered a veritable mecca for LGBTQIA+ people with a rich cultural scene catering to all orientations and people. At the university and in Berlin there are many clubs and groups where students can find support and like-minded Germans.

Non-binary Students: Germany has introduced a third gender choice for its inter citizens in 2019, which has been helpful in making the broader public more aware of trans* equity issues. The German language is quite restrictive and there is no commonly used pronoun for non-binary people yet. While there are some unisex bathrooms, it is not usually an issue to use a bathroom of choice. Staff and faculty have had experience with non-binary students and will do their best to ensure that students will be protected and respected. Although AIFS in Berlin does not offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad. Counselling services are available for emergencies, but regular counselling will require a long waiting period. As such, students who work with a counselor are encouraged to make a plan with them for continuation while they are abroad.

Race & Ethnicity: Most of Berlin is very multi-cultural and US citizens in general are welcomed with open arms in Germany. There have been racially-motivated attacks in Germany from time to time and racism and prejudice might be an issue. People of Color are minoritized in Germany and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to AIFS Abroad staff. There are also support groups that your Resident Director can connect you with.

Religion: The main religion in Germany is Christianity, Protestant and Catholic, and all other major religions are recognized in Germany. There are many places of worship in Berlin for those who are Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, and Buddhist, amongst others. In Berlin and the surrounding Eastern States of Germany the majority of the population has no religious affiliation.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Berlin to experience local culture inexpensively. All students receive a museum pass that allows entrance to all Berlin State Museums, as well as two tickets of choice to an opera, a concert or soccer game. There are also countless free art galleries and history museums to explore around the city. AIFS offers many group outings that are already included in your fees. Apartment housing provides a fully functioning kitchen while homestays will provide breakfast and dinner. Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Service in the military in Germany is respected but due to the history of the armed forces in Germany not commemorated widely. We strongly advise students who are veterans and receive counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: In order to maintain good mental and physical help students can participate in various activities. It also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. On campus, a gym may be used at a minimal fee, and all sports offerings from the university are available to students. Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, public pools and more are readily available. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Women Abroad: By law, women are equal to men in Germany, however, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in German society.

Safety: Germany is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Greece

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Athens and Greece in general is not the most accessible place for people with disabilities. Auditory crosswalks are used in a rather limited area of the city, while restrooms in many of the restaurants and coffee places might be reachable through stairs only. The campus offers all the facilities for students using wheelchairs or crutches but moving around the city can turn out to be very difficult. Students with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments in Athens with step-free access if required.

Adult Students: Although most college students in Greece are between the ages of 18-24, AIFS and the American College of Greece welcome students of all ages. The Resident Director can help to connect you to organizations and associations on the campus and in the community that fit your interests.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Greece as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: LGBTQIA+ rights have evolved significantly over the last years, establishing Greece as one of the most liberal countries in South East Europe. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Greece since 1951. In 2015, civil unions (cohabitation agreements) were legalized for same-sex couples, making households headed by same-sex couples eligible for many, but not all, of the legal protections and rights available to married opposite-sex couples. Anti-discrimination laws have been extended to other spheres including gender identity. In 2018, the Greek Parliament passed a law granting same-sex couples the right to foster care children. The American College of Greece has an LGBTQIA+ Awareness Club which AIFS students are welcome to join and attend meetings and events.

Non-binary Students: In 2017, transgender people were granted the right to change their legal gender. In 2018, a county court in Greece granted a non-binary person the right to a gender-neutral name. There are usually no unisex bathrooms and gender-neutral housing is currently not available.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The American College of Greece provides counselling to students; if required, private clinics and English-speaking doctors as directed by the American Embassy in Greece are of service. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Greeks tend to consider themselves an amalgamation of Mediterranean ethnicities, including North African lineage. Even though the overall climate toward People of Color in Greece is supportive, People of Color are minoritized in Athens and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal.

Religion: The largest religious denomination in Greece is the Greek Orthodox Church, although there are many places of worship for other faiths – Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish, amongst others.

Students on a Budget: AIFS offers several activities included in your program fee. Your Resident Director can provide advice on discounted or affordable events taking place. Although students at The American College of Greece may not be eligible for as many student discounts as they might be in other European countries, entrances to museums and cultural centers are offered at relatively low prices in Greece.

Veterans: Greek males between the ages of 19 and 45 are required by law to perform military service for nine months. As such, service in the military is respected and is a part of the Greek culture. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: American College of Greece offers world-class athletic facilities, a fitness center, an Olympic size outdoor and indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, running track and soccer field. All students have free access. Complementary fitness areas exist in each residential building, except those on the campus. Councelling services are offered to all students. Greece is famous for its Meditarenean diet, fresh fruits and vegetables and there are farmer’s markets outside the residences every week.

Women Abroad: While modern Greek women have equal rights under Greek law, women are still subjected to traditional gender roles. Women are often responsible for housework and according to data from World Bank only about 45% of Greek women work. Women might receive unwanted attention or comments from local men. Generally, these comments don’t rise to the level of sexual harassment but can still cause some women to feel uncomfortable. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Greek society.

Safety: Greece is thought to be a very safe country and crime rates are low, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Pickpockets are an issue, especially in Athens; students should keep bags in eyesight and locked if possible.

Hungary

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Due to Budapest being an historic city, many streets, buildings and some historic attractions are not fully accessible. Streets are narrow, public transit is not accessible, and there are no auditory traffic signals. The AIFS office is not wheelchair accessible, however, we are able to carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings. AIFS is committed to finding housing that is wheelchair accessible as required.

Adult Students: Even though the majority of the students in the program and on campus are under 30 years old, the university welcomes students from all over the world and every age range. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Hungary has laws criminalizing discrimination and acts of violence based on gender identity and sexual orientation. However, hate crimes are not always persecuted very swiftly and culturally, Hungary seems to be behind more progressive European countries in regard to LGBTQIA+ rights and acceptance. Budapest itself has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary Students: Hungary has laws criminalizing discrimination and acts of violence based on gender identity and sexual orientation. However, hate crimes are not always persecuted very swiftly and culturally, Hungary seems to be behind more progressive European countries in regard to LGBTQIA+ rights and acceptance. Budapest itself has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Private counseling at an English language clinic is available and the host university has free counselling services available for AIFS students. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Hungary has some problems with racism similar to the countries of the region, particularly between the Hungarian majority and the Roma minority. People of Color may face social discrimination in various larger urban areas and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism, particularly in rural areas.

Religion: Most religious Hungarians are Christian. During consecutive election campaigns, there were Islamophobic aspects associated with the 2015 refugee crisis. Anti Semitism could be problematic in Hungary as in other neighboring countries in Central and Eastern Europe, due to historical legacies. Your Resident Director can provide you with more information on places of worship in Budapest.

Students on a Budget: Budapest can be a student’s paradise as it has a lower cost of living compared to other European cities. Students who have limited financial means have plenty of opportunity to experience the local culture inexpensively. With a student ID there are discounted rates for most museums, sports facilities and cultural offerings.

Veterans: Service in the military in Hungary is voluntary and respected. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: In order to maintain good mental and physical help students can participate in various activities. It is also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. There are several affordable gyms at walking distance from the campus as well as public pools and athletic centers. There are counselling services in English on campus and a teleconsultation service.

Women Abroad: Hungarian society is still conservative similar to the countries in the region, especially with regards to its views towards women in the workplace and wage equity. The younger generation of Hungarian women are leading a shift towards a more progressive interpretation of gender roles. Women visiting Hungary should not face major issues, but should be aware of the possibility of catcalling, disrespectful comments and unsolicited advances.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Ireland

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Dublin City University campus is fully accessible and Dublin’s compact city centre is mostly flat, with a few cobblestoned areas and a relatively accessible public-transport network, making it an attractive destination for people with disabilities. DCU was also the world’s first designated Autism Friendly University and is the first Irish University to introduce the JAM card, which allows people with a communication barrier to discreetly tell others that they need “Just A Minute.” The included excursion for the program has limited access for those who use a wheelchair.

Adult Students: Non-traditional age students are known as mature students in Ireland. Mature students may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or what interests, you will be able to meet some fellow like-minded people on this program.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Ireland as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of Irish life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ society in Ireland is among the most liberal in the world. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority passed same sex marriage into law in a national referendum. In recent years members of the trans community have also found greater acceptance. The LGBTQIA+ society enjoy a very safe social life in both gay bars and traditional bars.

Non-binary Students: The Gender Recognition Act of 2015, passed throughout the Republic of Ireland, legalised gender changes without requirement of medical intervention or assessment. Non-binary students in Dublin will be able to find supportive groups, and there are lots of efforts being made by individuals, communities and political parties for further changes of inclusion. There are plenty of unisex bathrooms on campus but this is not common in all bars, restaurants and public areas.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Ireland is a very welcoming country and has a growing number of diverse populations, especially within the capital city, Dublin. DCU welcomes international students to their campuses, and actively endeavors to create equality of access to under-represented groups through their Access Service, particularly for those from racial and ethnic minorities through their Race Equality Hub. People of Color are minoritized in Dublin and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal.

Religion: Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. However, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Muslim, Jewish and others. Students should feel well supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Ireland.

Students on a Budget: Dublin can be an expensive place in which to live. To counteract this, we always provide a variety of free activities included in the social program. There are also a lot of opportunities in Dublin to experience local culture inexpensively. From free museums to student discounts in shops, some sports facilities and many cultural offerings.

Veterans: In Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. If you experience PTSD, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psycho-therapists who can be of help. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Health and Wellbeing, as it is referred to in Ireland, is widely celebrated and encouraged amongst all generations with a range of local and national inititaives. Dedicated time periods are designated to build awareness in areas such as mental health and breast cancer (to name a few). The DCU Sports Complex facilities are free of charge for students, with a wide range of offerings including pool, tepidarium, sauna, steam room, spa pool, sports halls and studios as well as a fitness center.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Some women experience unwanted attention including whistles or comments made when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Irish society.

Safety: Dublin and Ireland as a whole are considered safe, however, it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with physical disabilities should find it easy getting around the wheelchair friendly campus and around Limerick City. Some pedestrian crossings at traffic light systems have audio/visual/sensory assisted technologies. Keep in mind, some tourist sites such as the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and various castles are not accessible. The University has a Disability Services Office which is available to AIFS students.

Adult Students: Non-traditional age students are known as mature students in Ireland. They account for a notable percentage of the student body and take part in many of the clubs and societies on campus.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Ireland as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar. The University has student support offices which can be used by AIFS students.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ society in Ireland is among the most liberal in the world. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority passed same sex marriage into law in a national referendum. In recent years members of the trans community have also found greater acceptance. There is a student organization that hosts events and can provide opportunities to connect with other LGBTQIA+ students on campus.

Non-binary Students: For students who have a non-binary gender, there are currently no efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun. There are some unisex bathrooms on campus but this is not common in bars, restaurants or public areas. Efforts are being made by individuals, communities and political parties for further inclusion.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Ireland is a very welcoming country and has a growing number of diverse populations. However, students may find that there is less racial sensitivity in some places than in the U.S. People of Color are minoritized in Limerick and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal.

Religion: Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. However, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Muslim, Jewish and others. Students should feel well supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Ireland.

Students on a Budget: There are a lot of opportunities in Limerick to experience local culture inexpensively. Entrance to many of the city’s attractions is free and others offer a student discount. Students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Limerick and exploring local culture.

Veterans: In Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psycho-therapists who can be of help. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Health and Wellbeing as it is referred to in Ireland is widely celebrated and encouraged amongst all generations. Students at the University of Limerick enjoy free membership to the UL Sports arena – one of the best facilities in the country. Students can avail of additional fitness classes at a minimal cost. There are always local and national inititaives to promote health and wellbeing in Ireland. Dedicated time periods to areas such as mental health and breast cancer (to name a few) are allocated to promote awareness.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Unwanted remarks or inappropriate comments are not tolerated and should be reported. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Irish society.

Safety: Limerick and Ireland as a whole are considered safe, however, students should follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States. The UL campus is very safe and has a 24/7 campus security in operation. It is also policed by the local gardai.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. All classrooms are wheelchair friendly in Maynooth University and the university offers specific support for students using a wheelchair. All public transport accommodates passengers with disabilities. Wheelchair friendly taxis are readily available. Some accessible housing options exist. Although the AIFS office is not accessible, we carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings for students who use wheelchairs.

Adult Students: Maynooth University has the highest percentage of mature students compared to all other Irish universities so there is plenty of opportunity to meet students in your own age group. Many clubs and societies offer opportunities to make friends with fellow students. Maynooth University has its own office for mature students.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Ireland as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ society in Ireland is among the most liberal in the world. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority passed same sex marriage into law in a national referendum. In recent years members of the trans community have also found greater acceptance. The University has a Pride Society and a Purpose Movement Society, both of which host events and can provide opportunities to connect with other LGBTQIA+ students at the University.

Non-binary Students: For students who have a non-binary gender, there are currently no efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun. to introduce a neutral pronoun. There are some unisex bathrooms on campus but this is not common in bars, restaurants or public areas. A lot of effort is being made by individuals, communities and political parties to increase inclusion.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Maynooth University offers a free counselling service to all students in need of help. Students can connect via the Mental Health Society on campus. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Ireland is a very welcoming country and has a growing number of diverse populations. However, students may find that there is less racial sensitivity in some places than in the U.S. People of Color are minoritized in Maynooth and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal. Maynooth University has a Purpose Movement Society and clubs for students of diverse backgrounds which host events and can provide opportunities to connect with other students at the University.

Religion: Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. However, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Muslim, Jewish and others. Students should feel well supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Ireland. The University has several faith-focused groups which host events and can provide an opportunity to connect with other students in the community.

Students on a Budget: Maynooth University offers a free budgeting and financial advice service for all students. Museums in Ireland are free, and there are many free and discounted activites offered through the university. During orientation students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Maynooth and exploring local culture.

Veterans: In Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. If you experience PTSD, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psycho-therapists who can be of help. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Health and Wellbeing as it is referred to in Ireland is widely celebrated and encouraged amongst all generations. There is a student health centre on campus that is free for students to use. This includes seeing a doctor or nurse and counselling. Students get access to the university gym, that includes a weights room. There are also a number of sporting clubs that are free for students to join.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Unwanted remarks or inappropriate comments are not tolerated and should be reported. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Irish society.

Safety: Maynooth and Ireland as a whole is considered safe, however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States.

Italy

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Florence presents numerous challenges for visitors with disabilities trying to get around town, including cobblestones, hills, and few public transportation options. The campus is not wheelchair accessible. Awareness of accessibility issues and a culture of inclusion are steadily expanding, and the city is slowly implementing services such as accessible pedestrian signals at crosswalks (currently available only in some parts of the city center) and advice centers/resources for additional support. Students in the program are housed in local residential apartments which are not equipped for wheelchair users, however, AIFS staff is committed to finding alternative housing. Excursions and local visits can be wheelchair-accessible if needed. Most the restaurants on the meal plan are also accessible.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. On site staff can provide you with more information on this.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in the Italian higher education system as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar. The on-site program will supply resources such as engagement opportunities, personalized support, contacts with professionals providing expertise in a variety of content-related areas, keynote speakers. In class, group projects and active learning are regularly incorporated in the curricula.

LGBTQIA+: Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and regarded as increasingly culturally liberal, while some instances of homophobia may still occur. Same-sex unions have been legally recognized since 2016. In Florence there are several ways to get involved and stay informed through community groups. You will find some bars and clubs around town catering to the community, but the nightlife is quite mixed.

Non-binary Students: There are currently no efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun into the Italian language to use for those who identify outside the gender binary. This is due both to the structure of the Italian language and to the sociological and religious context of a predominantly Catholic country. Italy does not recognize a third gender. In Florence, gender-neutral accommodations like bathrooms are rare; on campus, students will find female and male bathrooms, as required by Italian law in public spaces. Although AIFS in Florence does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. During orientation week an English-speaking psychologist meets students to discuss mental health concerns and challenges that may arise during their time abroad. We strongly advise students who have counseling at home to discuss with their home doctor implementing a mental health plan while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: People of Color are minoritized in Florence and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. The city of Florence operates a help-line (open all days) for anyone experiencing an act of racism, hate-crime or discrimination, which will gather information and direct to any assistance the city may be able to offer.

Religion: Students should feel supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Italy. Italy has historically been an overwhelmingly Catholic country but this is now changing as significant numbers of Italians now self-identify as non-practicing or atheists. Islam is not recognized by the Italian State as a religion, there are only eight mosques in all of Italy, but many cultural centers and prayer rooms. The AIFS office staff will provide you with contacts to places of worship for your specific faith and a general list of places can be also found in the student handbook.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are plenty of opportunities in Florence to experience local culture for free or inexpensively. The program and many classes arrange social and cultural activities in which students can participate for free or with a small contribution. Many museums offer free entrance on specific days. Students who have limited financial means can also benefit from the Meal Plan offered by the school. The vouchers they receive will allow them to experience and enjoy many restaurants as well as the traditional “trattorie.” Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Italy celebrates its veterans with the marking of the end of World War I with its National Unity and Armed Forces Day. Since Italy spent the bulk of the war fighting the Austro-Hungarian Empire and peace on the Italian Front was separate from the rest of the Western Front, the end of the war – and Italy’s veterans – are celebrated on Nov. 4.

We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: In order to maintain good mental and physical help students can participate in various activities. It also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. There is no gym or other sports facilities on campus. However, students can find a variety of gyms, yoga studios, public pools and other sport facilities throughout the city of Florence. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. Around mid-semester the local staff and director organize a session for reflecting on the challenges encountered during the experience abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Sometimes women may experience unwanted attention and harassment in the form of cat calling and other forms of objectification by local men. It is recommended to ignore these advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Italian society.

Safety: Italy is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Resident Director will provide you with more details during orientation.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Rome presents numerous challenges for visitors with disabilities trying to get around town, including cobblestones, few curbs, hills, and few public transportation options.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Your Resident Director can provide you with information.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in the Italian higher education system as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help them to navigate the new academic environment they will encounter while studying at the Global Education Center and the day-to-day aspects of Italian cultural life which might be unfamiliar. Our staff are here to support you as you transition to being a student abroad – please ask for help if you’re feeling unsure.

LGBTQIA+: Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and regarded as increasingly culturally liberal, while some instances of homophobia may still occur. Same-sex unions have been legally recognized since 2016. Rome does have an unofficial “gay street,” which is filled with plenty of bars and clubs. Information is available in the student coordinator’s office.

Non-binary Students: Italian, as with other romance languages, presents challenges for inclusivity of non-binary genders in that grammatically there only exists masculine and feminine. There are currently no efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun into the Italian language, this is due to the structure of Italian and also to the sociological and religious context of a predominantly Catholic country.

Staff and faculty have had experience with non-binary students and will do their best to ensure that students will be protected and respected.

Although AIFS in Rome does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, students are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. During orientation week an English-speaking psychologist meets students to discuss mental health concerns and challenges that may arise during their time abroad. We strongly advise students who have counseling at home to discuss with their home doctor implementing a mental health plan while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: People of Color are minoritized in Rome and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff.

Religion: Rome is the hub of Roman Catholicism and where the Pope resides. Roman Catholics and other Christians make up the vast majority of the population, though only one-third of those are practicing Catholics. Students should feel supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Italy. Islam is not recognized by the Italian State as a religion, there are only eight mosques in all of Italy, but many cultural centers and prayer rooms. Information is provided in the Rome student handbook that all students receive upon arrival and is available in the student’s lab.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are plenty of opportunities in Rome to experience local culture for free or inexpensively. The program-arranged social and cultural activities include free events or for a small fee. Every first Sunday of the month museum entrance is free. There are also many free events happening all year round, as well as discounted tickets for concerts, theater, and exhibits.

Your Resident Director will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Italy celebrates its veterans with the marking of the end of World War I with its National Unity and Armed Forces Day. Since Italy spent the bulk of the war fighting the Austro-Hungarian Empire and peace on the Italian Front was separate from the rest of the Western Front, the end of the war – and Italy’s veterans – are celebrated on Nov. 4.

We strongly advise students who have counseling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counselors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: The AIFS Rome Center fosters student connectivity and understanding of all aspects of personal wellbeing, not only physical but also emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, and occupational.

Rome offers a variety of sport and wellness centers that students may join during their stay. Gyms, yoga and mindfulness studios, tennis courts, public pools and more are readily available near the campus and student housing. Your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interest. Students needing support for mental health problems, can easily connect with experienced English-speaking counselors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Sometimes women may experience unwanted attention and harassment in the form of cat calling and other forms of objectification by local men. It is recommended to ignore these advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Italian society.

Safety: Italy is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Resident Director will provide you with more details during orientation.

New Zealand

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The campus is accessible although the area around is hilly. Most sidewalks have curb cuts as well as crosswalks with visual and auditory signals. Wellington has a compact, flat city center and most attractions and public buildings are easily accessed. Many tourist attractions provide wheelchair access, although outside the city that may vary. Students with access or mobility limitations can be housed in accessible student residences in Wellington if required

Adult Students: A portion of VU’s student population is considered mature aged, meaning that students of non-traditional age will feel at home and welcomed on campus. On-site staff can provide you with more information on clubs and events that are popular with mature students.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in the New Zealand higher education system as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter at Victoria University and the day-to-day aspects of Kiwi life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Some deem New Zealand to be the embodiment of LGBTQIA+ acceptance because of its safe and welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQIA+ visitors. Same sex couples were able to marry as of 2013, and the laws (which are generally enforced) prohibit abuse, discrimination, and acts of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. UniQ is Victoria University’s queer/rainbow representative group and a social and supportive space for queer students and their friends. Rural communities tend to be more conservative.

Non-binary Students: New Zealand passports offer “X” as a gender descriptor since 2012. Non-binary pronouns are slowly being introduced but are not widely used. There are gender neutral bathrooms throughout Victoria campuses, and these are slowly becoming more widely available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. If you ever encounter any problems, or discrimination, please talk to AIFS staff who will help you find support.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The university offers adaptive technologies, accessible exam facilities and note taking services. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: New Zealand is a multicultural society that embraces diversity and is well known for being progressive. However, People of Color are minoritized in Wellington and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and should be reported to on-site staff.

Religion: New Zealand is considered one of the most secular destination countries in the world. Freedom and tolerance of various religions is widely accepted and practiced. Less than half of the population is affiliated with Christianity, although religion in New Zealand includes a wide range of religious beliefs. Victoria University has several spiritual clubs and organizations that students are welcome to join.

Students on a Budget: We understand some students may have limited financial means, and that New Zealand can be an expensive place in which to live. The program provides a variety of free or subsidized activities, so that all participants have an equal opportunity to attend. Student discounts are widely available at tourist attractions and museums, theatres and art galleries. Victoria University also has an extensive cultural calendar which is available to students for free or at a reduced rate.

Veterans: Service in the military in New Zealand is well respected and that service is appreciated through holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Health and Wellbeing, as it is referred to in New Zealand, is widely celebrated and encouraged amongst all generations with a range of local and national initiatives. Particularly popular are outdoor sports and activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking, etc. in the famously stunning natural landscapes throughout New Zealand. Victoria University Wellington has a comprehensive recreation centre which is available to students at a discounted rate, as well as support groups and centres on campus for mental health/wellbeing.

Women Abroad: New Zealand is a destination where women enjoy the same legal status and rights as men. The government is socially liberal on reproductive rights and provides women the ability to manage their reproductive health. The law criminalizes rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in New Zealand society.

Safety: It is recommended that students follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. The VUSafe app is available to staff and students at the university and information on this and other advice will be provided by your Resident Director during orientation.

Portugal

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Most of Lisbon is located on steep hills with cobblestone streets and narrow sidewalks. Some public transport is wheelchair accessible. However, the vast majority of the city’s key attractions as well as many of its more modern buildings do have ramps and other accommodations for people with mobility challenges. AIFS is committed to finding student accommodations that are wheelchair accessible as needed and can carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet some like-minded people

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Portugal as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of Portuguese life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: In 2010, Portugal became the sixth European country to legalize same-sex marriage and is generally considered to be a gay-friendly country. Lisbon has some of the best LGBTQIA+ networks and nightlife in all of Portugal. Lisbon also hosts many gay-pride events including a Queer Lisboa film festival in September and Gay Pride parades in June. While Portugal’s major cities are very accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community, in smaller cities and rural communities, public displays of affection may be less accepted.

Non-binary Students: Portugal legalised gender changes without requirement of medical intervention or assessment in 2018. There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Portugal, however, in the Portuguese language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. Most non-binary people use the -@ to indicate gender neutrality.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Lisbon has a lot of immigration from other European countries, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, people of Color are minoritized in Lisbon and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and should be reported to on-site staff.

Religion: Portugal is a predominantly Catholic country with 81% of its inhabitants identifying as Roman Catholics. However, Portugal’s constitution does provide for freedom of religion and worship and prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion and students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith.

Students on a Budget: Lisbon is the most expensive city in Portugal but is only moderately expensive when compared to other large cities across Europe. In addition to the many activities and sites that students can visit and participate in for free, many of Lisbon’s main attractions offer discounts to students. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Lisbon and exploring local culture during orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: The military are celebrated through various events during the year. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: In order to maintain good mental and physical help students can participate in various activities. It also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Sometimes women experience unwanted attention in public when walking along the street including whistles, sexist comments, or other sounds made when walking past. It is recommended to ignore these advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Portuguese society.

Safety: Lisbon is considered to be very safe, however, students should follow safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Pickpocketing is the most common crime in Lisbon.

Spain

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly and provide you with the right support and information. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Barcelona is a city well prepared for people with physical disabilities. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals and ramps, especially in the central district. Public transportation, the streets and the different University campuses are adapted to receive students with special needs. Students with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments or dorms with step-free access if required.

Adult Students: Students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. It is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. LGBTQIA+ people have a strong base within Barcelona. There are associations promoting activities as well as providing support to those who need it. However, students may experience that in some areas of Spain and Barcelona, LGBTQIA+ people are still not accepted and rarely may encounter insults or other types of grievances.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms in the central district of the city.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The university offers adaptive technologies, accessible exam facilities and note taking services. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Barcelona has a lot of immigration from other European countries, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Barcelona and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Students of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language. In Barcelona there are a few groups and institutions for different ethnicities that organize events and meetings. Barcelona itself is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city where all ethnicities are accepted and can find support groups, food, religion, etc.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Barcelona to experience local culture inexpensively or with a great student discount. Each week staff will share with students free or cheap options for cultural events.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness:

Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available at low cost or with special discounts for students. Your Resident Director will be able to provide a list and suggestions for art workshops and other clubs and societies.

If you need mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Barcelona is considered safe, however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The city of Granada and the university have curb cuts, crosswalks with auditory and visual signals, ramps at campus and in tourist areas. Accessible public transport is available. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as required.

Adult Students: You may find people of all ages in your classes, in bars, and out at night. This may surprise American students and they often comment how well people of different ages mix in Granada. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. Granada has always been an open-minded, accepting city. The LGTBQIA+ scene in Granada is one of the most varied and plentiful in all of Andalusia.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms in the central district of the city.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. The international clinic in Granada has services with an English-speaking psychologist. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Granada is a multicultural city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Granada and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Students of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: Granada is, first and foremost, a university city. Over 65,000 of its population are students. As a result, a lively student atmosphere has flourished here, giving rise to the development of a modern, multicultural and vibrant study destination that welcomes people from all backgrounds. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Granada and exploring local culture. During the AIFS program, students will be able to join the weekly cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Granada University has sport facilities in one of their buildings which includes all the activities offered, students can join for a small fee. Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available, your Resident Director will be able to provide a list of places for your specific interests. If you need any mental health support, the international clinic in Granada has services with an English-speaking psychologist. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Granada is considered safe, however, students should follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals, and ramps, especially in the central district. Public transport is mostly accessible, as are many restaurants and larger shopping centers in the city center. Students with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments or homestay families in Madrid with step-free access if needed and the AIFS office is accessible.

Adult Students: Since Madrid is such a cosmopolitan city, there is a wide range of clubs and groups where an older student can feel comfortable in. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. It is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation in Spain led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the different academic procedures while studying at the Universidad Nebrija and the day-to-day aspects of Spanish cultural life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. Madrid has its own LGBTQIA+ neighborhoods, even so, PDAs by same-sex couples are very common all over the city. Madrid is considered one of Europe’s gay capitals.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms but not many.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Madrid has a lot of immigration from other European countries, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Madrid and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Students of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language. The university has a large number of international students from other European countries, Latin America, China and Korea. Madrid AIFS program includes Intercultural workshops to facilitate the development of intercultural skills.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: There are a lot of opportunities to enjoy life in Madrid and Spain that are free or inexpensive. The university ID allows you free entrance to the most important museums of Madrid, and many events are available at a student discount. The AIFS provided personal public transport card gives students access to nearby towns and nature spots for a small monthly fee. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Madrid and exploring local culture. During the AIFS program, students will be able to join the cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: On campus, there’s a Sports Club available to students. Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available.

If you need any support for mental health problems, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Madrid is considered safe, however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Salamanca is trying to adapt the streets and buildings to making them accessible for all, the city’s age and UNESCO World Heritage status is hindering the progress. Public transport is mostly accessible. AIFS has welcomed students with physical disabilities on previous programs in Salamanca and accommodation with wheelchair access is available at the university student residence for an extra fee. Please contact the AIFS Program Advisor or Program Manager if you require this option so that we are aware of your specific requirements and can make arrangements.

Adult Students: You may find people of all ages in your classes, in bars, and out at night. This may surprise American students and they often comment how well people of different ages mix in Granada. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. Here in Salamanca most of the clubs and bars readily accept students and people from all walks of life with open arms.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms in the central district of the city.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Although most U.S. Travelers of Color to Spain do not report experiencing obvious racism, People of Color are minoritized in Salamanca and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Students of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: The University of Salamanca has a culture department that offers the student community a variety of movies, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, and more, most of them are free or they have special prices for students. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Salamanca and exploring local culture. During the AIFS program, students will be able to join the cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, and more are readily available, your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interests.

If you need any mental health support, we will do our best to put the student in contact with an English-speaking psychologist. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Salamanca is considered safe, however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The city of Seville and the university have curb cuts, crosswalks with auditory and visual signals, ramps at campus and in tourist areas. Public transport is accessible. Students with access or mobility limitations can be housed in homestay families in Seville with step-free access if required.

Adult Students: You may find people of all ages in your classes, in bars, and out at night. This often surprises American students and they often comment how well people of different ages mix in Seville. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. The LGTBQIA+ scene in Seville is one of the most varied and plentiful in all of Andalusia.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. Seville has a number of English-speaking counsellors and therapists if you feel the need to speak with someone outside the program. They can assist with culture shock, homesickness, bereavement and much more. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Although most U.S. Travelers of Color to Spain do not report experiencing obvious racism, People of Color are minoritized in Seville and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. Some students from Latin American heritage studying in Spain have reported feelings of isolation due to their use of Spanish language. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the AIFS on-site staff.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: Seville is a university city with over 70,000 students. As a result, a lively student atmosphere has flourished here, giving rise to the development of a modern, multicultural and vibrant study destination that welcomes people from all backgrounds. It is one of the most economical European cities for students to live in, offering discounts of up to 50% on tickets to monuments or places of interest for students under 25 years old and different free events throughout the year. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Seville and exploring local culture at orientation and throughout the program and students will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Near the campus and student housing, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, and more are readily available, your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interests.

If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Seville is considered safe, however, students should follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access & Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Valencia as a city is very wheelchair friendly. Many new buildings have wheelchair access and the pedestrianized walkway along the seafront has many restaurants with wheelchair access and bathrooms. Public transportation has wheelchair access and adapted taxis are available. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals, and ramps, especially in the central district. Buses and most of the subway stations, have step-free access for individuals with physical disabilities such as ramps and elevators. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as required.

Adult Students: You may find people of all ages in your classes, in bars, and out at night. Although students of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. AIFS staff can help students find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

First Generation: The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Spain as it is in the US, so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help you to navigate the new academic environment you will encounter and the day-to-day aspects of local life which might be unfamiliar.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. Valencia is very gay friendly and in some respects that means there is less of a separate scene than you may find in other cities. LGBTQIA+ people have a strong base within Valencia. There are associations promoting activities as well as providing support to those who need it.

Non-binary Students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. While there are some unisex bathrooms in the central district of the city, it is not usually an issue to use a bathroom of choice.

Neurological Diversity & Mental Health:

If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race & Ethnicity: Valencia has a lot of immigration from other European countries, Asia, Latin America and Africa, and it makes the city a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Valencia and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Students of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Students on a Budget: For students who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Valencia to experience local culture inexpensively or with a great student discount. All students will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Valencia and exploring local culture. During the AIFS program, students will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Valencia has great resources for health and wellbeing including gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, spas, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available, your Resident Director will be able to provide a list with places for your specific interests. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Valencia is considered safe, however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Internship

Australia

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Sydney is one of Australia’s oldest cities, but accessibility is continuously improving. Many attractions throughout the city are accessible to visitors of all abilities with restrooms, and elevators for those with mobility concerns. In Sydney, most public transport services are accessible, including ferries, buses, the light rail, trains, and taxis- buses and taxis that are accessible will be marked. The city has a dedicated website for accessibility, so people can find museums, gardens, beaches, and the most accessible travel and transportation options: https://www.sydney.com/accessibility. Crosswalks are common and are often accompanied with audible and vibrotactile features.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. History, music, art, architecture, gardens, theater, sport, language, and film are just some of the activities that you can find yourself drawn towards while abroad. Interns going to Australia must be 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries) to qualify for the necessary visa.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, internship offices, and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Ensuring that the LGBTQIA+ community feels truly valued, happy, and safe is of great importance to the Sydney government. Aussie society is generally accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. Laws protect LGBTQIA+ individuals from hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. Sydney is the LGBTQIA+ center of Australasia and the South Pacific and has developed a global reputation for its inclusivity. Sydney has one of the largest LGBTQIA+ communities in the country. In 2013 The Gillard Labor government published guidelines which enable intersex people to list their gender as ‘x’ in their passports. The guidelines also allow transgender people to choose their preferred gender regardless of medical interventions. Though Australia only legalized gay marriage in 2017, the country has long been a welcoming place for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary Interns: Individuals were able to select non-binary on the Australian Census for the first time in 2021. Respondents also have the choice to select both non-binary and another gender. Australian laws and policies are being introduced to allow people to be recognized as ‘X’ or ‘non-binary’. Non-binary pronouns are slowly being introduced but are not widely used. Gender neutral bathrooms are slowly becoming available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. Although Global Experiences in Sydney does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible. 

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise any interns who regularly visit a counsellor at home to discuss a mental health plan before the internship program begins. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in Australia and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Today the population of Australia consists of more than 270 ethnic groups. British continue to make up the majority of the population in Australia, followed by other European and Asian ethnicities, and only 3% of the population being Aboriginal and Native Australians. According to the 2021 Census Australia is home to over 25 million people, 21.5% of which are Millennials and 18.2% fall within the Gen Z age range. Sydney has a population of over 5 million people. All of us at Global Experiences are very confident that no matter your background, you will feel at home in Sydney and have a fulfilling and inspiring experience. However, if interns should feel unsafe or experience microaggressions or racism, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff.

Religion: Australia is a secular country, with a high degree of religious freedom and religious diversity. Christianity currently makes up the largest religious group in Australia with 43.9% of the population, followed by 38.9% of the population reporting to have no religious affiliation (2021 Census). Religious institutions continue to play a large role in Australian society. Many primary and secondary schools, hospitals, aged-care facilities, and charity organizations are owned and funded by religious organizations. The Location Coordinator and the rest of the Global Experiences team can provide you with information on places of worship for all faiths in Sydney.

Interns on a Budget: In the city, there is a huge range of free and/or discounted activities from which to choose. You can visit museums, galleries, historic points, attend walking tours, Royal Botanic Gardens, and so much more for free or discounted prices. Sydney’s public transit has daily and weekly travel caps, which means you can travel all day on metro, train, bus, ferry and light rail services and pay no more than the designated amount (approximately $16 AUD Monday- Friday, $8 AUD Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays). During orientation and throughout the program all interns will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Sydney and exploring local culture. Interns will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee. Prior to arrival interns have access to a budget calculator on their intern portal. 

Veterans: More than half a million Australians have reported they have served or are currently serving in the Australian Defense Force. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The Global Experiences Intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: Sydney is a very easy city to run and walk in, with countless green spaces and parks. Organic food, allergy-free and fresh produce is sold in all supermarkets. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Global Experiences also offers their interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees. 

Women Abroad: The NSW government is committed to women’s safety, they have budgeted $30m to improve outdoor infrastructure, such as lighting and CCTV cameras, across the state to help make the region safer for women. The law criminalizes rape and prohibits sexual harassment.

Safety: Australia is a very safe country and according to the Global Peace Index, Sydney is the fifth safest city in the world. However, it is recommended that interns follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

Costa Rica

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. By law, individuals with disabilities must have equal conditions of quality, opportunity, rights and duties. However, not all buildings or public transport are accessible yet. Most communities do not have sidewalks, and very few have ramps.

Homestays are accessible as are hotels on excursions. Some activities may be challenging for interns with mobility limitations due to uneven terrain, especially when visiting some rain forest areas and more remote locations. In addition, Costa Ricans sometimes give nicknames to people based on their physical characteristics, including disabilities, and interns may experience prejudice or jokes about their disability.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: In Costa Rica, almost half of its college student/intern population is non-traditional age. People study and work at the same time to provide for their families. For this reason, there are no specific groups or clubs for older interns as it is already part of the local culture.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: There is no legal prohibition of homosexuality in Costa Rica. The country recognizes transgender people in the Costa Rican ID and since 2020 same-sex marriage is legal. However, there still remains a degree of intolerance in a very conservative Costa Rican society.

Non-binary Interns: For interns who have a non-binary gender, there are efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun. The AIFS San José office has neutral bathrooms. In the city, there are some unisex bathrooms but not many. The AIFS San José and Veritas Housing coordination will accommodate the interns based on the interns preferences and needs.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees. Veritas offers psychological support on campus with an English-speaking mental health professional. Interns should approach their Location Coordinator if they feel they need professional help while in Costa Rica.

Race and Ethnicity: In June 2015, the country celebrated the declaration of Costa Rica in its political constitution as a multi-ethnic and pluricultural state, as an advance in respect for diversity and human rights of the entire population. In October 2019, Costa Rica implemented a new law that penalizes acts of racism in national sport events. People of Color are minoritized in Costa Rica and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff. Costa Rican culture is not politically correct, so a stranger might refer to your skin color (or body complexion) to draw your attention and start talking to you.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the religion of Costa Rica (it is even noted in the Constitution), there are many places of worship for other faiths – Evangelic, Muslim, Jewish, amongst others. It is important to take into account that Veritas University may not grant exemptions for religious festivities or holidays to be absent from class; this will be analyzed case by case. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with a list of places of worship for all faiths while in San José.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of inexpensive opportunities in San José to experience local culture. There are markets, parks, certain sport facilities and several places to hike for free in the region. San José is home to several museums which offer affordable entrance. The National Theater provides opportunities every week to see a show at a discounted rate. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Costa Rica has not had an army since December 1, 1948 and does not support any military organization or act. Members of the military from other countries will not receive any special attention in Costa Rica. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: Near the intern housing, gyms, public pools and more are readily available; your Location Coordinator will be able to provide a list of places for your specific interest.

Women Abroad: Women in Costa Rica enjoy almost equal status as men socially, however there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. Women’s increased educational achievement and life expectancy has not translated into improvements in economic opportunities or benefits. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Costa Rican society.

Safety: It is recommended that interns follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

France

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and  Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. French law requires local transport and public spaces to be accessible to those with mobility concerns. Although Paris has invested much money in recent years in modernizing its transportation and service-industry facilities to provide greater access, as an old city it can still prove challenging to those with physical disabilities. The metro is not fully accessible, but all buses have a ramp. Some intern accommodations have ground floor purpose-built rooms, which may be available on request. Some classrooms are accessible. The AIFS office is accessible only via a set of stairs and has no disabled bathroom facilities. However, alternative arrangements can be made to meet with students in wheelchair accessible locations. AIFS is committed to finding homestays that are wheelchair accessible as needed.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: There are a large number of English-speaking clubs in Paris which a mature intern may find interesting. The English-speaking community is very active, organizing a wide variety of cultural events, fundraisers and team sports to which new members are welcome.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Paris has a lively LGBTQIA+ community and is a very tolerant and sexually-open city. France has recognized same-sex civil unions since 1999. Laws protect individuals and groups from all hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality. The city hall website provides plenty of information in English about events, venues and activities of interest to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary Interns: The French language has introduced pronouns that are gender neutral but the broader French public is not fully aware of them and therefore their use is limited. Discussion of non-binary and transgender communities is an on-going conversation in France and with the growing social awareness is providing integration opportunities for all ages. Gender neutral bathrooms do exist (there is one in the AIFS office) but they are not common. There should be no problem however with using the bathroom of your choice. Paris offers several housing options and can easily cater for most requirements. Please check with local staff regarding any gender-related housing concerns.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. Students with mental health concerns should approach their Resident Director if they feel they need professional help while in Paris. We work with a network of fully trained English-speaking specialists who can provide a range of psychiatric services. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss this with their home doctor prior to departure. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Racism is not very prevalent in Paris although students may find that there is less racial sensitivity in France than in the U.S. People of Color are minoritized in Paris and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident to the AIFS on-site staff.

In reaction to World War II, the French law makes it illegal for the government to collect data on its citizens’ ancestry and ethnicity. However, many unofficial statistics can be found online.

Paris is considered one of the most diverse cities in Europe, and a large percentage of the population is foreign-born. The number of foreign residents that come from other EU countries covers approximately one third of Paris’ foreign residents, and there is also a large population of immigrants that come from African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. 

Religion: Although France is a predominantly Catholic country, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist amongst others. The American church in Paris organizes regular services as well as community activities. France is a secular state and obvious signs of religion are frowned upon in public.

Interns on a Budget: Paris can be a fairly expensive city but if you are a student intern you will automatically benefit from numerous reductions in cinemas, hair salons, and museums, etc. Affordable places to eat are all around the campus and in the Latin Quarter. In addition, many monuments and museums offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities during orientation and throughout the program and interns will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Veterans in Paris are a well-respected part of the community. We strongly advise interns who have counseling at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications).   If you experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), AIFS can organize consultations with an English-speaking mental-health professional. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: The French enjoy different sports and physical activity and as in many big cities, moving about Paris can often feel like a workout in itself! Local parks are beautiful places to run in and cycling is also possible. Healthy food, vegan and organic stores abound, whilst activities like yoga or pilates are readily available. Every district has an open-air food market twice a week in which locally grown, seasonal produce can be found.

Women Abroad: By law, equal status between women and men exists in France. However, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, prohibits sexual harassment, and provides civil penalties. While Paris is statistically a safe place for women, women travelers have been encouraged to avoid smiling at or making prolonged eye contact with men they do not know as in France, this may be interpreted as an invitation to make advances. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in French society.

Safety: France is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Germany

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Navigating Berlin with physical disabilities is possible but not always easy. Most traffic lights have auditory and visual signals, all busses and most other public transportation are accessible. New public buildings are accessible but most apartment buildings and many historic buildings all over Germany (and much of Europe) are only partially accessible. Accessible public restrooms are not widely available and require planning ahead.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. Berlin is a cosmopolitan city, there is a wide range of expat clubs and groups where an older intern can feel comfortable. However, reductions & discounts are typically only offered to those who are students under 26 years at most cultural institutions. Global Experiences staff are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Germany introduced a third gender choice for its citizens in 2019, same-sex marriage was made legal in 2017, and Berlin is considered a veritable mecca for LGBTQIA+ people with a rich cultural scene catering to all orientations and people. In Berlin there are many clubs and groups where interns can find support and connection with like-minded Germans.

Non-binary Interns: Germany introduced a third gender choice for its citizens in 2019, which has been helpful in making the broader public more aware of trans* equity issues. The German language is quite restrictive and there is no commonly used pronoun for non-binary people yet. While there are some unisex bathrooms, it is not usually an issue to use a bathroom of choice.

Staff have experience with non-binary interns and will do their best to ensure that interns will be protected and respected. Although Global Experiences in Berlin does not offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise interns who have counseling at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications). Counselling services are available for emergencies, but regular counselling will require a long waiting period. As such, interns who work with a counsellor are encouraged to make a plan with them for continuation while they are abroad.  The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Race and Ethnicity: Most of Berlin is very multi-cultural and US citizens in general are welcomed with open arms in Germany. There have been racially motivated attacks in Germany from time to time and racism and prejudice might be an issue. People of Color are minoritized in Germany and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. There are also support groups that your Location Coordinator can connect you with.

Religion: The main religion in Germany is Christianity, Protestant and Catholic. All other major religions are recognized in Germany. There are many places of worship in Berlin – Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Buddhist, amongst others. In Berlin and the surrounding Eastern States of Germany, most of the population has no religious affiliation.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Berlin to experience local culture inexpensively. There are countless free art galleries and history museums to explore around the city. Global Experiences offers many group outings that are already included in your fees. Interns have access to a fully functioning kitchen in the housing. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Service in the military in Germany is respected but due to the history of the armed forces in Germany it is not commemorated widely. We strongly advise interns who are veterans and receive counselling for PTSD at home to discuss a mental health plan with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad. The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: Berlin is a bike-friendly city and has countless green spaces and parks. Gyms, yoga studios, public pools, and more are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Global Experiences also offers interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: By law, women are equal to men in Germany, however, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, Global Experiences staff will discuss gender roles in German society.

Safety Abroad: Germany is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that interns follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.  Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

Ireland

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Dublin’s compact city centre is mostly flat, with a few cobblestoned areas and a relatively accessible public-transport network, making it an attractive destination for people with disabilities. The included excursions for the program may have limited access for those who use a wheelchair.

Non-traditional Age Interns: Non-traditional age or mature interns may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet fellow like-minded people on this program. Global Experiences staff are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ society in Ireland is among the most liberal in the world. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority passed same sex marriage into law in a national referendum. In recent years members of the trans community have also found greater acceptance. The LGBTQIA+ society enjoy a very safe social life in both gay bars and traditional bars.

Non-binary interns: The Gender Recognition Act of 2015, passed throughout the Republic of Ireland, legalizing gender changes without requirement of medical intervention or assessment. Non-binary interns in Dublin will be able to find supportive groups, and there are lots of efforts being made by individuals, communities and political parties for further changes of inclusion. Staff have experience with non-binary interns and will do their best to ensure that interns will be protected and respected. Although Global Experiences in Dublin does not offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss a mental health plan with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad. Counselling services are available for emergencies, but regular counselling will require a long waiting period. As such, interns who work with a counselor are encouraged to make a plan with them for continuation while they are abroad.  The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Ireland is a very welcoming country and has a growing number of diverse populations, especially within the capital city, Dublin. People of Color are minoritized in Dublin and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal.

Religion: Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. However, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Muslim, Jewish and others. Interns should feel well supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Ireland.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Dublin to experience local culture inexpensively. There are countless free art galleries and history museums to explore around the city. Global Experiences offers many group outings that are already included in your fees. Interns have access to a fully functioning kitchen in the housing. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: In Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. We strongly advise interns who are veterans and receive counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad. The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: Dublin is a very easy city to run and walk in, with countless green spaces and parks.  Organic food, allergy-free and fresh produce is sold in all supermarkets. Gyms, yoga studios, public pools, and more are readily available.  If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Global Experiences also offers their interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees. Most intern accommodations provide a gym or workout space for their residents.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Some women experience unwanted attention including whistles or comments made when walking past. During orientation, Global Experiences staff will discuss gender roles in Irish society.

Safety Abroad: Dublin and Ireland as a whole are considered safe; however, it is recommended that interns follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Navigating Galway with physical disabilities is possible but not always easy. Most traffic lights have auditory and visual signals, buses and most other public transportation are accessible. New public buildings are often accessible but many apartment buildings and historical buildings all over Ireland (and much of Europe) are only partially accessible. Accessible public restrooms are not always widely available and require planning ahead. The included excursions for the program may have limited access for those who use a wheelchair.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Non-traditional age interns are known as mature in Ireland. Mature interns may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet fellow like-minded people on this program. Global Experiences staff are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ society in Ireland is among the most liberal in the world. In May 2015, an overwhelming majority passed same sex marriage into law in a national referendum. In recent years members of the trans community have also found greater acceptance. The LGBTQIA+ society enjoy a very safe social life in both gay bars and traditional bars.

Non-binary interns: The Gender Recognition Act of 2015, passed throughout the Republic of Ireland, legalizing gender changes without requirement of medical intervention or assessment. Non-binary interns in Galway will be able to find supportive groups, and there are lots of efforts being made by individuals, communities, and political parties for further changes of inclusion. Staff have experience with non-binary interns and will do their best to ensure that interns will be protected and respected. Although Global Experiences in Galway does not offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. Counselling services are available for emergencies, but regular counselling will require a long waiting period. As such, interns who work with a counsellor are encouraged to make a plan with them for continuation while they are abroad.  The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Race and Ethnicity: Ireland is a very welcoming country and has a growing number of diverse populations. People of Color are minoritized in Galway and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal.

Religion: Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. However, there are many places of worship for other faiths – Muslim, Jewish and others. Interns should feel well supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Ireland.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Galway to experience local culture inexpensively. There are countless free galleries, museums, and events to explore around the city. Global Experiences offers many group outings that are already included in your fees. Interns have access to a fully functioning kitchen in the housing. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: In Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications). The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: Galway offers easy access to the outdoors. Gyms, yoga studios, public pools, and more are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Global Experiences also offers interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but serious assaults aren’t common. Some women experience unwanted attention including whistles or comments made when walking past. During orientation, Global Experiences staff will discuss gender roles in Irish society.

Safety Abroad: Galway and Ireland as a whole are considered safe; however, it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

Italy

Access and Mobility:  If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly and provide you with the right support and information. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Florence is a city not well prepared for people with physical disabilities.  Due to the ancient structure of the city most of the places have steps or stairs and there are not many elevators in the facilities.  Public transportation, streets, and different offices are not specifically adapted to receive interns with special needs but knowing it in advance can help the Global Experiences team to find the right apartments and offices if required. 

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Florence is one of the most diverse cities in ages and cultures. Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and especially those who take the time to engage with the locals throughout the program. Italy is known to be a sociable culture and the international environment of the city makes it very open to see a mixture of people of various ages interacting in the same group.

LGBTQIA+: Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and regarded as increasingly culturally liberal, while some instances of homophobia may still occur. Same-sex unions have been legally recognized since 2016. In Florence there are several ways to get involved and stay informed through community groups. You will find some bars and clubs around town catering to the community, but the nightlife is quite mixed.

Non-binary Interns: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Italy, however, there is no neutral pronoun in the Italian language. Gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Regarding housing, our staff is fully prepared and aware to adapt to the requests made in advance of those who ask for specific requests related to the needs of those who are non-binary.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise interns who have counseling at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications).

Race and Ethnicity: Italy is mainly populated by Italians. However, Florence has a lot of immigration from other European countries and mainly from Asia. There are also some Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. People of Color are minoritized in Florence and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. The city of Florence operates a helpline (open all days) for anyone experiencing an act of racism, hate-crime or discrimination, which will gather information and provide any assistance the city may be able to offer. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. 

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Italy, which is also the house of the Vatican, interns of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for students who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Florence to experience local culture inexpensively or with a great student discount, especially museums and cultural activities. One of the main attractions is culinary, tasty food on a good budget and therefore our onsite staff is crucial in providing information when it comes to deciding where to go to have the best experiences on a budget. 

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2005, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. However, those who want to join the police, the carabinieri, the customs service and even the fire brigade will still have to do one year of military service as professional soldiers, at a salary of €980. 

We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

Health and Wellness: Florence offers numerous opportunities to exercise outdoors, and it is something that a lot of local people do. Mainly, jogging and biking. You can also find gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available at low cost or with special discounts for interns who are students. Your Location Coordinator will be able to provide a list and suggestions for art workshops and other clubs and societies.

If you need mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fee.

Women Abroad: With 63.5 out of 100 points, Italy ranks 14th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index. Its score is 4.4 points lower than the EU’s score…. With 63.0 out of 100 points, Italy ranks 14th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index. However, society is still largely male-dominated. Within the family dynamic, the man is usually the patriarch and considered the primary income earner. Traditionally, a woman was expected to fulfill roles of matrimony and motherhood. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Italian society.

Safety Abroad: Florence is considered safe; however, interns should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. The city is difficult to get around with mobility issues, but not impossible. Not all buildings in the city have access for people with mobility issues. There are apps to plan your transit route and to book special transportation if needed. Taxis can be booked in advance with wheelchair access. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Housing can be mobility accessible, if organized in advance. Global Experiences staff is committed to finding alternative housing. 

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are a wide range of expat clubs and groups where an older intern can feel comfortable. However, student intern reductions are typically only offered to students under 25 years at most cultural institutions, and for discounted transit passes.

LGBTQIA+: Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and regarded as increasingly culturally liberal, while some instances of homophobia may still occur. Milan has a large international population making it a welcoming city for all people including those in the LGBTQIA+ community. A civil union law was passed in May 2016, providing same-sex couples with many of the rights of marriage.

Non-binary Interns: There are currently no efforts to introduce a neutral pronoun into the Italian language to use for those who identify outside the gender binary. This is due both to the structure of the Italian language and to the sociological and religious context of a predominantly Catholic country. Italy does not recognize a third gender. Although Global Experiences does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. During orientation week an English-speaking psychologist meets interns to discuss mental health concerns and challenges that may arise during their time abroad. We strongly advise interns who have counseling at home to discuss with their home doctor implementing a mental health plan while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Milan is a large international city where you will hear people speaking many different languages. There are a variety of diverse cultural activities happening around the city all the time. You can find a large range of diverse cultural restaurants as well. People of Color are minoritized in Milan and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident.

Religion: Italy has historically been an overwhelmingly Catholic country but this is now changing as significant numbers of Italians. Students should feel supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Italy. Islam is not recognized by the Italian State as a religion, there are only eight mosques in all of Italy, but many cultural centers and prayer rooms.

Interns on a Budget: There are a large variety of free events offered throughout the year in Milan! The first Sunday of each month all the city’s museums are free to access. Many events are publicized on the city’s website and through their social media. Student intern reductions are available for public transport and to access most museums or cultural centres. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Italy celebrates its veterans with the marking of the end of World War I with its National Unity and Armed Forces Day. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: There are many fitness and wellness centres available around the city. All are private and have a fee to gain access to classes or courses. Appointments can be booked in advance to see a psychologist or speak with a medical professional about mental health. English language counselling is available.

Women Abroad: Milan is a huge international city but is considered to be safe for women and men alike. During orientation, Global Experiences staff will discuss gender roles in Italian society.

Safety Abroad: Italy is thought to be a very safe country, but it is recommended that students follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States. Milan is considered to be a safe city, but everyone should always be aware of their surroundings and keep their personal items close by (closing purse while on public transit, not leaving your phone in your back pocket…). Your Location Coordinator can provide you with more details.

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Many buildings, in Rome do not have elevators and when they do it is usually really small. Rome streets and sidewalks can be difficult to navigate in a wheelchair or with a walking stick. There are a lot of uneven cobblestone streets, broken curbs, and non-existing or narrow sidewalks.

Most of Rome’s popular attractions have at least some accessibilities for people with limited mobility or in a wheelchair. Rome’s metro system has several locations around Rome with elevators/lifts and access for the disabled. Several of Rome’s buses have facilities for the disabled.  It’s not always easy to arrange for a taxi with facilities for disabled as there are not many who accessible to wheelchairs.

Few crosswalks have the audio signals.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Italy is considered a gay-friendly country and regarded as increasingly culturally liberal, while some instances of homophobia may still occur. There are many support groups around the city. Same-sex unions have been legally recognized since 2016. Rome does have an unofficial “gay street,” which is filled with plenty of bars, clubs, and different events. Information is available in the student coordinator’s office.

Non-binary students: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Italy, however, in the language gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e or -* as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people.

It is not very common to find gender-neutral bathrooms and there may be issues in using a bathroom of choice, especially in some neighbourhoods. Gender-mixed houses are very common for students.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Students with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. 

Race and Ethnicity: Rome is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city, thanks to migration of communities from all over the world. Although Rome’s population is predominantly white, most ethnicities are represented in the city. Nonetheless, discrimination on race, ethnicity, gender, is still very common and it could happen to experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If students experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Italy, students of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Rome. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades; however, all religions are recognized and there are places of worship for all major religions. Students should feel supported and protected regardless of religious affiliation in Italy. 

Interns on a Budget: For interns with limited financial means, there are some opportunities in Rome to experience local culture inexpensively or with student discounts. Many gyms, museums, attractions, have discount for young people and students.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2005. Italy celebrates its veterans with the marking of the end of World War I with its National Unity and Armed Forces Day. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad.

Health and Wellness: Near the campus and intern accommodations, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centres, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available at low cost or with special discounts for student interns.

If you need mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women may still experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. It recommended that you not walk alone at night. Therefore, taxis have special discounts for women who use them at night.

Safety Abroad: Rome is considered a safe city; however, students should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Pickpocketing is very common, especially on public transportation and open-air events.

Scotland

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let you Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know in advance of any mobility limitations so we can work directly with you before arrival.  Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program.    

Student intern accommodation offers wheelchair access and accessible bathrooms. Edinburgh city center is very hilly with cobblestones which may present difficulties for interns with mobility limitations.  Public transport is accessible for interns with mobility limitations and both taxis and buses are modified for wheelchair users.  

All crosswalks have audio-visual signals and lowered sidewalks at the crossings.  Public buildings are wheelchair accessible with ramps, modified entrances, automatic doors and modified bathrooms.  However, many historic buildings and private businesses especially smaller ones are not wheelchair accessible so planning ahead is necessary.  Accessible bathrooms are moderately widely available.  

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. Mature interns are common in Scotland and there are no age limitations on interns who are student discount or special services for mature students.  There are many local clubs for a variety of interests that staff can put mature interns in touch with.  It is common to see people of mixed age groups socializing.

LGBTQIA+: Same sex marriage has been legal since 2014.  In 2022, the Church of Scotland voted to allow same-sex marriages to be conducted in their churches.  There is a popular LGBTQIA+ nightlife scene in Edinburgh.  Pride takes place every June in Edinburgh.  Scotland is a liberal society with LGBTQIA+ people strongly accepted and safe to travel.  Incidences of verbal abuse and aggression are rare. Interns are provided with a list of support groups prior to arrival.   

Non-binary Interns: Currently, non-binary people are not legally recognised in the UK.  However, the Scottish Government are presently working towards a Gender Recognition Change Bill which will expand the legal recognition of gender in Scotland.  Trans Pride Scotland takes place every March.  They/them are commonly used pronouns for non-binary people.  It is becoming increasingly common to see people’s pronouns on email signatures and/or social media profiles as social awareness grows but is not universal.

Most smaller premises only have unisex bathrooms.  For larger premises, it is not usually an issue to use a bathroom of choice.   Gender-neutral housing is offered.  Staff have had experience with non-binary interns and will do their best to ensure that interns will be protected and respected. Interns are provided with a list of support groups prior to arrival.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.  Counselling services in Scotland have long waiting lists and are costly.  Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Location staff have experience of working with interns who are neurodiverse.  Interns are provided with a list of support groups prior to arrival.   

Race and Ethnicity: Scotland’s population is predominately made up of Scots, other UK nationals and Irish citizens.  The largest communities born overseas are Polish, Indian and Pakistani.  People of Color are minoritized in Scotland and, although rare, sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. There are also support groups that staff can connect you with.

Religion: Scotland is predominantly Christian with over 50% of followers belonging to the Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian branch of Protestantism which is known as “The Kirk” in Scotland. Roman Catholicism is the second largest followed religion in Scotland at around 15%.  Most other dominations are represented in Edinburgh and have places to worship across the city such Muslim, Sikh, Judaism, and other branches of Christianity.  Staff will provide interns with list of a multi-denominational place of worship before arrival.  

Interns on a Budget: Edinburgh offers many options for interns on budgets.  Publicly run art galleries and museums are free.  Student discount is offered by a wide range of businesses and facilities on production of a valid student matriculation card.  There are several AIFS group outings which are included in your program fee.  Intern housing has a fully functional kitchen and there are several budget retailers nearby for household goods and food shopping.  

Veterans: Military service is respected in Scotland and the armed forces have a long and important role in British military history.  Those who lost their lives on duty are commemorated on both November 11 and Remembrance Sunday which is the closest Sunday to the 11th. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss a mental health plan with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: Near to the intern housing there are gyms, yoga studios, bike rentals and public pools with low cost joining fees, pay as you go usage and student discounts. Edinburgh has over 140 parks which are free to visit.  The city has a range of health food shops. Interns are given a guide to health and wellness in Edinburgh on arrival.  

Women Abroad: By law, women are equal to men in Scotland, however, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties.  Street harassment is rare but female interns should exercise ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States and are vigilant of their surroundings especially if walking along at night.  

Safety Abroad: Edinburgh is one of the safest cities in the UK. Edinburgh has a low crime rate, but it is recommended that interns follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States and are vigilant of their surroundings. 

Spain

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly and provide you with the right support and information. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Barcelona is a city well prepared for people with physical disabilities. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals and ramps, especially in the central district. Public transportation, the streets and the different University campuses are adapted to receive interns with special needs. Interns with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments or dorms with step-free access if required.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. In general, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. It is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, internship offices, and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. LGBTQIA+ people have a strong base within Barcelona. There are associations promoting activities as well as providing support to those who need it. However, interns may experience that in some areas of Spain and Barcelona, LGBTQIA+ people are still not accepted and rarely may encounter insults or other types of grievances.

Non-binary Interns: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms in the central district of the city.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Barcelona has a lot of immigration from other European countries, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Barcelona and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Interns of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language. In Barcelona there are a few groups and institutions for different ethnicities that organize events and meetings. Barcelona itself is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city where all ethnicities are accepted and can find support groups, food, religion, etc.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, interns of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for interns who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in Barcelona to experience local culture inexpensively or with a great discount for interns who are students. Each week staff will share with interns free or cheap options for cultural events.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications). The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: Near the intern accommodations, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available at low cost or with special discounts for student interns. Your Location Coordinator will be able to provide a list and suggestions for art workshops, clubs, and societies.

If you need mental health support, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Barcelona is considered a safe city; however, interns should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals, and ramps, especially in the central district. Public transport is mostly accessible, as are many restaurants and larger shopping centers in the city center. Interns with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments or homestay families in Madrid with step-free access if needed and the AIFS office is accessible.

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Since Madrid is such a cosmopolitan city, there is a wide range of clubs and groups where an older interns can feel comfortable in. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. It is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group. AIFS staff can help interns find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005 and although the country is predominantly Catholic, the influence of conservative groups on social policy is not as strong as in other heavily Catholic European nations. Madrid has its own LGBTQIA+ neighborhoods, even so, PDAs by same-sex couples are very common all over the city. Madrid is considered one of Europe’s gay capitals.

Non-binary Interns: There is an awareness of the gender spectrum in Spain, however, in the Spanish language there isn’t a neutral pronoun, gender is either masculine or feminine in both singular and plural pronouns, nouns and adjectives. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Most non-binary people use the -e as the neutral gender vowel at the end of the nouns and adjectives for people (instead of -o or -a that generally indicates masculine and feminine) and “elle/elles” as the neutral singular/plural third person pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms but not many.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Madrid has a lot of immigration from other European countries, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and this makes it a multicultural and cosmopolitan city. However, People of Color are minoritized in Madrid and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while abroad, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. Interns of Latin American heritage studying in Spain should prepare themselves for minor differences in the use of the Spanish language. Madrid AIFS program includes Intercultural workshops to facilitate the development of intercultural skills.

Religion: Although Catholicism is the main faith in Spain, interns of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Spain. Catholic rites and saints play a huge part in celebrations and parades, however, almost half of the population does not practice their religion. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for interns who wish to practice their faith while abroad.

Interns on a Budget: There are a lot of opportunities to enjoy life in Madrid and Spain that are free or inexpensive. A university ID allows you free entrance to the most important museums of Madrid, and many events are available at a student discount. The AIFS provided personal public transport card gives interns access to nearby towns and nature spots for a small monthly fee. All interns will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in Madrid and exploring local culture. During the AIFS program, interns will be able to join the cultural activities usually included in the program fee.

Veterans: Compulsory military service was abolished in 2001, though service in the armed forces is appreciated through national holidays. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD  at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications).   The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: Near the housing accommodations, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available.

If you need any support for mental health problems, we can connect you with experienced English-speaking counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in Spanish society.

Safety: Madrid is considered safe, however, interns should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in the United States, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

United Kingdom

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. The U.K. has a long history of not discriminating against anybody with a disability. London is fairly accessible, and most buildings have been outfitted with accessible entry, restrooms and elevators/lifts for those with mobility concerns. The U.K. offers a great deal of services for people who are mobility, sight, or hearing-impaired including advice centers, transport services, and travel aids. Crosswalks are common and often accompanied by warning sounds / flashing lights. All buses and taxis are accessible in a wheelchair, and some tube stations. 

Non-Traditional Age Interns: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. History, music, art, architecture, gardens, theater, sport, language, and film are just some of the activities that you can find yourself drawn towards while abroad. Global Experiences staff can help interns find a club or organization according to their interests and are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have. Interns going to the U.K. must be under 35 years old, or under 40 years old if undergoing a change of career to qualify for the visa. Interns must also be currently enrolled in university or no more than 5 years post-grad.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: Ensuring that the LGBTQIA+ community feels truly valued, happy, and safe is of great importance to the London government. All Londoners, regardless of ethnicity, race, sexuality, disability, or gender should be able to fulfil their potential in the capital, making the city a welcoming, open place for everyone. British society is generally accepting of the LGBTQIA+ community. Laws protect LGBTQIA+ individuals from hate crimes and discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity. It has recognized same-sex civil unions since 2005. 

Non-binary Interns: Although non-binary status in the U.K. is not yet legally recognized, U.K. society is generally accepting. Non-binary pronouns are slowly being introduced but are not widely used. Gender neutral bathrooms are slowly becoming available but most public bathrooms remain male or female. Although Global Experiences in London does not currently offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible. 

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise any interns who regularly visit a counsellor at home to discuss a mental health plan before the internship program begins. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in London and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. The Global Experiences intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: London is home to over eight million people and according to data from the office for national statistics is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. There is a hugely diverse collection of religions, food, ethnicities across the city, with clubs and societies open to all. Everyone at Global Experiences are very confident that no matter your background, you will feel at home in London and have a fulfilling and inspiring experience. However, if interns should feel unsafe or experience microaggressions or racism, they are encouraged to report the incident to on-site staff.

Religion: In the U.K., Christianity has been found to be the largest religious group with 59% of the population, followed by Islam with 5%. The proportion of people who reported that they did not have a religion is now a quarter of the population. There are thousands of places of worship throughout London. These can range from ancient cathedrals to modern community center-based gatherings. The Location Coordinator and the rest of the Global Experiences team can provide you with information on places of worship for all faiths in London.

Interns on a Budget: In the city, there are a huge range of free and/or discounted activities from which to choose. A large number of London museums and art galleries are free. During orientation and throughout the program all interns will be given advice and information on low-cost options for living in London and exploring local culture. Interns will be able to join the regular cultural activities usually included in the program fee. Prior to arrival interns have access to a budget calculator on their intern portal. Upon arrival in London interns who are enrolled at a university at the time of their program can download the app and register for UNiDAYS where they can receive discounts on food, online shopping, etc. 

Veterans: The Armed Forces are well respected and visible in everyday life, from the changing of the guard on Whitehall or the public wearing poppies all through November to honor the lives lost in past conflicts on Remembrance Sunday. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The Global Experiences Intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health & Wellness: London is a very easy city to run and walk in, with countless green spaces and parks. Organic food, allergy-free and fresh produce is sold in all supermarkets. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Global Experiences also offers their interns an English speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees. Most intern accommodations provide a gym or workout space for their residents. 

Women Abroad: Many individuals in the U.K. understand that to treat individuals differently on account of sex/gender is unfair but are less sensitive to the broad picture of sexual discrimination. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties.

Safety: England is a very safe country, but it is recommended that interns follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

United States

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Navigating NYC with physical disabilities is possible but not always easy. Most traffic lights have auditory and visual signals, all busses and most other public transportation are accessible. New public buildings are often accessible, but some apartment buildings and historical buildings are only partially accessible. Accessible public restrooms are sometimes available but will require planning ahead.

Non-Traditional Age Students: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although their participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program. Whatever your age or interests, you will be able to meet fellow like-minded people on this program. Global Experiences staff are available to support you with any questions or concerns you might have.

Emotional Support & Service Animals: Interns who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing and in the city.

LGBTQIA+: LGBTQIA+ Americans in New York City constitute the largest self-identifying lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities by a significant margin in the United States, and the 1969 Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village are widely considered to be the genesis of the modern gay rights movement.  There are many clubs and groups where interns can find support and connection with like-minded individuals.

Non-binary interns: New York state implemented a third “X” gender in 2022 in accordance with its Gender Recognition Act, which expanded protections for trans* and non-binary citizens and makes it easier for citizens to change their names, sex designations, and birth certificates to reflect their identities. Unisex bathrooms are becoming more common but not always available.

Staff have experience with non-binary interns and will do their best to ensure that interns will be protected and respected. Although Global Experiences in NYC does not offer specific gender-neutral housing, interns are welcome to express preferences and make specific requests, which will be accommodated when possible.

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual, or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. We strongly advise interns who have counselling at home to discuss a mental health plan they can utilize abroad with their home doctor (including access to necessary medications) while they are abroad.  

Race and Ethnicity: New York is a large and ethnically diverse metropolis. There have been racially-motivated attacks in NYC from time to time and racism and prejudice might be an issue. People of Color are minoritized in NYC and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism. If interns experience this while on the program, they are encouraged to report the incident. There are also support groups that your Location Coordinator can connect you with.

Religion: The main religion in the United States is Christianity, Protestant and Catholic. All other major religions are recognized in the United States. There are many places of worship in NYC for those who are Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Buddhist, amongst others.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in New York to experience local culture inexpensively. There are countless free art galleries and history museums to explore around the city. Global Experiences offers many group outings that are already included in your fees. Interns have access to a fully functioning kitchen in the housing. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more information on affordable opportunities at orientation and throughout the program.

Veterans: Service in the military in the United States is respected and commemorated every year on Memorial Day in May. Veterans are also honored on Veterans Day in November. We strongly advise interns who are veterans and receive counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) they can utilize on their program.

Health and Wellness: New York is an incredibly walkable city and has many green spaces and parks. Gyms, yoga studios, public pools, and more are readily available. If you need any mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists.

Women Abroad: By law, women are equal to men in the United States, however, there is still work to be done for equality in wages, employment sector, and household duties. The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape and prohibits sexual harassment and provides civil penalties. During orientation, Global Experiences staff will discuss gender roles in US society.

Safety Abroad: New York City is generally safe, but it is recommended that interns follow ‘common sense’ safety precautions as they would in their home cities, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.  Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.

Access and Mobility: If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know before your arrival so they can work with you directly and provide you with the right support and information. Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Barcelona is a city well prepared for people with physical disabilities. Most crosswalks have auditory and visual signals and ramps, especially in the central district. Public transportation, the streets and the different University campuses are adapted to receive interns with special needs. Interns with access or mobility limitations can be housed in apartments or dorms with step-free access if required.

Non-Traditional Age Intern: Interns of a mature age may be one of the few within their program, although your participation is welcomed. There are many opportunities to engage with other interns and locals throughout the program. In general terms, Spain as a culture is very sociable, family oriented and people are very open and inclusive of all generations. It is quite common to see a mix of people of different ages socializing in the same group.

LGBTQIA+: Same-sex marriage is legal and quite common in Washington D.C. LGBTQIA+ people have a strong base within Washington D.C. There are associations promoting activities as well as providing support to those who need it. However, interns may experience that in some areas of D.C. and the U.S., LGBTQIA+ people are still not accepted and rarely may encounter insults or other types of grievances.

Non-binary Interns: There is a high awareness of the gender spectrum in Washington D.C. Many interns and professionals have started to make their pronouns known. There is a growing social awareness concerning non-binary identity and language is beginning to adapt. Many non-binary people use “they” as the neutral gender pronouns. There are some unisex bathrooms in in city and at many restaurants and businesses. 

Neurological Diversity: If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Location Coordinator know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. We strongly advise Interns who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan for while they are abroad.

Interns who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Interns with learning disabilities should share any relevant documentation with their Program Advisor or Program Manager upon application to the program so accommodations can be reviewed and, as possible, provided. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Race and Ethnicity: Wahington D.C is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city where all ethnicities are accepted and can find community, food, religion, etc. The United States., Washington D.C. specifically, has a lot of immigration from many countries all over the world. It adds to the multicultural presence that D. C. is often known for. If interns experience microaggressions and/or discrimination while in Washington D.C, they are encouraged to report the incident. By law, discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity is illegal and reports can be made to the on-site staff, via email or to the police. In Washington D.C. there are groups and institutions that support various ethnicities who organize events, meetings, and other opportunities to connect in Washington D.C. 

Religion: Interns of all denominations should feel comfortable practicing their faith in Washington D.C.  The U.S. AIFS on-site staff will provide information on locations for interns who wish to practice their faith.

Interns on a Budget: For interns who have limited financial means, there are a lot of opportunities in the city to experience local culture inexpensively or with a great discount for those who are student interns. Each week staff will share with interns free or inexpensive options for cultural events.

Veterans: Service in the military in the United States is respected and commemorated every year on Memorial Day in May. Veterans are also honored on Veterans Day in November. We strongly advise interns who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS intern insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international interns.

Health and Wellness: Near intern accommodations, gyms, yoga studios, physiotherapy centers, mindfulness classes, public pools and more are readily available at low cost or with special discounts for interns who are students. Your Location Coordinator will be able to provide a list and suggestions for art workshops and other clubs and societies.

If you need mental health support, we can connect you with experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. AIFS also offers their interns an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting interns to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Women Abroad: Gender equality is entrenched in the law and discrimination is illegal, as is any kind of violence against women. Some women experience unwanted attention by men including whistles or comments when walking past. During orientation, AIFS staff will discuss gender roles in United States society.

Safety Abroad: Washington D.C. is considered safe, however, interns should follow “common sense” safety precautions as they would in their home city, remain vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible. Your Location Coordinator will provide you with more details during orientation.