Home Customized Faculty-Led Why you should choose AIFS for your Customized, Faculty-Led Program

Why you should choose AIFS for your Customized, Faculty-Led Program

Last Updated on November 9, 2020 by AIFS Abroad Customized Faculty-Led

Ahead of our webinar tomorrow on our New Program Toolkit, we run through some reasons to choose AIFS as your partner for your next Customized, Faculty-Led Program. Scroll down for more details on the webinar and a registration link.

Longevity in the field

AIFS was founded in 1964 and is a leading provider of educational and cultural exchange opportunities.  Since then, over 1.5 million students have participated in our programs.  AIFS Abroad supports U.S. faculty with customized programs to teach their students abroad; in fact, we were among the first to offer this type of experiential programming, starting in the 1960‘s.   AIFS currently arranges such study abroad programs for approximately 100 U.S. colleges and universities in more than 20 countries. We offer program locations in Europe, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Our customized programs are tailor-made

Customized means you include the features that you would like while using our expertise to create an itinerary that exactly meets your academic needs and is affordable to your students. Our program fees are guaranteed in US dollars, so you need not worry about currency fluctuation. The location and logistics are meant to complement the outcome objectives of the curriculum.

Most programs include student accommodation, use of a classroom in an AIFS study center (including Wi-Fi and audio-visual equipment), and travel passes in large cities. A dedicated AIFS program coordinator will organize and oversee cultural and academic field trips and activities. We include student medical insurance, and $51 million liability insurance naming your university or college as co-insured. AIFS can also arrange an optional group flight and airport transfers.

When you choose AIFS, you don’t need to worry about changing your plan to fit with an existing offer; we will build a program around your vision.

Academic Integrity

Reliable travel arrangements are a given; ensuring the academic integrity of your study abroad program is where AIFS excels. Understanding the specific academic goals and desired learning outcomes you have for your students is essential to our collaborative program development. We will work with you to create an itinerary that helps students explore the relevant trends and issues. We do our best to help your students engage with the local community wherever possible.

Experiential Learning

Study abroad is not just travel abroad. It is learning through reflection on doing. It is a high impact practice that benefits your students and brings them long-term advantages- academically, personally and professionally. Specialized study and relevant academic field trips and activities organized by AIFS are fundamental to the experiential nature of our programming.

Criminology students participating in a CSI simulation

Choose AIFS for:

Access to experts in study abroad

Over 50 years of experience means an excellent perception of the field and trends in International Education. AIFS actively participates in the Study Abroad community and sponsors key organizations such as NAFSA, Forum and Diversity Abroad. We participate in conferences and publish papers – the details of which are available here.

Collaborative Programming

We can help you adapt your existing program or work with you to build a unique program from scratch. If you are seeking relevant academic sites and resources, assistance building an itinerary or advice on what type of housing to select we will work with you using our knowledge, expertise and resources to collaboratively build the program that meets your needs. The study abroad program should be an expansion of your curriculum- make the world your classroom. Our team of Program Managers based in Europe will help you develop a program from concept to reality. Using their local contacts as well as expert knowledge of program logistics, they are always willing to make adjustments and will work to find a solution that balances the budget and the academic goals.

Pre-Departure Support

The AIFS Admissions team in Stamford, CT takes care of student enrollment and billing including deferred payment of semester program fees for financial aid students. Our University Relations Team can help with marketing by creating and giving advice on materials, social media and on campus promotion whenever possible.

AIFS attends study abroad fairs all over the US and can host specific info sessions for your faculty-led programs

On-Site Support

AIFS understands that faculty set out an itinerary and can provide local contacts but their priority is to teach. When you choose AIFS, our Program Managers set everything up for success. Our local Program Coordinators then work from arrival to departure to support faculty and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Our teams train in AIFS Health and Safety procedures to deal with any issue that may arise. We have extensive local resources in case of changes to itinerary, student or faculty emergencies.

Health and Safety as a Priority

To put it simply, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is foremost in our thinking as we plan, implement and assess our study abroad programs around the world. Central to the AIFS Health and Safety protocol is student health insurance including comprehensive medical and program fee refund and emergency travel assistance that are included in the program fee.  AIFS Customized, Faculty-Led programs include Liability insurance naming the US college or university as co-insured. Following the upheaval of 2020, we have also introduced an optional Trip Cancellation and Interruption Policy, protecting students further.

All our staff train regularly in established Risk Management and Incident Response protocols and procedures making us all prepared for emergencies that includes a wide network of international and local contacts. The need to prepare for emergency and have an established procedure also includes a chain of communication with your institution and all stakeholders. When you choose AIFS, you are in safe hands.

You can find updates on our plan for reopening in 2021 here.

Cost Efficient Programs

Your institution oversees the Academic portion of the program and awards credits, thereby retaining student tuition fees and there is no issue of transfer upon return to campus. This makes study abroad status friendly. Student financial aid still applies, making study abroad an option for more students. Our Program Managers recommend itineraries that are cost effective and include a balanced mix of cultural visits and activities that engage student with the host culture and people. Those moments of engagement will have the most impact and be the most memorable for students.

Consortium Model Options

AIFS partners with numerous consortia of U.S. institutions on semester and short-term programming.  Institutions benefits in several ways by joining or forming a consortium.  The long-standing AIFS London Consortium program has been running with several US institution members for nearly 40 years. This option has many advantages such as broadening the options available to students at your institution – by discipline, destination, program length and increasing the likelihood of a program attaining minimal enrollments and healthy-sized groups result in lower cost per student.

AIFS Webinar: New Program Toolkit for Faculty and Advisors

Tuesday, November 20: 3pm EST / 12noon PST

Setting up a Customized, Faculty-Led program from idea to departure is a long, detailed process. AIFS has over 50 years’ experience collaborating with faculty, universities and colleges to turn their international academic goals into a reality.  We’ll outline the steps and the advantages of partnering with AIFS and examples of programs in 20+ countries.


Susanna Shigo, University Relations, AIFS Study Abroad, Stamford, CT
Paula Messina, University Relations, AIFS Study Abroad, Los Angeles, CA


Click here to register for the webinar. If you are unable to attend the live presentation, it will be shared with all who registered once published

If you would like to speak to one of our University Relations team, please head to our website where you can set up a consultation, and we’ll be in touch with you soon.

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