Home Alumni Study Abroad Love Stories: Couples Who Met Overseas through AIFS Abroad

Study Abroad Love Stories: Couples Who Met Overseas through AIFS Abroad

by AIFS Abroad
young couple dancing alone in st. mark's square, venice, italy

Here’s the thing: We’re suckers for study abroad love stories! So much so that each year during Valentine’s Day we reflect on the many incredible connections that have been made because of global education opportunities — specifically on our programs! Countless AIFS Abroad alumni have met their “person” while living and learning abroad, and we hope there will be so many more to come!

Ready to feel all your feels? Check out these adorable love stories from some of our study abroad and international internship participants over the years.

Samantha and Nick | AIFS Abroad in Dublin, Ireland (Internship Program) | Summer 2022

There are so many things you can gain from doing an internship program abroad! A lifelong partner may not be one you expect out of the experience, but for Samantha (Sammy) and Nick, it was an added bonus! Hear from Sammy about their romance during their time together in Dublin, Ireland.

“Nick and I first crossed paths in the summer of 2022, just a few days into our time with AIFS. There was an orientation at a hotel down the street from our shared residence for everyone in that summer’s Dublin cohort. Following the orientation, the program arranged an early dinner at a nearby pub. I attended with three friends from grad school, and since Nick and one of my friends were placed at the same internship, we all ended up sitting together at the pub. Upon discovering that we both hailed from Southern California, the rest became history.

Over the next several months, Nick, my friends, and I explored Dublin and traveled around Europe during breaks from our internships arranged by the program. We also participated in the weekend trips organized by the program. The summer was unforgettable, and as we bid farewell to our internships and Dublin, we felt a deep sense of sadness. The program not only brought us together but also provided the chance to connect with people from around the world, undergo the unique experience of living and working abroad, and create cherished lifelong memories.

What better setting for a whirlwind romance than St. Patrick’s Cathedral and park, the River Liffey, and Blarney Castle? Nick and I are getting married this October, and we are incredibly thankful for having met through this amazing program!”

Brianna and Gabe | AIFS Abroad in Florence, Italy | Spring 2022

Picture this: You go on on a study abroad program with students from various colleges and universities across the United States, and you end up falling in love with another student from your own school — who you’ve never met before until now! How serendipitous, right? That’s what happened to Brianna and Gabe, two AIFS Abroad in Florence, Italy alumni who attended the University of Vermont but hadn’t crossed paths until venturing to Italy with us. Brianna shares:

“We both went to the University of Vermont — never met each other — but ended up in the same study abroad program. We decided to go on spring break together to Spain and Ireland to see mutual friends. I was either going to end up loving it, or wanting to kill him… the rest is history!”

Brianna and Tyler | AIFS Abroad in Sydney, Australia | 2011

In 2011, Brianna and Tyler studied abroad with AIFS Abroad in Sydney, Australia — and the rest was history! Not only did they have a global education experience and the adventure of a lifetime, but they found love in the process. In 2015, they got engaged! Their biggest takeaways from their study abroad experience:

Breezy: “The very first piece of advice our study abroad advisor gave us upon arrival was, “It’s not weird, it’s just different!” I feel that I’ve embodied this mentality since the beginning of the program, and it is something that will always stick with me. Try looking at something you’re not accustomed to as intriguing, as new, as exciting, and an opportunity, rather than ‘weird.’ It will change the way you see the world.”

Tyler: “Being able to fully experience a completely different culture, by actually living in it for an extended amount of time, has had a major impact on the way I now live my life. Studying abroad has changed my life in so many positive ways, and it really was the greatest decision I have ever made. It has changed who I am for the better, and I would recommend studying abroad and AIFS to everyone!”

Craig and Jennifer | AIFS Abroad in Rome, Italy | Spring 2009

That’s amore! Craig and Jennifer met in Rome on an AIFS program and, as study abroad love stories go, theirs is both inspirational and heartwarming. There are people who think these kinds of things only exist in fairytales, but this really happened! They even decided to have Sant’Eustachio chocolate coated coffee beans as their wedding gift boxes to serve as a reminder of the city where they first met. Jennifer describes how their relationship unfolded below.

“I’m from New Jersey, and he’s from Ohio – yet our relationship started in Italy. So many of our favorite memories from our relationship were in Rome, like how we spent hours of photography class getting to know each other, while taking photos of the historic city around us.

One of the moments I knew our relationship was special was when Craig met me at the tram in Trastevere for our first date. It was going to rain, so he brought an umbrella. I knew he was kind and genuine, but he was truly chivalrous. I now know Craig never carries an umbrella, and that he brought that one for me. Or the time he visited Florence with his parents and brought my favorite panini back to Rome for me. And the Sunday morning we spent wandering the Trastevere flea market.

Our time together in Rome was the only time Craig and I lived in the same city from 2009-2014. After returning from Rome, we spent those five years traveling long distance to see each other, but it only made our relationship stronger. We traveled from the east coast, to the midwest, and many travels in between.

We returned to Rome in 2014 for our 5 year anniversary, and visited our friends at AIFS. We spent a whole five days wandering our favorite city and eating as much pizza and pasta as humanly possible…

A year later, Craig proposed to me on a flight to Chicago. I always book the right window seat – and that’s where Craig asked me to marry him. In the very seat where I spent so many flights crying and wishing we were in the same city. When we arrived in Chicago, our families surprised us to spend the weekend together celebrating our engagement. My family arrived at the airport an hour earlier on the flight prior to ours and was waiting at the gate for us. Truly amazing. It was our best weekend – until our wedding.”

Kirsten and Roger | AIFS Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic | Spring 2011

Finding love abroad? Czech! Kirsten and Roger’s romance began in Prague — and was solidified there, too! They returned to the fairytale city almost nine years after their meet-cute and found themselves engaged. Roger shares:

“Kirsten and I, along with about ten others from AIFS, went pretty much everywhere and did pretty much everything together. Prague is like a metropolis, a museum, and a theme park all rolled up into one and we each got to know each other by exploring it. Our classes would teach us about the language, the culture, and the history. After classes, we’d go to the museums, the beer gardens, the cafes, and the parks and get the real-world version of what we’d just learned. Each one of use bonded during these great times and, at some point, Kirsten and I realized we had a uniquely special connection.

After our study abroad, Kirsten and I stayed in touch and, as chance would have it, we both ended up in Washington, D.C. after graduating college. Kirsten had taken a job on Capitol Hill and I was starting law school (one of my letters of recommendation was from a professor at Charles University in Prague!). The rest is history.

This past August, Kirsten and I went back to Prague for the first time since leaving in 2011. We visited all the incredible places that we frequented during our stay there and enjoyed lots of pilsner and Becherovka. Luckily, the city hadn’t changed much, and neither had we. On our second full day there, we hiked up to Letná Park, a large park on the top of the hill overlooking the Vltava River, the Charles Bridge, Old Town, Prague, and also home to our favorite beer gardens. Back in the place where it all started for us, I got down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with me—and thank God, she said ‘yes!’

Looking back, I certainly got much more than I bargained for when I picked up the AIFS Prague packet in my university’s study abroad office, and for that I am truly lucky. I learned so much about the culture and everyday lives of the incredibly resilient and dynamic Czech people, studied at one of the oldest universities in Europe, drank the world’s best beer straight from the tap, and, yes, met my soon to be wife. To Kirsten and I, Prague remains somewhere so incredibly special. A place where we made some of our closest friends, shared some of our best memories, and started our life together. Our experience studying abroad together also gave us a perspective that I think we will always hold on to, that life is best lived when you’re trying new things, exploring new places, and having fun with the people you love.”

Ryan and Amelia | AIFS Abroad in Granada, Spain | Spring 2019

Who’s cutting onions?! After a life-changing semester abroad in Granada, Spain, Ryan got down on one knee in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower and she said “yes!” Talk about romantic!

Mason and Alexandria | AIFS Abroad in Prague, Czech Republic | Spring 2018

As far as study abroad love stories go, these two have us feeling all of our feels! Their romance began during their program in Prague back in 2018 and blossomed into a beautiful marriage. They said “I do!” in 2021!

In one of her Instagram posts, Alexandria shared, “It’s crazy how things align. Mason and I could’ve missed each other so easily. We could’ve chosen different cities to study in, different programs, different places to stay. In a program of 70+ people, we didn’t have to talk to each other at all. But how divine it is that we met […] and quickly realized how obvious it was that we are meant to be.”

Elizabeth and Daniel | AIFS Abroad in Berlin, Germany | Spring 2018

From a Berlin romance to a long-distance relationship to marriage, these two have had quite the journey! After returning home from their semester in Berlin, there was a lot of bridging the gap between Ohio and Massachusetts with FaceTime and a visit every few months. Years later, they’re living their best lives. Daniel shares a little about their origin story:

“After my host dad [in Berlin] invited Liz over for dinner one evening, I started to cook dinners for Liz every Wednesday since she had a late class. We spent Wednesday evenings eating good food, dancing in the kitchen, and staying up way too late watching Netflix. Once spring began to arrive in Berlin, we would take walks around Schlachtensee, the lake near our neighborhood, at least twice a week. We explored and continued to fall in love with Berlin, getting our favorite foods, currywurst and döner, after classes and going to concerts and flea markets. Once the semester was coming to an end, it was an easy decision to continue our relationship back in the United States despite our distance.

We both had an incredible four months abroad. We love Berlin and the people we met there, and we hope to go back sooner rather than later. It’s pretty amazing that we happened to meet each other and that we have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of studying abroad as something we share as a couple.”

Evelyn and Collin | AIFS Abroad in Salzburg, Austria | Spring 2006

AIFS in Salzburg Alumni in Montenegro | AIFS Study Abroad
Evelyn and Collin in Montenegro

As far as places to fall in love go, Salzburg is pretty much the pinnacle. The setting is a complete fairytale — from cobblestone streets to pastel-colored buildings to Mozart’s life’s work serenading you around every corner. Despite knowing one another pre-departure, it’s no surprise Evelyn and Collin fell more deeply in love during their spring semester abroad.

“Collin and I have been back to Salzburg twice – once on our honeymoon and once for Oktoberfest in Munich.  Salzburg is still as charming as ever! We visited our old stomping grounds and met up with our Austrian friends,” Evelyn shares.

We love study abroad love stories and want to hear yours!

Did you meet your partner on one of our study abroad or international internship programs? We want to hear all about it! Get in touch with our Alumni Team today.

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