AIFS Foundation - Academic Year in America (AYA)

1 High Ridge Park
Stamford, Connecticut  06905
Phone: 203-399-5417
Fax: 203-724-1536
Contact: Melanie French, Executive Director; Michele Kabel, Deputy Director

2020-2021 CSIET Certification Status: Full
Countries Served: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, France, Gaza, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel,  Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland,  Republic of Georgia, Romania , Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine,  Vietnam, West Bank
Number of 2019-2020 Participants:  635 semester or year inbound
Grant Programs:  FLEX program, YES program
Not-for-Profit Organization: Established 1967

The American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation and the American Institute For Foreign Study, Inc. are separate organizations.  The American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation has been evaluated by CSIET, and its listing in the CSIET Advisory List should not be construed to suggest or include listing of America Institute For Foreign Study, Inc., which has not been evaluated.


The American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation is an independent private foundation established to promote worldwide understanding through cross-cultural exchange.  The Foundation’s goals are to encourage and inspire young people to become forward thinking citizens of the world, by creating dynamic educational opportunities to share beliefs, ideologies and values across cultures. 

Programs are educational in design and provide a safe and quality international learning experience with the primary goal of promoting world peace through cultural awareness.  The Foundation seeks to enroll highly qualified students from all races, religions, social and economic groups.  Students must be proficient in both written and spoken English and have demonstrated the social and emotional maturity necessary to study abroad for a semester or year. Students are encouraged to fully immerse in host family life and participate in school and community activities including extracurricular activities, community service, and volunteerism.

Academic Year in America (AYA) — International students ages 15 to 18 ½ live with an American family and study at a local secondary school for one semester or one full academic year.  AYA partners with independent organizations abroad that help identify prospective students; final selection is made by the Foundation.  AYA students and host families are supported by a wide network of highly trained and dedicated Local Coordinators who work in tandem with AYA’s national support team to facilitate each exchange experience from arrival to departure from the U.S. Local Coordinators live in the community and assist with the selection and screening of qualified host families and provide ongoing supervision and support throughout the program. Local Coordinators receive on-going training and participate in professional development seminars in order to ensure that each student enjoys a safe and rewarding experience.  Orientation is provided before departure from the home country and upon arrival in the United States in the student’s local community; a group orientation in the New York City area is optional for students; 24/7 Emergency support is available for all participants. Students are fully insured under a comprehensive medical plan during their stay in the U.S. Full and partial scholarships are awarded to deserving students. Qualified host schools may apply to receive grants to fund projects that promote global awareness and international education.