Updated Program Information For On-Location Programs
We will continually evaluate the feasibility of program operations so if you have questions about where our programs are running or program start and end dates, please continue to consult the following: Global Experiences Dates and Fees.
Acknowledgment of Risk & Policy Violations
All participants sign specific documents to participate on our programs (Code of Conduct, Program Contract, Acknowledgements) where adherence to program rules is clearly outlined. As COVID-19 concerns persist, participants are also signing an Assumption of Risk document indicating that they will abide by local government rules and regulations as well as AIFS Abroad policies. Violations of these policies can result in removal from the program. Participants can expect additional information provided in pre-departure orientations and welcome orientations.
Is interning abroad or studying abroad even possible during a pandemic?
Our entire team is dedicated to organizing safe and life-changing opportunities for anyone wishing to participate in our programs. Colleagues in the US and overseas are in continual communication discussing program viability. We appreciate the enthusiasm that students have for future programs and mirror it with our own.
We are working hand-in-hand with partners such as overseas universities, housing providers, visa processors, host employers, excursion providers to adhere to all location and country-specific COVID-19 regulations. The changeable nature of the regulations necessitates a higher level of responsibility from our team but also from our participants as well. Please visit our Health & Safety page for the latest on these efforts.
What happens if a participant withdraws before the program starts?
We realize that there is ongoing uncertainty especially as country-specific COVID-19 policies continue to evolve. The decision to make a financial commitment during this time is one we want you to feel comfortable with.
Updated Withdrawal Policy
updated September 13, 2022
Edit: Please refer to AIFS Abroad's refund policy pages for January 2023 programs and Spring 2023 programs.
All deposits are non-refundable as they fund core services related to the program. Some of these services include but are not necessarily limited to: admissions counseling, CliftonStrengths assessment and coaching, program advising, professional document revision, work put in by the GE placement team, interview preparation, and access to professional and program resources through the online portal.
Should a participant choose to withdraw from their program, eligibility for a refund and the amount of the eligible refund will be determined based on AIFS Abroad's refund policies.
Please refer to AIFS Abroad's refund policy pages for summer programs and semester programs.
What happens if a participant decides to leave the program once it has started?
Students choosing to leave the program early for personal or other reasons are not entitled to any refund. Completion of academic credit will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons receive no refunds of any kind and forfeit all academic credit.
There are no refunds for meals, accommodation, cultural activities/excursions, tuition, or transportation missed by students for any other reasons other than those listed above once the program has started.
What other options do I have if my program gets canceled?
If your program is canceled prior to it starting you can work with your AIFS Abroad advisor to determine what the best path forward is. You have the ability to:
- Change location in the case where one or a few locations are closed but others remain open for the same program time period
- Change programs to a different date or season – so if your spring program was canceled you can move to a summer, fall, or even next summer program
- Participate in a virtual internship
- Request a refund of your fees (less deposits or any other costs)
If my university cancels my study abroad, will I receive a refund for my payments?
If you are participating in an AIFS Abroad program with the support of your home institution, you need to be in continual communication with them regarding where you are intending to study and what decision protocols that institution has.
Recoverable costs may include, but not are not limited to program fees (including tuition), housing, social/cultural activities/excursions, safety and security and administrative cost, or organized flights. Most of these costs are paid before the start of the program and are not typically recoverable. In the event of cancellation, AIFS Abroad will endeavor to obtain refunds from suppliers and pass any recovered costs on to the participant.
As vaccinations continue around the world, evidence collected by a variety of health organizations indicates that fully vaccinated people are less likely to be infected without showing symptoms and therefore potentially less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others.
In an effort to keep our participants, staff, and host communities safe, AIFS Abroad will be strongly recommending vaccinations for all our program participants. We will continue to monitor the information from our host countries and advise participants as entry protocols change. Recent news suggests that some countries may be opening to fully vaccinated individuals to travel as tourists this summer, removing the need for quarantine on arrival, and requiring proof of vaccination for entry.
AIFS Abroad continues to monitor US government and host country government policies regarding international travel and related restrictions to ensure the health and safety of our students abroad. On November 19, the US CDC approved a booster shot for all who have completed a full course of J+J, Pfizer, or Moderna more than six months ago. The booster protocols add increased protection from breakthrough cases.
In accordance with our vaccination policy, AIFS will be strongly recommending that students obtain booster doses (based upon timing of your final vaccination). Please work with your Program Manager or Program Advisor directly if you have questions.
Based on regulations that are changing daily, without a booster your movement in your host country may be restricted, your ability to travel independently may be negatively impacted and AIFS/GE will not be able to deliver the educational program for which you enrolled.
What insurance is available?
All participants on any AIFS Abroad program (study abroad, internship or custom faculty-led) are covered by a very robust Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) travel and medical insurance as part of their program inclusions. There is no extra cost for this coverage.
As part of the medical insurance, assistance and security will be provided by On Call International. OnCall has worked in the higher education field for over 20 years and is well known for their proactive and holistic approach to managing travel emergencies. They will provide phone support.
On Call’s Nurse Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This service is for those who aren’t sure if they are ill enough to see a doctor but would like to seek advice over the phone from a medical professional. Not every illness or injury warrants a trip to the ER or a doctor’s office – this free service will help participants determine how best to treat whatever condition they may have.
Is additional insurance available for an extra fee?
AIFS Abroad strongly recommends that students take out CFAR / IFAR insurance which covers cancellation / interruption “for any reason”. Participants have the option of purchasing additional trip cancellation or interruption insurance which allows them to protect their study abroad program. This is at an additional cost and is NOT a program inclusion. This policy includes options to cancel for any reason (CFAR) and interrupt for any reason (IFAR). Details of the Worldwide Trip Protector Plans with travel insurance underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best 2019, are available on the Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) website.
Students may purchase their plan directly through the CISI website.
Program Cancelation by AIFS Abroad
AIFS Abroad will consider canceling or suspending an on-location program while it is in session or before using guidance from the following sources:
- The current level of U.S. State Department travel advisory for each country
- Each individual country’s current entry status and where necessary their quarantine rules
- World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control guidance
- Current levels of COVID-19 transmission within that country / region
- Local government rules regarding social distancing, the use of PPE and gatherings
- Each on-location partner university’s plan for the delivery of course onsite and their ability to switch to a virtual delivery model should the need arise
- Housing options in each site and related COVID-19 planning
- The delivery of support services including orientation, social and cultural programming
Virtual Internship Programs
If the Participant is part of GE's Virtual Internship Program, $500 of the program tuition remains non-refundable at all times. This non-refundable amount funds core services related to the program. Some of these services include but are not necessarily limited to: admissions counseling, StrengthsFinder assessment, program advising, professional document revision, work put in by the GE placement team, interview preparation, and access to professional and program resources through the online portal.
Should you cancel your participation prior to having a confirmed virtual internship placement, you will be eligible for a refund of the program tuition less the $500 non-refundable portion mentioned above.
Should you cancel your participation after your virtual internship placement is confirmed, you will not be eligible for a refund of any kind.