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AIFS Marks 60 Years as a Pioneer in Cultural Exchange and Educational Travel


STAMFORD, Conn.Jan. 19, 2024 /7Newswire — The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), a global leader in cultural exchange and educational travel, commemorates its 60th anniversary in 2024. Embracing the future, AIFS reaffirms its leadership role on the global stage.

In 1967 with the assistance of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, AIFS created the AIFS Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) charity and a U.S. Department of State designated sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Program, now called BridgeUSA.  Throughout six decades, AIFS has solidified its position as a trusted leader in international exchange, offering innovative experiential programs. AIFS remains dedicated to its vision of “bringing the world together.”

“Our program participants undergo transformative experiences, breaking down cultural barriers and gaining insights into different ways of life,” states Jack Burg, President and CEO of AIFS. “As we celebrate 60 years, AIFS remains dedicated to supporting international education and cultural exchange programs, contributing to the broader mission of global understanding.”

In 2023, AIFS collaborated with hundreds of high schools and universities worldwide, nearly 500 international employers, thousands of host families and au pairs, and over 1,000 American camps, providing programs for over 35,000 participants. AIFS programs include:

  • College study abroad and international internships through AIFS Abroad
  • Quality live-in childcare by young people who participate in a cultural exchange program through Au Pair in America
  • High school educational travel through the American Council for International Studies (ACIS)
  • International staffing for U.S. summer camps through Camp America
  • High school international exchange through Academic Year in America (AYA) and Camps International
  • Comprehensive travel insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)
  • Educational consulting and recruiting through IEC
  • J-1 visa sponsorship for intern and traineeships with AIFS Professional Pathways

Throughout its history, AIFS has consistently sought new and innovative approaches to empower upcoming generations to embrace cultural exchange and it will continue to do so. “We take immense pride in what we have accomplished and our impact on the world over the last 60 years,” says William L. Gertz, Chairman of AIFS. “This anniversary is a time to look at the past with gratitude, but more importantly, to look at the future with enthusiasm. Our mission continues.”

Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, AIFS operates 12 global offices and offers programs in 29 countries worldwide.