• Vision


    We bring the world together®

  • Mission

    To provide the highest quality educational and cultural exchange programs to enrich the lives of young people throughout the world.

  • Values

    Exceptional, caring support for our program participants to ensure their safety and well-being. Respect and understanding of all cultures.

American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world.

Since 1964, AIFS has been a leading organization providing cultural exchange and educational opportunities for more than 1.5 million young people.

For over 50 years, we have been committed to cross-cultural exchange. Under the direction of founder Sir Cyril Taylor, AIFS continues to operate its diverse selection of programs as a social enterprise. AIFS maintains an organizational structure that ensures that we have the resources to find new and innovative ways to pursue our core mission of bringing the world together; a mission dedicated to achieving positive social outcomes through global outreach.

We are very proud to consistently receive high satisfaction ratings from our program participants year after year.

In 2011 and 2015, AIFS was named one of the top places to work in Connecticut.

AIFS operates 10 global locations & has program offerings in 29 countries worldwide.

We organize cultural exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year.

AIFS Timeline

Sir Cyril Taylor, AIFS Founder & Chairman

Sir Cyril Taylor was born in Yorkshire, England. He is the founder and Chairman of AIFS and has a long and distinguished career in public service and education. At age 18 he received a National Service Commission serving with the King’s African Rifles in Kenya. Following his military service he went to Cambridge University graduating with an honours degree in history from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He then decided to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School for which he was awarded the Charles Bell Scholarship by the London Chamber of Commerce.

William L. Gertz, AIFS President & CEO

Since 2005, Bill Gertz has served as the President and CEO of AIFS, a leading organization in the field of cultural and educational exchange. He is a native New Yorker with more than 35 years of experience in International Education. He is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, where he studied journalism and majored in European history. Shortly after college, he worked as a freelance writer, investigative reporter and editor. Later on, Bill completed the Strategic Marketing Management Program at Harvard Business School and in 2014 received an Honorary Doctorate in International Relations from Richmond, the American International University in London.

AIFS Organizational affiliations