Press Release

For Immediate Release

Mike Liberty, AIFS
(203) 399-5187,

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

January 19, 2024 – The 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.

Founded in 1964 by Sir Cyril Taylor, AIFS established itself as part of the era’s surge in educational diplomacy, joining programs like the newly formed Peace Corps. AIFS played a pivotal role providing cross-cultural understanding and enriching educational experiences. The inaugural AIFS program sent 1,500 American high school students abroad in the summer of 1965. Since then, over 1.8 million individuals have participated in AIFS programs.

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:

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.

For a historical perspective on the evolution of international education and insights for its future, please contact AIFS Chairman, Bill Gertz. Bill can be reached by contacting Mike Liberty at (203) 399-5187 or via email at

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The American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) organizes cultural exchange and educational programs for thousands of participants each year. Programs include college study abroad, internships, international au pair placement, international camp counselor placement, international internships, high school educational travel and insurance services. Since its founding in 1964, more than 1.8 million individuals have participated in AIFS programs. 

AIFS Organizational affiliations