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American Institute for Foreign Study

Founded in 1964, the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organisations in the world. Camp America were established through AIFS in 1969.

Who are AIFS?

AIFS organise cultural exchange programmes for more than 50,000 participants around the world each year. With offices in the USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and Australia, their programme offering covers 29 different countries. Their US programmes – Camp America being just one – are also open to students from up to 60 different nations across the globe.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024, AIFS continues to embrace the future and its role as a cultural influencer and industry leader. Social outcomes remain a huge driver behind the organisation and their programmes, and they are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to pursue their core vision of bringing the world together.

AIFS Vision & Mission

To enact their vision of bringing the world together, AIFS’s mission is to provide the highest quality education and cultural exchange programmes to enrich the lives of young people throughout the world. Values that AIFS are committed to are:

  • Excellence in our programs, operations, and our people
  • Respect for all cultures and ethnicities
  • Exceptional, caring support for our program participants to ensure their safety and well-being
  • Technological innovation
  • Responsible financial stewardship
  • Teamwork and collaboration both within the organization and with our global partners
  • Encouragement of employee initiative and professional development
  • Honest, equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of our employees and our program participants with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion
  • Commitment to socially and environmentally responsible practices

AIFS Programmes

Since it was established, AIFS has expanded its programme offerings to include AIFS Abroad, Au Pair in America, Academic Year in America, ACIS, AIFS Professional Pathways, IEC and Cultural Insurance Services International, as well as summer work travel programmes in Australia & New Zealand and of course, Camp America. As well as these programmes, in 1972 AIFS also founded Richmond American University in London. Richmond is now a free-standing non-profit American University accredited by both the US and UK education authorities to award both US and UK degrees.

Impact AIFS

AIFS is the sole funder for the Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation (CTCF), named for founder Sir Cyril Taylor and dedicated to funding and supporting international education in all forms.

Born in Yorkshire, Sir Cyril Taylor was the founder and Chairman of AIFS and had a long and distinguished career in Public Service and Education. Following military service with the King's African Rifles in Kenya, he graduated from Cambridge University with an honours degree in history. After graduating Cambridge, Sir Cyril then went on to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School for which he was awarded the Charles Bell Scholarship by the London Chamber of Commerce. After spending time at Harvard and then working for Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, he realised there was a gap in the market for language teachers looking to take students abroad. This then led to the formation of AIFS in 1964. For over 50 years he continued to serve as Chairman until he passed away in London in January 2018 at the age of 82.

Continuing his legacy, all AIFS profits are now distributed by the CTCF to fulfil a mission of world peace, support for under-served students and bringing the world together through international education and cultural exchange. To learn more about some of the initiatives these profits are distributed to, please visit: 

Ready for an unforgettable summer?

Start your application today and prepare for an entire summer working abroad, travelling the USA, and becoming a positive role model for children and young adults. Embrace the challenge and enjoy the adventure.