AIFS Celebrates 50 Years as Leading Cultural Exchange and Educational Travel Organization

STAMFORD, CONN., May 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In 2014, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), one of the world's largest cultural exchange and educational travel organizations, is celebrating its' 50th year of providing safe and enjoyable high-quality programs to students worldwide.

In early April, AIFS commemorated their 50th anniversary with a cocktail reception at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Attendees included AIFS chairman and founder Sir Cyril Taylor; Robin Lerner, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State; William L. Gertz, President and CEO of AIFS; Connecticut State Senator Carlo Leone, Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education; AIFS staff; and AIFS alumni and program participants.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut and with offices in 6 countries, AIFS places approximately 50,000 students a year in their cultural exchange programs, including high school and college study abroad experiences, high school travel, college prep, au pair placement, gifted education, insurance services and camp counselor staffing.

With more than 1.5 million participants during a half-century of excellence, AIFS has a strong commitment to its' vision to "bring the world together" and celebrates a proud history of providing opportunities to the international education community.

"In our 50 years, we have been devoted to offering educational and cultural exchange programs that enrich the lives of young people all over the world," states Gertz. "Our participants receive a life-changing experience that helps break down intercultural walls and enlighten in ways not possible in a classroom. While the world has become much smaller through technology, especially in the last decade, there is no substitute for an actual mind-opening experience and the effect it has on a young person."

Over the past 50 years, AIFS has emerged as one of the most trusted leaders in international education by not only creating the highest quality programming, but also by placing a premium on participant safety. AIFS' extensive network of overseas partners and U.S. staff have spent years perfecting a support system that ensures the safety and well-being of all participants.

AIFS was founded in 1964, when Sir Cyril and his two partners left Proctor & Gamble to form an organization that could facilitate international travel for students. They created a study/travel organization utilizing the campuses of European universities that were closed during the summer months and contacted high school language teachers, encouraging them to recruit students. In 1965, the first summer of operation was launched with 1,500 high school students participating.

For information on the 50th anniversary of AIFS, contact Mike Liberty at (203) 399-5187 or by email at

Founded in 1964, the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) is one of the oldest, largest and most respected cultural exchange organizations in the world. With global offices in 6 countries, AIFS organizes cultural exchange programs for more than 50,000 participants each year.

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