American Institute for Foreign Study

  www.aifs.com
  www.aifs.com

American Institute for Foreign Study Reviews

12 Reviews
3.1
12 Reviews
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Bill Gertz
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Unforgetable experience!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Au Pair in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Au Pair in Philadelphia, PA

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You have time to travel and care your hobbies, earn pocket money, be part of an American education system and get some useful experience!

    Cons

    The worst is an introduction to their culture far away different from Europens (spoilt kids + too busy parents= bad combination). As soon as you get use of it (sometimes it take time, maybe a month or two), it becomes a part of you!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm not here to sell advices, but I think the program is working perfectly!

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Great for a first job, not so great for a long term career!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Company has a terrific CEO and this is a great job for a person right out of college. I would suggest it to any new grad interested in cultural study. Colleagues in the UK/Germany/Poland are terrific. The company is really committed to cultural study programs and takes it very seriously. There is some opportunities to travel. Great teamwork. Au Pair in America is a well run team with excellent management.

    Cons

    Moving to a professional company from this job, you start to realize that the company culture, while "fun", is really unprofessional. Very unprofessional HR department. Low pay. Camp America team is questionably run and the management there is unprofessional Little opportunity for advancement, pay grades ALL over the place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Establish a salary grade system and a better eval process. Create more job levels so that people stay with the company longer than a couple of years.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Interesting work - intrinsic value is high - stressful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Institute for Foreign Study full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    great, casual environment. office culture is a plus. employee 401k match

    Cons

    limited growth opportunities, upper management can lack skills necessary to effectively manage. employees are not given the opportunity to rate their managers

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    when giving employees increased responsibilities because they have earned it - also reward them through accolades. it's discouraging when great work is not appropriately recognized, yet expected

    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not a great company for the Local Coordinators

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Local Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Local Coordinator in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great training in regards to student visa processes. There are background checks and the application process is very thorough for a student wishing to spend a semester or academic year in America.

    Cons

    I felt like I was constantly pressured to take a student in. I don't feel as though anyone was really placing all the students they talked about. They constantly talked about trips and rewards but I didn't see how that kind of success was possible. It was more of I take in a foreign student, someone who lives nearby would take one in and we would go check on each other's students.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be upfront with applicants and tell them that you just want them to take a student in as opposed to an opportunity to earn extra income. In addition, give real statistics to applicants and newly trained coordinators in regards to how many students they can actually expect to place. Also, if someone decides they do not want to stay on contract, don't continue to email them and send them newsletters if they have expressed they have no desire to continue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Efforts made to progress forward (in all areas) was slow, met with lack of attention, and accountability from snr mngmnt

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study

    Pros

    most people are very nice
    tuition reimbursement
    50% matching 401k
    majority of holidays off
    company sometimes paid for lunches & special events

    Cons

    no room to move up
    very little opportunity for career/skills development
    very low pay compared to similar industry/job profiles
    low raises
    lack of accountability on the part of executive & snr management
    hr has no interest in employees perspective (allow management to act as they want)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay employees more. Listen to employees more, as they are the ones listening, servicing, and keeping your customers from leaving. Hold executives, senior management more accountable to their actions, provide them more management training, allow emplyees opportunity to review their managers in their leadership abilities (without repercussions to employees), hire managers who have managed and have been succesful leaders vs. ignoring issues simply because they have been with the company for so long.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place for new grads to start a career.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Placement Coordinator in Stamford, CT
    Current Employee - Placement Coordinator in Stamford, CT

    I have been working at American Institute for Foreign Study

    Pros

    AIFS offers a great company culture where the employees are friendly and fun to work with. There is the opportunity to travel quite a bit, which makes it a great place for new graduates starting their career.

    Cons

    The pay isn't very competitive and they don't offer a good career path. It is hard to move into upper level positions because the management doesn't typically leave or move on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase compensation and the benefits package. Improve opportunity for growth and development.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great entry level opportunity, strange business practices and disorganized structure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study

    Pros

    There are some unique opportunities to travel overseas and in my experience they do promote an environment that permits the average employee to get involved with many facets of the business. The dress code is casual (Jeans) and they have solid benefits, including tuition reimbursement. It's a nice place to get into an entry level position.

    Cons

    Within my former department, there was an unusual management structure which was arranged in such a way that Senior management barely had even a rudimentary understanding of "day to day" business. The business model is stagnant and they don't have the competitive resources that would be necessary to modernize, nor are they motivated to seek them out. Outside of management, pay scale varies wildly and erratically from one employee to the next. There were employees doing administrative work who made comparatively, obscene amounts of money (though still paid inadequately relative to other institutions) Overall, each department should, in theory, be in line with the overall mission statement, but instead operates independently and out of sync with one another. Systems are scattered and do no interface with one another creating a tumultuous blend of chaos which hinders productivity in a severe way. I was there for a few years, and in that short time, they seemed to have lost their way. It was NOT like this at the beginning. Discussing the state of things with long time veterans confirms that this is an accurate perception.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management is an enigmatic presence. It would be helpful to know in what direction the company is headed, future plans for growth, etc. Money isn't the best motivator and isn't necessarily the key to productivity, but encouragement, opportunity, and the prospect of being rewarded for standing out IS a fantastic motivator.

    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    AIFS is mostly a Company to gain Administrative Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Stamford, CT
    Current Employee - Coordinator in Stamford, CT

    I have been working at American Institute for Foreign Study

    Pros

    The services offered are fun. Some of the perks are good specially if you stay working there for more than 5 years or for a long time

    Cons

    Salaries are below market average, bonuses are not available specially in this time of crisis, there are not many opportunities for growth due to the type of business. About 60% of the flow of the business is paper based and very bureaucratic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would say that even though AIFS is a service business, it looks that now everything is oriented to achieve financial goals and leave behind the need of excellent customer service, to make improvements in the flow of the business and to how fast things can get done if some processes were reevaluated and optimized.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Good entry position but low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sydney (Australia)

    I have been working at American Institute for Foreign Study full-time

    Pros

    Good learning experience in the industry

    Cons

    Management not open to change
    Low pay

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great people, friendly environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at American Institute for Foreign Study as a contractor

    Pros

    Very nice place to work, especially as a first job.

    Cons

    Sometimes very long hours required.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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