Whether virtual or in-person, the Study Abroad Foundation has fostered the field of semester-based and short-term study abroad and internships for well over 20 years. Today, as the world sets its sights on reopening, SAF is poised for a new phase of unprecedented interest in short-term mobility opportunities.


Get to know SAF at APAIE 2021

Dr Gregory D Hess, President & CEO, IES Abroad

Study abroad changes lives. And changed lives change the world.

As the new President and CEO of IES Abroad and SAF, and a former study abroad student, I am keenly aware of the power of international education. I believe in its ability to shape and mold – to transform the most promising young minds in the world into the next generation of global leadership.

That is why we are proud to partner with APAIE as their platinum event sponsor for 2021.

For over two decades, SAF has been the bridge between talented students and the world’s preeminent universities, and in today’s uncertain climate, our mission remains as vital as ever.

We provide our members with access to students at Asia’s top universities, carefully screening applicants to ensure that every host university gets the scholarly candidates that are the right fit for their campus. As a U.S. not-for-profit, we are also dedicated to transparency and ethical partnerships, in the belief that study abroad can and should be a catalyst for good within society.

Dr. Gregory Hess, President & CEO, IES Abroad


Who We Are

SAF facilitates student mobility between our global university consortium. We provide students from Asia with virtual and in-person study abroad opportunities during semester, year-long, and summer terms across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Asia. Utilizing IES Abroad's 35+ global teaching centers, we also offer bespoke, customized study tour programs. 


SAF is part of IES Abroad, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1950.

Learn more about IES Abroad

  • badge
    Top 100 CSR Companies in China, 2020
  • badge
    Partner of 25 Top 100 Ranked Universities
  • badge
    PIEoneer's Industry Award Winner, 2018
  • badge
    145+ Study & Intern Abroad Program Options
  • badge
    Part of IES Abroad, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit
  • badge
    Virtual, In-Person, Short-Term & Semester

Programs We Offer

Academic Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Working across our university consortium, SAF enrolls students in term-based undergraduate or graduate courses to be assessed on the same basis as degree-seeking students.


Concurrent Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Students just shy of normal language requirements have options with hybrid language and academic course combinations in both undergraduate and graduate programs.


Internship Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Working with a limited number of quality partners, SAF facilitates professional internship placements to enable students apply their learning in the real world.


Language Standalone Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Students with any level of language proficiency can study abroad. SAF partners exclusively with university campus language centers to offer pure language courses designed to improve proficiency.


Language Pathway Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Students aspiring toward a for-credit study abroad program who don't yet meet language requirements can take a language pathway program with SAF.


Research Programs 


Working in partnership with host university faculty, our students enjoy participating in a dedicated research effort during the academic session.


Summer Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Enroll in a summer session at an SAF partner university. Tailored specifically for international students, summer programs often include prearranged extra-curricular activities.


Academic Study Tour Programs - Virtual & In-Person


Offered primarily to our home university faculty, SAF facilitates student groups across IES Abroad locations and our university consortium for bespoke, faculty-led programs.



Partnering With Us

Gain immediate access to a world of study abroad opportunities. Facilitate improved student outcomes. Connect with leading universities around the globe. There are so many reasons why universities work with the Study Abroad Foundation.

500+ study abroad opportunities

Increase international student mobility with access to a wide range of opportunities for overseas coursework, research, and internship studies for students.

Premium access to Top 100 universities

Gain access to limited-seat programs and exclusive scholarship opportunities offered at SAF's Top 100 prestigious university partners.

Bespoke group programming options

Leverage SAF's access to a broad global university consortium and IES Abroad's 30+ global teachers centers for bespoke, academic study tour programming.

Professional development and networking

Continually improve with SAF's annual professional development, training, and networking opportunities geared to transferring good practice and institutional capacity building.

Access decades of study abroad experience

Access SAF's comprehensive administrative, marketing, and recruiting systems in local languages to compliment your own global university activities.

#1 student care commitment

Minimize the risks associated with student mobility with SAF and IES Abroad's refined safety policies and crisis management procedures.


Host Universities

Your effective and efficient recruitment partner

A pioneer in the field, SAF was among the first to realize the synergies of working collegiately to fully prepare and support short-term, visiting, non-degree students. Today, SAF offers sophisticated enrollment management services to dramatically reduce hosting institutions' time, costs, and efforts to recruit and enroll international students.

SAF Scholars Meet Qualifications, Exceed Expectations

As hosting institutions welcome international students, they’re fielding questions as to whether students can measure up to academic demands. SAF Scholars hail from top universities in Asia; our expert staff evaluate applicants to ensure they meet your specific requirements before being submitted to your university admissions.

Promoting Your Programs

Institutions can’t always commit the resources they would like to promoting their visiting student programs abroad. With our global network of offices and dedicated program specialists, we work with you to identify existing programs to grow or opportunities for customized programs to improve our ability to recruit students for you.

Host Universities


United States

View more

United Kingdom

View more


View more


View more
Australia & New Zealand

Australia & New Zealand

View more


View more

Home Universities

Send your students to over 80 universities and teaching centers in 18 different countries

The broadest range of programs

Our comprehensive program portfolio includes over 500 programs across thousands of disciplines in both the northern and southern hemisphere academic calendars.

Accelerate your internationalization goals

Gain instant access to our prestigious network and annual professional development programs geared toward transferring good practice and institutional capacity building.

Bespoke Group Programming Options

Leverage SAF's access to a broad global university consortium and IES Abroad's 30+ global teachers centers for bespoke, academic study tour programming.

A reliable, nonprofit, US-based organization

SAF is part of IES Abroad, the largest 501(c)3 nonprofit study abroad organization in the United States. IES Abroad has served over 100,000 students since 1950.

Home Universities



65 Universities
View more


28 Universities
View more


26 Universities
View more



Mr. Lewis Cardenas Michigan State University

I've been very impressed with how well we are received during our visits abroad, and how caring the staff has been in accommodating a busy travel schedule but making sure the goals of my visits are achieved. In addition, we are very impressed at the caliber of candidates coming from SAF. We look forward to continuing.


Mr. Mark Pickerel University College London

Our partnership with SAF has grown considerably and now embraces year, semester and summer and English language programmes. The growing number of institutions in SAF's university network and in-country connections have been invaluable in terms developing UCL's outreach in these countries. 

Ms. Stephanie Nixon

Ms. Stephanie Nixon International Programmes, University of Manchester

We have worked with SAF since 2015, and have been impressed with how well-prepared the students joining us through the Foundation have been. SAF staff have also always been helpful and responsive whenever we have contacted them.

Ms. Jacqueline Prowse

Ms. Jacqueline Prowse Director, English Language Centre

SAF are effective in assisting students to find the educational opportunity that is right for each individual and then supporting them throughout the registration, visa, and travel process. They have sent 154 students to ELC to date. For the ELC, the staff at SAF are truly a delight to work with and we value our relationship.


Ms. Laura Shier Lewis & Clark

We have worked with SAF since 2010. SAF is professional and extremely responsive in assisting us and students who apply to our program. They work with us to identify students who are a good match for our program and school. We have enjoyed a very collegial relationship with SAF and all of their employees.

Florence Plessis, Catholique L'Ouest

Ms. Florence Plessis Director, Centre International D'études Françaises

Working with SAF is very easy because they are very professional and they perfectly know the market and their job. The staff of SAF is very efficient, kind, supportive and attentive to the students and the partners. It's a real pleasure to work with SAF. Thank you for everything!

/ Testimonials


Reach Out To Us

Now you know more about SAF. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help your institution achieve its internationalization goals in 2021 and beyond. 

Send A Question