Academic Programs International (API)

301 Camp Craft Road Suite 100 Austin, Texas 78746-6501 United States

About Academic Programs International (API)

Year Founded: 1997

Learning Transformed. Life Transforming.

API was founded in 1997 by four women who wanted to create a different, meaningful study abroad experience that not only placed emphasis on outstanding academics, but also immersive cultural experiences.

API offers college study abroad programs year-round in 18 countries, in 40 cities across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Programs can be as long as a full academic year or as short as two weeks. With a wide variety of courses offered in almost every major discipline and in various languages of instruction, it is easy for students to find a program that suits their academic interests. While courses are available in English in many locations, if foreign language acquisition is the primary goal, API offers high quality language and culture programs for all levels of language learners.

API also offers intern, teach, volunteer, and work opportunities all around the world through our Cultural Embrace by API division. High school and gap year students may study or volunteer abroad through Aspire by API.

In addition to the strength of our academic and experiential programs, API has twice been recognized by GoAbroad.com for excellence in study abroad innovation (2011 Innovation in Social Media Award; 2013 Innovative Technology Award). API has also been recognized by the Austin American-Statesman for its social media and outreach efforts (2012).

Discover Programs

API - Study Abroad in Spain at The University of Granada

Spain : Granada

API's Study Abroad program in Granada, Spain offers students the chance to study in a diverse city with a Bohemian feel at one of Spain's premier institutions. The city and...

API - Study Abroad in Spain at The University of Cadiz

Spain : Cadiz

To study abroad in Cadiz, Spain means studying in a location a bit off the beaten path in terms of American study abroad students. This makes it easier for students to practice...

API in Florence

Italy : Florence

Be inspired by immaculate Renaissance architecture, passionate art pieces, as well as a vibrant and historical culture! Florence is arguably one of the most desirable cities...

API at LdM - The Italian International Institute in Rome

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Come study a variety of different subjects at Lorenzo de' Medici in the heart of Rome! The school is perfect students who thrive in an urban environment but prefer the intimate,...

API - Study Abroad Program at The University of Salamanca

Spain : Salamanca

Study abroad in Salamanca, a small city of about 230,000 people. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; its Plaza Mayor (city center) is one of the most impressive...

API at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville

Spain : Seville (Sevilla)

Seville, the capital of Andalusia, sits in southwestern Spain and is known for its rich 2000 year history and beautiful weather. API at Pablo de Olavide University in Seville...

API at the Antonio de Nebrija University in Madrid

Spain : Madrid

Madrid is ideal for the urbanite who loves a bustling, cosmopolitan city with a dynamic culture. With courses taught primarily in Spanish, students will have an opportunity...

API at John Cabot University in Rome

Italy : Roma (Rome)

Studying abroad in Rome is not for the faint-hearted nor the quiet-minded. With its enormous and bustling urban environment, its layers of rich and complex history, and the...

API - Study Abroad in Spain at The University of Seville

Spain : Seville (Sevilla)

Study Abroad in Spain at The University of Seville with Academic Programs International which offers an exceptional learning experience with many chances for extensive travel....

API at the Cours de Civilisation Francaise de la Sorbonne

France : Paris

Receive more than an introduction to la vie Française and live within the famed city of lights and love. This program is ideal for the student who longs for the romance

API at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Germany : Berlin

Erleben Sie Deutschland! Students who have a desire to improve their German language and cultural knowledge yet only have a limited time to do so, are ideal for this short...

API at University College London

England : London

Get ready to experience London in all its glory as a resident of the city! Studying in London is ideal for academically focused students who are eager to attend a prestigious...

API at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires

Argentina : Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the second biggest metropolitan area in South America, just after São Paulo. It is a dynamic, diverse, and modern city that still possesses a strong understanding...

API at the University Autonoma in Barcelona, Spain

Spain : Barcelona

Come study in Barcelona and discover the charming nature of the city as well as its Catalan flair. Studying in Barcelona offers the chance to meet other international students,...

API in Galway at the National University of Ireland, Galway

Ireland : Galway

Travel to Galway and experience Irelands authentically vibrant and rich culture. Ideal for any student who is ready to jump head first into the heart of Irish life and culture,...

API in Leeds

England : Leeds

Come live in the beautiful city of Leeds! Adventurous and independent students who are excited about studying in a vibrant, cosmopolitan university town and want to discover...

API at the University College Cork, National University of Ireland

Ireland : Cork

Cork is the ideal city for a student who thrives in an urban environment and someone who would take advantage of the many international festivals and concerts that happen...

API at the University of Deusto in Bilbao

Spain : Bilbao

Come explore the vibrant and exciting Basque culture of Bilbao, Spain. Ideal for students interested in learning more about Basque culture and language as well as those who...

API at FSU London Study Center

England : London

Get ready to experience life in a major historic capital of Western government, commerce, and the arts! The FSU London Study Center's program is designed with American students...

API in Mendoza, Argentina

Argentina : Mendoza

Known for its delightful food, untouched wilderness, and charming culture, Mendoza, Argentina is a great place to study abroad! Adventurous students interested in Argentine...

API in Sharjah, UAE

United Arab Emirates : Sharjah

Explore the beautiful and vibrant city of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Although Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken so students will be able...

API at Universidad Veritas in San Jose

Costa Rica : San Jose

Experience the beautiful blend of a thriving urban environment surrounded by a flourishing rainforest! Studying at Universidad Veritas is perfect for students who are looking...

API at Maynooth University

Ireland : Dublin, Maynooth

As the capital of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin is one of the liveliest cities in Europe. With one of the youngest populations comprising people from many different parts...

API at University College Dublin

Ireland : Dublin

Come experience this international campus in one of Europes most exciting cities! Ideal for students who are focused heavily on academics and want to attend a distinguished,...

API at the Center Universitaire d'Etudes Francaises (CUEF)

France : Grenoble

Come discover true France while living in the heart of Grenoble. Ideal for someone who is eager to learn the French language and immerse themselves in French culture, this...

API at the Instituto San Joaquin de Flores

Costa Rica : San Joaquin de Flores

San Joaquín de Flores is a quaint town located just outside of San José, Costa Rica. It's the perfect study abroad location for students who are interested in an off-the-beaten-path...

API and The University of Massachusetts in Paris

France : Paris

Paris, the city of lights and love, is known for its rich and diverse culture, delectable food, and incredible monuments and museums. Studying in Paris is ideal for the student...

API at the University of Westminster

England : London

London is a city that has inspired cutting-edge innovation for centuries. As an international center of business, fine arts, technology, politics and much more, London has...

API - Parsons Paris Art and Design Pre-College Summer

France : Paris

High school students are introduced to the art and design college experience in Paris. The program is open to high school students entering their junior or senior year and...

API - Study Abroad in Paris at Parsons | The New School

France : Paris

This program allows students to experience Paris from an insider’s perspective by exploring the history of European art and design firsthand in the many museums and design...

API International Internships in Seville, Spain

Spain : Seville (Sevilla)

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API International Internships in Barcelona, Spain

Spain : Barcelona

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API International Internships in Dublin, Ireland

Ireland : Dublin

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API International Internships in London, England

England : London

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API International Internships in Santiago, Chile

Chile : Santiago

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API International Internships in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentina : Buenos Aires

Academic Programs International (API) international internships are unique opportunities for you to begin to explore and cultivate your future career through a high quality,...

API - UMass in Lisbon International Business and Humanities

Portugal : Lisbon

Spend a semester in one of the Europes's most historically important cities--Lisbon! Students will enjoy all the culture that the Portuguese capital has to offer, from delicious...

API at Royal Thimphu College

Bhutan : Thimphu

API students who study abroad in Thimphu will be able to directly enroll with Bhutanese students and take courses as only a few fortunate westerners are able to do! Students...

API in Shanghai, China

China : Shanghai

Shanghai is currently the largest city in the world by population and is a dynamic, vibrant metropolis. This city and program are ideal for students who wish to dive head...

API in Beijing, China

China : Beijing

Experience Beijing as a resident and student! This program is great for curious students who prefer an urban environment as well as those who want to immerse themselves in...

API at the University of Havana

Cuba : Havana

Spend a term living on the biggest of the Caribbean islands and have an abroad experience like no other! It is perfect for the student who is adventurous, has an intermediate...

API at Dubrovnik International University

Croatia : Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik is recognized throughout the world as a place with a distinct identity in terms of traits and factors which conditioned its development. These include...

API at Freie Universität Berlin (FU-BEST)

Germany : Berlin

Students who are looking to improve their knowledge of German language and culture and still take courses within their area of studies in English will find what they need...

API in Taormina

Italy : Taormina

Taormina is a beautiful and ancient city located off of the eastern coast of Sicily. Studying here is ideal for students who are independent, outdoorsy, and have a desire...

API in Stirling

Scotland : Stirling

Discover the quaint, historic town of Stirling, Scotland. The program is perfect for adventurous, outdoorsy students who want to live in a buzzing student-friendly city with...

API in Edinburgh

Scotland : Edinburgh

Live in a city with an incredible, historical heritage! Edinburgh has a vibrant cultural scene of live music, performing arts, and galleries as well as high quality educational...

API in Caen

France : Caen

Travel to the beautiful, medieval city of Caen and discover authentic French culture. This city and program are ideal for any student who longs to be immersed in French culture...

API at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

England : London

Get the opportunity to attend a leading institution which specializes in the study of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East while living in the diverse city of London! The School...

API at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso

Chile : Valparaiso

Experience the culturally rich port city of Valparaiso while attending courses among a diverse student body! This program is perfect for those who prefer an urban environment...

API in Doha, Qatar

Qatar : Doha

Come and study in Qatar to experience a culture like no other! Qatar is a nation about the size of Connecticut, but the small country offers a very unique experience. The...

API at Trinity College Dublin

Ireland : Dublin

Founded in 1592, Trinity College exists as one of the United Kingdom's seven ancient universities and through time has developed quite a prestigious name for itself. Great...

API at the Institut Catholique in Paris

France : Paris

Founded in 1948, the ILCF (Institut de Langue et de Cultures Francaises) is a department of the Catholic University of Paris (Insitut Catholique de Paris). The ILCF welcomes...

API at the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires

Argentina : Buenos Aires

Come explore the ever expanding cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, Argentina! The city is great for students who are adventurous and independent yet would prefer smaller

API at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona

Spain : Barcelona

Calling all urbanites looking to see the world! Barcelona is a fantastic destination for active students who are seeking a lively student population and a chance to meet

API at the Universidad de Costa Rica

Costa Rica : San Jose

API offers a comprehensive study abroad program in the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose. API students in San Jose will study Spanish language and liberal arts at the

API at the University of the Arts, London

England : London

There is something in London for everyone! As a center of design, fine arts, theater, business and politics, London has inspired cutting-edge innovation and creativity for...

API at the London School of Economics

England : London

With the 6th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in Europe, the United Kingdom is a great place to study business and economics! This program is perfect for

API at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao

Spain : Bilbao

This program is designed for art majors/minors. Students are required to have taken two semesters of college level Spanish. Some courses of study may require a higher working...

API at the Grenoble Ecole de Management

France : Grenoble

Ideal for the business student who is ready for an introduction to French culture, academic excellence, and a whole lot of adventure, this API program in Grenoble will broaden...

API in Queretaro, Mexico

Mexico : Queretaro

Live within the heart of Mexican culture in the traditional yet surprisingly modern city of Queretaro, Mexico! Ideally for open-minded students who wish to study the Spanish...

API 3 Cities Program - Tuscania, Rome and Florence or Venice

Italy : Florence, Roma (Rome) and 2 other cities , Tuscania, Venice Show less

The Three Cities Program is a unique travel opportunity ideal for any student with a flexible and inquiring mind. Students who are equally comfortable in a large city setting...

API in Budapest

Hungary : Budapest

Come study at Corvinus, one of the most prestigious universities in Hungary! Renowned specifically for its programs in Economics, Management, and Social Sciences, this program...

API in Venice

Italy : Venice

API students have the opportunity to study at the new Lorenzo de Medici - The Italian International Institute in Venice! LdM Venice, in affiliation with Istituto Venezia,...

API at the University of Limerick

Ireland : Limerick

Want to experience the "luck of the Irish?" Spend time studying in Limerick, Ireland and discover what gives the country its reputable charm. This API program is ideal for...

API at Suffolk University in Madrid

Spain : Madrid

Madrid is the third largest city in the European Union and Suffolk University has students from over 25 nationalities on campus. This provides the ideal set up for someone...

API at the International Center for Development Studies in San Jose

Costa Rica : San Jose

Development Studies in Latin America by API is the perfect fit for students interested in sustainable development and human rights. The International Center for Development...

API at The University of Barcelona

Spain : Barcelona

API's Study at the University of Barcelona program takes students to the second largest city in Spain. Barcelona has nine World Heritage Sites making even an every day stroll...

API - Study Abroad at Complutense University in Madrid

Spain : Madrid

Study Abroad at The University Complutense of Madrid, one of the world's oldest universities in Spain's largest city. The beautiful and expansive campus has produced world...

API - Experience the Beauty and History of Tuscania

Italy : Tuscania

Academic Programs Internationals program - Experience the Beauty and History of Tuscania  immerses students in the small town atmosphere of authentic Italy. Students will...

Academic Programs International in Krakow

Poland : Krakow

A city of kings, popes, and poets, Krakow is a historically rich, diverse, and bustling city yet is located less than two hours from the stunning, Alp-like Tatra Mountains....

API at the Universidad Technica Federico Santa Maria

Chile : Valparaiso

Study in the beautiful and diverse city of Valparaiso, Chile at a leading technical university! Valparaiso overlooks the Pacific Ocean from its many hillsides that are filled...

API at the Universidad Vina del Mar

Chile : Vina del Mar

Come study at a smaller university located in the beautiful coastal city of Vina del Mar! Urban-loving students who are curious, independent, and are interested in exploring...

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

  • Jeramy Johnson - Vice President of Marketing and Development

    Jeramy Johnson - Vice President of Marketing and Development of API

    Academic Programs International (API) is a leading international education organization with study abroad programs in 20 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. API works closely with universities to make sure each student’s needs, before, during, and after an education experience abroad, are met. Jeremy Johnson works as API’s vice president of marketing and development, ensuring the organization continues their mission throughout the world, in every program, for every participant.

    Summer 14 excursions - Plentzia, Gernika, Mundaka
    Summer 14 excursions - Plentzia, Gernika, Mundaka. Photo courtesy of API

    The Academic Programs International mission includes a line that states, “API is committed to providing the best comprehensive study abroad experience possible.” What comprises a great study abroad program?

    In our opinion, what makes a great study abroad program is the value of the program… not only the economic value of the program (what you get for the price), but the academic and cultural value added. Our goal is to develop international experiences that highlight top academics and amazing cultural opportunities - all at a competitive price point.

    API has always been a leader in international education. What do you think is API’s role in today’s fast-evolving field of international education?

    Again, our focus is developing quality academic and cultural programs at a reasonable price point. I think that is the niche that we fill in our field, and what we’re best known for; that and the amazing people that I work with both in the U.S. and internationally. We also place a high priority on fulfilling the needs of our university partners in innovative ways and through new types of programs, including customized offerings, individual and specialized internships, service learning opportunities, etc.

    API has a lot of programs in a variety of countries. How do you make each program stand out from other programs?

    We are very strategic when it comes to deciding which programs to develop and where. We try to be conscious about creating programs that will appeal to a diverse array of student interests, based on location, areas of academic interest, cultural opportunities, etc. Some of our programs have mass appeal, others are inviting specifically because they are in an “off-the-beaten-path” or relatively undiscovered location. Other programs are popular because of the unique set of course offerings they present. So I think each API programs stand out based on a combination of the factors mentioned above.

    What is API’s most popular program or program destination based on participation numbers?

    While several programs vie for the most popular, traditionally our programs in Spain have had the largest enrollment.

    In your profile on the API website, you list Salzburg, Dubrovnik, and Dubai as your favorite travel locations. In your opinion, what would makes these locations good study abroad destinations?

    Ha, good catch! Salzburg is a personal favorite (my wife lived in Austria for 7 years), and I think a program there could be very popular (who knows what the future holds?).

    Regarding Dubai, I am fascinated by how the U.A.E. and Qatar (and specifically Doha and Dubai) have quite literally risen out of the sands in the past few decades, and are developing before our eyes. The U.A.E. provides a study abroad experience in contrast with more ‘“traditional” American study abroad destinations where students often are drawn to a location based on its history, architecture, artifacts, etc… The dynamic in the gulf region affords students the opportunity to witness the rapid modern development of societies.

    On that note, API offers a wonderful study abroad program in the UAE in Sharjah, the Emirate next to Dubai (20 minutes away). Our partner university (the American University of Sharjah) is arguably the top university in the entire region, with multiple American, U.A.E., and regional accreditations (including middle states, Aacsb, Naab, and Abet). Additionally, the campus is absolutely gorgeous, is coed, and has a very diverse student body. Couple that with the fact that Sharjah is the U.A.E.’s cultural capital and only 20 to 30 minutes from cosmopolitan Dubai, and students have the best of both worlds at their disposal!

    What program do you most highly recommend to potential participants?

    It totally depends on the student. When speaking with students at universities, on the phone, or on social media, the first thing I try to do is get a feel for why they want to study abroad, what they want to study, what their learning goals are, where they want to go, when they want to go,  etc, and then try to present what I think might be their best options from our program portfolio. 

    We really want what is best for the student, and sometimes they are looking for a program that we do not offer, so we always encourage them to speak with their study abroad office or academic advisor on campus before they make any decisions.

    How does API ensure participants feel comfortable in their program locations?

    Every student has different needs and different expectations, so I think a big part it is trying to provide the student with as much information as possible in advance of their program decision, so that they have realistic expectations on what their API program experience is going to be like. This includes not only collecting all the relevant personal information we can upon application or post-application from the student (food allergies, roommate preferences, etc), but also letting them know as much as possible about accommodations, transportation, API staff, etc. We take pride in securing quality housing in each location, and in many locations we try to provide additional services (e.g. kitchen kits, transport passes, mobile phones, tutoring).

    Our extensive pre-departure and on-site orientations also focus on student needs and expectations, and our on-site resident directors are trained to work with students to make their experience the best it can possibly be (they are available to students 24/7, often providing tutoring and social/cultural support, particularly at the start of a program, and they often remain in contact with students post-program).

    Safety and security is a primary concern of study abroad participants. How does API ensure the safety of its participants abroad? 

    Student/participant safety and security is of paramount importance to us at API. We have extensive emergency action plans in place for all of our locations, and our resident directors undergo continuous training to make sure that they are current on our policies and procedures in the event of an emergency, large or small, real or perceived. 

    Additionally, API Texas and API international staff closely monitor safety and security information on a daily basis to make sure that we are as prepared as possible for any potential crises.

    As API’s VP of Marketing and Development, you have visited many of the organization’s program locations, including Barcelona in Spain, Doha in Qatar, and Krakow in Poland. How did your experience in those cities compare to that of living in your hometown of San Antonio, Texas?

    Growing up in south Texas, I never really thought much about traveling the world. In my rural bubble, I didn’t even know many people who had travelled out of the country (with the exception of Mexico, which is only a few hours from where i grew up). I loved my childhood, but I did think there was much more out there for me, and once I had my first taste of travel, I was hooked. I know it’s cliché, but it really did open my eyes to the wider world, and the notion that there is more than one viewpoint or way of seeing the world. It was liberating!

    Can we expect any API programs in new cities in the near future?

    API is always looking for new opportunities for students abroad, and has just recently added new destinations in Bhutan and Portugal – the API world never stops!

    Did you ever get the chance to shoot hoops with Tim Duncan?

    No, but I did get to shoot the breeze with him before he was announced to the city in front of the Alamo after being drafted in the summer of 1997. His Wake Forest team had knocked my University of Texas team out of the NCAA tournament, so I got a few good natured digs in at him. ;)

  • Roni Sivan - Coordinator of Customized Programs

    Born in Israel and raised in Austin, Texas, Roni returned to Israel to complete her high school education, exposing her to a very distinct mix of cultures early on. While earning a degree in Art History at NYU, she also had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, not to mention she ventured through South America on a solo backpacking escapade. Her mixture of experiences abroad inspired her to become involved in the field of international education, where she is now settled as both Program Manager for API programs in Bhutan and Coordinator of Customized Programs.

    Academic Programs International study abroad stuff at the Irazu Volcano

    API staff at Irazu Volcano.

    You have a background in Art History from New York University, how did you transition from the art world to international education?

    I had my first taste of international education early on, as I attended an international high school in Israel where I was surrounded by friends from all over the world. Then I studied abroad for a year in Florence during my time at NYU. While I tested the art world out for a while working at a gallery in Tel Aviv (international art, of course!), it was a solo backpacking trip through South America the following year that made me realize that I wanted to work more directly in the field of international exchange.

    You claim both Austin and Tel Aviv as home, how did you get connected with API?

    I was born in Israel, grew up in Austin, and finished high school in Israel. I did a lot of back and forth between the two places until I decided to settle back in Austin in 2006 to pursue a career. After a few years working with inbound international students at a visa sponsor agency, I wanted to shift gears and work to encourage U.S. students going abroad. A friend of mine worked at API at the time, and she encouraged me to apply for the position on the customized programs team.

    You studied abroad in Italy, but you now manage API’s program in Bhutan, what is your experience with South Asia?

    Before I started working at API, I took another backpacking trip—this time through Southeast Asia. I spent months traveling and eating my way through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I fell in love with Cambodia instantly and extended my stay there to volunteer in schools and different remote villages. Since that experience, I have stayed connected with the region and travel there every year through the scarf business I started, krama wheel, which employs Cambodian weavers and gives children access to education. So when Bhutan was announced as API’s newest program site, I wanted to be a part of getting students to a part of the world that is close to my heart.

    A volunteer riding a train to Heredia.

    Local train to Heredia, Costa Rica.

    What does a typical day look like as a Coordinator of Customized Programs for API?

    A typical day does not exist in my world! I work on dozens of programs at once, all at different stages of development, so on any given day I could be brainstorming with a professor, Skyping with an API resident director about a program itinerary, writing up a contract, preparing pre-departure materials for students…this list could go on and on. Needless to say, it is never boring in our corner of the office.

    What’s the most exciting part about developing, managing, and implementing the customized programs you work with Universities to create?

    The most exciting part is that each program is unique and comes with its own set of needs and challenges.

    What makes API’s Bhutan program unique, and what type of student is a good fit for the program?

    The Bhutan program is such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse yourself in a magical country that is still relatively untouched by the outside world…and without the hefty $250/day tourist fee. Our students get to live on campus alongside Bhutanese students and enroll in classes (taught in English) with them. I think the program is a great fit for students who already have experience abroad and are independent and adventurous. The Himalayas are in your backyard so it is an outdoors(wo)man’s dream!

    In your LinkedIn profile you use the byline, “champion of wanderers + wonderers,” how do you do this on a daily basis in your role at API?

    On a daily basis I am supporting people in their dreams of expanding their physical, intellectual and emotional horizons. Whether it’s a professor who wants to take a group of students to Buenos Aires for the first time, or a student whose dream it is to study in Bhutan, I am their champion throughout the process.

    What’s the most fulfilling part of your role at API?

    Nothing brings me more satisfaction than making ideas come to life. So to take a professor’s idea for a program and turn it into a reality is really fulfilling. Of course I don’t do it all on my own, and I am lucky to get to work with a rockstar team of resident directors around the world who play an enormous role in making each program a success.

    If you could go on any API program right now, which would you chose?

    Bhutan. Obviously! If this was an option for me back in my college days, I would have jumped at the chance. Hopefully I will get there soon to experience the magic firsthand.

    We hear you have an affinity for Swedish Indie pop, where did this love come from?

    Over the years I have come across many bands that I love, and more often than not they turned out to be Swedish. Maybe it’s their affinity for the glockenspiel—I love a good glock beat. Or maybe it’s my Swedish blood (that term seems fitting since I’m of half Scandinavian/half Transylvanian descent).

    What’s your favorite place to listen to music in Austin?

    They are excellent performers and I’m lucky to live in a place where I’ve been able to see some of my favorites in person. The Mohawk is a great outdoor venue in town. My absolute favorite Austin music experience is getting to see a live taping of the Austin City Limits TV show—I have yet to catch a Swedish band there though.

  • Anna Exertier - Grenoble, France Resident Director

    Anna Exertier - Grenoble, France Resident Director

    Anna Exertier is a Resident Director for API Study Abroad in Grenoble, France. Anna came to Grenoble to study French with API in the summer of 2003. She is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in French and Art. Shortly after graduating from college, Anna moved to France to teach English for a year. Ten years later she is still living in Grenoble sharing her life with a husband and two daughters ages one and four. She enjoys cooking, traveling, and most of all spending time with her family.

    







API Study Abroad Students at the API Office in France

    API group in front of the API office.

    Your love for French and France started with your experience studying abroad in Grenoble with API in college, how did you transition from student to director?

    I studied abroad in Grenoble just during the summer of 2003. I knew right away that as soon as I finished my undergrad degree that I would be moving back to Grenoble! I took the leap in 2004 and worked as a Teacher Assistant in a couple middle schools and a high school through the TAPIF program (Teacher Assistant Program in France). During my first year living in Grenoble, I spent my free time volunteering in the API office. A position opened and I applied. So here I am today! I was really fortunate to be in the right place, at the right time.

    







API Study abroad students celebrating Thanksgiving

    Anna & GEM group Thanksgiving 2010.

    You’ve spent the last 10 plus years living in Grenoble, and even met your husband there; do you think you’ll ever leave France?

    At the present, neither one of us have talked about moving to the states. We have our routine, friends, my husband’s family, a home we just bought five minutes from our daughter’s school by foot. I’ve really come to appreciate the French schooling system and how children are reared in France. Plus, the French cuisine is a reason alone to never leave France!

    What is a typical day like for a student on API’s Grenoble, France program?

    Funny stories and new experiences! But most of all, little personal victories on a daily basis.  The majority of Grenoble students live with a host family. They have breakfast and dinner with their hosts seven days a week so there is constant interaction in speaking French. A typical day for a Grenoble student would be class in the morning and some in the afternoon either at the CUEF (language school), or at GEM (business school). If it is the spring semester, we have a lot of skiers so they might go skiing before or after class. When the weather is nice, they a hike up the Bastille with friends, hang out or do homework in cafés, then dinner with the host family.

    







API Staff and students on campus in France

    Anna & students on campus.

    How do you use your experience as a student in Grenoble with API to help students today? 

    I can understand and relate to their difficulties, since I’ve dealt with most of them myself.  Knowing both cultures very well now, I’d say I have good advice to give when they need my help.

    What kind of extracurricular activities or excursions do you offer to help your students immerse with the local culture?

    We’ve set up a few volunteer opportunities for the students such as, playing with three to eleven year old kids during lunch and recess time, art workshops with Senior Citizens, and working a few hours a week at the American Corner. We have the Director from each association come and speak in our office so that students can easily sign up right on the spot. Also, there is a one-day event in the spring when students and the Rotary Club work in the vineyards pulling branches. The money earned goes to an association which improves the living standards in a home for handicap people.

    We spend a lot of energy motivating students to get involved anyway they can. It’s the best way to improve their French language skills, make the most of their stay in Grenoble and avoid going home feeling frustrated because they didn’t make French friends or meet many locals.

    How do you ensure the safety & security of API’s students in Grenoble?

    The housing assignment is very important for us and it’s by far our biggest job. We spend so much time meeting with families and getting to know them, as well as the residence staff. We can count on the families and the residences to keep us informed if issues arise. We know almost every student on an individual basis, we see them regularly so we can be sensitive and vigilant when we feel like something is off. Plus, students feel comfortable coming to us and talking for whatever the reason may be.

    







API Study Abroad Students in France during the Annecy Excursion

    Annecy excursion 2011.

    What is the best piece of advice you can give students who are interested in applying to the API Grenoble, France program?

    Choose to live with a host family. We brag that our host families in Grenoble are the best, and 90 percent of the learning experience is outside the classroom and with the family.

    What about API’s program in Grenoble is unique when compared to other programs in the area?

    There are two of us (Resident Directors) that work full time. It is a small to medium sized program, so we are able to give a lot of individual attention to students.

    What is your favorite part about your job as one of the Grenoble, France Resident Directors?

    It’s hard to choose just one, so I’ll probably say a few here. I have a job that constantly stays interesting! Though the excursions and activities remain the same every semester, the students change, and I get to witness again and again new eyes discovering the beauties of France for the first time. I re-live my experience and the joys from when I was a study abroad student. Also, there is almost nothing more rewarding than when I see a student blossom and grow in such a short period of time. Knowing that I have assisted in some way in their growth is really rewarding.

    Do you have plans of expanding your program in Grenoble in any way?

    We’re always open to new ideas and projects. We’re looking into offering a larger variety of courses at the French university with French students. The courses would be taught in English.