Interested in pursuing an American degree in France? Learn about options through IAU's degree-granting institution - The American College of the Mediterranean.

Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Partner E-Newsletter Fall 2021

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Edition no. 01

Fall 2021

IAU is the study abroad institute of The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM).

Do you have any updates you would like to share in the next partner newsletter? Our partners are welcome to contact Rebecca Coyle, Associate Director of Admissions and University Relations, for any partner-related items at  We'd love to hear from you! 

Table of Contents

Updates from IAU

President's Report

Challenges and Accomplishments Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

The last eighteen months have been some of the most difficult in the history of IAU and ACM since the founding of each institution in 1957 and 2016 respectively. The total decimation of international higher education worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on students, faculty, and institutions as a whole. In March of 2020, IAU and ACM had just welcomed our largest cohort of study abroad and degree-seeking students in all locations and we were forecasting an unprecedented number of faculty-led and direct-enroll students for that same summer with over five hundred potential participants. We were on schedule to finish the fiscal year with over 1,200 students with a sizable surplus going back to the endowment. The pandemic has lasted much longer than we had expected and the fallout of the consequences is real and will have a lasting effect on our institution.

Carl Jubran, PresidentThe most devastating initial consequences of the pandemic resulted in an 80% reduction in student enrollments. As many other universities were experiencing the same enrollment fallout, this led to the unfortunate furlough of faculty and staff in France, Spain, and the U.S. and the elimination of thirty-seven part-time faculty and staff positions in all locations. Despite our best efforts to explain the financial crises, there was an inevitable psychological malaise that threatened the overall wellbeing of our relationships with longstanding faculty and staff as well as a deep sense of survivor’s guilt among the personnel who were fortunate enough to remain in their positions. We have been blessed with a team of dedicated and committed staff who fortunately now understand the global context. Managing this fallout has been one of the most challenging aspects of my duties in the last ten years.

One positive outcome of the pandemic was that it gave us time to work on the Accreditation Self Study report that was submitted in February of 2021 to the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).  The Self Study report is the key reflective document presented to NECHE as part of the candidacy stage of the process. Become a candidate for accreditation is a major step in the process and I am pleased to report that on November 18, 2021, I represented ACM at a formal commission meeting where ACM was approved for candidacy. This is excellent news for our institution. We greatly appreciate Vice President Philip Breeden's efforts with this process. Looking back over this past year, he worked closely with the deans, directors, and faculty to form the appropriate committees to address each of the nine accreditation standards and organized several Academic Affairs Committee meetings to draft our Self-Study before it was reviewed by the Visiting Team in April of 2021. This exercise and the final document represented a necessary phase in the professionalization of our institution. The self-reflection and examination of all that we do as an institution have helped us all understand more clearly our areas of growth and improvement. Since our candidacy review was scheduled over a year in advance and the Commission decided to move forward with the April 2021 visit, we proceeded to present our best possible dossier to the visiting team. Given the reduction in students on campus and the fact that our faculty and staff numbers had been reduced, this was not the most ideal time for us to be reviewed by an accreditor. Nevertheless, I consider the NECHE accreditation and ultimate approval of ACM for the candidacy stage as one of the highlights of this year and an enormous accomplishment for the faculty, staff, and the institution. I don’t say this because of the positive outcome of the report and our approval for candidacy but much more to do with the overwhelming solidarity we all felt during this time period leading up to the NECHE visit, during the visit itself, and certainly for many weeks after. I was edified by the overwhelming show of support and participation of our board members, faculty, and staff who all represented us in the most professional and meaningful ways. I am very pleased with the measure of success we have had now in trying to rebuild the radius of trust among faculty and staff who all came together in earnest to represent and celebrate what we are all trying to accomplish at IAU and ACM.

One of the most poorly elucidated aspects of this pandemic is how it has severely divided our societies. The reality of the fear continues to be more relevant than the reality of the threat. This has been especially true for our study abroad operations through IAU. In the last eighteen months, we have witnessed the complete effacement of study abroad offices across the country. Risk-averse institutions fearing litigation and backlash from students and parents have decided to cancel international programs all over the world. Long-standing colleagues at partner institutions have disappeared from their posts. The last eighteen months have been spent on Zoom and phone calls trying to reconnect us with colleges and universities that were once our largest senders before the pandemic. The institutional memory has now been compromised and much more work needs to be done to reestablish partnership agreements that have been severed due to a downsizing of approved programs on many campuses. In addition, many other schools have decided to only work with study abroad programs with a specific financial threshold. This new model is becoming more popular among universities looking to reduce costs and keep tuition dollars at home. Conversely, since ACM's degree-seeking students are not bound by institutional policy and bureaucracy, most of this intrepid group stayed in Aix to continue their classes and instruction, even at the height of the pandemic. 

In the fall of 2020, we worked closely with the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board to review the possibility of a new MA Program in International Education offered through ACM. The MAIE (MA in International Education) was created to respond directly to the need to professionalize the field of international education. Our program was modeled after New York University, George Washington University, and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The MAIE was approved by the Board of Trustees in February of 2021 and we began marketing the program immediately. The development of this program during the pandemic represented an innovative opportunity to remain visible and illustrate strength and confidence among our university partners and constituents. We hope to enroll our first cohort in the fall of 2022.

As soon as the pandemic started in March of 2020 we were forced to send all students home with little knowledge and preparation for what would come next. This included almost 200 students in Aix and over 160 students in Barcelona (the largest cohort of students since my arrival in 2011). I immediately held meetings with our deans, directors, and faculty to use our Microsoft Teams academic platform to convert all courses to an online format so that we could fulfill our obligations and promise to our students and our partner institutions that all students will finish out the semester with full credit in all courses. Within one week we had the online platform ready in both Aix and Barcelona and the gratitude from partner schools was more pronounced than ever since they were also struggling with the same issues on their own campuses. Our experience with virtual programming to finish out the spring 2020 semester held us in good stead to plan for the summer program and we successfully enrolled over 90 students in virtual classes and internships in the summer of 2020.

IAU and ACM have always had a robust offering of in-person internships in Aix, Barcelona, and Morocco. This obviously started ten years ago when I arrived and introduced the French Honors program in Aix (since we closed the Avignon Center, this was the solution that I proposed to keep our students in high level French in Aix) and also built the Business program that would then become the School of Business in 2015. Both of these programs participated in the first internships at IAU. In the Summers of 2020 and 2021 when in-person programs had been canceled we launched the virtual internship programs with a great measure of success with Princeton, Fairfield, CU Boulder, Nebraska, Rutgers, and the University of Arizona as the top sending institutions. These innovative programs will continue next year as alternatives to students who are seeking a virtual experience and are unable to travel abroad. As a complement to our existing in-person programs, these virtual experiences will offer additional revenue sources in the future.

In the fall of 2020, we were approved by the American and European branches of ETS (Educational Testing Service) as an official TOEFL Testing Center in France. Our Aix campus is the only TOEFL-approved testing center in the region and even with the pandemic, we have conducted regular monthly testing with small groups of French and European students. The Mairie and the Aixois community have expressed their gratitude since now the local students will not have to travel up to Lyon or Paris to take these tests. We will also be launching English Language classes in the future to complement the testing center for locals interested in taking our courses in English.

The Madrid program was put on pause in 2020 due to the pandemic but the staff worked closely with partner schools this last year to create a pilot program for this Fall 2021. We were successful in working with Southern Methodist University, Gonzaga, and the University of South Carolina to work with us for our inaugural Madrid semester program with a small cohort of 12 students this fall. In Spring 2022 the numbers will be closer to 30 students and the program will grow consistently as we develop new partnerships. Unlike Barcelona, this program focuses more on Spanish Language and Culture with a high-level Spanish requirement and a Spanish Honors program. We are also looking into STEM courses in Madrid since this is also the specialty of our current academic partners.

I am grateful for the continued support we receive from our alumni and constituents each year. 2020 and 2021 have been exceptional years for donor relations and our staff continues to work tirelessly to expand our relations with alumni all across the globe. This has involved countless phone calls, Zoom calls, follow-ups, and correspondences in the last eighteen months in order to create a buzz around our alumni and donor relations with enthusiastic campaigns and calls to action. As such, the number of individual donors has increased by 28% over the last year. These measurable indicators hold us in good stead for the future and I will continue to work with the staff this next fiscal year with new campaigns, receptions, auctions, and giving opportunities to increase our visibility and our endowment.

Although our methods may have changed over the last eighteen months, our mission remains the same and we continue to be as dedicated to IAU and ACM as ever. We remain cognizant of the fact that IAU and ACM will only exist if there are students. We are all here for the same reasons and we will do everything we can to bring our students back and continue this great and noble tradition we call international education and change to world one student at a time.

The following goals and objectives represent a roadmap for the coming year. They are ambitious and realistic at the same time and will help us rebuild our institution for the coming years.

Goals and Objectives for 2022

1. Rebuild our faculty with strategic hires in the arts, business, the humanities, and the hard sciences.
2. Rebuild our staff in France, Spain, Morocco, and the US office with strategic hires to rebuild our institution.
3. Increase IAU and ACM enrollments by 30% for the 2022-2023 Academic year.
4. Sign an additional 20 new partnerships with semester, summer, and faculty-led programs in all locations.
5. Bring the Aix campus back on track to a regular number of semester enrollments in Spring of 2022.
6. Develop our Hospitality Management program through wine and culinary studies in Aix and Barcelona.
7. Increase the size of the Barcelona and Madrid programs by 50%.
8. Launch our summer Morocco program in Tangier with a minimum of 50 students.
9. By the end of summer 2022 when the fiscal year ends, we will show a total student enrollment population of over 1,400 students in all programs in all locations.
10. Increase alumni giving through foundation relations and by increasing the number of individual donors by 25% for 2022.

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 SAVE THE DATE: 2022 Reception in Chicago

Mark your calendars! IAU-ACM will be hosting a reception this winter and we hope to see you there. The alumni/partner reception will take place during the week of the annual Forum on Education Abroad conference which runs March 21-25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Official details regarding the reception date and location are forthcoming but it is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 23rd. We hope that our alumni in the Chicagoland area can attend and reconnect with former classmates while meeting representatives of some of IAU's longstanding and newer sending institutions. More details will be sent soon.

If anyone is interested in underwriting either of these events, please contact Rebecca Coyle, Associate Director of Admissions and University Relations. 

IAU Reception in NYC, 2013
IAU Reception, NYC 2013

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Vineyard Planted at the School of Art Atelier Property

In April of 2021, IAU planted close to three hundred grapevines on the School of Art atelier grounds. Although there are 250 different varieties of grapes in France officially recognized by the government, IAU chose to plant a combination of Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault Noir. These are the grapes that are most common in Provence and will produce a fine rosé when they are ready to harvest in about three years. The vineyard project will bring curiosity, enthusiasm, and notoriety from our partner universities interested in wine studies as part of our business program. Wine Studies will continue to grow and become part of our hospitality management program along with culinary and food security and sustainability.

Marchutz Vineyard 
IAU's newly planted vineyard on the School of Art atelier grounds

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IAU Hosts Annual College Advisory Board meeting in Barcelona and Aix

IAU-ACM hosted its College Advisory Board (CAB) meeting this past October on both the Aix-en-Provence and Barcelona campuses. IAU-ACM's CAB is the newer version of the longstanding (and now former) Council of Academic Advisors, a body created to ensure that the Institute’s academic directors and professors are kept updated on international education trends. Furthermore, the advisory council has provided feedback on and acted as a sounding board for ideas for curricular and pedagogical innovations. The newly formed CAB membership is drawn from national leaders in international education, a variety of campuses that send students abroad, and individuals in professorial and administrative ranks at universities across the US. Further, the CAB will be more involved with reviewing and providing feedback on ACM's degree programs. The creation of an official third-party advisory and review board for IAU-ACM's structure and curriculum will be essential as the institution undergoes the rigors of US accreditation.

During the meeting, the CAB focused on the state of affairs at IAU-ACM, the expansion of program options, crisis management across borders, and custom programming. The meeting included professor panels, presentations from the U.S. Consul General, and student panels. The week culminated with a special media event ceremony honoring Journalist Josep Abril and Sports Agent Josep Maria Minguella with honorary ACM degrees.

CAB in Barcelona
College Advisory Board members with President Carl Jubran
at the IAU-ACM's Barcelona Campus

Honorary Degree
Honorary degree presentation to Journalist Josep Abril and
Sports Agent Josep Maria Minguella 

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IAU's Diversity Scholarship Matching Campaign

IAU-ACM has launched a matching gift campaign whereby every dollar that is donated to their diversity scholarships will be matched by the Board of Trustees, up to $50,000. The monies raised will enable us to increase scholarship funds, further underscoring the commitment to increase the representation of diverse students abroad. Please visit our website to read testimonials by IAU and ACM alumni on how that funding assisted them in their efforts to study or earn their degrees abroad. 

Since its launch in July 2021, 
the Diversity Scholarship Matching Campaign has raised over $14,000. Thus far over 20 unique donors, of which 17 were IAU alumni, have contributed to the fund. Of those donations, $5,775 qualified for 2:1 match by IAU-ACM's Board of Trustees. The matching campaign will continue on a 1:1 scale through the end of 2021. For details, visit the Donation Page

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Opportunities for Alumni

Master's Programs through ACM

If you have been dreaming of returning to Aix, now is your chance!

If you are like many other IAU alumni looking for reasons to return to IAU and Aix-en-Provence, consider the master’s degrees offered through IAU’s degree-granting institution, The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM). ACM offers a two-year MFA degree in Painting and one-year master's degrees in Art History, French Studies, International Education Administration (new!), International Relations, Media Studies (enrolling students for Fall 2022), and Business Administration. All IAU alumni who enroll in an ACM master's program are automatically eligible for a $1,000 annual alumni grant. Read below for more information about ACM's master's programs:

  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Painting: The ACM School of Art is proud to offer a two-year MFA degree program in painting in Aix-en-Provence, France. The 60-credit program is conducted in English and accepts artists of diverse interests and backgrounds. The program combines daily studio work, seminars, museum studies, field studies throughout Europe, and professional internship opportunities.

  • Master of Arts in Art History (MAAH): The Master of Arts in Art History degree at ACM is a one-year program stemming from IAU's academic tradition as one of the first American institutions abroad to create a full studio art and art history curriculum founded on the rich art and art historical traditions of the south of France and, in particular, Aix-en-Provence. Its defining characteristic resides in the educational principle that any art-related study should combine in a holistic manner the three disciplines of art history, studio practice, and critical studies. The artistic traditions of the south of France and the Mediterranean Basin will naturally serve as the intellectual backbone of the Masters of Arts in Art History.

  • Master of Arts in French Studies (MAFS): The Master of Arts in French Studies at ACM is a one-year program that offers students the unique opportunity to earn an American MA degree in a Fr­ench-speaking environment. Situated in Aix-en-Provence, France near the Mediterranean coast, ACM’s program unites mainland French with the Francophone countries of North Africa, ensuring that students are exposed to the rich diversity of the French language and culture.

  • Master of Arts in International Education Administration (MAIE): The Master of Arts in International Education Administration (MAIE) is a one-year, 45-credit, practitioner-based graduate degree that is designed to prepare students for leadership positions in the field of international education and the broader industry of higher education.  Unique to this MAIE program is the strategic integration of ACM’s study abroad institute, the Institute for American Universities (IAU) into the MAIE program, which affords students hands-on experience with the operations of a full-service study abroad organization that welcomes over 1,000 students each year to its programs in France, Spain, and Morocco. MAIE students will interact closely with ACM-IAU administrators and staff and will be able to observe the skills they learn in the classroom at work in the field. MAIE students also serve as mentors to IAU undergraduate students, providing them with leadership opportunities as they learn first-hand about the specific needs of study abroad students.  At the end of the academic program, MAIE students will produce a capstone project in which they design a comprehensive international education program of their choosing.

  • Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR): The Master of Arts in International Relations is a one-year program leveraging ACM’s strategic location in Southern France. The founders of the Institute for American Universities had this in mind when they constructed a curriculum based on Political Science and International Relations. The Humanities and Social Sciences have always played an important role at IAU and ACM, and will naturally serve as the intellectual backbone of the Master of Arts in International Relations.

  • Master of Arts in Media Studies (MAMS): The Master of Arts in Media Studies at The American College of the Mediterranean provides students with a broad and interdisciplinary formation commencing from core training in communication theory and media research methods. The program leverages the site-specificity of its European campus with close ties to Spain and North Africa and combines theory and practice in order to prepare students for success in fields such as public relations, brand management, public affairs, nonprofit management, education, and research. The program emphasizes ethical, culturally-sensitive, and socially-responsible communication. 

  • Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA): The Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA) is a 46 credit-hour, one-year master’s degree leveraging ACM’s strategic location in Southern Europe. The program builds on the historic academic tradition of the Institute for American Universities, ACM’s parent organization, as one of the first American institutions abroad to prepare those aspiring to careers in international business and diplomacy. With our principal campus in Aix-en-Provence, France, and satellite campuses and programs in Spain and Morocco, ACM is well positioned to prepare students for the many challenges of the global economy today with an emphasis on Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. 

Learn More About ACM

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Employment Opportunities & Networking with ACM Alumni

Are you looking to hire someone with an international master's degree?

A few months back, ACM started sending job announcements that came our way to IAU-ACM alumni.  Out of that came the idea of asking IAU alums to inform us of job opportunities they had or were aware of that might be of interest to our (newer) ACM graduates.

Information on employment opportunities for recent alumni can be sent to IAU-ACM Alumni Director, Ms. Rebecca Coyle, at   

Virtual Internships & Consulting Projects

IAU is pleased to offer Virtual Global Experiences to its alumni during the upcoming summer term. This 8-week virtual program will draw on IAU's expertise in experiential-based learning while taking advantage of our wide network of professional contacts in France, Spain, Morocco, and beyond. Students will choose from global internships, consulting projects, and social impact practicums/experiential learning projects to customize their summer virtual experience.

Alumni are eligible to receive a $250 alumni grant for their virtual summer program.


As part of this experience, the following experiences are available: 

Learn More About IAU's Virtual Programs

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Follow IAU-ACM on Social Media 

IAU and ACM both have social media accounts on all the major platforms. We post updates from campus, opportunities for alumni, nostalgic photos of Barcelona, Aix-en-Provence, and other locations in Europe and North Africa, and more! We invite you to follow along!

IAU: Facebook Instagram | Twitter LinkedIn
ACM: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn

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Become an IAU Study Abroad Alumni Ambassador

Have you heard about IAU's Study Abroad Alumni Ambassador Program? If you are interested in staying connected to your time abroad with IAU, spreading the word about studying abroad, and sharing your love for international travel with others, then the Alumni Ambassador Program might be for you! The IAU Ambassador Program was established in 2010 as a way to organize the more than 20,000 alumni who have completed their summer, semester, J-Term, or academic year at IAU. The goal of the program is to build a volunteer corps that can best represent IAU and to develop a robust and active network of IAU students, past, present, and future. Alumni of IAU have gone on to become diplomats, businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and leaders in their respective fields. Many have also continued with post-graduate studies at ACM! The IAU Ambassadors form a prestigious group designed for interested IAU alumni to share their study abroad experience with prospective students, faculty, and the study abroad office on their home campus as well as organize with other alumni to keep the IAU network strong. Over the years, the program has evolved, and now in addition to fulfilling the program's original goals, IAU Ambassadors assist with visits to other university campuses, represent IAU at Study Abroad Fairs across the United States, and organize alumni events across the nation. IAU Ambassadors are drawn from all IAU programs, academic disciplines, and class years. IAU has over 40 ambassadors representing it at over 30 universities.

Applicants must be:

  • Former IAU student from any IAU program and location
  • Able to commit about 10 hours of time per semester
  • Excited to talk about studying abroad with prospective students!

If you're interested in becoming an IAU study abroad alumni ambassador at your current university or at your alma mater, please click the button below or email

Apply to Become an Alumni Ambassador

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