API’s Policies on Deferrals, Program Withdrawal Safeguards, and Withdrawals

April 17, 2020
API Logo

With the changing dynamics of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) and the impact it has had on 2020 programs, we understand many students have questions about API’s withdrawal and financial policies. Below you’ll see an outline of our different options, including our Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS). 

At API, we are committed to the safety of our students. Should we cancel a program, our registered students will be the first to know and we will work with each of them individually to either help them defer to a new API program in the future, or refund where we are able. 

As the situation continues to change daily—even hourly—we will continue to notify our students of program updates and cancellations. We will also provide flexibility and understanding wherever possible.

Please refer to the information below to better understand our policies. 


The opportunity to study and travel internationally is something we hope all students can experience. In the event that API cancels a program due to COVID-19 or should a student choose to not travel internationally at this time, we encourage all applicants to consider deferring to a future program. A student can defer their application to the same program next year or to another upcoming program that fits their academic or career goals. As long as the student makes this decision 61 or more days prior to the program start date, all deposits can be transferred to the future program. 

If API cancels a program, the Program Coordinator/Manager will invite students to consider deferring. If a student makes the choice not to go abroad before API has cancelled, they can simply email us to defer their enrollment.  Please note that the standard withdrawal policy will be applied to the new session and the application deposit is non-refundable unless a student is not admitted into the API program or the API program is cancelled.

If a student prefers to withdraw from a program, they will need to alert the Program Coordinator/Manager in writing, as soon as possible. More details about our withdrawal process are outlined below. Students who wish to continue their enrollment have the option to enroll in our Program Withdrawal Safeguard option, detailed below. 

Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS):

PWS can provide families and students with greater peace of mind by refunding program payments if the student has to withdraw from the API program prior to the official program start date. PWS allows for the refund of all program payments, with the exception of the $150 application deposit. 

To apply for PWS, the student must submit a completed API Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS) Form and payment of the PWS fee prior to the student’s final payment deadline. This is an optional service. 

Program Withdrawal Safeguard Costs:

  • Semester/Year: $480
  • Summer: $290
  • Intensive 3-week or intensive month (other than summer programs): $190

Participants can purchase PWS any time before the program’s final payment deadline, or two weeks after acceptance, whichever is later. Any students submitting their application within 21 days of a program’s start date will not have the option to purchase PWS.

To purchase the optional API Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS), students should download the form from their @api account, or contact API’s Financial Services ([email protected]). 

Program Withdrawal Safeguard FAQs:

Why should I purchase Program Withdrawal Safeguard (PWS)?

Program Withdrawal Safeguard ensures that you are refunded program payments, less the $150 application deposit. During these uncertain times, we encourage students to strongly consider this option. 

Does PWS cover my airfare?

Airfare purchased (whether made through API or independently) is excluded from the refunded amount. Right now, we encourage students to wait on purchasing airfare for fall programs. When students are ready to purchase, we recommend asking the airline about refundable tickets, should the continued pandemic disrupt any travel plans. Many airlines are providing a lot of flexible options. 

What if I change my mind and I do not want PWS?

PWS is non-refundable.

What if I change programs or sessions or defer my participation to a later date?

PWS is not transferable if a participant changes program sites or sessions. If a participant changes program sites or sessions, a new PWS will need to be purchased to cover the participant’s new program, if desired.

What if I withdraw from the program after the program start date?

A decision to withdraw from an API program on or after that program’s start date will result in no refund. However, included in the participant’s program is medical and trip interruption insurance. Please refer to API‘s insurance brochure, which was included the acceptance packet, for more information.

When is the best time to purchase Program Withdrawal Safeguard?

We recommend all API students consider the PWS option, and the best time to do so is upon acceptance into an API program. Participants can purchase PWS any time before the program’s final payment deadline, or two weeks after acceptance, whichever is later. 


Withdrawals 61 Days or more prior to the program start date for Fall 2020 programs: The $150 application deposit is non-refundable. If students have confirmed and paid, they will receive a refund of the $400 confirmation payment. Should API cancel the program 61 days prior to the program start date, all fees will be refunded, including the $150 deposit. Please note: this is an exception to API’s standard withdrawal policies. For all future terms (spring 2021 and after), students will be held to our standard withdrawal policy, which stipulates that should they withdraw 61 or more days prior to the program start date, they will be responsible for the application deposit and confirmation payment, as well as any additional fees accrued.

Once a student has officially confirmed their participation in an API program by submitting an Intent to Enroll form and the $400 confirmation deposit, students become subject to the standard cancellation policy as follows:

  • Program cancellations and requests for refunds must be made in writing.
  • Refunds and cost liability are determined based on the date when written cancellation notice is received from the student.

Withdrawals 1 – 60 days prior to the program start date: The student is responsible for 50% of the program cost plus the application and confirmation deposits, as well as any additional fees accrued.

Withdrawal on the program start date or after the program has begun: The student is responsible for 100% of the program cost as well as any additional fees accrued.

We continue to monitor the changing circumstances of COVID-19 around the world. Should a program be cancelled, API will endeavor to make the decision at least 61 days prior to the program’s start date and our students will be the first to be notified. With the changing global dynamics, it is understandable students may want to withdraw prior to API announcing cancellations, in which case the withdrawal parameters above will apply. If students prefer to withdraw from their program, they will need to alert their Program Coordinator/Manager, in writing, as soon as possible. 

Many U.S. universities have proactively made the decision to rescind approval for their students to participate in study abroad programs this summer or fall. If a student can document that their home university has suspended their approval for study abroad in 2020, and API receives this documentation at least 61 days in advance of the program start date, API will either transfer all payments made to API to a new program should a student wish to defer, or API will refund all payments to the student should they withdraw.


In these days of uncertainty and constant change, we are committed to our mission of advancements in global learning—as well as the health and safety of all our program participants. If you have questions about programs or our policies, please feel free to leave a comment or question below. You can also reach out to API via phone at 800-844-4124, connect with us via chat, or send us an email at [email protected].


You May Also Like…