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Flights & Passports

You have two flight options, and you will need to select one of the options below when completing your application in the  KIIS account

Carefully read the information given below for each option, including the section on Important Flight Tips, before making your flight selection since you cannot change your flight selection after the application deadline.

If you select the Independent Flight:

  • If accepted early to your KIIS program, do not purchase your own airfare until you receive emailed instructions from KIIS.
  • To take advantage of KIIS in-country group ground transportation to the program site, you must arrive at the host country airport at or before the group flight arrival time. Similarly, your return flight home must depart at or after the group flight departure time.
  • KIIS strongly discourages standby flights. In the event you opt to take a standby flight, you are advised to do so at least 3 days before the program departure. If you fail to arrive at the KIIS program site within two days of the group arrival, you may not be allowed to participate in the program and will not receive a refund of your program fees.

Since KIIS cannot state with certainty the price of the group flight so far in advance, each individual program page lists an estimated price range for the group flight. This estimate will also appear in your KIIS application under the Charges & Payment section.

If you select the Group Flight, understand the following important notes:

  • You cannot deviate (request changes) from the group flight itinerary, either by group flight dates or by departure airport. You must depart and return as the group flight. For example, if the group flies through Chicago and you live near Chicago, you cannot join the group flight at Chicago, you must start your flight at the original departure airport be it Cincinnati or Louisville airport.
  • Group flight dates must match the advertised KIIS program dates and cannot be changed. 
  • If you are applying to two KIIS programs or have a desire to travel in the host country or region before or after your KIIS program, you must select Independent Flight (Option 1).
  • KIIS needs to match the name in your passport with your name on the flight ticket.
  • Make sure the name you enter for your KIIS profile and passport details in your application is the exact same name that will appear on your passport.
  • View the individual KIIS program page for any program-specific Group Flight and departure city instructions.

Although KIIS tries to foresee all possible expenses in formulating flight fees, please note that airline fuel surcharges may affect the total cost of your group flight ticket price.

Important Flight Tips

In summer and winter, during the busy travel seasons, students may experience flight delays and flight cancellations due to weather or airline operational issues in trying to meet up with their KIIS group flight. Here are some important tips we want to pass along to help prevent difficulties occurring or costly re-ticketing when you miss your group flight.

  • If there are limited flight options from your local airport to the group flight departure airport (for most programs, the group flight departure airport will be Cincinnati or Louisville), we recommend you select the Independent Flight Option (Option 1) to purchase your flights (domestic and international) on one continuous itinerary. You can still match your international flight with the KIIS group flight.
  • When flying to meet up with the group flight, we recommend you book your flight with the same airline that the group is flying with. In case of any flight delays or cancellations, the airline will in most cases, be better able to assist when the connecting flights are with the same airline. For a select few program group flights, this will not be  possible if the group flight is operated by an international airline. If your program is departing from Chicago, New York, or Washington D.C., this means the group flight is operated by an international airline.
  • When flying to the group flight departure airport, we recommend that you book your flight to arrive 24 hours prior to the group flight scheduled departure. Make advance arrangements to stay overnight at an airport hotel, with family or friends, or program roommates.
  • Avoid booking the last flight of the day to the group flight departure airport. If your flight is cancelled you will have no flight options until the following day, which may mean you may arrive late or miss the group flight. Book a flight that operates earlier in the day and check that there is at least one other flight scheduled before the end of the day.
  • If you live near a major airport (eg. Chicago or Atlanta), note that group flights departing from Cincinnati or Louisville will connect at a major city airport. In this case, you should select the Independent Flight Option (Option 1) to avoid you traveling to the departure airport (eg. Cincinnati or Louisville) only to then return to your local major airport for the group flight connection.
  • Note that with the Group Flight (Option 2) you cannot deviate (request a change) of the departure airport. Group Flights fly as a group together on the outbound and return itinerary.
  • View the individual Flight section on each KIIS program page for any program-specific Group Flight and departure city instructions.

Flight Cancellation Insurance

  • KIIS does not provide flight cancellation insurance or trip cancellation insurance (e.g. should you need to cancel your participation in the program prior to departure or leave the program prematurely while abroad). You may wish to purchase your own trip cancellation insurance.
  • To learn more about the comprehensive medical insurance coverage and travel benefits that KIIS provides, visit our KIIS Insurance page.

Passports & Visas

  • You are required to obtain a passport with at least 6 months validity beyond your travel dates.
  • Some participants may need a visa as well.

Visit our Passports & Visas page to learn more about these important travel documents.

“This experience taught me more than just Spanish. I didn’t want to go on this trip for a lot of reasons: money was tight, I didn’t speak the language well, I had never travelled, and I’m not always very good at making friends. But I received more than enough help from scholarships, I’ve mastered traveling alone, I learned more Spanish in one month than I have in my entire life, and I don’t even know where to begin to talk about the friends I made.”

-Katelynn, Merida Mexico

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