I was actually wondering the same thing, but it seems to such a rare tax situation that there is nothing I could find on the discussion boards to help clarify the matter.
After digging into the tax law and interpretations published in the Federal Tax Coordinator, I now feel more strongly that the American Opportunity Credit is available to someone in a similar situation as mine. According to the law, the credit is not allowed if you obtained your first 4 years of postsecondary education at an eligible school, but my school being a foreign college appears to be ineligible. See below for references to the IRC sections.
Per IRC Section 25A(b)(2)(C), "Credit allowed only for first 4 years of postsecondary education. The American Opportunity Tax Credit under subsection (a)(1) shall not be allowed for a taxable year with respect to the qualified tuition and related expenses of an eligible student if the student has completed (before the beginning of such taxable year) the first 4 years of postsecondary education at an eligible educational institution."
The question now is what is an "eligible educational institution"? What if my postsecondary education was obtained at an ineligible institution?
Per IRC Section 25A(f)(2), The term “eligible educational institution” means an institution—
(A) which is described in section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20U.S.C. 1088), as in effect on the date of the enactment of this section, and
(B) which is eligible to participate in a program under title IV of such Act.
The Federal Tax Coordinator 2d provides some additional clarification as to the schools' eligibility guidelines. For me the key is that the school should be "eligible to participate in a program under title IV of such Act" The best and most definitive way to find out if you school is indeed eligible is to contact the school directly. The alternative, option is to look up your school name in the U.S. Federal Student Aid Code List (there is an option to look up Foreign Countries in the "State" field).
I do realize this thread may be outdated and might be better to post this in a new one, but it was one of the first ones in Google search, so here it is. I hope it helps someone in a similar situation. I will also be posting a more detailed analysis on my blog at www.verumllp.com