Guide to Applying

At SAI we view each student as an individual with his or her own academic, professional and personal goals and objectives. We view it as our responsibility to provide each student with the environment and tools to reach their goals through study abroad. At each step in the process of study abroad, SAI holds true to its mission for providing all students with a cultural immersion learning experience that will allow them to develop a sense of global awareness and responsibility. Below is a simple step-by-step guide to applying to SAI, with some key steps outlined.

The Decision Process

Deciding where to study abroad and selecting the right destination can be a complex and daunting process, with numerous options and factors to consider. At times, it may even seem overwhelming. However, you don’t have to navigate this intricate journey alone – our dedicated team is here to provide you with expert guidance and support every step of the way, ensuring that you make the most informed and fulfilling choice for your unique academic and personal aspirations.

Research SAI locations and programs. Ask questions!

Speak with one of our Admissions Counselors who can guide you to the right program. We will chat about language experience or requirements, academic prerequisites, specific considerations, housing preferences, and any concerns you may have about studying abroad.

The SAI Blog is also a great resource!

How to contact SAI

  • Email:
  • LiveChat
  • Tel: 800.655.8965
  • Text: 707.697.1056
  • Book a call here

Meet with your study abroad advisor at your home school (if applicable)

  • Is SAI affiliated with your school?  How does this affect your cost/enrollment?
  • Discuss the courses you wish to take while abroad. Look at SAI course schedules (found under each SAI school).
  • Discuss credit transfer approval. What will you need to provide your home school to ensure proper credit transfer?

Research financing options

  • Research costs
    • SAI program costs
    • Home school costs (some schools have additional fees and/or discounts)
    • Consider additional costs while abroad by browsing our budgets on each program page (Pro Tip: if your program requires a student visa, you may be required to travel to the consulate within your jurisdiction).
  •  Meet with your financial aid advisor (if applicable)
    • Understand your school’s billing procedures for students studying abroad.
    • Discuss financial aid options (loans, federal aid, etc.), availability and processing. You can defer the portion of the SAI program fee that will be covered by financial aid as long as you submit the required paperwork by the deadline.
  • Research applicable scholarships.

Attend a Study Abroad Fair

Check with your study abroad office for the next study abroad fair hosted on your campus.

You Have Decided to Apply

The decision to apply to the program marks the beginning of an exciting journey!

Apply for a passport if you do not have one already. Pay to expedite your passport as processing times are very long right now.

Meet with your study abroad advisor at your home university (if applicable)

  • Complete all the necessary application steps with your home school’s study abroad office.
  • Discuss credit transfer eligibility. Present the course descriptions and or/syllabi to your advisor for approval. Contact your Admissions Counselor for these.
  • Please note that, based on our affiliation agreement with some home schools, we require their “approval” before accepting you into the program. You will be notified of this requirement upon submitting your SAI application. Make sure to fulfill both your home school and SAI application requirements.

Complete the SAI application

  • Once you submit the SAI application, you will receive an email from your dedicated SAI Admissions Counselor with the next steps which include submitting supplemental documents (transcript, personal statement, copy of your passport, etc.)
  • We ask students to complete their application within 14 days of applying;  Some host school’s course registrations occur on a rolling basis, so we want to give you the best chance of securing your top choice courses.

Get Accepted

  • Your Admissions Counselor will review your complete application and send you an email of acceptance. This process can take up to 10 days (longer if you were required to submit a portfolio for review).

You Have Been Accepted

Congratulations on your well-deserved acceptance into the program! Your dedication and hard work have paid off, and this marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in your academic journey.

Submit confirmation payments to secure your spot in the program.

  • Submit specific payments outlined in your email within 7 days of receiving the acceptance via email. If you need more time, let us know! If you are applying near the application and/or enrollment deadline, you may need to secure your spot a little more quickly to stay on track,

Financial aid processing

  • Will you be using financial aid to fund your study abroad program?
  • If so, print and fill out the financial aid documents & submit to SAI by the posted deadlines.

Once you’re enrolled in the program, you’ll start engaging more frequently with your Admissions Counselor as you prepare for your upcoming program abroad. This phase will involve receiving comprehensive guidance on tasks such as acquiring your Student Visa (if necessary), course registration, housing arrangements, and booking your airfare, among many other crucial details. Pro tip: once you receive the link to the Ready-Set-Go! Pack, bookmark it!

Onto Pre-Departure Preparations!

Navigating the pre-departure study abroad process is an essential phase that lays the foundation for your upcoming academic and cultural experience abroad with SAI. This time requires you to be quite meticulous as you will need to adhere to many deadlines, submit plenty of paperwork, and read through pages of important material. This phase is all about laying the groundwork for the adventure that awaits you. To facilitate a seamless pre-departure experience, here are 10 tips that will set you on the path to success.