Advice to New Study Abroad Students
SAI Staff
October 27, 2014

Chiara Cruciano, Admissions Counselor

Chiara Cruciano

In all my global travels, I have stuck to a few key goals that have proved useful: (1) Don’t make any judgements before you have been somewhere at least two full weeks. It takes time to find your comfort – don’t think it’ll happen immediately (Jetlag is no joke). (2) Go out to a new place every single day for your first few weeks. A new grocery store, a new shop, a new park. See something new every day. (3) Put all your effort into communicating respectfully in the local culture. Even if you don’t speak any of the language, learn please, thank you, hello and goodbye, and use them every chance you can. Don’t go straight into English – show an interest! And always smile. Smiles, even when awkward, convey your interest in wanting to get to know someone. (4) And finally, never wear heels in an apartment with tile/concrete floors.

Jamie Ronsheimer, Admissions Counselor

Remember that you are entering a different culture. Things will be different but in a good way. Try to remain open to new experiences while you are abroad and attempt to live like the locals. It will enhance your experience so much more!

Ben Strevens, Director of Communications

The most important things to bring with you don’t go in your suitcase; they are an open mind and a sense of curiosity! If you’re open to new things and curious about the places you visit, you will come home with a richer understanding of the world and a deeper understanding of your place in it! Buon viaggio!

Molly Cain, Director of Institutional Development

I would say to keep an open mind about everything so that you can allow new experiences to happen.  Also, try and live in the moment as much as possible because it is going to go by so fast and you will miss it terribly.

Denise Day, Business Administrator


Give it time!  I know it’s a new experience but you are so lucky to have this opportunity and you will learn so many new things and meet so many new people from other parts of the country and world.  It takes a little while to get used to it.  And remember the buildings/apartments in Italy are very old so their plumbing isn’t the same as our newer buildings in the states.  Believe me, any problems you encounter will give you lots of funny stories to tell when you return home…..and absolutely great memories.

Lisa Guido, Director of European Programs


I think there is a lot of pressure to have the best time of your life while studying abroad, which isn’t really always possible for every hour of every day for four months straight. The most life changing experiences are not always the easiest or the most fun. There may be conflict, frustration, and sadness mixed with joy and curiosity and a whole another array of emotions, but if you persevere and keep an open mind about others and yourself, you will grow in ways you never knew were possible. Another piece of advice I use regularly is: Be good. If you can’t be good, be safe.

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