Ambassador Program

SAI Ambassadors are a group of carefully selected students, who have recently completed a SAI program. The SAI Ambassador program provides alumni the opportunity to share their study abroad experiences with prospective students, while building their knowledge of international education. In their second year, SAI Ambassadors can become Leadership Mentors, which includes additional responsibilities and further engagement with the international education field.

General SAI Ambassador duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Participating in home university’s study abroad fair and pre-departure orientations
  • Hosting or participating in events on campus, such as:
    • Information sessions
    • Presentations to classes and student organizations
    • Study Abroad Office events
  • Engaging with prospective students as well as those already enrolled for future SAI programs
  • Assisting with SAI social media presence
  • Blog submissions for the SAI website

SAI Ambassadors will acquire knowledge of each unique program and location that SAI offers. Ambassadors will receive a training packet, materials for promotional activities, and support from the SAI Ambassador Coordinator. We encourage Ambassadors to be creative in developing strategies to spread awareness about international education opportunities on their campus and to work with Ambassadors across the country to collaborate on innovative ideas.

If you have questions about the program, please contact the SAI Ambassador Coordinator at ambassador@saiprograms.com.

Read about our current and recent SAI Ambassadors below.

  • Ambassadors are provided with opportunities to reflect on their study abroad experience and with tools to use the experience for advancement in their professional, academic and personal lives
  • Ambassadors gain valuable experience for their resumes and a network of professional contacts
  • Ambassadors are eligible to become Leadership Mentors in their second year
  • SAI provides letters of recommendation and references for active Ambassadors
  • Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. Applicants must: be currently be enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian university; be an SAI alumnus/a; have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA; and have completed at least one full year of college.
  • Submit the online SAI Ambassador Application, including the short answer essay questions and transcript upload.
  • Note that while there is no official Ambassador Program application deadline, SAI suggests that you apply before August 1st so that there is sufficient time to prepare before the school year begins.
  • Your application will be reviewed by SAI and your home school study abroad office. Look out for an email from the SAI Ambassador Coordinator about two weeks after submitting your application.


Brianna Adkins
Indiana University of Pennsylvania / Florence University of the Arts / Spring 2020

What did you learn about yourself while you were abroad?
Everyone says that you learn to be more independent and self-sufficient when you go abroad, and they are right. I learned that sometimes it is nice to do things solo and that I am capable of handling confusing and, at times, stressful situations. Study abroad definitely amplified my desire to explore, learn history, connect with art, and learn a second language. It made me realize my propensity to fall in love with a place… what a wonderful place Florence is to fall in love with.

 


Gabrielle Bozeman
College of William and Mary/ SIS Intercultural Study Abroad, Siena / Virtual Summer 2021

What are the benefits of a virtual study abroad program?
I took a virtual course because I was not quite comfortable traveling yet. However, taking the class virtually still allowed me to have an amazing experience. I was still able to communicate with native Italian speakers and learn about Siena, the city where the program was held. I highly encourage those who are considering international education but are not comfortable traveling for any reason to take a virtual course. They will be able to gain the experience without the worry of whichever reason they choose not to travel.

 


Chelsea Branom
Washington State University / Florence University of the Arts / Summer 2021

What did you learn about yourself while you were abroad?
I learned a lot about myself and what I value in life. I learned that experiences and making memories with people is more valuable than any material item. I usually am pretty shy when I am around new people and this really pushed me to be more outgoing. I set a goal when I left home that I wouldn’t say no to anything and try new things. So coming here and doing things that may put me slightly outside of my comfort zone, even something as small as trying new food, was very important to me.

 


Carly Brister
University of South Carolina / John Cabot University / Fall 2021

How has studying abroad changed/shaped your future career or life goals?
Studying abroad was absolutely essential in shaping decisions for my future. The political science classes I took in the setting of a diverse and committed classroom at JCU solidified my desire to work in that field. It is now my goal to return to Europe to work for the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, which is undoubtedly thanks to my study abroad experience.

 


Kristina Butler
University of South Carolina / Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona / Summer 2021

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
I made it a mission to experience something new every day. Whether it was going to a different museum, getting off the metro at the wrong stop, or discovering a new empanada place around the corner, I continued to take in the city as much as I could. I would walk around 10 miles every day without even realizing it because there was so much to do and so much to see. I loved walking to La Boqueria, the big market filled with vendors ranging from selling dried fruits to cow brains. It was an eye-opening experience to see how locals experienced this market and how different it was from markets back home.

 


Logan Dawes
Bethany University/ Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona / Spring 202

How has studying abroad changed your future goals?
Studying abroad showed me how much I love traveling. Before my time abroad, I had only been on a plane once before. This just showed me how much of the world there is to see and that I wanted to see it. I want to experience all of the world and different cultures.

 


Preston Dubberly
University of Mississippi / Florence University of the Arts / Fall 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
Research your dream destination and become obsessed with it. Living across the globe seems really daunting at first because you are away from home, friends, or family, but it becomes the most liberating experience. Your confidence and ability to solve problems grows exponentially and you see sights you never even knew existed.

 


Caroline Elliot
Belmont University / John Cabot University, Rome / Spring 2020

How has studying abroad changed or shaped your future goals?
I have always been unsure about what career I want to pursue. After studying abroad, I realized that I want to work in the international education field or live in Europe for a few years after graduation. I learned that I love living in a different country, interacting with people from different cultures, and through the ambassador experience, I have learned that I love informing others about how to study abroad and why they should.

 


Samantha Eynon
Muhlenberg College / Florence University of the Arts / Fall 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
Studying abroad is a really scary thing to do and is not an easy decision. The closer the semester got, the more scared and nervous I became. When considering studying abroad, I would advise students to think about what they are going to gain from studying abroad. There are so many valuable lessons, opportunities, and life skills that are gained from studying abroad. All of the worry and fear disappears as soon as you arrive in your city and appreciate the experience you are about to embark on

 


Megan Forbes
Virginia Commonwealth University / Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona / Spring 2020

What did you learn about yourself while you were abroad?
I gained a lot of confidence and passion while I was abroad. Throw yourself into this experience and you will do life-changing things. The people I met and the things I saw have shaped me into who I am today.

 


Morgan Funk
University of South Carolina / Sant’Anna Institute, Sorrento / Summer 2021

How has studying abroad changed or shaped your future goals?
Participating in an experience as unique and fulfilling as an internship abroad has given me confidence in my work, and the opportunities I have been looking for my entire academic career. I was able to become fully immersed in the work environment as a member of the communications team and was able to voice my ideas and suggestions in order to obtain more engagement on all social media platforms. Working with a company’s social media team is what my ideal career looks like, and SAI has given me the luxury of first hands experience with my dream job, in the most beautiful destination I have ever visited.

 


Vittoria Gallello
University of South Carolina / Florence University of the Arts / Spring 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
Fully immerse yourself in the experience as much as possible. Meet people who are different from you and learn from them. It’s a great thing to challenge your way of thinking and absorb the culture around you.

 


Russell Linnemeier
Texas A&M University / Syracuse Academy, Sicily / Summer 2021

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
Honestly, the food is the best part when you’re not traveling and seeing new places. Siracusa (Syracuse) has an island called Ortigia just walking distance away and it is a great place to explore. The people are friendly, the architecture is beautiful, and there are endless restaurants with delicious food. For people that don’t want to spend as much money going out to eat, the market is also a great place to get some of the freshest produce you’ll ever have.

 


Carly Owens
University of South Carolina / Sant’Anna Institute, Sorrento / Summer 2021

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
Being an early riser, I was waking up consistently at 7am. I’d hop out of bed, look out my window, and be humbled by my view. I decided to take slow strolls and simply explore while I was abroad. I value my mornings a lot. In Sorrento, I would walk along the main street & see an elderly friend group having an espresso around a table. Or I would see a cute couple taking in the sunrise. Almost every morning stroll was accompanied by a stop in a local cafe where I got a cappuccino & strawberry crepe. After about 2 weeks, I made it part of my routine to stop at the same local cafe where the same friendly man would serve me, remembering my order and greeting me with a warm smile. Every morning. With all the crazy adventures & lasting memories, I made on this abroad trip, starting every day this way is something I cherished the most.

 


Veronica Pasko
Muhlenberg College / John Cabot University / Fall 2021

What did you learn about yourself while you were abroad?
I learned that I am capable of doing a lot more than I thought I was. Before going abroad, I had never traveled alone or really traveled at all. While abroad, I had to take the bus and get around a city where I had never been before. This experience made me become more independent. I also learned to appreciate the little things around me and to take it all in.

 


Melanie Poulos
Muhlenberg College / Florence University of the Arts / Summer 2021

What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
My study abroad experience has definitely helped enhance my sense of independence. Breaking out of my comfort zone has also helped contribute to my adaptability skills, open-mindedness, and social skills. I am glad I got to build up these skillsets because I think it’ll prepare me very well for the real world.

 


Elizabeth Strambi
University of South Carolina / Florence University of the Arts / Summer 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
Soak it all in and take advantage of the time you have there. It is an awesome opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture while also being able to travel to different countries with ease. Reach out to the other students in your group because it is a special experience to enjoy with people who are the same age as you.

 


Anneliese Taggart
University of Alabama / Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona / Spring 2020

What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
My study abroad experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that symbolizes new friendships, attaining more knowledge than I thought possible, and exploring the world. It was easily one of the best experiences of my life thus far.

 


Lauren Taylor
University of South Carolina/ Florence University of the Arts / Fall 2021

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
My favorite thing to do in Florence was to walk around the city. Even though I was there for almost 5 months, I explored a new area every week. This made me feel more involved with and knowledgeable about the city and the culture.

 


Lydia Troxell
University of South Carolina / Florence University of the Arts / Spring 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
I would tell students considering going abroad that they have to go! Studying abroad while in college is such a unique experience that I truly think everyone needs to have. I personally was nervous about going and missing out on a full semester at school, but the semester abroad was amazing and I’m so thankful I went.

 


Paige Wagner
Miami University of Ohio / Florence University of the Arts / Spring 2021

What advice do you have for students considering study abroad?
My biggest piece of advice when thinking about study abroad is to not let degree requirements get in the way of a life-changing experience. As a bioengineering major, there aren’t a ton of programs out there that allow me to visit Italy while taking advanced engineering courses, but traveling to Italy has always been my dream. I decided to take a leap of faith by completing my liberal arts requirements, taking classes like painting and wine tasting. Not only did I complete 12 credit hours of useful classes, but I was also able to embrace my creativity and immerse myself in a new culture.

 


Morgan Zebley
University of South Carolina / Florence University of the Arts / Spring 2021

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad?
My favorite memory from studying abroad would be taking trips around my host country with the new friends that I made abroad. Being able to see the different cities around Italy was so much fun. It was great to meet a group of people to hang out and travel with. Some of the best times that I had abroad were traveling around to new cities to explore different areas of Italy. Our favorite trip was to Cinque Terre where we did a boat tour around the cities and were able to go cliff jumping.

 

Alex Schupler
Alex Schupler
University of MississippiFlorence University of the Arts, Summer 2022

Studying abroad taught me a lot about myself and how much I love to travel. It shows how independent you can be and the experience can be life-changing. I met some of the greatest people abroad and still keep in touch with them. It is a wonderful thing to challenge yourself and deepen your knowledge about yourself and the world and SAI was the best way to do just that.

Going abroad, I was nervous about the unknown. I had no idea what the next 6 weeks had in store for me. Being in Florence surpassed any expectation I could have had. I learned so much about not only the world but myself. I met like-minded people who valued traveling and exploring new cultures. Over the course of 6 weeks, I traveled to over 15 towns in Italy and 3 different countries! My time abroad genuinely changed my life and I’m better for it. I would give anything to be back on the Ponte Vecchio watching the sunset with my best friends and of course some gelato.

 

Ashley Reutlinger
Ashley Reutlinger
University of South Carolina / John Cabot University,  Spring 2022

SAI made my transition from the states to Rome, Italy with all new people a seamless experience. The program set up several different types of orientation that allowed me to meet so many people in my program prior to beginning classes. They were so helpful with giving advice on planning my trips while also organizing their own to include everyone.

 

Autumn Klein
Autumn Klein
University of Arkansas / Florence University of the Arts, Summer 2022

To say studying abroad changed my life would be an understatement. It got me out of my comfort zone, helped me learn more about myself and provided me with communication and life skills that I will carry into my future career. Aside from the academic aspect, truly nothing can compare to the experiences and memories that come with it. Overall, I could not have chosen a better experience, it is something I will carry with me the rest of my life and SAI is the one to thank for that.

 

Bella Trimarchi
Bella Trimarchi
University of South Carolina / Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spring 2022

Going abroad, as cliché as it sounds, was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life. It gave me newfound confidence, passion, and drive. I feel more independent and at ease with who I am as a person, and know that I am capable of so much more than I originally had thought. Experiencing a completely new way of life and culture was scary, but so enlightening at the same time. I realized that Europe was the place for me, and I have made it a goal to go there after graduation.

 

Brianna Bates
Brianna Bates
Baylor University / John Cabot University, Spring 2022

Over the four months I spent abroad, I learned so much about myself and dealing with adversity in all situations. I became confident in my abilities to truly explore and dive into new experiences, such as learning a new language, trying new foods, and traveling to countries alone. Each unique adventure expanded my comfort zone, allowing me to fully appreciate all Europe had to offer.

 

Casey Regenbaum
Casey Regenbaum
University of South Carolina / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

My experience abroad was truly just everything I hoped for and more. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of the future. I got to wake up every single day in one of the most beautiful cities in the world surrounded by incredible people who taught me so much about myself and the world. You broaden your perspectives, learn to find beauty and joy in the little things, comfort in uncertainty, and confidence in yourself. I came out of the experience more confident in the passions I want to pursue, and genuinely could not be more grateful for it all.

 

Claire Donfield
Claire Donfield
Wheaton College Massachusetts / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

Going abroad with SAI programs was an incredible experience for me. The people who work with SAI connect with you on a personal level, and genuinely care about you and how you are doing while adjusting to a new lifestyle you have never experienced before.

 

Ella Lawrence
Ella Lawrence
University of Tennessee / John Cabot University, Spring 2022

As frightening as moving to a foreign country alone where you don’t know anyone might sound, SAI ensures that its students never feel alone. Through this organization, I became acquainted with some of my best friends. While traveling to over 13 countries during my time abroad, I took thousands of photos and videos, yet this documentation would mean nothing without people to share the memories with. You join SAI with the intention to study; you leave with a global network of friends.

 

Giovanni Tafuri
Giovanni Tafuri
Muhlenberg College / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

My study abroad experience is one that I will always keep close to my heart. I made lifelong friendships with students from the United States as well as Florentine locals. Not only that, but I truly had the chance to immerse myself in a culture so unfamiliar to my own but oh so familiar to my grandparents and other members of my family, something I am extremely grateful for.

 

Jillian Gray
Jillian Gray
College of William & Mary / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

I have always had the travel bug, so I knew studying abroad would be an important part of my undergraduate experience. Studying through SAI at FUA allowed me to have an experience that was uniquely my own and complement my studies from William and Mary. Doing a third party program allowed me to completely step outside my comfort zone and introduced me to people I would have not met otherwise.

 

Kelly Sego
Kelly Sego
Missouri state University / Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Summer 2022

All my life, I have always dreamed of traveling abroad. Little did I know, I would meet the most amazing life long friends during the journey and learn more than I could ever imagine about Italy and its beautiful culture. The sights are unlike anything you’ve seen before and living in that environment was an experience that I will always find myself missing. It may have seemed daunting at first, but taking the first step and getting out of my comfort zone brought me the most amazing people and experiences that you’ll get no place other than Florence!

 

Kristina Biundo
Kristina Biundo
St. Norbert College / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

My experience with SAI was absolutely amazing. They were so helpful with all of my medical appointments and any questions I had. They also were able to figure out a way for me to still study the entirety of my semester after my accident. Best people and were hands down the most welcoming.

 

Lindsay Monroe
Lindsay Monroe
California Baptist University / John Cabot University, Summer 2022

Studying abroad taught me a lot about myself and how much I love to travel. It shows how independent you can be and the experience can be life-changing. I met some of the greatest people abroad and still keep in touch with them. It is a wonderful thing to challenge yourself and deepen your knowledge about yourself and the world and SAI was the best way to do just that.

 

Maggie Sparks
Maggie Sparks
University of Tennessee, Knoxville / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

Studying Abroad was the single best decision of my entire life. Throughout my experience, I discovered a laundry list of things I never once knew about myself and the world we live in. I learned to appreciate the uncomfortability until it becomes intrinsic. I also learned how to enjoy rather than fear the amount of independence you are given. There is so much out there waiting to be admired by anyone brave enough to take the next step, so what are you waiting on- DO IT!

 

Mikayla Hadlow
Mikayla Hadlow
University of Tennessee, Knoxville / John Cabot University, Spring 2022

One of the most significant things studying abroad taught me was how to have balance. Before I went abroad, I spent almost all my time focusing on school and didn’t make time to do things for fun. Being abroad, I wanted to ensure I experienced everything in full, and in doing so I was challenged to find a balance between school and life. Balance is a skill I know I will take with me long after I graduate– and I am so glad I had the opportunity to learn it.

 

Natalia Cieslar
Natalia Cieslar
Muhlenberg College / Florence University of the Arts, Spring 2022

My semester abroad provided me with so many opportunities for growth, for stepping outside of my comfort zone, and completely transformed my perspective of myself and the world around me. I was able to visit so many beautiful places, meet so many incredible people, and create memories that I will treasure forever. In the end, this experience is what you make of it, so learn to embrace and find comfort in things that make you feel uncomfortable, make yourself available to new experiences, and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll grow.

 


Preston Dubberly
University of Mississippi / Florence University of the Arts, Fall 2021

Research your dream destination and become obsessed with it. Living across the globe seems really daunting at first because you are away from home, friends, or family, but it becomes the most liberating experience. Your confidence and ability to solve problems grows exponentially and you see sights you never even knew existed.

Complete the form below and an ambassador will be in touch with you soon.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.