Ambassador Program

SAI Ambassadors are a group of carefully selected students, who have recently completed an 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 a 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.

 


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.

 


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.

 


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.

 


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.

 


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.

 

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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.