Blog

Traveling While Abroad

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

Exploring while abroad can evoke a mix of excitement, apprehension, and challenges. Prior to my study abroad experience, I held the misconception that traveling would be inexpensive and effortless. However, I quickly learned that while it becomes more manageable with practice, it never truly becomes effortless. It often involves moments of overwhelm and fatigue, yet the rewards are always profound. Despite the potential for expenses, it’s vital to embrace the opportunity to explore the world.

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Appreciate What’s Around You

Grace, Spring 2024, Rome

I’ve dreamed of coming to Rome for years. Yet, upon my arrival, I have been swept up in the excitement of traveling, making friends (and travel buddies), and seeing new places and cultures, that I have overlooked the wonders around me in this gorgeous city. I was overly ambitious at the beginning of my study abroad, planning trips for every weekend, sneaking in day trips on days off from class.

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My Time at Escola de les Aigues in Barcelona, Spain

Megan, Fall 2024, Barcelona

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona this past Fall Semester. It started with the hope of experiencing a new city and a new school. However, I got the opportunity to do much more. I found out during orientation that SAI offered a program that allowed students to work at an elementary school. Even though my major is Graphic Design and not Education or Spanish.

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Why Choosing A Homestay Was Worth It For Me

Nicole, Spring 2024, Paris

Studying abroad is a big change for many. Some may have already lived far from family for school, but for people like me I’ve always had the option to go home when I wanted. Living abroad has been a big adjustment for me. There were times in the first few weeks where I was really homesick, and the time difference only made it worse.

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A Quick Guide to Home Cooking Abroad

Alison, Spring 2024, Florence

When I asked people what they were most excited about studying abroad, they almost always said the same thing: trying authentic cuisines. Thanks to some of my cultural classes, I’ve been living in Italy for nearly two months and have tried many things I didn’t expect to. However, I have turned to cooking meals at home most weeks. With access to a kitchen and several grocery stores nearby, I wanted a taste of home.

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A Full Day of Florentine Food and Drinks

Taylor, Spring 2024, Florence

One of the things I was most excited for in Florence was the food. There are many famous places to get food and drinks that you will see on social media, such as All’Antico Vinaio and the wine windows.

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An Everyday Adventure

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

Choosing to study abroad, leaving your university to live and study in a foreign country, represents the beginning of not just an adventure but the desire for discoveries. Leaping to embark on an experience full of unknowns, is more than just a want to travel but rather it embodies an aspiration to find the vibrancy of life regardless of the difficulties.

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5 Countries in 8 Days?!

Chyler, Spring 2024,

At the beginning of the semester my roommates and I sat down wanting to figure out how to visit the most countries during our mid-session break while still giving us time to see the cities we were visiting. We also didn’t want to break the bank to get to these cities.

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Transforming Discomfort into Drive

Sydney, Spring 2024, Barcelona

I have been living in Barcelona for slightly more than a month. During this time, I’ve marveled at the stunning architecture, picturesque landscapes, monuments, and museums. Exploring diverse cuisines and traveling to new countries has broadened my culinary experiences and cultural perception. These experiences have been truly phenomenal, though the memories that will stick with me most of all, are those involving connections formed with locals and new people.

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Three New Things Every Week

Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona

I have been in Barcelona for about a month now, and time has passed by so quickly and slowly at the same time! Getting into a daily routine, exploring the city with my friends, and learning in a new environment has been nothing short of amazing. However, while I have been trying my best to keep up with the bustling city of Barcelona, I felt overwhelmed by how much I wanted to do.

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Embracing Florence: How to Make Your New City Feel Like Home

Jess, Spring 2024, Florence

Moving to a new place, yet alone a new country, can be daunting. You’ve spent months anticipating and preparing for this moment and now it’s finally here. After my first few weeks in Florence, I’ve experienced a whole new world of opportunities and changes. While I still have a lot to learn, these are a few of my tips to make the transition abroad easier and make the most of your new city.

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Il Dolce Far Niente

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

After spending a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks trying to think about what to say in this post, I can honestly say that I’ve been at a complete loss. I considered writing about all the times I was left speechless, in complete awe of the grandeur of Italy, a beauty that’s common occurrence allows it to weave into every corner and alley of the country.

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Finding Slivers of America While Abroad: A Tourist’s Middle Ground

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

As an American getting settled in the routine of living abroad, it’s easy to feel a bit out of place. Hyper-aware of your American-ness, trying to dress and act as Italian as you can, all the while making yourself look more American in the process. You might try to order your coffee in Italian, but the bartender will reply in fluent English, leaving you embarrassed that they could tell from just a few words.

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The Power of Going Alone

Grace, Spring 2024, Rome

To me, studying abroad is about meeting interesting and exciting people to travel, explore, and have fun with! It’s about studying in a different country, experiencing new cultures, and learning new ways to adapt, improvise, and overcome obstacles and challenges.

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The Nonna Flora Cooking Experience

Harley, Sorrento, Spring 2024

Instead of a lecture for my human nutrition class, we had a cooking class experience, just a five-minute walk from Sant’Anna. The woman who runs it uses her Nonna’s recipes that her mom taught her. First, we made the tiramisu since it has to be refrigerated for at least two hours before consuming.

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Reflection of Baixeras Service Project – Fall 2023

Laura, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Exactly a month since I left Barcelona, I have the chance to deeply reflect on my time spent at the local elementary school during my amazing study abroad semester! Located in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona lies the oldest elementary school in this incredible city by the name of Escola Baixeras.

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Let’s Face It, We’re all Tourists.

Nicole, Spring 2024, Paris

A Guide on Understanding Perspective While Studying in Paris. I’ve officially been living in Paris for a week and in that time I’ve had to unlearn a lot. Coming from New York City to Paris may not seem like much of a change in environment except for the obvious language difference. But I’ve experienced extreme culture shock in the few days of being here. This past week I’ve quickly adapted to a lot.

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Barcelona: The Best Place to Study Abroad for First-Time Travelers

Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona

Accommodating and assimilating into a new way of life is extremely difficult. Wrapping my head around the idea that I would be living in a new country for three months was something I could not fathom. I did all the research and planning I could, asked friends of friends for advice, and even made lists of things to do around my apartment.

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5 Reasons to Study Abroad

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

As my time in Italy came to an end, I reflected on the things that stood out to me the most while studying abroad there and the benefits of doing it. I learned that even though there were situations and things that were not very positive about it, the good experiences and memories of it, definitely make it worthy to study abroad no matter what!! Here are 5 reasons why you should study abroad!!

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Arrivederci Milan

Lauren, Fall 2023, Milan

So my time in Milan has finally come to an end. The packing nightmare is over, and I can finally relax and reflect on my time abroad. Though I am sad to leave behind this beautiful city, I could not be more happy to go back home.

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My “History of the Mafia” Class

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

During my time at Sant’Anna Institute, I had the opportunity to take the class, History of the Mafia. During my undergrad years, I mainly took biomedical classes for my degree, so I was excited to try something unique. In my History of the Mafia class, I have learned so much about Italian culture through the lens of organized crime. Many people are unaware of organized crime’s connection to everyday life.

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Getting Ready to Leave

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

You’re reaching the end of your semester with SAI! Leaving your study abroad city can be an emotional experience, regardless of how excited you are to see your friends and family back home. It might be hard to think through packing and planning for your return trip amidst the last few activities, finals, and goodbyes.

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Balance: Finals Week Vs Final Goodbyes

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

I spent the past semester knowing this city; its grand monuments and restaurants along with its graffiti, busted cobblestone, and unreliable buses. It is already December, and my time abroad is rapidly approaching its end. With finals a week away, I’m worried about exclusively studying and hastily packing, without being able to enjoy my final week in Rome. When will I visit my favorite restaurants for the last time?

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Exploring Your Study Abroad Country

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

When looking at countries to study abroad in, I found it very important to be in a place where I was excited about the culture I would be experiencing. I have always been very interested in Italy and the history of the country. When I got to Rome I was very excited to explore the city and see everything that I had only read about.

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The Parks of Barcelona

Mason, Fall 2022, Barcelona

At its core, Barcelona is very urban. While there are few skyscrapers, it’s a highly condensed and lively city environment. Amongst the city-dwellers, though, are refreshing areas to get together outdoors, make memories, and see some amazing views. These are some of the parks of Barcelona. 1. The Parks of Montjuic Monjtuic has some amazing community spaces, as well as scenic overlooks. The old Olympic courts serve as a park, as well.

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“Students Not Tourists” The Way We Become Community Members

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

As my journey abroad is coming to an end I have no choice but to reflect on the many adventures, lessons, and hardships I’ve had along this journey. I’ve learned from my peers, my professors, and locals of Italy. While reflecting there is one lesson that stands out to me the most. It is the lesson that we as members of the study abroad experience are students and not tourists.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

When studying abroad, there is a lot to plan in advance. It may feel overwhelming to students who are trying their best to adequately prepare and respond to situations they may encounter abroad. I decided to compile questions that students often have about studying abroad and provide my insight.   Question 1: How will I make friends?

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Adjusting to Live Abroad: Contemporary Italian Society Class at JCU

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

I want to highlight a very interesting and informative class that I am taking this semester at John Cabot University. This class is Contemporary Italian Society and it is a sociology class. This class has helped me adjust to life in Rome by learning about Italian culture and society. The class started by introducing the history of Italy as a country.

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Learning to Fight For Myself

Halie, Fall 2023, Florence

Throughout my entire life, everything I had done and every decision I had made, I always asked myself what other people would think. It wouldn’t matter what I wanted or what I thought I needed; the fear of disappointing others had controlled and consumed me for as long as I can remember.

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Exploring Montserrat

Lance, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Nestled within the Montserrat mountain range, our recent day trip was marked by a series of captivating experiences, seamlessly blending awe-inspiring landscapes and cultural richness. Starting with an ascension via cable car, our exploration unfolded through the indulgence in local delicacies, a visit to the Montserrat Basilica, and a panoramic mountain hike.

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Why you should take ART-101 Drawing: Rome Sketchbook

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

This class is my favorite course abroad, and one of my most challenging. Throughout the semester, we work towards filling a sketchbook with in-class and homework sketches, each week focusing on a different aspect of drawing at a different location. I’ve expanded my knowledge of drawing, Rome, and art in general in Drawing: Rome Sketchbook. For one of our first classes, we met at Capitoline Hill.

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Interviewing Students Abroad: Finding Community while Abroad

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

For my interview I decided to focus on the more underrepresented demographics when studying abroad. More specifically minority groups like and introverted personalities. During my experience abroad I have met a wide variety of people and personalities most of them fitting the stereotypical demographics for countries like Italy. Although they have welcomed me and other minority peers like myself with open arms, I was worried about how I would find community here.

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Florence On a Budget

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Dreaming about studying in Florence but worried about the cost? I have good news for you! Studying abroad does not need to be as expensive as some people make it be. Many students spend every night at the bar and every weekend in a new country. However, this is not feasible for many of us, nor do I think it is worth it.

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Tips for Learning the Language of Your Host Country

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Moving to a new country can be extremely daunting, and comes with a whole bundle of daily culture shocks. Adding a whole new language into the mix can make things even more challenging. Before coming to Italy, I knew very little Italian but made it my goal to learn as much as I could out of respect to locals and in the hopes of reconnecting with my grandmother’s heritage.

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Navigating Friendships Abroad: Florence, Italy

Margaret, Fall 2023, Florence

Embarking on a journey abroad can be an exciting adventure, but it can also come with the challenge of building new friendships in an unfamiliar environment. Making friends while abroad is a crucial aspect of creating a fulfilling and enriching experience. Here are some practical tips and strategies to help you forge meaningful connections and build a supportive social network in a new international setting.

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Escaping the City

Catherine, Fall 2023, Florence

When I decided to study abroad, I knew I specifically wanted to get to know the city of Florence better after traveling here once before. The culture itself has so much to offer and I found the possibility of discovering cafes, bookstores, and historical sites very exciting.

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Ceramic Charms in Barcelona

Alejandra, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Barcelona offers a myriad of experiences for those seeking to immerse themselves in the vibrant arts scene. The SAI VIVA Experience at a historic ceramic workshop was a unique introduction to the world of pottery. The day began with anticipation as we traveled to the barrio of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The colorful streets and crisp autumn air created a great atmosphere.

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Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

While studying abroad at Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento Italy, I have learned that Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is not just a comfort food, but it has ancient roots as well. This gnocchi is a typical dish of Naples and you can find it all across Italy. Gnocchi is made of potato and according to tradition, it originated from Campania.

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Finding Your Peace

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Studying abroad is extremely exciting! But it can also be extremely overwhelming at times. Any new life in a new city requires a lot of huge adjustments, but when you’re halfway across the world from home, it can be especially daunting to be on your own.

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Finding Passions Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

While studying abroad, I expected to learn fascinating things about the history and culture of Italy, but I never imagined that I would also unlock a new future passion. I chose to study abroad in the Fall of 2022 and had planned my schedule accordingly to take mostly general education classes.

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Cute Boba Spots in Milan

Lauren, Fall 2023, Milan

     Cute Boba Spots in Milan When you think of Italy, most people don’t think of boba right away. It’s not your typical Italian delicacy, but when it comes to my time here, it was a necessity. Boba is a completely separate food group for me, so when I discovered a quaint little boba shop just down the block from my apartment, I couldn’t have been happier.

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Life in Florence

Brett, Spring 2023, Florence

As I sit on my comfy couch in my home in Columbia, South Carolina, I can’t help but think back about my time abroad in Florence, Italy. As cliche as it sounds, this experience genuinely changed my life. I would like to consider myself a well traveled individual so my choice to take the semester abroad in Italy was about so much more than just getting away from home for a little while.

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Intro to Jewelry Making at Paris College of Art

Kiersten, Paris, Summer 2023

Learning a new skill was one of the many goals I had while studying abroad. I had the opportunity to take the two-week Intro to Jewelry Making course at Paris College of Art. Before this course, I had a limited understanding of jewelry making. However, it was becoming a growing interest of mine. This course taught me the basics of metal smithing and creative ideation. The instructor, Ines (@inesetlitza)

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Best Experience Through Viva Experiences!

Grace, Spring 2023, Rome

During my semester studying in Rome, I struggled with trying to do too much. Even if I checked off all the boxes on my extensive color coded bucket list, how would I know if I completed all the things people say “you just have to do ”, while abroad? Sometimes these thoughts would creep up on me while I was in bed relaxing after a long day.

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Graffiti Galore

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

As a massive artistic and cultural hub of Europe, Barcelona is full of art, creativity, and history of all kinds. One of my personal favorite aspects of the city’s culture is its deep ties to urban art.

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Best coffee or Study spots in Florence

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

If you’re studying in Florence, working, or simply visiting and you need to take your daily cup of coffee, I recommend 5 places to visit. All these coffee spots function as study spaces as well so they’re perfect to do some homework, work on your computer, read a book, and more. They are spread throughout the Florence city center for a convenient pit stop if needed, and all of them provide wife service.

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5 Tips for Planning a Perfect Day Trip

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

Learning how to plan and budget your own day trips as an adult can be intimidating, especially in an unfamiliar country. However, with a few considerations and a willingness to pivot when needed, day trips can make unforgettable memories and allow you to venture outside of your host city while studying abroad! Here are a few tips that I think will help you perfect your day trip planning, even as an inexperienced traveler! 1)

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Taking a Step Closer: Reflection of the Historical influence of TYPE

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

As a graphic designer there are plenty of avenues of inspiration that come from being in Florence. I’ve decided to focus on one that is a major challenge for most designers to research and use properly. This challenge is typography and the use of typographic materials. Typography is the arrangement of letters and text to communicate clear ideas. Whether those ideas are to enlighten, warn, intrigue, or comfort.

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Best Places to Eat in Rome Between Classes

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

One of the best parts of Rome, Italy is, in my opinion, the food. There are so many different restaurants and shops that have delicious food. I am a vegetarian and I was a bit worried about finding a variety of foods that I could eat. Luckily, that has not been an issue for me.

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Thrifting in Barcelona

Mason, Fall 2022, Barcelona

I love thrifting new clothes and housewares back home, so I was super excited to see what it would be like in a new country. Thrifting has become a relaxing pastime for me, like an escape from everything going on and it also gives me a purpose for getting out of the house.

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5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Abroad

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

Chances are studying abroad will be an adjustment for most people! Moving to a whole new city surrounded by all new people can be pretty overwhelming. Being burned out, or homesick is a plausible reality for many. Of course, it is all temporary and does not come close to outweighing the positives, but while abroad it is still important to focus on yourself. Once you do, the experience becomes that much better.

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Take the Risk and Come to Rome

Alexandra, Spring 2023, Rome

Signing up for study abroad alone is more common than one would think! I know, it is a bit nerve racking to go to a brand new country alone for a whole semester. However, it creates a ton of independence and personal growth. I have made great connections and memories that will last lifetimes. Keeping an open mind and willingness to adapt and learn, have made the transition into my new lifestyle seamless.

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Abroad on Film

Bella, Summer 2023, Sorrento

Summer Sorrento student and SAI Ambassador, Bella, shared with prospective students some advice on finding friends, roommates, food, and what to do on the weekends, all while catching some of her favorite memories on her film camera! Friends I came into Sorrento incredibly anxious and knowing no one, however, I left with friendships I will cherish forever. If there is one thing I can say about going abroad, is to say yes to everything.

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36 Hours in Mallorca

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

As beautiful, diverse, and endlessly entertaining as the city of Barcelona is, my roommates and I were itching to make our first overnight trip out of town after our first couple of weeks here. After some fairly last-minute research and planning, we decided to go for a quick two-day adventure to the island of Mallorca.

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Hidden Gem in Costa Brava

Alejandra, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Barcelona is a vibrant and culturally rich city, but there is more to the region of Catalonia than meets the eye. I was eager for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and opted for a day trip to the coastal town of Blanes. Sandrine, the SAI Barcelona program director, gave us travel advice and recommendations that facilitated our plans.

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A Memorable Day on Montjuïc

Lance, Fall 2023, Barcelona

Barcelona’s charm knows no bounds, and for those willing to explore beyond the bustling city streets, Montjuïc emerges as an enchanting gem. This historic hill offers a perfect blend of culture, nature, and history. Join me on a captivating day trip to Montjuïc, where we’ll explore the magnificent Montjuïc Castle, the lush Barcelona Botanical Garden, and the serene Montjuïc Park. The day began with a visit to the iconic Montjuïc Castle.

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Maintaining a Sense of Identity in a New Place

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

One piece of advice I found online when preparing for my study abroad (and I wish I could have cited this person, because it really stuck with me) was that you will continue to be the same person at your study abroad location as you are at home. Your skills, weaknesses, insecurities, comfort zones, social skills, etc will not magically change for the better once your plane lands. And that’s a good thing!

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Pre-Departure Tips and Tricks

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

Preparing to study abroad can be a stressful and overwhelming time. There are many factors to consider when studying abroad. This post will help you navigate some of the complicated decisions you may need to make, and I will give you so tips to stay ahead of schedule.

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What I’ve Learned After 3 Months in Europe

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

As I am finishing up my final exams at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the ways I’ve grown throughout the past semester and the experiences that made it all possible. On September 1st, I landed in Barcelona with not a single idea of how I would spend my time abroad.

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My experience with Study Abroad and my favorite places I visited

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence University of the Arts

I arrived in Florence and immediately fell in love with the city and all the culture and history it holds. Walking past the Duomo on my way to class every morning and experiencing the city buzz with energy every day felt like a dream. I learned so much about the history of Italy and adjusted to the everyday lifestyle of a Florentine.

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If I could do it all over again…

Florence, Fall 2022, Rome

If I had more time in Rome, here is what I would have done. Learn from my mistakes! Truly, there is no way to do everything you want to do, even just within the city of Rome. Here’s my take: 1. Plan trips sooner. I took lots of great trips during the semester (Berlin, London, Marseille, Florence, Naples, Milan, Venice), but it was very back heavy.

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Florence Study Abroad Tips and Guide

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence

Florence is a beautiful city filled with so much history, good food, and great people. It takes a while to find the hidden gems of this city and establish a routine of everyday cafes and hangout spots. I am a month and a half into my semester abroad and have discovered some great spots for all kinds of different activities.

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Surviving the Heat in Rome

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

Rome, Italy is sweltering hot during the summer. When I arrived for my semester abroad in late August, I underestimated the difficulty of managing the heat. Since then, I have learned copious strategies for dealing with the temperature. Here are my favorite, and sometimes desperate, ways of staying cool. Water The best way to get water is by filling up a water bottle at one of Rome’s street fountains, called nasone (plural nasoni) in Italian.

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Spontaneity on the Streets of Florence

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Besides the delicious food, one of my favorite things about Florence is that there is always something new to see or explore, whether it is hidden or in plain sight. Florence is such a lively and diverse city, bearing a unique experience for every person, mood, and day. To make the most of my time here (and improve my navigation skills!), I make an effort to always walk down different streets.

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Creative Outlets While Abroad 101

Kiersten, Paris, Summer 2023

So you’re in the process of preparing for your study abroad adventure. You’ve finally sorted through your clothes and picked out the best fits, ordered some international currency, checked your flight status 27 times. But are you forgetting anything? Aside from the essentials we need to pack for these experiences, we tend to overlook the importance of creative outlets.

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Why You Should Consider Studying in Sorrento

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

Are you looking for an Italian study abroad experience that allows you to connect to the Italian culture without the hustle and bustle of city life? Sorrento could be the place for you! Compared to the population of Rome (2,873,000) or Florence (382,000), Sorrento provides a more intimate experience with a population of only 16,609. That’s less than the undergraduate population at the University of South Carolina!

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Looking Back on Study Abroad – One Year Later

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I packed my things and flew to Florence, Italy for a semester abroad. Going in, I had so much uncertainty about my ability to adjust to a different culture, converse in another language, and make connections with locals. However, I also had a deep excitement that carried me forward despite my nerves.

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Culture Through Cooking

Hallie, Spring 2023, Barcelona

My name is Hallie Anderson, and I am in the class of ’24 at University of Missouri studying food science.  If you would have told me when I was 4 years old putting my first batch of brownies into an easy bake oven that someday I would be across the world taking culinary classes, I would never have believed you.

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Why I Loved Studying Abroad in January

Zoe, Jan Term 2023, Florence

Studying abroad is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself and the world around you. I was privileged to study abroad in January 2023 in Florence, Italy. I attended the Florence University of the Arts (FUA) and encountered various new experiences, especially finding my independence. Attending FUA allowed me to leave the United States for the first time in my life.

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Tempio Maggiore, an unexpected journey

Tuuli, Summer 2023, Pre-College Program

While in Florence on my three week study abroad trip, my Art History class took me to “The Great Synagogue of Florence” or Tempio Maggiore. The Synagogue was easily my favorite place I went to in Florence, not only because of its stunning architecture and grand interior, but because of its story.

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My Top 5 Places to Visit in Florence

Isabelle, Summer 2023, Florence

These are just a few of my top places to visit while in Florence! 1- Piazzale Michelangelo The Piazzale Michelangelo has the most magical view in Florence, which makes it my number one must-visit spot. You can see everything from the Plaza: the Arno, the Duomo, and all the beautiful buildings and streets. The panoramic view shows just how beautiful this city really is. I recommend grabbing your favorite pizza in Florence (mine is Biancazerozero!)

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My Top Meditation Spots in Sorrento, Italy

Shannon, Sorrento, Summer 2023

As I leave behind my life in South Florida, and begin my new journey in southern Italy, I can only take a few things with me to comfort me through this amazing experience, one of them being the practice of meditation.

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Elementary Volunteer Position

Meredith, Spring 2023, Florence

I had the opportunity to work at three different schools in the outer parts of Florence. Each class that I worked in gave me different experiences and lessons that I will take with me when I leave to go back to the United States.  The first class I worked with were a group of 3rd grade students which I learned to love.

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Slow Down and Be Present

Paige, Spring 2023, Florence

“I will never have this version of me again. Let me slow down and be with her” – Rupi Kaur. Slow down, read that over again. I read this quote last year and immediately went into a deep reflection. I reflected on my school life, work life, and social life. There are so many different aspects of my life where I tend to overwork myself and not enjoy where I am both physically and mentally.

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Volunteering In Florence, Italy

Rachel, Spring 2023, Florence

My time volunteering this semester while abroad in Florence has been an amazing experience. I volunteer quite often at home to gain service hours for my sorority but also just because it makes me feel good to do acts of service and to know I am helping at least one person if not multiple. When I found out about this program through SAII wanted to get involved.

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Managing Life Abroad

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

Many people make studying abroad look like this glamorous life of traveling to cool places, eating delicious food, and partying until the sunrises, but there’s a lot more that isn’t shown on instagram. Traveling is not always seamless, sometimes you’re just going to want Chick-fil-a, and the videos aren’t always as fun as they seem. You actually have to do school and your normal responsibilities.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Living Abroad

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

Living in Milan is nothing like I ever thought it would be. But let me put it this way; I love every minute of it! I have been living in Milan for almost 2 months now while studying at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA). Before studying abroad, I had never left the East Coast of the United States, let alone leave the country! This was such a big jump for me.

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The Best Things Outside of the City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

  Florence is one of the most historical cities in the world. The amount of history, architecture, and art in this beautiful city is astonishing. The most famous attractions in Florence include the Uffizi gallery, the Accademia Gallery of Florence where you can see Michelangelo’s David, the Gucci Gardens, the Medici Palace, and of course, the Duomo.

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A Scavenger Hunt in Barcelona

Josh, Summer 2023, Barcelona

Hi, my name is Josh Kueh. I am from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I study at the University of Arkansas. I am double majoring in supply chain management and information systems. I have a minor in data analytics. I chose to study in Barcelona because I love the cultural elements that it offers!

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My Gelato Addiction

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

It’s dark and raining. The stars are blocked by the overcast and all I can hear is the never-ending “squish squish squish” that flows from my shoes as I step rapidly over the wet slanted cobblestones of Florence.” The illuminated sign welcomes me, and my addiction to indulge and enjoy the creamy deliciousness of its famous Italian treat. I’d be at the wooden door frame made of glass in a minute.

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A Medieval Castle and Fortifications in France

Sophie, Fall 2022, Barcelona

Around eleven years ago I got to visit Carcassone, France, a town and UNESCO World Heritage site that is famous for its medieval fortifications and castle. My family and I drove there from my grandparent’s house in Spain, and my parents let me run around the castle walls. I ran around pretending to be a knight defending the castle with fake swords and bows and arrows.

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Why Survive When You Can Thrive

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

Why settle for surviving during your time abroad, when you can be thriving. Spending the past four months as a foreign exchange student has taught me a lot about myself. The journey has been one filled with smiles and laughs as well as tears and frustration. Life is all about balance and duality, figuring this out early is what has helped me make this time the best of my life.

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SAI Volunteer Project – Barcelona

Anya, Spring 2023, Barcelona

Hi! My name is Anya Pennisi. I’m a junior studying International Business with French and Digital Marketing at Appalachian State University. Coming abroad I wanted to get a full cultural immersion of the community I was studying in and I fully believe that learning more about a culture comes from all forms of experiences. I’m very thankful that SAI offered the opportunity to participate in a service project to teach students English.

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A Year in Roma

Izzy, Spring 2023, Rome

Hi! My name is Isabella (Izzy) Young and I studied abroad in Rome, Italy for an academic year at John Cabot. I am from Nashville, Tennessee and attend the University of Knoxville and am majoring in International business with a minor in Italian. Studying abroad in Rome for an entire year has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself.

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Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage Class in Barcelona

Cristina, Spring 23, Barcelona

By far my favorite class this semester was Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage (SACH). It had us running all over Barcelona some days, and engagingly in the classroom other days. Our teacher would have us go to numerous museums and locations around Barcelona to show us what we had learned in class. The class was incredibly captivating and I felt I gained the most knowledge in that class.

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A Day of Adventure and Relaxation: San Gimignano and the Local Thermal Baths

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

As a study abroad student, I was lucky enough to take a tour of San Gimignano and visit the local thermal baths with a group of new friends. It was my first trip after arriving to study in Florence, and I was eager to explore Tuscany and immerse myself in the local culture. San Gimignano is a small hilltop town in Tuscany, recognized for its well-preserved medieval architecture and towers.

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Interning at Il Vilaggio dei Popoli in Florence

Mercer, Spring 2023, Florence

Interning at Il Vilaggio dei Popoli has inspired me in many different ways. I have gained new insight as to what fair trade is, why fair trade is so important to human rights, and the social and environmental impact that fair trade holds.

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Top 5 Cities I Traveled to Studying Abroad

Alexandra, Spring 2023, Rome

During my semester abroad I took advantage of pursuing my lifelong dreams of traveling all around Europe. My program was focused in Rome and I knew I wanted to pick a city that had a major airport nearby for the ease of traveling as well as its own history and beauty. Just to say the least, FCO airport and I got to know each other very well.

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My Local Friend – Barcelona

Kavya, Spring 2023, Barcelona

 Hey! My name is Kavya and I was a part of SAI’s local friend program. The Local Friend program sets you up with another student from Barcelona and allows you to better immerse yourself in the culture and language. I signed up for the program because I was curious about Catalan traditions and lifestyles and wanted to make new friends while abroad.

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Big City vs. Small City

Grace, Spring 2023, Sorrento

As my semester here in Sorrento, Italy comes to an end I’ve come to realize that I love my quaint southern Italian city. Prior to coming over here I never even considered the size of the city I was going to live in for four months. All I knew was I wanted to study abroad somewhere in Europe, but I really didn’t care where that would be.

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The Best Things Outside of the Florence City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

The Best Things Outside of the City Center! Florence is one of the most historical cities in the world. The amount of history, architecture, and art in this beautiful city is astonishing. The most famous attractions in Florence include the Uffizi gallery, the Accademia Gallery of Florence where you can see Michelangelo’s David, the Gucci Gardens, the Medici Palace, and of course, the Duomo.

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My time in Barcelona and Europe

Qiuhong, Spring 2022, The New School

My time in Barcelona and Europe was about connections. And coming here was one of the best decisions I’ve made.  About me I’m a student at Parsons School of Design in New York majoring in Product design with a focus on furniture and home products. Since I was also determined to improve my Spanish, coming to Barcelona and ELISAVA was a no-brainer.

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Pass Down Guide to Florence: The More Local Side!

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

TRAVEL TIPS – Travel Like a Florentine Trains Use the Trenitalia (government run) or Italo (Privately run) apps to look at train tickets! Super easy but make sure to book far in advance to avoid a steep increase in prices. Flights Fly like a local out of Pisa or Bologna! You’ll come to find that mostflights out of Florence tend to be very expensive/with layovers.

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Sant Jordi in Barcelona

Leonardo, Spring 2023. Barcelona

Sant Jordi is a highly celebrated and beloved cultural event in Catalonia, Spain. Taking place on April 23rd of each year, it holds significant historical and cultural importance. Sant Jordi is a vibrant festival that combines elements of literature, romance, and tradition, making it a truly unique and cherished occasion. At the heart of Sant Jordi lies the tradition of exchanging books and roses.

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Serving Others in Milan

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

When coming to Milan, I wanted to make a goal of engaging myself in my community the best I could. I was able to find a great motive for this very goal by working towards obtaining the SAI International Service Certificate. By doing so, I was able to get in touch with a local service group to obtain my volunteer hours.

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My Local Family in Barcelona

Annabelle, Spring 2023, Barcelona

My name is Annabelle, I was studying in Barcelona at Elisava during this spring semester (2023). In Barcelona, I lived with three girls, two from the United States and one from Puerto Rico, in a two bedroom apartment. This felt comfortable and familiar which helped me to adjust to my new life in a foreign country. However, once I got settled I felt like something was missing.

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Some of the Lessons I Learned While Studying Abroad

KT, Spring 2023, Rome

Ciao! My name is KT Sansing and I am a junior from Point Loma Nazarene University. I have always known that I wanted to travel to new places and studying abroad has always been important to me for that reason. I chose to study abroad in Rome because of the deep history and culture here, as well as the major differences it has from living in San Diego.

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The Greenery of Florence

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

Outdoor Areas in Florence The first week I got to Florence, I was surprised by the lack of greenery. The architecture is stunning in Florence, but after going to other cities, I realized I missed the small pockets of nature I am used to. Luckily, I was wrong! Florence is filled with green areas, and the city center just happens to focus on other beauties of the world.

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My International Service Certificate in Barcelona

Allie, Spring 2023, Barcelona

Hi! My name is Allie McDermott, and I am currently a pre-med junior within the University of South Carolina’s Honors College. During the Spring 2023 semester, I studied abroad in Barcelona. Reflecting on my incredible journey throughout Europe, I remain especially grateful for SAI’s dedication to providing a plethora of experiential learning opportunities for us students.

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Barcelona Service Learning: Ciutadella Park Middle School

Bryan, Spring 2023, Barcelona

Hi, my name is Bryan Bellantoni and I studied abroad in Barcelona in the Spring of 2023. I grew up in New Jersey and attend the University of South Carolina, majoring in Finance. While studying abroad in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to volunteer in an English class. The students, middle school aged, taught me more in the short three months than I could have ever taught them.

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17 Weeks, 17 Trips: Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Time Abroad

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

17 weeks. I spent 17 weeks here in Milan, Italy. In those 17 weeks, I was able to go and experience 17 other places within and outside of Italy. Before coming abroad, I didn’t think that was possible let alone I’d be the one doing it over the next four months. So how did I do it? On top of still being a student, volunteering at a local organization, and still having time to relax.

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A New Spin on Service

Gabrielle, Milan, Spring 2023

Hello! My name is Gabrielle Haring and I am just finishing up my junior year at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. These past four months have contributed to some of the best times and experiences of my life. I am forever grateful to experience and gain an appreciation for Italian life, culture and customs. This country is beautiful in so many ways and I never want to forget it.

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Saying Goodbye to Roma

Bella, Spring 2023, Rome

Hello everyone! My name is Isabella (Bella) Cervini. My home school is Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, I am majoring in Music Business with a minor in Italian. I spent my Spring 2023 semester of Junior year here in Rome, Italy.

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A Quick Recap of My Semester

William, Spring 2023, Rome

Hi, my name is William Johnson, I am currently a sophomore at the University of South Carolina majoring in elementary education. In the Spring of 2023 I decided to study abroad in Rome Italy at John Cabot University, I have to say that this has probably been one of the best things I have done in my life.

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ELISAVA Interior Spaces Class

Annabelle, Spring 2023, Barcelona

Coming from Colorado studying Interior Design, I had no idea what to expect moving to Barcelona to do a semester at one of the top design schools in Barcelona. At Elisava I am enrolled in a design contexts class, and visual communications and motion graphics class, both of which are completely new subjects for me. As for interior design, I am taking an interior spaces class as well as a retail design class.

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Finding a School/Life Balance When Studying Abroad

Mikayla, Spring 2022, Rome

Studying abroad is an incredible experience that gives you opportunities to travel and interact with new cultures, but it is important to remember that you are still in school, and things like your grades can impact you upon returning home. The classes I took while abroad at John Cabot in Rome had very similar course loads and structures to classes I have previously taken at my home school.

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A Black Girl’s Guide to Florence

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

For the Spring Semester, I decided to study abroad in Florence, Italy. I chose to study here for the arts, the culture, the pasta, and to learn more about myself. Don’t let the “This is your sign to study abroad” TikToks fool you. Studying abroad can be challenging. It’s a moment of firsts for everyone–it can be daunting.

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Viva L’Italia – Making the most of SAI Viva Experiences!

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

Traveling to a new country across the world can be very rewarding and exciting, but it definitely does not come without its challenges. Once settled into your new home, it can be a daunting task venturing out to explore such an unknown environment. But as many of us know, the only way to meet new people and find your new favorite places is to go out and try new things!

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Study Spots in Florence

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

Living in Florence, Italy has been a dream come true! The city is a treasure trove of wonders, from traditional Tuscan cuisine to Renaissance art and Italian culture. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to forget that as students, we’re here to study and further our education in this magnificent city. In this article, I’ll be sharing three study spots in Florence that are essential for any student living here.   1.

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Relaxing in Rome: 3 Ways to De-stress From Deadlines and Classes When Studying Abroad in Rome

Marta, Spring 2023, Rome

Studying abroad is an incredible experience, but that does not mean it will not come without its challenges. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed by living in a new place, coursework, exam weeks, or anything else that life may bring. Here are three things you can do to de-stress when studying abroad in the wonderful city of Rome. 1. Go for a walk along River Tiber Right by Trastevere, River Tiber meanders through Rome.

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Interview with Ceramist Jordi Serra

Leonardo, Spring 2023, Barcelona

Ceramists worldwide have undoubtedly had an immense impact on contemporary art. Significant figures like Beate Kuhn and George Ohr have made great strides in the global movement. However, these monumental names often obscure the achievements of artisans from regions beyond our borders that have contributed to the global campaign in their own right.

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Hidden Gems of Trastevere

Brooke, Spring 2023, Rome

My name is Brooke Hornung and I am a junior at the University of Alabama studying abroad in Rome, Italy! While studying abroad in Rome, I was placed to live in the Trastevere neighborhood. It is a unique part of Rome with so much to do. Restaurants and shops of all kinds fill every street. It is always bustling with people. You truly could never get bored here!

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Learning Italian in Italy

Lauren, Summer 2022. Sorrento

For as long as I can remember I wanted to study abroad. I have always loved to travel with my family and explore new places and learn about new cultures. At the University of South Carolina, studying abroad is highly encouraged and very easy to do. At the time I wanted to study abroad, I was majoring in Management and Finance.

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From Zero to Hero: 3 Tips to Finding Success in Your First Weeks Studying Abroad in Florence

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

So you’re getting ready to study abroad. Question is, How can I take full advantage of my time in my new home away from home? Studying abroad can seem like a daunting experience at first, but with the right mindset and expectations you can set yourself up to thrive in your new environment. So you want to start off on the right foot and have a memorable first week abroad?

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5 Ways to Overcome Homesickness When Studying Abroad

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

You’ve likely heard that studying abroad is the most incredible chance you’ll ever have. And it is, but truth is, it can be tough for some of us. Moving thousands of miles across the globe to a new nation, where you will be surrounded by new things and people, is a significant shift, and homesickness is unavoidable. Although it can bring you down it’s important to find ways to lift yourself back up.

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A Taste of Spain

Cristina, Spring 23, Barcelona

I am currently about one month into my study abroad semester, and I genuinely can’t believe how fast time is going. Living in Barcelona has been such a refreshing, needed, and fun experience. Taking the metro every day to school, walking 5 miles every day, and having to air dry my clothes have all been so fun and different from my life in the US.

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Graffiti in Barcelona

Sophie, Fall 2022, Barcelona

I got to do one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Graffiti in Barcelona. I would have never thought that my Urban Interventions course through UAB would have me go out into the city and graffiti a wall. The class started as any other class would until my Professor Georginia gave us what she called a Black Book. It is what graffiti artists and writers call their sketchbooks.

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Cuisines Around the World!

Kathryn, Fall 2022, Sorrento

During my time studying abroad, I got to travel to different countries. I went to Paris, Dublin, Vienna, and Greece, as well as other places in Italy. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking so going to places with different foods, I took the advantage of scheduling cooking classes. I took these classes to learn about another culture as well as spread my knowledge with my friends and family back home.

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Currently Living My Best Life

Grace, Spring 2023, Sorrento

Studying abroad and living with complete strangers in a foreign country can sound intimidating, and trust me it is, but don’t let that fear hold you back. Personally, I’ve dreamed about studying abroad since I was a freshman in high school back in 2016. Here I am in 2023 living out that dream and making my younger self proud.

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A Taste of Home Away from Home

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

As a family-oriented girl now living 5,000 miles away from home for the next 4 months, homesickness was inevitable. I attempted to find comfort through journaling and FaceTiming friends and family. As these methods did help improve my mood, nothing made me feel better than finding my comfort foods in Italy. For this reason, I’m going to help you skip the research by providing 5 places to experience a taste of home while in Florence.

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Studying Abroad With Your Significant Other

Mikah and Shlomo, SAI Rome

Happy Valentine’s Day! We know there is a certain romance about being abroad, but we knew of a couple who decided on studying abroad together and caught up with them about what it has been like studying abroad with your significant other. What is your name, home school, and major? Hello! Our names are Mikah & Shlomo. We are both currently Juniors studying abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University.

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Rome: A City just of Romans?

Adriana, Spring 2023, Rome

To start, I know this sounds like a silly question. If you’re anything like me your conception of the world might be a little, ok a lot, influenced by secondary sources (largely the media–I know–shameful). But that’s why you chose to go study abroad, no? To add to that confession, I have never been to Italy let alone Europe, so I really came into this one blind.

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The Best Spring Break of my Life!

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

I have only been studying abroad in Florence, Italy for a month now and I can say that it wasn’t exactly what I had expected at first. The culture shock is real, and it makes you question the normal routines you have compared to the average Italian, but after this month I can say that I am beyond happy that I took this opportunity and stepped out of my comfort zone.

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Unbiased Rating of Locations to Cry at in Florence

Elina, Fall 2022-Spring 2023, Florence

Studying abroad is hard. No doubt about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing for all the reasons people say it is—widening perspective, new experiences, meeting people from all across the globe—but when you study abroad, you’re also choosing to live an entirely different life than the one you’re used to. It takes time to adjust, and it might take a few weeks (or months, even) before your new location starts to feel like home.

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5 Picture Perfect Places for the Photogenic Florence Student

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

Studying abroad can be such a fun adventure, with new food, new friends, and new surroundings. And the best way to remember those moments are with photos! Whether you brought your digital camera or are using your smartphone, taking a picture will be the best way to make the memory last forever. But you might be asking yourself, “Where do I go to take a good picture?

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A Hidden Gem: Bomarzo and Civita di Bagnoregio

Marta, Spring 2023, Rome

February 1, 2023 Bomarzo is a magical garden filled with statues from Roman mythology. You can visit this serene place and see gods, creatures, temples, and mossy scenery. Civita di Bagnoregio is a small town suspended on cliffs surrounded by beautiful canyons. It can only be reached by foot by a cobblestone path but it is filled with charming houses, little restaurants and small shops.

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My First Week Abroad with SAI

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

When I decided to study abroad in Florence, I was honestly very nervous about how I would adjust to such a new lifestyle. One of the things that led me to choosing to study abroad in Florence was the accompaniment of SAI Programs as well as the SAI Viva Experiences.

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Learning by Teaching

Martina, Fall 2022, Florence

I can say that this volunteering opportunity has been the greatest learning experience that I could’ve gained as a student abroad. On the one hand, I was able to practice my Italian by teaching English to Italian children, and at the same time, I was able to fulfill one of the biggest objectives that I had coming to Florence: “immerse myself in Italian culture”.

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Volunteer Service Project

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

One of the many ways I was able to immerse myself in the Barcelona lifestyle included the time I spent volunteering in an elementary school. During my time abroad, I would meet with the first grade class at Escola Baixeras weekly and help out during their English class. I am incredibly thankful for the time I spent volunteering at Escola Baixeras throughout the past few months.

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Iconic movies and TV shows to watch while study abroad to feel like the main character!

Jacqueline, Fall 2022, Florence

– Emily In Paris Netflix’s original series by Darren Star called Emily in Paris is an American-French romantic comedy series. The series, which is set and filmed in Paris, stars Lily Collins as aspiring marketing professional Emily Cooper, an American who relocates to France in order to give Savoir, a French marketing business, an American perspective. – La Dolce Vita In the acclaimed Italian film by Federico Fellini, reporter Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni)

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The Best Memories Have Been At The Dinner Table

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

My study abroad adventure is coming to an end and I can’t help but reflect on these past four months. I took a leap of faith to travel so far away from home, like most students studying abroad, and I have been rewarded in so many remarkable ways.

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Reflecting on My Semester in Florence

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

As the semester draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the many opportunities and experiences that studying abroad has provided me, and I truly believe it has been one of the most influential times in my life. To give a bit of background about myself, I am a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a career in medical and psychological research.

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Things To Do In Rome Around Christmas

Rachael, Fall 2022, Rome

Christmas season is here and ever since I knew I was studying abroad in Rome, I wanted to see Rome during Christmas. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I was very curious to see how Italians celebrate their Christmas. Rome has so many different attractions and activities that are perfect for seeing the holiday’s magic. Christmas Markets in Rome.

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Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad 

Jocelyn, Fall 2022, Rome

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was arriving in Italy, ready for the semester-long journey ahead of me. From traveling to Barcelona, Switzerland, Germany, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Croatia and Ireland, I can say that my study abroad experience has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

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Advice for Planning a Solo Trip

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

One of the many great attributes of studying abroad in Europe is the multitude of options available for a weekend getaway. Whether you prefer to sunbathe along the coast of the Mediterranean or hike to the best look-out point of the city, traveling to a new place can be an easy and affordable excursion to plan. My record of places I’ve visited outside of Barcelona so far consist of Costa Brava, Munich, Paris, and Cadaqués.

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5 Things I Have Learned Living in Florence

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

Ciao! My name is Chiara, and I am studying in Florence, Italy. I am from California where I attend Point Loma Nazarene University. I chose Florence because I wanted to live in a smaller city and experience the Northern Italian culture that is different from my culture roots, Southern Italy. I have been living in Florence for two months and my Italian experience has been more than I could have expected.

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Book The Ticket!

Michel, Fall 2022, Florence

From falling asleep on the beach in Malibu, gazing out at the Empire State building from the Top of the Rock, watching the sunset from the mountains of Max Patch, swimming in the hot springs of Costa Rica, to riding ATVs in Cabo San Lucas, this insatiable wanderlust only continues to burn inside of me. Deciding to study abroad should have been an easy decision.

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Taking A Closer Look At Florence

Gabriella, Florence, Fall 2022

At first glance, Florence looks to be a heavily populated area full of ancient buildings, majestic artwork, and historic landmarks. However, on further inspection, there is so much more to this beautiful city. As a student studying abroad, I have had the amazing opportunity to take classes where I can explore the city on a closer level. My instructors have provided me with an in-depth history and explanation of buildings, statues, and local attractions.

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4 Lessons that I Re-Learned in Rome

Jocelyn, Fall 2022, Rome

Before coming to Rome to study abroad, I was honestly scared to make this change in my life. Most people would agree that change is uncomfortable and scary. But if there is anything that I have learned from my experience thus far, it is that this uncomfortable change is necessary for growth.

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Traveling Europe as a Study Abroad Student

Florence, Fall 2022, Rome

When my best friend and I were creating our respective study abroad plans for Fall ’22, we joked about going early. I would always say we should just head to Europe immediately, although I knew that wasn’t possible. We were just so excited to study abroad. After joking about it a few dozen times, we began to consider the possibility.  After some preliminary research, it actually seemed possible.

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Summer 2022 Pre-College Program

Mikaylee, Summer 2022, Florence

My time in Florence was nowhere near what I imagined it would be like. I went into the experience with this idea: I would be taking a couple classes to broaden my knowledge of art history as well as learning new drawing techniques. The program would include a few mandatory activities and I would be fed two free meals a day.

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July 2022 in Barcelona

Tracey, Summer 2022, Barcelona

Looking back at these photos now, I’m still in awe of all that Spain has. I feel so privileged to have been able to study here, and I’m so glad I chose Barcelona!!         While in Barcelona, I also got to visit Madrid… and London, England…. and Milan, Italy Europe was absolutely incredible!!

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Tackling Your Journey With Energy and Enthusiasm

Amelia, Summer 2022, Florence

When traveling to a new place, adjusting to a new lifestyle may be difficult. As different cultures structure their days differently, it is vital to be prepared for an altered routine. People in various countries differ in the time they work, the time they eat meals, the way they dress (according to fashion trends/weather), and the standard modes of transportation they utilize.

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Navigating Paris: Top 5 Tips for Studying Abroad in Paris

Maddie, Summer 2022, Paris

Restaurants: Dining at a café or restaurant in Paris is a very different experience from food service in the United States. The culture around dining moves much more slowly, so make sure to give yourself at least an hour and a half if you plan to go to a restaurant.

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The Importance of Befriending the Locals

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Florence can be a daunting place upon a tourist’s first arrival. I was definitely overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending green shutters rushing past my taxi windows between the airport and my apartment nestled on the corner of Borgo Pinti. The streets are lined on either side with towering buildings, making each cobblestone walkway look like the next, so much so that it is easy to get lost in the tangle of alleyways and winding roads.

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SAI Service Certificate

Anya, Spring 2022, Barcelona

Hi! My name is Anya Carney and I am a current student studying abroad at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona through SAI. I have gotten involved in as many activities and programs as I could through SAI and my favorite by far has been the International Service Certificate. Through this program, I teach 2nd graders English at a local primary school here in Barcelona.

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My Top 5 Must Visit Places in Europe

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

Studying abroad in Europe is an extremely unique opportunity. Whether you are based in France, Italy, Spain, or another European country, there are endless sights to see and places to explore in your local area. That being said, I would definitely recommend traveling to other countries as well, as each place has something new to offer.

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4 Tips and Tricks for Visiting a New City

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

1. Learn about their public transportation system. Each city has its own unique public transportation system. You are likely going to experience some form of a metro or “underground” and buses, trains, or trams. My first suggestion is to get the apple maps app. After this, I would google taxi apps for your city and also google if there are any “city planner” or public transportation planner apps.

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Studying Abroad in Barcelona: Take it all in!

Sally, Spring 2022, Barcelona

After graduating high school I was geared up and ready for what my college life would look like. I had no idea what to expect but I knew for one thing, I wanted to study abroad. Even during my competitive scholarship interviews, I told them that the one thing I definitely wanted to do was go abroad for part of my education.

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Top 10 Things To Do In Florence To Get To Know Your New Roommates Better

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Studying abroad can be incredibly daunting. You’re leaving behind everything you’re familiar with, friends, family, professors, and traveling to a brand new country with a brand new apartment and most importantly, brand new roommates that you’ve probably never met. But getting to know your new housemates is one of the easiest ways to create connections as soon as you arrive in your new home.

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Take the Leap, Study Abroad!

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

As someone who is chronically indecisive, I never could have imagined I would willingly sign up for a semester abroad. While studying abroad is very enticing, it requires a multitude of decisions on a daily basis which, as I mentioned, is not my strong suit. However, my love for travel and my yearning to immerse myself in a culture entirely different from my own ultimately eclipsed my struggle with indecision.

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The Beauty of Florence

Stephany, Spring 2022, Florence

Whenever someone is visiting, or maybe living in a new place, the first item on the agenda is to see the wonders that the city has to offer. This is what makes up a tourist area. The plazas are cleaned up, showing their best side. Myths and legends tell their tales, gathering the attention of those who will listen. Stalls are set up at every corner of the street, gaining a little more income.

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Making the Most of Studying Abroad During the Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

TRAVELING OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOST COUNTRY: When traveling during covid it is a lot harder to plan. Every country has different covid restrictions upon entry and some “must-sees” in your desired city might be temporarily closed. My advice is to make a list of all of the cities outside of the country that you would ideally like to visit while you’re abroad.

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10 Things I Learned on My Cultural Introduction to Italy Travel Course

Emily, Spring 22, Florence

My first experience abroad EVER and in Italy was through my pre-semester traveling course: Cultural Introduction to Italy. We began in Rome and worked our way towards Florence, stopping every day in different Italian towns with a full day of field learning. It was a jump into the deep end if I’ve ever heard of one, but I would not change it for the world.

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Recovering a Lost Heritage: My History With Paris

Joelle, Spring 22, Paris

My relationship with my heritage is unique. I have always felt funny about telling people that I’m French-American. As silly as it sounds, I have never felt entitled to say so. I wasn’t raised in a bicultural household, although I am the product of two people from very different backgrounds; my mother was born in Queens, New York, and my father hailed from Paris, France.

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Collectivity Revolution at UPF

Patricia, Fall 2021, Barcelona

My name is Patty Gannon, and I am currently studying abroad in Barcelona at UPF. I am in a class at UPF that is called The Collectivity Revolution. The class is filled with students from Spain, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. As I am wrapping up this course, I figured it would be informative to future students to share my experience.

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Day Trips from Rome

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

Just as there is much to do within Rome, there is much more to do outside of Rome. Take a few days to venture out and explore all of the other beautiful and fascinating places Italy has to offer. Monti Monti is a nearby suburb. By simply hopping on the bus, metro, or tram you will quickly arrive in Monti from Rome. In Monti, you will find lots of restaurants, gelaterias, but mostly thrift shops!

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Eating in Italy

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

Living in Italy has been a dream, but I won’t lie and tell you that I have been caught off guard or confused by a number of things. While at first something was a bit difficult and frustrating, I have now learned to love and appreciate the customs behind them. Rome is a city full of culture and tradition, and I am just grateful to be able to experience it.

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US, PART 2

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

A cheese plate is a customary part of a meal at a restaurant in Paris, in between the main course and dessert. The main course isn’t referred to as the entrée; instead, the word entrée actually refers to the appetizer eaten beforehand. The waiter/waitress doesn’t come by with the check unless you request it. In fact, it is considered rude to bring the check to your table before you are ready to leave.

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Getting Around in and out of Florence: All You Need to Know

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

As someone who heavily relied on driving to get around in the United States, I was not prepared for the differences Italy would bring. I was not prepared for the walking. For the first month or so, I walked to every class, averaging around 6 miles a day. Although it was great for exercise, I can be a bit lazy. (However, since arrival, I’ve walked almost 400 miles, and I still have a month left!)

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Mindful Tourism

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

This may come as a huge surprise, but not all Europeans love tourists. Luckily in my experience about 95% of the locals I have interacted with while traveling have been not only helpful but very patient with my unilingualism.

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Experiencing Europe Through Food

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

Studying abroad is an experience like no other for many reasons; complete immersion in a foreign city, learning a new language, befriending people you would never have crossed paths with otherwise, traveling with ease to neighboring countries, and my personal favorite: the food. Europe is filled to the brim with dozens of cultures, all with rich histories wrapped up in one continent.

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My Volunteer Experience: Teaching English

Lauren, Fall 2021

We caught up with Lauren Taylor, SAI Florence student at Florence University of the Arts in Fall 2021, and asked her to tell us a bit about her experience. She is completing a SAI Global Leadership Certificate (GLC) as part of her semester abroad, which includes a volunteering component. We wanted to know how the volunteering component of the GLC has been going, and gather some insights that could help future students considering volunteering abroad.

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It’s a Beautiful life

It is impossible to spend a day here and not fall in love with the values and philosophies that form the core of life in Italy. The buildings, the food, the clothes, and the pets all serve a purpose. The pursuit of timeless beauty, above all, dictates everyone’s day-to-day activities. People don’t just do their chores, they do their chores with style.

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My Cultural Introduction to Italy

Trenedy, Fall 2021, Florence

Trenedy enrolled in the FUA pre-semester traveling course: Cultural Introduction to Italy. This one week 3 credit traveling course, taken prior to regular program coursework, provides students with an in-depth introduction to Italian culture and broadens their awareness and understanding of the role of cultural heritage in Italian customs and lifestyles. The field learning course pairs lectures with visits to many cultural sites and food tastings.

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Why You Should Embrace Uncertainty

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

I think most people studying abroad are at an age that makes it pretty hard to give life advice, so I’ll go ahead and just give my two cents and you can do with that what you will. I’ve never been a big planner. Before coming to Florence, I would constantly have people asking me if I had a list of places I wanted to go once I started my study abroad experience.

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Walking Back in Time

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

I have only been in Rome for three weeks, yet every day I experience lifetimes. Centuries of history emerge around me as I simply walk to class, to the train station, to a café.

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

1. People walking their dogs on the street without a leash. The dog somehow knows to follow their owner. At first, it’s alarming to see a seemingly stray dog all by itself; then you realize their owner is farther up the road. 2. Fuel pumps on the side of the road for people to put gas in their car.

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Different People, One Planet

Carly, Summer 2021, Sorrento

I walked into my first day as an intern greeted by 10 select Europeans who had decided to dedicate 10 months of their time to volunteer for the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella. Prior to even engaging in conversation, I was quite blown away by the sense of selflessness this special group had, giving this big chunk of their time to such a cause.

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Alyssa, Summer 2021, Siena

Studying abroad is a rewarding experience for so many reasons and there are a million and one things to be excited about. However, the days leading up to the flight and the first few days in a new country can be scary and are quite the adjustment. I just made it through my first week in Siena, Italy and I want to share with you some tips and tricks for adjusting!

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Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy Abroad

Bradley, Summer 2021, Sorrento

With a little over three weeks left in my summer term, my experience here in Sorrento has been nothing short of life-changing. Through this experience, I have gained knowledge and friends that will last me for a lifetime and still have many more memories to make in the coming weeks ahead.

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Studying Abroad During a Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Some might ask why would you choose to study abroad during a pandemic, is it worth it? Why didn’t you wait a semester or year? All of these questions roamed my head before making my final decision about studying abroad. I have now been in Florence for 53 days and looking back I would not have changed a thing.

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Learning From the Locals

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Ciao, it is Rachael! Today, I wanted to share some amazing opportunities I have had in my home city these last two months. The Florence SAI team has put together unique and fun activities for the students to take advantage of while studying here. Before I even landed in even knew I was studying in Florence, I always told myself that I would love to learn how to make handmade pasta.

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Traveling During a Pandemic

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Pre-departure Where should I even begin? I started dreaming of the time I could potentially study abroad, long before I could even drive a car. Now as I sit at home, surrounded by family, friends, and my dogs, I quickly realize my dream from long ago is right around the corner.

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Telling My Story

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Growing up in an Italian household I always dreamed to go to Italy. In 2018 my parents made it possible for my family to visit on vacation and I fell in love. I knew after that I had to go back. Studying abroad with SAI is not only allowing me to explore Italy again but giving me the chance to live immersed in the culture for the semester.

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10 Productivity Tips While You’re Abroad

Lexi, Spring 2020, Sorrento

Studying abroad is an exciting time packed with many adventures and traveling. In my first month in Italy, I could not sit still. I was either traveling, exploring my city, or planning future travel plans. It felt like I was constantly going at 100 miles an hour because I was so obsessed with taking advantage of living in a new country and having the freedom to catch cheap flights all over Europe on the weekends.

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Looking Back at a Time Cut Too Short

Madeleine, Spring 2020, Florence

The days and weeks leading up to my Florentine experience felt like a daydream. I had been looking forward to this experience for the past years to come and excited to push myself out of my comfort zones. Florence truly was all I could have asked for and more. The moment I had arrived in Florence, I was truly starstruck.

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Devastating News

Kaeli, Spring 2020, Florence

The week leading up to the devastating news was kind of a blur. Every day we were being told schools were going home and it didn’t actually hit until our friends began to be sent home. At this point majority of the schools had sent the email saying their students needed to come home. I knew it was coming but when I actually got the email it was devastating.

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So You Got Sent Home…

Sofia, Spring 2020, Barcelona

Like most people around the world, study abroad students were blindsided by the new normal brought on by Coronavirus. With the need to return home, our experiences were cut short with no warning. However, we were given something that no other study abroad students had received before—time to reflect on our experiences in our host cities.

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The Quinoa Club

Brianna, Florence, Spring 2020

The photo I have submitted for the Student Resilience Challenge is a drawing of some of my favorite people I met while studying abroad. Each portrait is based on a picture of the person sitting on the bank of the Arno on one of my most cherished days in Florence.

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Flowing In My Practice

Rachael, Spring 2020, Sorrento

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  After the chaos that was returning home, (arranging flights, packing-up, transitioning to online learning,) I took some time to start reflecting on the virus as a whole.

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Remembering the Happy Moments

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  Although the situation of studying abroad in Florence did not go as planned, there are many aspects of my trip that I can learn from and value for the rest of my life.

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Corona Revelations

LeAnne. Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  As someone who likes to research and plan just about everything I can, you can imagine my surprise when my semester abroad didn’t in any way go as I anticipated.

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My Study Abroad Experience Was Nothing Like I Expected

Alexa Jo, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m just going to say it…my study abroad experience was nothing like I expected. I’m sure every study abroad student has said some iteration of this upon returning home, but this semester was different. The first month was a whirlwind of new people, new foods, and new places.

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How Studying Abroad During a Pandemic Changed the Way I Think

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m a control freak by nature. I’m most comfortable when I am able to exercise control over my surroundings, which means that I plan. And plan. Excessively. The label seems to invoke negative feelings from the vast majority, but I have come to view it as a double-edged sword.

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In Good Times and Bad

Anneliese, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  My time in Florence was unmatched. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay in Europe for around 40 days but I cherished every second of it. I was very excited because it was my first time leaving the country, and I am sad it had to end.

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Getting Lost in the Eternal City

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

Nineteen years of living in the same place has left me feeling rather claustrophobic. While I love my hometown, there is little to no diversity of thought, culture, and background. And sometimes, I can’t help feeling as if I have been living in a box for the last nineteen years–forced to conform to the ideals of other people.

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First Thoughts on Florence

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

When choosing to study abroad, the options seemed endless. I went to a study abroad fair at my university and it seemed like there were countless program I could study abroad with, I thought I would never be able to decide which program would be best for me. After doing much research, I decided to go to Florence, Italy with SAI.

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I’ve Met My Match in Rome

Alyssa, Spring 2020, Rome

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m restless. Nothing is ever quite enough to keep my attention for too long. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been beautiful places that I’ve loved wholeheartedly. But after a short while, I’m craving something new. I can always go back – but there is still so much I haven’t seen. Going abroad is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.

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A Florence Fiasco

LeAnne, Florence, Spring 2020

When researching the location I should study, I read and heard from past study abroad students that Florence is the place to go to have a true life-altering study abroad experience. I wanted to expand my knowledge on art and culture, and I thought Florence would be the perfect place for that.

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Overwhelmed in the Best Way: My First Week in Firenze

Sophie, Florence, Spring 2020

  To be honest, I was dreading writing this post – how could I possibly have a reflection about my time in Florence if I’ve barely unpacked? But as I began to reflect on my short time here, I realize that Florence has already begun to make an impact on me. I go to my state university, only about an hour and a half from where I have lived my entire life.

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First few days in Florence!

Amelia, Florence, Spring 2020

I decided to study abroad with SAI because they offered many excursions and Florence seemed like a beautiful, wonderful city to study abroad in. Overall, I wasn’t very nervous about anything, besides the language barrier and being so far away from home. I have never learned the Italian language, so it will be all new to me.

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One Blink and A Week Flew By

Alexa Jo, Florence, Spring 2020

Less than a week ago, I hugged my parents, friends, and family goodbye and set off on my own adventure. I have always been independent, but never like this. I got through security, my plane had free movies, and the nine-hour flight seemed to fly by. That is until I set foot in the Paris airport for my layover.

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Me, Myself, and Milan

Raquel, Milan, Spring 2020

I always knew I wanted to study abroad from the moment I began college. Study abroad was an adventure I knew I wanted to experience during my time in college, as I thought it was an experience and a different approach in my education that could further my knowledge in design.

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Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy While Abroad

Katherine, Paris, Spring 2020

Mental and physical health should be a priority wherever you are. It can be beyond easy to lose sight of your overall health when you are living out your dream in a foreign country. Take it from someone who has been living in Paris for months, ensuring you are in good health is essential to having a successful semester abroad.

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Two Weeks Abroad

Jocelyn, Florence, Spring 2020

For as long as I can remember I have been waiting to travel the world. Before coming to Florence I had never been to another continent and felt as though I was greatly lacking cultural diversity and experience. From the moment I got to the airport, I was overcome with excitement to begin this next chapter in my life.

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Navigating the Rocky Terrain: Studying Abroad while in a Long-Distance Relationship

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

Before coming to Paris, my biggest anxiety wasn’t the language barrier I’d surely encounter with my mediocre french-speaking skills nor was it the fact that I was moving 6,000 miles away from my family and friends at my home university. Rather, my biggest apprehension surrounded my relationship– fearful that studying abroad and moving away from my partner inevitably meant breaking up.

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A Familiar Kind of Foreign

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

Last weekend I took a trip to Fes, Morocco. I had been looking forward to taking a weekend trip to Morocco since I arrived in Spain. Morocco is so close and I had always drawn inspiration from the ornate patterns in Moroccan design which are so full of color and texture. My excitement stemmed from the fact that I would be seeing something that I recognized on a screen firsthand.

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5 Amazing Views of Florence

Margaret, Florence, Fall 2019

Florence is one of the oldest and most incredible cities in Italy and every street is filled with history and beauty. Whether it’s a hike up out of the valley of Florence, a view from the most important cathedral in Florence, or a view from your local palace, Florence has the most incredible places to take in the beauty of the city.

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Leaving the Tourist Bubble in Search of Authenticity

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

I was fortunate enough to have been housed in an apartment near the Duomo and all of my classes during my semester in Florence, Italy. On rainy mornings I am grateful to be so close to my destinations! However, this convenience also allows me to get lazy. When so many food options and shops are so close to my apartment, why should I bother venturing out of my neighborhood?

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Ticket Stubs and Train Rides: Five tips for keeping a travel journal during your study abroad

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Your study abroad memories will be some of the best of your life. But whether you study abroad for 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 semesters, time flies when you’re having fun. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the experience and forget about protecting the memories you’re making. What better way to preserve your study abroad than by keeping a journal?

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3 Must-See Attractions While in Rome

Dwight, Rome,Fall 2019

The Colosseum is one of the most well-known attractions in the world. It was built back in 72-80 A.D. by multiple emperors of the Ancient Roman Empire. The Colosseum was home to gladiatorial fights, reenactments of famous battles, and dramas of classical mythology. The massive oval-shaped amphitheatre could hold up to 70,000 people in it for its entertainment purposes.

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Best Gelato in Florence: The Complete Guide

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Gelato is a cornerstone of Italian culture, and Florence is home to some of the best. While you’re here, you need to indulge in the tradition–it’s only right! But not all gelato is created equal, and you might as well spend your euro, time, and calories on the best. How to Find the Best Gelato 1. Natural, fresh gelato won’t be displayed in giant mountains piled high in the windows.

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The Essential Packing List for a Semester in Italy

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

While most people have a problem with over-packing, I’m notorious for not packing enough. I usually take a lot of pride in “packing light”, until I’m in a situation where I realize I’ve underestimated what I need for a trip. But finally, after a lot of trial and error, I’ve developed the perfect packing list. Here is your essential female study abroad packing guide for a semester in Italy.

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A Time When Taking a Great Risk Had a Great Reward

Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

The first thing that came to mind when taking a risk while being abroad was hiking the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast! I knew way before I arrived in Sorrento that I wanted to conquer this hike. Seriously, just google it and you’ll get a glimpse of how surreal it is.

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Arianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Studying abroad is one of the best experiences that anyone can have, but it’s also a challenging one, especially when it comes to managing your money. Budgeting can be hard because you’re in a new place and everything is so exciting and you can sometimes get carried away and start buying a lot of things.

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Weekend Travel and Overdoing It

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

“You’re only young once.” “You’ll never be here again exactly as you are!” “Would you rather look back on this night as one with a wild memory or one with a lot sleep?” I’m sure you’ve heard a friend or a stranger, or even your own inner monologue, tell you these words as you uncertainly decide your next move during a weekend trip or your fall break.

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Spontaneous Excursions around Sorrento!

Kelsey, Sorrento, Fall 2019

Coming to Sorrento, I was not sure of the places I would want to travel to, but the idea of going to a different country every weekend excited me. I was surprised to find out the first week I was in Sorrento of all the trips that could be taken by bus, train, or ferry for a minimal price and travel time.

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My Time Abroad!

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? Traveling was a major issue for my friends and I when we first started planning trips. We got to Rome and were so excited to explore and travel so we started planning trips right from the start. None of us had ever traveled on our own so nobody necessarily knew what they were doing, which may have been our first issue.

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“Remember To Look Up and Take It All In”

Kara, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Studying abroad in Florence during the Fall of 2018 was the best four months of my life! Traveling the world has and always will be one of my biggest dreams. To begin fulfilling this dream in an incredible city like Florence is more than I could have ever hoped for from the food and culture to the architecture and quality of life, everything was terrific. What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?

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The Little Adventures

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? The amount of lifelong memories I made abroad is immeasurable. Looking back, it feels like every second I spent in Italy is special in its own unique way. But if I had to choose a favorite memory, my choice my surprise you. While abroad, I visited countless countries, went on endless trips, saw extraordinary places, and did incredible things.

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My Home Away from Home

Evan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? During my time in Florence, I focused on taking business related classes to keep myself on track with my major at the University of Kentucky. My only non-business related class was called “Cultural Introduction to Italy.” This class focused on introducing American students to this new country that would be their home for the next three and a half months.

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Making the most out of your time abroad

Abbey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? One of my favorite memories from studying abroad was the day me and my roommates tried to go visit Versailles. Since it was finally starting to warm up in Paris, we had planned for a day trip there so we could really enjoy it. But after riding the train for about 30 minutes we realized that we were going in the completely wrong direction.

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Fun in Florence

Noah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was Culture Shock: Cross-Cultural Psychology. To start, there is no reason this should have ever been my favorite class. I study Communication and randomly took a Psych class as an elective. Plus, it was at 9am every Tuesday morning… Not quite the set up for a wonderful time. Yet it changed the course of my entire semester.

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Open Your Eyes, Open Your Mind : Thoughts from a Guy Who Tries

Joseph, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What has your experience taught you about the world? No matter where one finds themselves in this vast, spacious yet small, densely populated, and heavily interconnected world; the priorities and passions of people are largely the same. The divisions between peoples are very real; there are different languages, traditions, customs, styles, etc.

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Flowing Into Florence – Easy, Peasy, Spaghetti

Danielle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? One of my favorite memories from studying abroad was when someone was having their rooftop worked on, and there was a giant window in our kitchen that looked out onto their roof. We would be in the kitchen eating breakfast and this guy working on the rooftop would always smile and wave to us as we stuffed our faces with food.

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What They Don’t Tell You Before Going Abroad

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite memory from studying abroad? I find this question so easy, yet so difficult to answer whenever I’m asked it. In short, every bit of my experience was my favorite memory, but it’s the little things about my study abroad that still stand out to me in my memory.

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Reminiscing About My Spring in Florence

Sarah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? As a biology major on a pre-med track, I chose my abroad program/school solely because I could take Organic Chemistry II. I knew that this course would be incredibly useful for my future plans of medical school and checked another box toward receiving my degree. However, I did not expect to have such impactful experiences in another class completely different from my intended scholastic path.

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Rome Sweet Rome

Theresa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? As you can imagine, Rome is a city to be awed and enjoyed! Whether it be getting gelato as study breaks or running along the Tiber River to Vatican City, you will never be bored.

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My Barcelona Journey

Kyle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? I really enjoyed all of my classes, but one of my personal favorite classes was my Managerial Skills class. In this class, my professor really made the classroom a positive environment and used games and activities to help us better understand information. For example, there was one task where I was blind-folded using my non-dominate hand to stack as many blocks in 10 seconds.

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The Most Eye-opening Experience

Charlotte, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is having met some really good friends from both the Netherlands and Germany. Prior to going abroad, I did not expect to become so close with people outside of the United States and Italy. After spending months with my new friends from Europe, I became so appreciative of their culture and how they shared it with me.

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Ci vediamo, Roma!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? My study abroad experience in Italy posed itself as an eyeopener. It has changed me in ways unimaginable, and it has taught me many things about myself. I believe that although I have had prior experience of acclimating to new environments, this one has been quite different.

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Finding Magic in Milan

Ashley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I will never forget my day trip to Venice! Everything about the city was breathtaking! I loved walking around and observing the architecture. My friends and I even got to ride in a gondola! It was amazing to float down the water and observe the houses around us—talk about a dream come true! What does your study abroad experience mean to you?

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A Trip of a Lifetime

Jaelyn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory was traveling to Budapest, Hungary for Spring Break with a few of my friends. I randomly ran into my best friend from middle school while I was there, and we explored Budapest together for the entire weekend. It was incredible, and she ended up coming to Florence to visit me later in the semester!

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& Pizza Was Never The Same

Madeline, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory has to be one of the last memories I made while in Florence. Three friends & I went to Gusta pizza and got the pesto pizza to go. Fighting the urge to eat it right then and there, we made our way up to Piazzale Michelangelo. We found some steps to all sit on and began to dig into our pizza.

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“Do You Miss Being Abroad?”: Your Next Most Asked Question

Isabella, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? While I am not a math person at all, my favorite class I took while I was studying in Florence was a three-week intensive Hospitality Accounting class. I liked it so much because my professor was hands-on, passionate, and knowledgeable.

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La prima volta: Milano

Regina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Oh Milano, the city of change and evolution, history and unexpected beauty. To start off my journey, studying abroad was my first encounter with Europe, more so Italy. Whichever image I had in my mind of what Italy was like, was an understatement to the way it seemed once I moved to the country.

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Thoughts on My Semester Abroad

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? I took an Intro to Drawing class that I loved because there was something very exciting about taking an art class in Florence, a city that was home to so many famous artists. Not only was the class itself enjoyable, but it felt especially meaningful when I was spending my weekends at the Uffizi or L’Academia, or at any of the many, many museums in Florence.

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When in Spain

Noor, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in my host city would be the daily walks to the Sagrada Familia. My apartment was conveniently located 10 minutes from the Sagrada Familia, so it could not have been more perfect. After class, I would walk to Sagrada and would people watch for hours. It was the perfect place to relax, read a book, or grab a cappuccino.

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Doumo: Morning, Noon, and Night

Lia, Milan, Fall 2019

While only being here a few weeks I have come to learn quickly about tourist spots in Milan. The most famous and fabulous by far is the Duomo. It is a large cathedral in the city center surrounded with many things to do at all times of the day. Whether its shopping, eating, getting that perfect Instagram picture, or simply enjoying the view I am sure you will find something you enjoy.

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My SAI Housing

Dwight, Rome, Fall 2019

I arrived in Rome, Italy back on August 27th for my semester studying abroad. I have never been to Europe before, so it is easy to imagine the nervousness that was built up in me. The first thing that came to my mind was how would my apartment be with some roommates I have never met before. Our apartment is about a 20-25 minute walk from John Cabot University.

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The first week in Barcelona: your guide to acclimating in a new country

I have been living in Barcelona, Spain for a week now. Honestly, it feels as though I’ve been here for months. Arriving in a new country for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you know you’ll be staying in this new country for an extended stay. Here are some tips for the first few days acclimating in a new country: Drink lots of fluids and get some rest!

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019

A little over two weeks ago, I packed my bags, left my home, family, and friends to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I had no idea what to expect but I have always known that I wanted to study abroad. From the moment I stepped off the plane when we landed in Florence, I knew I was going to love it here. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t nervous.

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My Experience So Far

Nina, Barcelona, Fall 2019

On the day that I was supposed to have my flight to Barcelona, I had a six-hour delay due to a storm in New York. I was having extreme anxiety because of the delay and was afraid about what I should do since I am all by myself. Well, once I actually got on the plane, everything went well and I arrived in Barcelona safely with the help of Leticia, my SAI coordinator.

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A Beautiful City with Beautiful Views

Sarah, Siena, Fall 2019

Having been studying in Siena, Italy for not quite two weeks, I am certainly no expert on the local area. That being said, even after a few hours in this city, it is easy to tell that it is a place full of magical views; of the city, of the countryside, of the history of this region.

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A-Lot-O’ Gelato

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

If you’re anything like me, you are going to try a lot of gelato during your time in Italy. I mean a lot. Or in my roommate’s case, sometimes even three times a day. With a different gelato shop on every corner, how could you not? It is simply too tempting to pull out a couple euros and buy a small snack-sized gelato for your walk home during the warmer days in Florence.

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Friends Are Made Over Dinner

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

“Abroad changed me.” A phrase that college students whine in good-natured mockery to tease their peers who studied in a foreign country for a semester and who return proclaiming the identity-altering, transformative effects of their experience. It’s been three weeks since I left the U.S. to come to Florence, Italy.

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Barcelona in the Rain

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

Before coming to Barcelona for the semester I had envisioned the city as an ever-sunny haven. I had spent several days in Barcelona during August a few years before and thought that the weather would be the same as it had been on those summer days: warm and bright. My roommates had a similar image in their heads.

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My Top Five Tips for Florence

Ariana, Florence, Fall 2019

1. Plan your weekend trips as soon as possible. Before arriving in Florence, have a list of places that you want to go to. This will make it so much easier and less stressful to book trips if you have already picked out where you want to visit. If you are studying in the fall, take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts and go to the beach!

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Paris, is that You?

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

I’m sitting on the outdoor terrace of my 5th floor Parisian apartment overlooking the locals flow in and out of the Volontaires metro station entrance, an older woman hanging up fresh white-linen sheets over her balcony, a couple cuddling close together sipping their noisettes at the local boulangerie, and children playing in the courtyard of the daycare nextdoor.

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A Weekend in the Mountainous Beauty of Abruzzo

Warheal, Rome, Fall 2019

Abruzzo is a very mountainous region about 3 hours drive from Rome. There were many small towns and villages along the way. It was refreshing to be in the peace and quiet of the small mountainous town of Pacentro on the first day. Compared to Rome where you hear sirens and cars and a bunch of other sounds, it was almost like a ghost town here.

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There’s No Way I’ll Get Homesick, Right?

Taylor, Florence, Fall 2019

There has always been something intriguing to me about Europe, especially Italy, so when I found SAI’s Florence program, I was over the moon. Even waking up at 4 a.m. to head to the airport the morning of departure couldn’t kill my buzz. This was the first time I was traveling out of the country and I knew before I got here that I would love every second of my time here.

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A Tip or Two (or five!)

Josie, Rome, Fall 2019

I’ve been in Rome for nearly three weeks, and so far, they have been some of the best weeks of my life! I’m still pinching myself that I’m really here for the semester. In the weeks leading up to my flight to Italy, I was so nervous and trying to soak up every bit of information I could find.

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Breezy in Abruzzo

Karissa, Rome, Fall 2019

While only being in Rome for a few weeks now, I already feel like a local. Although, I love exploring new places and traveling elsewhere on the weekends, as I did with SAI this past weekend. Exploring Abruzzo was even more exciting and relaxing than I could have expected. The first day we embarked on our journey and arrived at Pacentro, where we walked around the town square and visited the Caldora Castle.

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How To: Survive Your First Week Abroad

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

Your first week studying abroad in a new country will look a little something like this: you hop off the plane exhausted but the adrenaline of it finally being the day you arrive in your host country keeps you going. You meet so many different people the first couple of days that you can only remember the names of your new roommates.

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A Girl’s Ultimate Clothing Packing List for a Summer in Sorrento, Italy

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

I’ll be honest, when I first started thinking about how I was going to pack for a summer in Italy in one suitcase, I was intimidated. I was afraid of packing too much and then I was afraid of packing not enough. Now, halfway through my study abroad in Sorrento, I have a pretty good idea of what would have been the perfect way to pack my suitcase.

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