Blog

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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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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First Day of Classes!

Marie, Florence, Summer 2019

Ciao!! Today was the first day of classes for students! I am taking a 9am class called ‘Health and Wellness in the Mediterranean’ which alternates different physical activities with food and wine tasting, how could I go wrong with this one?! After covering basic syllabus material, our professor took us to an Italian market. She showed us which fruits were in season in Italy (apricots and figs)

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Eight Foods You Must Try in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

Food plays a heavy role in the Spanish culture in Catalonia. An important part of absorbing yourself into the culture is getting to know the local specialties. With the Catalan culture, there are plenty of different specialties to offer. Below I have listed eight of my personal favorite foods that I think everyone should try. Patatas Bravas These fried potatoes with a spicy sauce and creamy aioli are one of my favorite foods in Barcelona.

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The Best Experience of My Life!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

I studied abroad in the spring of my sophomore year in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). I was very nervous to leave my home university (University of South Carolina) and all of my friends and family behind for a semester, but I was so excited for the adventures ahead of me. What does your study abroad experience mean to you?

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My Experience on an SAI Excursion: Nice, France

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

For a weekend in early March, I went on an SAI excursion included in my SAI study abroad program. The location—Nice, in the South of France—was a wonderful change from the relatively gloomy and chilly Paris at this time of year! Since the hotel, meals, and a few activities were included, it was also a great break from necessary budgeting while studying abroad.

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My First Spain Experience!

Toyin, Barcelona, Spring 2019

¡Hola! My name is Toyin Jackson, I’m a sophomore at Mizzou, and I am currently participating in a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. Last week, I started attending CETT – Campus de Turisme, Hoteleria, y Gastronomia (Campus of Tourism, Hospitality, and Gastronomy). The school is affiliated with the University of Barcelona. This semester, I am participating in the their gastronomy program studying a curriculum surrounding food and culture in the Mediterranean.

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3 Feelings for My First 3 Days

Kyra, Siena, Summer 2019

“Firsts are best because they are beginnings.” – Jenny Han When it comes to preparing for the first few days abroad, jetlag and culture shock often demand most of our attention.

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A Sunday in the Sinking City: Why You Should Visit Venice

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

During my study abroad trip to Milan, I realized I had a Sunday completely free. On a spontaneous inclination, I booked a tour to the legendary city of Venice. Although the tour began at seven in the morning, I enjoyed the bus ride through the rolling Italian hills, home to wineries and historic buildings. As we approached Venice, it was obvious why so many tourist are attracted to this gorgeous area.

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Studying Abroad as a First Generation Student

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

When I submitted my application to Colorado State University, I was unsure. Any uncertainty, you name it, I had it. Deciding to study abroad in Florence, Italy was no different. I was extremely unsure. Yes it sounds amazing—spoiler alert: it is, but I was worried about everything under the sun.

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Creating Unique Travel Photos

Sami, Florence, Summer 2019

Capturing images of well visited travel sites around Europe can seem repetitive and lack creativity very quickly. To learn how to capture unique travel photos that don’t match everyone else’s Instagram feed, I have come up with a few simple tips. 1.

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A Fashionista’s Guide to Milan: What to Pack

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

In a city like Milan, home to fashion houses such as Armani and Prada, it is very important to look the part; especially for a Fashion Merchandising major like me. In the fashion capital of the world, the natives have an upscale sense of style and sophistication. The people of Milan are little to never seen wearing common American comforts such as leggings, athletic wear, or even jean shorts.

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Top 4 Things to Do in Florence for FREE

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

As a college student, I love saving money. Studying abroad does not make it easy to save money because of all the traveling opportunities and activities within your city. However, among the many cities and countries to travel to, restaurants to eat, and stores and shopping centers to go to, there are fun and exciting things to do for free!

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Florence Exposed: 9 Images of Florence Through the Lens of a Study Abroad Student

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

Florence is a bustling city in the heart of Tuscany. Alive with visitors and locals alike, there is never a dull moment along its medieval streets. Around every corner there is something to be seen, from street art to all the little details that give Florence its identity. Below are some snapshots of daily sightings that I encounter every day as I navigate through the city on my way to and from class.

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Quick Getaways From Paris

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

Paris is in a great location for weekend trips or even day trip to other areas of France. Flights on budget airlines such as Easyjet or Ryanair can you around Europe for a cheap price. The key to finding these budget friendly options is booking in advance and not waiting until the last minute. The TGV is another great option for traveling throughout France or to neighboring countries.

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My Top 5 Restaurants in Florence

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

It’s hard to believe it has been over seventy days since I left everything and everyone I know for the adventure of a lifetime. It’s been a whirlwind from the start. I’ve had good days and bad days, just as I’ve had good food, and not so great food—at least to me. However, it is extremely difficult to find food you won’t like.

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A Nice Time in France

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

For spring break my roommates and I decided that we needed to travel to a destination full of nothing but, peace, quiet, and the beach; so to Nice, France we embarked. Our expectations for the week were surpassed, for never have I been to a place that soothed my soul in such a way. The vibe of relaxation was apparent from the start, when we boarded our flight to Nice from Rome.

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A Guide to Getting Where You Want to Go

Marissa, Florence, Spring 2019

So you’re abroad, and if you’re anything like me or other kindred spirits that flock to Europe for a semester, you want to see and do as much as you can. You have bucket lists to follow, goals to meet, and oh so little time! I get it. But if you’re anything like me–a planner, a like-to-knower, a maximizer–perhaps the whole abstract idea of “travel” can actually seem a bit daunting.

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Music and Studying Abroad: Why Your Music Choices Matter More Than You Know!

Cameron Cipolla, SAI Ambassador

As a music major living in Music City (aka Nashville, TN), music has been at the forefront of most of my college experiences. While other students were off at frat parties on the weekends, students at my school were going to “house shows,” which are essentially parties with live music, mainly made up of student bands and artists.

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My Photo Blog

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

SAI Paris student Giavanna provides some photos of her recent museum visit in Paris.

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Five Things You Never Knew About Milan

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

Having visited much of Italy previously, I had some idea what to expect on my long weekend trip to Milan. Still, Milan managed to surprise me. 1. The way people dress may surprise you Like Paris, my host city, Milan has a reputation has a high-fashion capitol. However, also like Paris, this is not necessarily evident in the looks you will see on the street.

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Seven Must-Visit Locations in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

Barcelona is truly one of the most unbelievable cities in the world. Before I decided to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I knew very little about how much the city itself has so much to offer. As I have learned, the city itself offers a wide range of views from beaches to mountains to infamous churches to beautiful architecture.

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My Homestay Abroad: A Multicultural Experience

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

Living in a homestay abroad is the best way to experience cultural and linguistic nuances and to cultivate intimate friendships with the natives of the city! As an Italian minor, I knew I wanted to live in a homestay to practice Italian. However, I also wanted to feel connected with the people of Florence. I live in the city center of Florence, Italy about a ten minute walk from the Duomo.

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Overcoming the Homesick Blues

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2019

As my second week in Florence comes to an end, I would like to reflect on the moments in which I have not been kind to myself since my arrival.

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My Trips While Studying Abroad

Holly, Rome, Fall 2018

When I first decided to study abroad I knew I wanted to do one thing, travel. Isn’t that everyone’s main goal?  To go as many places as you can in the three or four months that you are there, and not go into hundreds of dollars of debt.  When I arrived in Rome, I was pleasantly surprised that that was the main goal of all my roommates as well.

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A Valentine Sunday in Verona

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. . .”, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. Looking to spend the most romantic weekend of the year in the perfect location? Well, then Verona is the place to go.

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My Favorite Class Project

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

I was very excited to take my first ever fashion design class as my major at school is more business geared and less creative design. I chose to take the Leather Technology class at FUA and it was by far one of the best decisions I have made.

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SAI Excursion: Exploring the Medieval City of San Gimignano and Soothing Thermal Baths

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

One of my favorite excursions while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, has been exploring the historic, well-preserved medieval towns in Tuscany. It’s easy to get into the groove of using the weekends to travel outside the Florence area, but I encourage you to visit the enchanting towns that sit between the Tuscan hills and wide-spread vineyards. On my SAI excursion last weekend (the trip is included with SAI, so there are no extra costs)

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Lessons Learned

Bailey, Rome, Spring 2019

Lessons Learned: Avoid making mistakes that can cost you time and money while traveling: 1.) Always check to see where your hostel is located While booking a place to stay in Amsterdam, my friends and I found somewhere that was pretty cheap and what we thought was right near downtown Amsterdam, so of course, we booked it right on the spot. After we paid (and chose the non-refundable option to save €3)

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Four Mistakes I Made My First Week Abroad That You Don’t Have To

Samantha, Florence, Spring 2019

I have been living in Florence for a little over a week now. The whole time I have been here I have felt a rollercoaster of emotions; excitement, confusion, curiosity, and homesickness. All of these feelings are natural when moving to a new country and there is no advice I can tell you to avoid them.

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From Strange to Sweet

Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019

I have always been a homebody. I make a place for myself, and I become content staying in my zone for every activity. In order to gain personal growth, I thought it was time to do the complete opposite of my norm. I signed up to study abroad through SAI, and to live in Florence, Italy for a semester.

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Nine Tips for How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Katherine, Rome, Spring 2019

1. Come Prepared One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to come prepared. Make sure you call your bank as soon as you know you’re studying abroad and order euros! This is typically the most affordable way to change currency. The most expensive way is in the airport through a currency exchange office, but it’s also really convenient.

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How to Improve Weekend Traveling

Olivia, Paris, Spring 2019

You have arrived in your host city and are ready to plan some weekend travel; now what? Use these guidelines to experience trips you will never want to end! One of the most important parts of planning a trip, outside of booking a flight or a train ride, is finding a place to stay. Plenty of people immediately count out hostels as an option, but there are some important factors to consider.

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The Pigeon Chronicles

Jack, Florence, Spring 2019

Hello, Dear Reader. I understand you have come here for quality study abroad content. I am sure you have envisioned reading the grand tales of students exploring unfamiliar locations and experiencing unique cultures alien to your own. Well, Dear Reader you can look no further. Settle down and prepare your heart, for this tale you have stumbled across, this analysis of the Italian ecosystem is EXACTLY what you have been looking for.

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What I Learned From My Time Abroad

Jessica, Paris, Fall 2018

When I first arrived in Paris for my fall semester, I remember my roommate telling me how she had heard of Reverse-Culture Shock: Essentially, returning home was a more difficult adjustment than coming here. I couldn’t really fathom it – how could returning home to the place I had always been be so difficult?

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Italian Love Affair

Arianna, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Arianna, who answered some questions about her time in Florence.  What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I studied in Florence, Italy and there were so many things that I loved to do it’s hard to choose one. However, the first one that came to my mind after reading this question was simply walking around.

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Why Go Abroad?

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2019

Ciao! I’m Sarah Hadley, and I go to the University of Alabama, but I’m currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. While I can’t wait to share my experiences in Florence so far, I feel like it’s so important to share why I chose to study abroad. For the past five months, I have had the somewhat monotonous (yet completely understandable)

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Falling in Love with Unconventionality

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019

If I had to sum up the last 10 days in one word it would be this: unconventional. You may perhaps deem it odd for me to describe the cradle of the Renaissance with such a word whose synonym is unusual, irregular, and uncustomary. Let me explain. I find myself sitting in the Oblate Cafeteria when my favorite song of all time starts playing in my earbuds.

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The Declassified Florence Survival Guide: First Week Edition

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

Passport, Visa, ID, Credit Cards and other miscellaneous (but extremely important) documents? CHECK. Now it’s a matter of getting from Point A to Point B. To survive life in a brand-new country, you must learn to walk before you can run. That means surviving the first week before worrying about the next few months.

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Lights on Art

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

The number of museums in Paris that pop up after doing a simple Google search can be overwhelming. Luckily as a student studying abroad I have ample time to see many of these museums, from the must see to the lesser known. The most infamous and popular museum in Paris, and perhaps the world, is the Louvre. The key to successfully and enjoyably visiting this extensive museum is going when tourists are low in numbers.

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The Part of Florence you May be Overlooking

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

My roommates and I were lucky enough to be able to call the “local” side of Florence our home for the semester. As everyone described it to us, it was a little less touristy and more peaceful which can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Florence. Walking back to a quiet neighborhood each day after class has truly been a blessing and I want more people to experience it.

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Eataly

Theresa, Rome, Spring 2019

If I were to describe myself, “foodie” would certainly be at the top of the list. I really enjoy good food. Growing up, my parents instilled in me a passion for cooking quality homemade meals and indulging in fine dining. My mom’s life motto which has resonated with me is, “While many people will eat to live, I live to eat.

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Planes, Trains, and Confusing Keys

Claire, Rome, Spring 2019

I followed directions from a lot of strangers, got in a van, and was dropped off with a key from the 1800’s. So, the adventure started with me boarding a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta and then on to Rome. All my flights went really well! My final flight was actually filled with students all going to Rome for the semester.

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When I “Romed” Around the World

Yael, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Yael, who took time to answer some questions about her semester in the Eternal City. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? While I had many favorite memories and moments from studying abroad, one of my favorites is the traveling I was able to do. I have always had a travel bug within me and being abroad let that spirit roam free.

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How to Dress Like a Parisian

Jennifer, SAI Paris

We caught up with SAI Paris Program Coordinator Jennifer, who fills us in on some fashion advice for those visiting Paris.   BLACK. One word immediately comes to mind when you think of fashion in Paris. You will see chic Parisians dressed head-to-toe in black, walking the streets everywhere. Though this tends to apply more during wintertime, Parisians typically dress in darker colors (black, grey, or dark brown)

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My Internship Experience in Rome

Peter, Rome, Fall 2018

My name is Peter and I am currently completing an internship position at MedinAction. I secured this position through a connection via John Cabot University’s Center for Career Services. MedinAction is an on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers a qualified doctor to your home, office, or hotel.  The service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  You can book your licensed physician online, by phone, or the app.

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Fix Your Focus: Rome From a Distance

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

Upon first exploring Rome, I was very much a tourist with tunnel vision, having only a few key things I knew I “had” to see. Thankfully, time went by and I broadened my perspective, which taught me to look at the Eternal City from afar.

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In a Holi-Daze in Firenze

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

These past few weeks have been a total blur. Final papers, exams, and preparing to leave Florence after an incredible semester certainly got the best of me sometimes. However, I walked around in absolute wonder the entire time because of the incredible holiday displays around the city. How could you not smile with such beauty and cheer surrounding you? Here are some photos of the Firenze festivity this holiday season. Happiness to you and yours!

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A Glance Into Ancient Rome

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

Rome is known as the eternal city and for all the right reasons. It has some of the most amazingly preserved ruins around the world. It seems that along every street is another ruin. There’s so much to explore in Rome, I’m not sure if there’s ever truly a way to see it all.

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Trekking Through Montmartre

Ariana, Paris, Fall 2016

Montmartre is arguably one of my favorite places in Paris.  It’s almost like you’re not even in the city– it’s just that different from the rest of Paris.  So whether you are catching a show at the Moulin Rouge, or making your way to Sacre Coeur, take a moment to stop and see everything in between. YOU ARE HERE! So there are many places to start your walk through Montmartre.

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The Finish Line

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

It’s about that time! I know that my last few posts have kind of felt like some sort of countdown to the end of the semester, and I guess in some way, that’s right. I liked keeping a good awareness of how much time I had left in Italy, just to make sure that I wasn’t letting the time slip me by.

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Top Spots in Sorrento

Anna, Sorrento, Fall 2018

This is a list of some of my favorite spots in Sorrento and near Sorrento on the peninsula. Piazza della Vittoria – Since my first day in Sorrento this has been one of my favorite spots. This Piazza has, in my opinion, the best view in all of Sorrento: the entire bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The best part is that I pass through it every day on my way to class.

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Hannah, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Hannah, who reminisces on her time abroad from spring 2018.   As I am approaching finals week at the University of Mississippi, I can’t help but reflect on my last semester in Florence, Italy. Specifically thinking of the difference between my SEC school, and Florence University of the Arts. I took 12 hours, which is four courses while abroad and I think it was the perfect amount.

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Must-Sees in Siena

Karina, Siena, Fall 2014

Siena, a lesser-known Italian city among Americans, is the hidden gem of Italy. Siena does get a lot of foot traffic, but tourists are often stopping by on their way to a more popular city or only taking a day trip here. But, contrary to popular belief, Siena cannot truly be seen in a day. Heck, the Palio itself takes at least 24 solid hours to explain!

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What the Paris Metro Taught Me

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

Studying abroad has meant putting myself way outside of my comfort zone. I am quick to welcome challenges and believe that you grow the most when you choose to do something every day that scares you. I like to think I adapt to new situations with ease, but I have most definitely experienced my fair share of language and culture barriers.

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SAI Barcelona’s Day Trip to Montserrat

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

Last weekend the SAI Barcelona family traveled to Montserrat for the day. It is located west of Barcelona taking us an hour to arrive at the base of the mountain. The train to Montserrat leaves once every hour from Placa d’Espanya, therefore, it is important to be punctual! The sheer beauty of Montserrat left me wanting to come back and conquer the highest peak, Sant Jeroni (1,236 meters).

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The Best Places to Take Your Family When They Visit

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

Studying in Florence is a series of amazing events happening day after day, but nothing is as special as when friends or family come to visit! Of course with such limited time you might not be able to fit everything in. Here is a guide to five of the best places to take your friends and family when they visit.

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How to Deal with Homesickness while Studying Abroad

Camille, Florence, Fall 2018

Before I left for my semester abroad my home school warned me about the homesickness and culture shock, but to be honest I didn’t really believe them. I thought, “There’s no way this could happen to me.” Boy was I wrong.  It is something everyone goes through while abroad, which is a good and bad thing. The bad part is you too will experience it.

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Studying Abroad: Expectations vs Reality

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

Ever since my senior year of high school, I knew that I absolutely, positively wanted to study abroad during college. Needless to say, my expectations were incredibly high coming into this. I think everyone sets their expectations high for a semester abroad because it’s a big idealized thing. Traveling the world, making new friends, experiencing life in a new country, and getting some fire Instagram pictures. It’s supposed to be absolutely perfect, right? Wrong.

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What My Study Abroad Experience Means to Me

Samantha, Florence, Fall 2018

I want to give a little precursor to this post by saying I, in no way, mean that I’m special or an exception to any rule when I talk about my study abroad experience. Although, as someone who struggles with mental illness, I feel like I can provide a different take that can help prepare others for this time.

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What I Ate in a Day

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sophia, who gives us a glimpse of what she ate in Florence.   The word amazing can describe Florence in many ways. Amazing scenery. Amazing architecture. Amazing art. Amazing people. And my favorite, amazing food. There’s so much culture and perspective in Italian food to make trying it all the more rewarding. While abroad I did not eat out for every meal, because it would not be cost effective.

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Ten Non-Touristy Places to Visit in Paris

Andrea, SAI

Andrea, SAI Admissions Counselor took some time to offer some travel advice for students traveling or studying in Paris.  The energy and excitement of the area was electric: a beehive of tourists and students strolled the boulevards, through the Latin Quarter, and along the Seine. It was a warm April evening, and the center of Paris was buzzing.

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Piazza Santa Croce

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sarah, who recently gave us a look at her time in the beautiful city of Florence.   I studied abroad in Florence and it was the greatest decision I could have ever made. The beautiful cobblestone, magnificent churches, and the gorgeous Arno River, how could I not fall in love?

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An Adventure in Abruzzo

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

These photos highlight SAI’s excursion to Abruzzo from September 14th to the 16th. This was by far my favorite trip I’ve taken so far–who wouldn’t love horseback riding, eating on the ocean, and taking a self-guided tour through a castle in the mountains? The region of Abruzzo certainly is a hidden gem, with its gorgeous scenery, unforgettable food, and charming historical towns.

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Rome and Saying Sorry to Pigeons

Kaylyn, Rome, Summer 2018

It’s so god-like; the way the sun creeps through the details in the gates, the architecture, and the ceilings of various basilicas and cathedrals. The crows sincerely flock amongst the highest pillars, statues, and apartment complexes. Flowers cover terraces and rooftops, as if everyone had a garden. Everything created here seems inspiring enough. Romans cared, and still do, about glorious, gigantic creations.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

We handed over our Instagram account for the day to SAI Paris student Jordan.  Jordan gives us a glimpse of a typical day in Paris.   Bonjour! Je m’appelle Jordan! (@heyyjdawg) I am from Colorado, but am currently a Junior at Baylor University studying marketing. This fall I am studying abroad at the American University of Paris! And what’s a trip to Paris without a visit to the Eiffel Tower?!

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Student Traveler’s Guide to Hostels

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

There are so many amazing opportunities that you encounter as a study abroad student: meeting a multitude of new people, learning firsthand about a different culture, maybe even learning another language. However, one of the coolest opportunities, and perhaps the most important to take advantage of, is the ability to travel.

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Study Abroad Open House at my University

Danielle, SAI Ambassador

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” -Babe Ruth This past weekend, SAI Ambassador Danielle worked at her school’s Fall Open House through the study abroad department and had the chance to speak with potential students to share her experiences as a student abroad and answer some of their questions and sooth their doubts. So here is her take of some of the most common questions she got.

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Cultural Expectations: Food, Family, Nightlife

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

Food When talking to friends and family about my decision to fly across the pond and study in Spain, the Mediterranean diet continued to surface. “Lots of fish and even more olive oil!” I kept on hearing constantly. Nobody lied about the consumption of olive oil. To put it in perspective on average Americans consume 1.1 liters of olive oil every year but Spaniards, a voluminous 10 liters.

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Ballin’ On a Budget

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

One of the best parts about studying abroad is the opportunity to travel to so many new countries around you. The time you spend in your host city for the semester is so special, and nothing can really beat living life in Florence for a few months, but the weekend trips sure come close.

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Positano: Where Dreams Become Reality

Nicole, Rome Fall 2018

On a spur of the moment decision, a roommate and I decided to go to the Amalfi Coast for a weekend getaway. We decided to go to Positano, and it was one of the best decisions we made. The views were absolutely breathtaking, the water was the clearest I’ve ever seen, and it became one of my favorite Italian trips. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t stop staring at my surroundings thinking, “I must be in a dream.

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Rocking Day Trip: Marble Quarries and A Stone Walled City

Allan, Florence, Fall 2018

One minute I was dozing off in the drone of Florentine traffic, and the next, I was awoken by gasps and awes. I slowly rose from my awkward slumped position of rest to join in with the group’s amazement. I looked out the window to see the thick woods of the mountain we were climbing, but in the breaks, there was a quick peek as to what was to come.

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The Top Five Places in Santo Spirito

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

1. La Cite – Borgo S. Frediano, 20, 50124 Firenze FI One of the best places in Santo Spirito to just sit down and enjoy a book or get some homework done is La Cite. This cute little cafe doubles as a library! During the day you can enjoy a sandwich or a brownie with a cappuccino, but if you come back later you’ll see that the place has been turned into a quiet bar!

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Becoming Culturally Introduced

Katherine, Florence, Fall 2018

Sometimes to really experience something fully, you just have to jump straight in. That was my thought process when I decided to sign up for the Cultural Introduction to Italy week-long intensive. This is a travel course through Florence University of the Arts that happens about one week before classes officially start in Florence. We arrived in Rome and travelled along the coast (for the most part) until we reached Florence on the final day.

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Jazz Speaks for Life

Piera, Florence, Fall 2018

The heat has passed, yet the bustling of a summer city continues. In fact, it is accentuated by the multi-locational jazz festival in the Oltrarno quarter. The Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival brought the best Italian and international jazz musicians to the city for four nights of incredible performances. The curators of this festival worked hard to emphasize the historical significance of the city as a stage.

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Frenzy in Firenze: Settling in Abroad

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

After seven months of preparation, it’s finally happening. I am here, abroad, in Florence, my now home away from home. It’s absolutely surreal, living around the corner from Piazza Santa Croce and walking to class past Il Duomo. Even constantly tripping on the uneven cobblestones and narrowly dodging speedy Vespas feels special. I’ve only been here for about two and a half weeks and I already feel at home.

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What I’ve Learned About Paris (So Far)

Jessica, Paris, Fall 2018

Paris, as you may know, is perhaps the perfect city for one of my favorite pastimes: People-watching. The (literal) thousands of cafes, with outdoor tables facing the city streets, make it all too easy to stare at strangers as they stroll to and fro. Within these first two weeks of my Paris adventure, I have invented a game to make people-watching all the more amusing, which I call: “Spot the Tourist.

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Weekend Excursion to Abruzzo

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

One of the many perks of going through SAI are their included excursions and trips, which you must take advantage of. So far, we’ve had a welcome day, which included wine tasting and a tour of Frascati, a food tour, and a weekend excursion to Abruzzo. The weekend excursion to Abruzzo is an absolute must.

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The Whirlwind of Emotions

Samantha, Fall 2018

I have decided I’m going to use this blog post as an opportunity to be very real and honest. I am beyond grateful to be here and have this opportunity in Florence, however, this has been the most difficult transition of my life. These past two weeks have been very hard on me mentally and physically and it’s something that I want to bring attention to.

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What You Don’t Know About Rome

Brayden, Rome, Summer 2018

The Eternal City and the Capital of the World, Rome boasts some of the greatest art and structures from the old world. You will find the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Vatican City, and countless other treasures. If you see any of these attractions, you are standing where ancient Romans once stood; through observation, you are experiencing the legacy of thousands of years that is Rome.

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Going Outside My Comfort Zone

Madeline, SAI Ambassador

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed?I was very nervous about studying abroad. I found myself very comfortable at school and was hesitant to leave the college environment. I did not want to miss out on any school activities and leave my friends to go to a foreign country.

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From Home to Rome

Gigi, Rome, Summer 2018

Rome is the perfect European capital where art, history, and religion are ​significant and contribute to Rome’s uniqueness. ​As a fashion lover and someone who enjoys eating foods that are difficult to pronounce, Rome was the perfect place to gain valuable knowledge and experience new adventures. Here were some of the iconic landmarks I visited so far and the yummy food I got along the way.

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Semester Reflection

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

I really can’t believe it’s the end. What turned out to be one of the most rewarding and at the same time challenging four months is all behind and I’m finally going home. I’m so excited, in a few short days I will be able to hug my family and friends back home, something that I’ve missed so much. To write about my entire experience is simply impossible because every day was different.

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“Parli inglese? Me Too!”

Charlee, Sorrento, Summer 2018

The Adventures of Interning in a Foreign Country When you Don’t Speak the Language **Hint: the secret is patience, positivity, and a lot of hand signals** Ciao! My name is Charlee Wilkerson and I’m a rising senior at the University of South Carolina. I’m a Retailing major with an emphasis in Fashion Merchandising and I chose to spend the summer in Sorrento, Italy interning at a boutique called Acanfora.

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All the World’s a Stage

Brielle, Florence, Summer 2018

Before arriving in Italy, like any eager student who has never once stepped foot outside of the United States, I had brainstormed what exactly I wanted to get out of my study abroad experience: what I wanted to learn, what I wanted to see, what I wanted to eat!

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Sicily is Not New York

Deztiny, Sicily, Summer 2018

During my time here in Sicily, I’ve had my fair share of time to explore the city and experience new things. In deciding to come here, I believed that Italy would have many similarities to my home in New York, but over the past two weeks, one thing I have noticed is that there are actually quite a few differences between my tiny suburban town of Rhinebeck, NY and this condensed city of Siracusa.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Kristin for the day. This is her day in Florence.   Ciao everyone! My name is Kristin @kristinhiemstra and I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts! I am a student from @coloradostateuniversity studying Health and Exercise Science, but here in Florence I am studying History and Photography! Today I’m going to give you a glimpse into my life abroad…hope you enjoy!

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The Last Waltz with Florence

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

As our final days in Florence approached, my roommates and I couldn’t help but constantly reminisce on all the memories we shared and the crazy ups and downs we experienced in this beautiful country we can now call home. With the stress of finals and packing our lives up we had remembered our silly bucket list that we made in the beginning of the semester.

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Tidbits Gained from Being Abroad

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

My time is Florence has come to an end. It seems like just yesterday I was stepping off the plane to be greeted by the wonderful SAI staff. These past few months have flown by but they were filled with wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world you’re living in. You get put into situations you haven’t experienced before.

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Tuscan Farm Adventures: An SAI Excursion!

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

One of the many perks that come along with studying abroad through SAI are the opportunities for students to go on amazing day trips for free (after a 10€ deposit that you get back on the trip)! This semester I went on trips to thermal baths, a Fiorentina calcio (soccer) match, and historical cities surrounding Florence such as Lucca, San Gimangiano and Prato.

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Learning Something

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

I am not sure where I am going, so let’s get into this and hopefully, we can both come to the end having learned something. This mantra aforementioned is how I try to go about every new situation and I think this mindset can benefit many. Confidence is the ability to be sure of oneself or prospects and embrace the uncomfortable.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Lauren for the day. This is her day in Florence.  Ciao! My name is Lauren Roderigues and I am studying abroad in the Bella Firenze, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. I am a student from @emmanuelcollege in Boston studying Graphic Design. Here in Florence I am studying ceramics, photography, exhibition curating and illustration and book publishing.

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Volunteering in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

As one of this years scholarship recipients I was asked to complete ten hours of community service in Florence. This was a great opportunity for me to engage with locals and give back to the city that his given so much to me! Where I decided to dedicate my time volunteering came about in an interesting way.

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14 Things I Learned in 14 Weeks in Paris

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

While studying abroad in Paris this semester, I learned 14 things.  Here they are: 1) Be as much of a tourist as you can in whatever city you are in, abroad or at home. It is so important to soak up all that a city has to offer and to experience the “must-do’s”- they’re must do’s for a reason! 2) But, know when to live like a local.

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Study Abroad Is About The People, Not The Places

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

I have met some incredible individuals this semester. Europeans, short and tall, have welcomed me with open arms throughout my four months abroad and the kindness is truly contagious. The range of people has gone from playful children next to me on a canal cruise in Amsterdam, to a wise old woman helping me with the London tube.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Caroline for the day. This is her day in Florence!  Ciao! My name is Caroline, I am from Florida, I am a photography major at The University of Central Florida, studying at FUA in Florence, Italy this spring semester! I’ll be taking over the handle today to show you what a typical day is like for me in Florence!

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Favorite Places in My Neighborhood

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

My study abroad program is located in Florence Italy. I live in the city center but in a primarily residential area. Near me are markets, restaurants, and even a church. I have gone as far to explore the other side of the river which is the Arno river. Florence is a historic city. Various pushes in fashion began there and then there is the Duomo.

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My Last Few Days in Roma

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

As my program is sadly coming to an end, I have been reflecting on some of the ways I want to spend my last days in Rome. And I thought to myself, “What other way to spend my last few days in Rome than by eating the great-quality food than I cannot find at home!” Here are some of the ways I have been spending my last few days in Rome.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Sam, Rome, Spring 2018

We asked Sam, SAI Rome student, to show us what a day in her Roman life was like on our Instagram account. This is her day in Rome.  Ciao! I’m Sam, a junior at Penn State currently studying at John Cabot University in Rome. I’m taking over SAI’s account today to show you my typical day in the Eternal City.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Willa for the day. This is her day in Florence.  Ciao! My name is Willa, I’m from NYC and I’m a junior at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying at Florence University of the Arts this semester. Today, I’m taking over the SAI instagram to show you a typical day in Florence!

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A Thank You Letter to Those Who Made Florence Feel like Home

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

As I am coming in on a close to my study abroad experience I have been reflecting on all the things that have made this new part of my life so special – getting to experience my culture firsthand and learn what it truly means to be an Italian, traveling to new and amazing places I could have only ever dreamed of visiting (and figuring out how to get from point A to point B

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Cycling Through Annecy’s Alps

Alina, Paris, Spring 2018

Last week, I took a train with five other girls down to Annecy, a cozy town nestled in the south of France. It sits 22 kilometers south of Geneva, at the northern tip of Lake Annecy.  The area is known to be one of the oldest inhabited sites in the Northern Alps. Recent digs dated a lakeside village to 3,100 years before Christ.

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Contemporary Art Class Field Trip

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

I am going to be discussing the many exciting opportunities that I have been a part of while being in school at FUA. I am taking a Contemporary Art class with Lucia Giardino and it has been a fantastic experience so far. She has taken us to so many different museums and sites that it makes the course fees for the class so worth it.

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Small Towns in a Worldly Experience

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

There is a common perception about studying abroad that views the semester as a prolonged vacation. People believe that students spend all of their weekends traveling to the major European capitals, such as Paris or London, but this only allows two days for scrambling around the city and fitting in only the most cliché of tourist sights.

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The Italian Coffee Experience

Coffee…a staple to the Italian diet and a habit that, when first arriving in Florence, I was unsure I would be able to manage. I have quite the sweet tooth and with a typical order at Dunkin Donuts including a high percentage of flavored syrup, I did not know if I would be able to enjoy the simple, heavy on espresso drinks made at Italian coffee bars.

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Why My First Week Abroad Is Still My Favorite

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

  I arrived abroad a week early in Rome for a class called “Cultural Introduction to Italy,” arranged through SAI and my school, Florence University of the Arts. It was a course that promised three credits in only one week, with a schedule listed on the syllabus from 8 am to 8 pm—a little daunting at first…I mean what could we possibly be doing ALL day long?

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Döner Kebab: The Pride of Europe

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

If you asked me before I went abroad what a kebab was, I would think of the skewer stacked with roasted meats and vegetables. In Europe, “kebab” has a completely different meaning. Döner kebab is an incredibly popular dish made up of seasoned meat that is shaved from a vertical rotisserie and topped with fresh vegetables and sauces. Döner is similar to the Arab shawarma and Greek gyro and is famous for its late-night accessibility.

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A ‘Nice’ Getaway

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

Living in Italy for the last few months has been surreal, but coming from a Florida beach town I’ve begun to miss the warmth and sun, as the last few weeks in Florence have been filled with rain. My roommate had been toying with the idea of visiting the south of France so I curiously looked up train tickets and was surprised at how affordable they were.

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The Town of Medieval Towers

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

I will be discussing a day excursion I went on through SAI to San Gimignano. It is a small hilltop city in Siena, Tuscany surrounded by ancient walls and known for its medieval towers. When I walked through on of the gates leading into the city, I could feel the history in the walls as our tour guide walked us down the street towards the Piazza della Cisterna.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

The last year of high school, I remember my government professor sat the entire class down and read to us, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”  Who would have thought that three years later, I would be traveling through Europe, discovering the different cultures and familiarizing myself with local traditions? Being able to explore other people’s customs has been a blessing that never seemed real until I found out about SAI and John Cabot University.

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What to Wear to Look Like a Local in Florence

Carly, Florence, Summer 2017

Before I left for Florence, I had the daunting task of packing for six weeks. I’m a fashion major, so clothes are how I express myself. I had no idea what clothes I needed to pack, and I couldn’t find much on the internet about what the locals wore. I heard somewhere that shorts are a very American thing to wear, so I decided to only pack a few pairs of shorts.

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Making the Most of Rainy Days in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

Throughout my time in Florence thus far, I have experienced a little bit of every kind of weather including sunshine, rain, sleet, and even snow for the first time in years. Dealing with the amount of rain and strange weather we have had here lately can be frustrating if your plans include things like going to the beautiful Piazzale Michelangelo, walking along the river, or visiting the stunning Boboli Gardens.

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How I Prepared For My First Week Abroad

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

Making the transition from living in one country to another is probably one the biggest test of character a person can go through. It can bring a myriad of emotion, ranging from anxiety, confusion, curiosity, to excitement. Just remember, that with the right mindset, anything is achievable.  Once you have gotten through your first week, you have made it!

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You Had Me at Pizza

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

One of the unique things that SAI offers in Florence is the chance to learn how to cook like a true Italian, through free cooking classes. The first class I took was on Valentine’s Day and allowed me to spend the day with my first love, pizza.

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Cooking & Eating My Way Through Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

Taking an Italian cooking class is probably on a lot of peoples’ bucket lists for when they visit Florence or other parts of Italy. It was certainly on mine, so I was eager when I saw that SAI offered them so frequently. At home and at my school in the U.S, I cook nearly all my meals and get excited about making new recipes with my roommates.

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Special Spots in Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

Making my way through the past three weeks here in beautiful Florence has been a dream and stumbling upon some really cool places has made my experience even better. In hope that your experience studying abroad is amazing, here are my top four must-see and must-eat at places and spots around the city of Firenze. Number one would have to be this secret rose garden that is located halfway up the steps to Piazzale Michelangelo.

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Living Like a Local in Barcelona

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

It feels like just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to buy a metro pass, and now I know most of the subway lines throughout the city like the back of my hand. The fact that I am already halfway through the semester baffles me, and I know that the second half will go by even faster than the first.

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ROME-ing as a Local

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

A majority of Romans’ diets consist of pasta and wine. For those of you who enjoy these listed items, your day will consist of a never-ending food coma cycle in Rome, Italy. But there must be more to Italy that pizza, pasta, and wine, right? Of course! Today, we will be ROME-ing around Rome as a local.

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Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

As amazing as it is to be able to effortlessly relocate to a new European city or country for the weekend, I’m sure many can relate to the stress that comes with having to fit all the excitement and activities of a city into one short weekend – especially when we only have one full day.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Alex, Paris, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Alex for the day. This is her day in Paris.    Hi everyone! My name is Alex Lehnhard and I am a Junior at the University of Alabama, studying accounting and finance. This semester, I am studying abroad in Paris at the Paris School of Business. I’ll be taking over the SAI Instagram today to show you what it is like to be a student in the city of lights!

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How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

Leaving to study abroad was one of the scariest things I have ever done. Studying abroad in a new country seemed like a dream that would never become true. Reality did not begin to set in that I was leaving until my bags were packed and I said my goodbyes. Even in the airport I still did not feel like I was leaving America for a full semester.

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Five Best Places to Eat in Rome

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

This is my list of the five best places to eat at in Rome: Suppli In Rome, what you are looking for are diamonds in the rough. This place I tried on the Roman Food Tour, an event sponsored by SAI. We went around the neighborhood and tried different foods. This place named Suppli has become my favorite place to eat something quick in Rome.

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Abroad Alone? Abroad Alone.

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

Its been a little over 3 weeks since I made my journey across the Atlantic Ocean. While Florence is starting to feel a bit familiar, the last couple of weeks felt like a big roller coaster as I attempted to adjust to a city completely different than the ones I’ve lived in before.

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Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

Traveling is something that many study abroad students chose to partake in. While country hopping every other weekend sounds enticing, the cost can add up quickly. From friends and acquaintances that have studied abroad in the past, I have found that many wished that they had spent more time in their host county rather than traveling to a new country at every possibility.

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Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

France, Germany, Switzerland, and all the other amazing countries in Europe are all closer than they have ever been before and seem more appealing than ever before knowing most are just a quick train or plane ride away!

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Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

My first week in Florence was one of the greatest weeks of my life but, it did not come without it’s challenges. Here are a few things that I learned. Every Day is Leg Day It was around one in the afternoon when I was dropped off at the front of my apartment with my two suitcases and large carry-on in hand.

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Make a Wish!

Peyton, Rome, Spring 2018

When people say, “time flies when you’re having fun,” they weren’t kidding.  I have been in Rome almost one month and it still feels like a brand-new place.  Everywhere I turn I “accidentally” stumble upon something incredible. Last week, we were walking to dinner one night and we turned the corner and oops, there was the Trevi Fountain. That’s so casual, right? Shoot took a wrong turn—wait that’s the Colosseum.

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Expectation vs. Reality

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

When coming to a new country, there are things that stick out to you right away. One of them happened to be the beautiful and historic buildings that surround me everywhere I go. I had imagined what Rome would be like, but I didn’t realize that wherever you go, there is a story of each old beauty you pass.

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How to Survive Your First Month Abroad

Angela, London, Spring 2018

Moving to a new place always holds a seed of terror. Even if it is only to the neighborhood next door, each place holds its own culture that you might not be sure if you fit into. While going abroad, this worry about fitting in and unpleasantly standing out is especially prominent. For my study abroad experience I decided to go to London, so I had no language barrier for all intents and purposes.

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Packing for Rome 101

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

Do: Bring comfortable and casual sneakers. In Rome, all everyone does is walk so please be prepared to walk. Shoes such as Adidas, Vans, and Converse are best. All of the iconic monuments in Rome are all so close together so it is best to be comfortable and stylish at the same time in order to properly appreciate the history in front of you, instead of just thinking about how much your feet hurt.

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Exploring Barcelona Through Local Cuisine

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

I had never been to Spain before studying abroad and I wanted to immediately immerse myself in the unique culture. Within my first week in Barcelona, I took a Spanish cooking class! The class was organized through SAI and held at a modern kitchen just a few steps away from the Barcelona City Hall, in the Gothic Quarter.

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Week One – Check!

Peyton, SAI Rome, Spring 2018

Ciao!  Wow, is it nice to only have classes two days a week! This semester I only have classes on Monday and Wednesdays from 8:30-3:45 and it might be the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Yes, I have to wake up pretty early for my classes, but the feeling at 4pm on Wednesdays afternoon makes it all worth it. Imagine this—having a four-day weekend EVERY WEEK! Well guess what?

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Peeling Back The Layers: A Small Onion in a Big World

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

“Name one thing you wish you had known before studying abroad and one thing you’ve learned since you’ve been here.” My friend, Alec, proposed we all go around in a circle and share our responses to this question. As the only girl in a group of four traveling to Paris, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam for nine days, I thought I would be the sentimental one.

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Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Florence is known for all of its’ churches, museums, and all of the amazing Renaissance art. When we think of Florence, we think of Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia. We think of Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus inside of the Uffizi Gallery. Every tourist goes to see the Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Ghiberti’s Baptistry Door.

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The Highs and Lows of Traveling While Abroad!

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

One of the main things I’ve heard from others studying abroad is how easy and affordable it is to travel Europe. I think this is true to some extent but, as we’re approaching the end of the semester, my group has decided that it is okay to take a weekend off in-between trips! We’ve seen some truly, incredibly breathtaking places, but our bodies are constantly telling us to slow down.

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My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

1. Explore Your City When I feel homesick I often stay inside of my apartment and watch Netflix all day. It took me a couple of days to realize that in a way, doing this made me feel even more sad! I would force myself to leave and explore the city. I would walk down streets that I had not seen before to try to find new shops and restaurants.

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Best Class I Have Ever Taken

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

When I decided to study abroad in Rome, I knew I wanted to learn about the expansive history of the city and spend as much time as possible exploring ancient ruins. To my surprise I found exactly what I was looking for: a history of ancient Rome class offered by John Cabot University.

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Saying Goodbye, But Not to Siena

Tiffany, Siena, Fall 2015

Studying abroad in Siena has been an amazing experience so far. Everyone is now preparing to go home and they all have mixed emotions. Some cannot wait to be home again, some want to go home, but only for a week then come back, and some do not want to leave yet at all.

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The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

The study abroad blues are real and though an unforgettable experience, it is an experience for many that leaves you missing your second home. Study abroad alumni- there are many, but just like a snowflake, not a single experience can be replicated. Going into the adventure and roller coaster called studying abroad, you can never be fully prepared, in fact you are guaranteed to be unprepared.

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Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

One of Tuscany’s most traditional dishes is the Ribollita soup. This soup is very popular after the wine harvest is done and autumn is in full swing. Ribollita is made of bread, beans, and vegetables of course. Due to the fact that Tuscans do not have a rich culinary history in their pasta dishes, but they are known as “mangiafagioli” all over Italy. Mangiafagioli means “bean-eaters.

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What I Found in London

Kara, London, Summer 2017

My name is Kara Emig and over the summer I studied abroad in London through SAI at Central Saint Martins. As a fashion student from Pratt Institute, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to study at one of the best fashion schools in the world while exploring London and discovering the city I had always wanted to visit.

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Ten Ways to Prevent Becoming Hangry in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

In a city as expansive as London, good eats are at every corner. Here are ten places that will keep you from ever getting hangry! 1. The Cheese Bar. Tucked inside the eclectic Camden Market, The Cheese Bar makes grilled cheeses and mozzarella sticks sophisticated and delicious. 2. Leggero. Not only does this eatery have incredible Italian food, but it is also completely gluten-free. Gluten-free pasta has never tasted so good! 3. Cutter & Squidge.

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Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

As my last few days in Florence came to an end, I found myself feeling two polar opposite emotions. Half of me felt more than ready to get home back to the United States where I would be reunited with my family and friends, no longer worry about not knowing how to speak the language and indulge in all the American food I had been missing. But the other half was very, very sad.

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Once in a Lifetime

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

As I sit here on my plane ride home across the Atlantic and reflect upon my time abroad, I think about all the great times, the adventures and the many new friends I have made from across the globe. It dawned upon me that the value I have gained by studying abroad isn’t encompassed by the country or city I chose, but rather the people and experiences I have encountered along the way.

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Best Coffee in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

If you’re like me, you know getting work done at home can be quite challenging. Personally, I find I need to have designated “work” areas, and a separate area to relax. If I start trying to write an essay in my bed, I’ll either want to go to sleep while I’m writing, or else I’ll feel the stress from the essay again later while I’m trying to sleep.

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Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Today was my last day in Florence; this entire experience seems almost unreal to me. It feels like I was struggling to drag my luggage up the stairs to my apartment just yesterday. This city has come to feel like home to me. Of course it does not replace the city where my family lives, but Florence will definitely always have a piece of my heart.

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Moving to London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

Moving to London was like jumping into an ice-cold swimming pool: shocking, exhilarating, and terrifying. For me, it has been the experience of a lifetime, filled with exciting new cultures and humbling lessons. Here is a bit of advice that I wish I had been given before I stepped off of that airplane in August. 1. Bring your best pair of tennis shoes. Europeans walk everywhere!

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Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Celebrating a holiday abroad has been one of my favorite parts of my abroad experience. It is difficult because I miss celebrating with my family and friends from home, but getting my new friends from school to celebrate with me really helps. I celebrated Halloween and my twenty-first birthday while abroad so far and plan on having Friendsgiving with my group of friends from SAI.

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Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Traveling on the SAI trips with entire groups of other study abroad students and people who actually know their way around the places we are visiting is great. I have been on amazing trips with SAI, however, my favorite experiences have been when I have traveled on my own or with a few of my friends. Planning trips on my own or with my roommates has been an interesting experience.

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The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

Thinking back on the first day I arrived in Florence feels like it could have been yesterday. The eagerness to arrive, the overwhelming excitement, the jet-lag and excruciating heat all come flooding back. At that point, it felt like I had endless amounts of time in the city of my dreams.

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Giving a Helping Hand in the Roma Community

Andres, Rome, Fall 2017

This fall was my first time visiting Rome and I’ve had the privilege to be able to study a whole semester here at John Cabot University. Coming here, I didn’t know any Italian. The best decision I made to immerse myself into the Italian culture and becoming more familiar with the language was signing up for community service through JCU’s program.

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Tips: Sneaking in to Milan Fashion Week

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

My absolute favorite part of my experience abroad was attending Milan Fashion Week 2017. Fashion Week was within the first few weeks of being in Milan and I had sent emails to probably every designer that was having a show. I got back a few rejection emails, which was still surprising that they even emailed me back. I received one invitation to a showroom from COMEFORBREAKFAST.

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Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

1. Learn the language before you come. You don’t have to be a pro! However learning phrases or words just to get by is really nice to know. It comes in handy when you’re trying to meet locals, or ordering at a restaurant. Mostly everyone in Florence knows English, but there are those few that don’t, so just learn some words! 2. You don’t need to pack your whole closet!

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A Change of Pace on Cobblestone Streets

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

For a long time I have tied success and passion to speed and persistence. The bustling city streets I’ve walked in my youth reinforced my value for unyielding movement—of my feet, my eyes, and my mind. “Walk with a purpose” is a common, a likely overused, motto of mine. From Point A to Point B, from one class to the next, from one event to another, move with the fire and light of the city.

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Not Quite Home for the Holidays

Maddie, Florence, Fall 2017

I don’t think I realized how much I love spending Thanksgiving with my family until that wasn’t an option. To me, the day has always been about eating good food and catching up with relatives I hadn’t seen in awhile, but it was nothing special. Thanksgiving was the first time I got homesick this semester, but also the day (or week, really) during which I most appreciated my experience in Florence.

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What I’ll Miss Most in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

As the days remaining in my semester abroad continue to dwindle and I now have only about a month left in Milan, I’ve found myself reflecting upon my time spent here. I feel that my time in Italy has been transformative to my world perspective, and I know this experience will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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The Davids of Florence, Ranked

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Florence is a city which prides itself on its rich cultural history, particularly that of the Renaissance. Art flourished in Florence, yielding countless iconic works which draw crowds of visitors every year. Among these great works are several versions of the Biblical hero David, who came to represent Florence because of his ability to overcome seemingly impossible enemies through faith, dedication, and cleverness. Even now, Davids appear in piazzas, courtyards, and postcards across the city.

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The Privilege of Volunteering: Improving Lives Around Us

Rafa, Rome, Fall 2017

Hi! My name is Rafa Reyes, a student from Saint Mary’s College of California and currently studying in John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. This blog post is about my volunteering experience in Rome, Italy working together with John Cabot University to serve unprivileged people around the city with our heartwarming smiles and unwavering kindness.

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Top 10 Items to Pack

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

Hello!! For this month’s blog post, I have decided to tackle the all-consuming question that most study abroad students have when packing for their adventures in a new country… What, exactly, to PACK! Based on my own personal experiences while studying abroad in Rome, I’d say the top ten items to ensure make it into your luggage are: 1. More than one winter coat!

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Talen for the day. This is his day in Paris. Hello everyone!  Today I have taken over SAI’s Instagram to bring you a day in the life of an SAI student studying in Paris.  My name is Talen and I originally study International Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Here in Paris, I am studying at the American University of Paris.

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Ten Ways to Discover Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

10 Ways to Discover Rome See the sites at night. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Colosseum are close to each other. During the day, these monuments are swarmed by tourists. But at night, when the streets are quiet, there is nothing to do but be in awe. Visit the Vatican at night or dusk when St. Peters is lit up – also beautiful. Get lost.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Diane for the day. This is her day in Paris. Bonjour, my name is Diane Calderon. I am a junior at the University of Texas at Arlington studying abroad this fall semester at the American University of Paris. Let me show you what it is like to study abroad in Paris. Sometimes when you are running late or have a really short break between classes, a chicken baguette will save your life.

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The Honeymoon Phase in Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

Upon getting the approval from both my parents and SAI that I was admitted into Florence University of the Arts, I spent the rest of the semester at home fantasizing about what it would actually be like, walking down the cobble stone paths to class with views of the Duomo.

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My Personal Top 10 Things to Do/See in Rome!

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

Rome, Italy has so many amazing things to do! However, I am here to tell you my personal top ten things to do and to see: FIRST! My all-time favorite place to go in Rome is the Tiber River. I like to walk alongside the river and think about all the places it’s been. Did you know that the Tiber River is the third-longest river in Italy?

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The Cultural Experience

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

I believe that one of the most enriching experiences that I have had abroad thus far has been in my Italian Food, Culture, and Society class. I encourage anyone who goes abroad to see what classes the university offers in order to really learn about the culture in which you are living. My class has been about the way Italians interact, eat, and their history.

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Top Ten Things to do in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

London is modern, magical, and massive. A traveler could spend a year in the city and still not see everything. However, there are a few things that you MUST do upon your first visit here. 1. Take a morning walk past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. The city architects were very gracious to tourists when they designed these beautiful structures in close proximity to each other! 2.

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When Going to Class Becomes an Experience

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

I am halfway into the semester and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. No week is ever the same because classes have new activities, new challenges and trips that turn a typical class into a new learning experience. The classes that I have enjoyed the most this semester have been sculpture, photography and Paris history through architecture. Sculpture: I was scared for this class because I have never done sculpture before.

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The Italian Way of Learning

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

One of the most significant differences between my home university and NABA Milano is the learning style. Back in the U.S, we tend to employ a lecture style of learning, so the majority of our classes take place in the classroom, learning predominately from our professor’s knowledge and textbook examples.

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5 Ways to Make Homesickness Productive

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

I grew up on the west coast, moving from California to Idaho, then back, then back again, and for the past two years I have been attending university all the way across the country in Washington, D.C. I’m no stranger to homesickness, to missing old haunts and familiar faces.

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SAI Excursion: Nice & Cote d’Azur

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

Growing up, I remember making trips down to Florida with my family and enviously thinking to myself “Wow! This place is so wonderful. People live here and I am just here to visit.”  The sights and the sounds of all the amusement parks and beaches captivated my young mind. How could there be any place on Earth more beautiful than Florida? Well, there is and I experienced it this semester on an excursion with SAI.

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Top 10 Must-See’s When Traveling Abroad

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

My Top 10 List While Studying Abroad 1. Visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy Whether it is just for the day or for a weekend get-away, the Amalfi Coast is a sight worth seeing. The coast is lined with stunning Italian homes that reach the tops of the mountains. Not to mention the seafood is fresh from the ocean and tastes amazing.

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Balling on a Budget

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

While studying in Florence, it is so important to travel every where you possibly can! There are cheap airlines such as Air Dolomiti, RyanAir, and Air France. Honestly, what I have found to be the best ways to travel is by train. The trains in Europe are much different than the ones in the United States. They are super comfortable and clean. Looking at Italo, Trainline, Eurail, and ItaliaRail are great trains to travel on.

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Sick of Italian Food?

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

Everyone chooses their location to study abroad for their own reasons.  Some choose a location based on its culture, the nightlife or maybe even their genealogy. However, I picked Rome for a much different reason than most.  Sure, I knew I was going to grow as a person and explore parts of the world I have never seen, but that can be done from any city abroad.

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Why Classes Abroad are Worth Every Penny…

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

The classes I am taking in Florence are similar yet completely different from the classes I was taking back home in Virginia. The biggest difference that has caused me to enjoy my classes abroad is how hands-on the work is. The information I have learned thus far is relevant to my major and applicable in real life situations.

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Birthdays in Roma

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

Two weekends ago I took a train to Marino, Italy for the 93rd Sagra dell‘Uva (Grape Festival). This train held passengers beyond the, ‘impatiently waiting to get from point A to point B’ mindset. My friend and I sat next to a group of young Italians who were fully feasting on the train. By feast I mean wine, sandwiches, chips, and beer.

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Loving How to Learn Again: The Renaissance of my Education

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

Confessions from a professional student: I’ve been feeling stuck. Wedged between the standards of a collegiate education and personal expectations for the pursuit of knowledge, I haven’t been able to get out of my own way. Bury me in books, lock me in a room with a pen, shake me with science, and break my preconceptions with art—that’s what I would say.

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A Joyous Day of Kayaking

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

In Sorrento, you can walk out the back door of the school and end up at the beach within five minutes. The only reason it takes so long is due to the picturesque winding path you must take to get to the bottom of the hill! After class on a weekday, a few of us decided to go kayaking and it was so easy!

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Beautiful Places

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

Leading up to my semester in Sorrento, I was so curious about what was to come. This was my first time in Europe, and I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I couldn’t wait to get here! There is not that much information about this place online, just the occasional beautiful picture. But I can tell you there is so much to this little town than you would ever expect!

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All the World has to Offer

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

As I am reflecting on my “fairy-tale” semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy it is challenging for me to pinpoint my favorite moment or experience. There are just too many to choose from! I guess that isn’t a bad thing right? But, if I had to pick my most special moment from my semester abroad, it would definitely be the opportunity I had to see the world.

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Roots and Wings: A Remedy for Homesickness

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

From the moment I entered this world, I let my parents know that their daughter had been graced with a very large appetite. Like a baby bird, my eyes stayed wide and my mouth open, hungry for food of the brain and the stomach. My appetite for life remains and the nickname “Bird” stuck around too.

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Culture Shock: Edible Edition

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

This semester in Milano is my first trip to Europe.  So, needless to say, I’ve been experiencing my fair share of culture shock. I expected to be taken aback by the differences in language, the adjustment to going to a school where almost everyone had a different cultural background than mine, and of course, the infamous stereotype that Italians are habitually late.

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Thriving in Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

About a month before I boarded the plane to BELLA ROMA I went through major denial that I was actually leaving the country. The last three days I spent in Colorado were uneventful as I treated each like any ordinary day – like a crazy person I even worked the day before I boarded my plane! How I had time to pack I’m not sure.

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Embracing Individuality

Emma, London, Fall 2017

Before arriving in London, my amateur life assessment was that humanity’s natural instinct is to blend in. I had observed this behavior in others and had adopted it as my personal strategy. From candy chokers in middle school, to oversized t-shirts in high school, to Adidas tennis shoes in college, I sought the latest trends with a fiery passion, hoping to remain current and relevant yet homogenous.

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A Gluten-Free Guide to the World’s Carbiest Country

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

If you think being gluten-free in Italy is impossible, you are wrong; if you think it is a struggle, you are wrong; & if you think you will starve for four months, you are wrong!  Due to health reasons, I am gluten free.  So coming to Italy to study abroad raised some concerns of what I would be able to eat.

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The Amazing Foods of Rome

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

As soon as I arrived in Rome, Italy, I was amazed by the thrum of life pulsing all around me. People from all walks of life, coming from drastically different countries, who spoke different languages—all of us were here, living in the same ancient city like so many people before us. Thriving together, existing alongside so many variations of humans. And all of us were… EATING!

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My Story in the Streets of Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

The whole idea of just coming to Paris has been a challenge itself. But now sitting down in a café in Rue (street) de la Convention, I can say that I finally made it; my dream has come true. My first week in Paris was full of adventure and learning experiences with my family. It totally gave me a boost of confidence being able to explore the streets of my new city with them.

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Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

About a year ago from today marked the start of my study abroad adventure. This time last year, I officially decided to study abroad at SAI Florence University of Arts. I was filled with mixed emotions such as excitement and apprehension. I heard endless amount of times from family and friends that studying abroad was going to be “the semester of a lifetime.

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Oh the places you’ll go… and eat!

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

Here is a list of some of my favorite places to eat in Florence: Caffe Firenze — This place has the best croissants in Firenze! I get a caffé latte and the croissant and it is only about 3 euro. The people who work there offer great customer service, too.

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Travel Pass

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

Traveling alone or through an agency, possibly the most important question we have in our lives today. Here is my story of traveling through an agency. A friend of mine was offered the chance for a full-package trip to Split, Croatia at a discount price, approximately 80 euro less. Seems like a no brainer to just take the deal and run which my four friends and I did.

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Two Weeks Down in Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Deciding to spend the first semester of my junior year in Florence, Italy was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although I have been here barely more than two weeks, I can tell that I am already learning and maturing immensely. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the challenges and difficulties I have faced thus far. This semester abroad is my very first time traveling outside of the United States.

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Acclimating to Italia

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

Studying abroad in a foreign country didn’t really seem like a big deal to me. I’ve moved plenty of places on my own for summer internships like New York City and Milwaukee – I came to Europe on a school trip in the 10th grade.

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Finding Yourself in Another Country

Cassandra, London, Summer 2017

Since I returned from study abroad, I’ve become acutely aware of the number of others also heading out of the country for the first time. It may have only been three weeks, but I remember the excitement and the anxiety. Most importantly, I realized that there was no way to prepare for everything, but I think that is to everyone’s advantage.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog #2

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

Hi guys, Shemaia again! Fashion Image & Styling II at NABA in Milan was the second class I took abroad. My class project was to style looks that featured design as well as creating a micro Instagram video (which is featured at the end of the vlog). My group and I used geometric shapes and graffiti art as our inspiration.

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Dream Big

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

I can’t believe I only have three short weeks left of my study abroad experience! These past seven weeks have gone by so fast and have been some of the best weeks of my life. This summer I have learned so much about myself as an individual and I truly believe I have grown tremendously as a person, becoming a more outgoing and independent.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

My name is Shemaia and I am currently studying Fashion Image & Styling at NABA in Milan with SAI. My class project was to style looks inspired by food. My group and I used fruit as our inspiration being that the colors are fun, vibrant, trendy, and perfect for the summer. With the looks we created, we collaborated with a photographer, live model, and makeup artist to bring it all to life.

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A Syrian in Qatar, US, and Italy

Huda, Rome, Summer 2017

Since December 2016, I have been lucky to experience studying abroad in different places. My first experience was through a student exchange program at my university’s home campus in Evanston, IL for six months. I started my second study abroad experience to Rome, Italy with SAI to study Italian.

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3 Places You Need to Visit in Milan!

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

Ciao bella! This week I traveled to beautiful Milano and have enjoyed a lot of time sightseeing. In the four days I’ve been here I have seen and learned a lot. This is the first country I have been to outside of the states so each experience has been new and exciting for me! Here are my three favorite places I have visited so far!

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Riflessioni di Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti! This is Elise Walsh checking in one last time at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. This is my final week in Sorrento and I have had such an incredible experience. I can’t believe how quickly the past five weeks have gone! Today, I’d like to focus on some advice for those interested in studying abroad. Let me begin by saying I couldn’t be happier with my choice to go to Sorrento.

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European Adventures Video

Ana, SAI Barcelona Alumna

My name is Ana Harrison, I’m a rising senior at the University of South Carolina and I’m going to be an SAI ambassador this year! This past spring I had the time of my life studying abroad in Barcelona, and this is a little video I pieced together of the six countries I visited when I went abroad.

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Home Away From Home

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

The past few weeks have been busy to say the least. My friends and I decided to do some traveling around Europe. We went to Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Amsterdam, Budapest and Barcelona. Each of these cities offered something new and exciting; every place was unlike any other place we had been. Although we got a bit lost along the way, we always made it safely to each destination.

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Ten Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

I would like to share ten things that I learned while studying abroad: 1) Plan ahead – this is for the clothing of what to wear in a foreign country with cultural meaning, weather etc. Also, this can be for when traveling around and checking times of monuments, how much money to bring, etc. 2) Get some familiarity with the language of the host country before arriving.

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Il Giorno Perfetto

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti! Elise Walsh checking in again at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. So far, I’ve been in Italy for just over two weeks and I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of my host city. Today, I’m going to focus on a unique experience that I’ve had abroad. Since Sorrento has a hotter climate than my hometown, I want to spend a lot more time outdoors than I normally would.

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How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Florence

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

The perfect summer day in Florence would definitely be to start your morning, before it gets too hot, on a walk around the Duomo. To just sit with a cappuccino and croissant and watch the tourists and locals interact around such an amazing building. Then, I would go to All’Antico Vinaio for an amazing, well-spent 5 Euro panini!

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A Vegan Abroad

Anna, Florence, Summer 2017

As a young person trying to find his or her way in the world, it can be hard to stick to your values while also making the most of what life has to offer. I think this is something that we can all relate to in one way or another. In my case, my choice to be a vegan for both health and ethical reasons has posed problems (especially in the eyes of others)

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Benvenuti a Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti!  My name is Elise Walsh and I’m a biotechnology student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently I’m studying at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy and I’ll be writing this blog about my experiences! Today, I’m going to focus on traveling to Italy and my first classes. I’d been to Italy before in high school, but I had only been there for about a week.

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You’re not in Wisconsin Anymore

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Well I have officially made it a week in Italy! It was both an exhilarating and scary experience with it being my first time out of the country, with people I had just met. As soon as I arrived in the Naples airport, I knew I was going to make life-long friends, as we all instantly clicked on the bus ride to our apartment.

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Survival Guide for your First week in Firenze

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

Before leaving for Florence, every single one of my friends who went abroad told me that I was about to embark on the most exciting and eye-opening experience of my life and naturally I came in with very high expectations.

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Three Things I’ve Learned About Firenze Culture

Ellie, Florence, Spring 2017

My first week in Florence has already been one of the most eventful and life-changing weeks of my life. I find it so hard to believe I have only been here for a week! It seems like it’s been much longer because there are always so many different things to do during the day and at night.

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I Love my Apartment!

Alexis, Florence, Summer 2017

When I arrived in Florence and seen where I lived, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how nice and spacious the apartment was. There are three bedrooms and I have my own room. There is also a full kitchen, dining room and living room. I was expecting us all to be crammed into a tiny apartment!

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Seafood Diet!

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

I decided to use Spring Break as the perfect opportunity to pig out and try new foods from each destination that I traveled to in Portugal and Spain. The first restaurant that we dined at during our travels was located in Lisbon. If you didn’t already know these countries are somewhat known for their seafood and aquatic dishes, so my friends and I came here with the intention of grabbing some at every destination.

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Bon Voyage

Sarah, Paris, Spring 2017

Let me start by saying that studying abroad has been one of the most terrifying, wonderful, indulgent, adventurous, stressful and rewarding experiences of my life. Yes, it is possible for your semester abroad to be all of the above in the best of ways.

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Growing Pains and Catching Trains

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

If you asked me a year ago from now if I ever saw myself living in a foreign country for an entire semester, away from everything I know and that is comfortable to me, I may have looked at you as if you were crazy. Little did I know that when I took the leap of faith to study abroad in Florence, Italy, that I was making the best decision of my entire life.

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10 Tips for Future Study Abroad Students

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

Before leaving to study abroad in Rome, I remember talking to my friend who had studied abroad a year before me. She told me that it would be, without a doubt, the best time of my life. I am so excited for anyone that has made the choice to study abroad. Here are some tips to make your experience the best it can be. 1. Learn a little about your new city before getting there.

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Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

Being abroad has been the experience of a lifetime, but nothing has been better than the friends I have met along the way and the friendships I will now hold for a lifetime.

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Milano Design Week

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

As a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology, I attended a presentation about my Industrial Design (ID) department chair’s annual trip to Milano for Design Week. The pictures of the enormous fairgrounds, the product displays that seemed to go on for miles, and the stories he told convinced me that I needed to find a way to get there.

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About SAI

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