Blog

SAI’s My Local Family Program Impact

Sydney, Spring 2024, Barcelona

My mom lived in a homestay as a study abroad student in France. She marvels about how it was her most treasured experience abroad. Through the opportunity, she was able to more easily assimilate into a new atmosphere.When I decided to study abroad, I was unable to do a homestay. After I found out about the SAI My Local Family Program, I knew I had to be a part of it.

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Business Programs

Ralph, SAI Programs Academic Relations Manager

SAI Programs has a large variety of course offerings but one of the most common areas you’ll find across many of our programs are Business, Marketing, and Management related disciplines.  Whether you have a specific industry of business you aspire to break into or an independent entrepreneurial plan, a study abroad experience will equip you with skills and experience for success.

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Getting Involved While Abroad

Harley, Sorrento, Spring 2024

This past spring I had the honor of being a student council member at Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, both a part of the communications team and the sustainability leader. Getting involved was an experience I did not think I would get before coming abroad, but when the opportunity presented itself I was eager to join the team so I applied.

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LGBTQ+ Abroad

Ali, Spring, Florence

With anywhere you go aboard, it’s important to do your research on many aspects of life. The food, the language, the currency and the politics and laws. The laws are especially important as things you might have known to be okay, are illegal in another country. In this time of uncertainty, it is especially important to do so as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Being a Female Solo Traveler in Europe!

Chyler, Spring 2024, Florence

During my time studying abroad in Florence, Italy I took advantage of how easy it was to travel from Italy to other countries, both with people and alone. In a previous blog post, I talked about my trip to five countries in eight days, which I did with my roommates. But, as the semester passed I found myself wanting to travel to some places that my roommates and friends did not want to travel to.

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Rooftops in Barcelona

Katie, SAI Barcelona

When exploring a new city, I have always sought out restaurants with outdoor- seating or rooftops. I love sitting outside enjoying a refreshing drink while enjoying the breathtaking views and local ambiance. After living in Barcelona for 2 years, nothing beats a sunny afternoon with friends sitting on a gorgeous rooftop. It is the lovely way to spend the weekend after a stressful week; it is one of the best parts about Barcelona.

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The Small Choices

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

As my time in Italy ends and I reflect on all the amazing people and experiences I’ve been part of, I can say without hesitation that it has been something I will carry with me throughout my life. At the end of classes, I started to think back to all the preparation that went into studying abroad, all the choices that led me to decide to travel and live a world apart from my own.

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Stepping beyond the “Bubble”

Benny, Spring 2024, Barcelona

When I began studying abroad in Barcelona, one of my goals was to try and step beyond the study abroad “bubble” and immerse myself within the local culture as much as possible– a big ask given that the only Spanish phrases I knew were “Hola” and “Buenos Dias.” I soon realized that I more or less had two options: 1) Learn Spanish, or 2) Speak the world’s universal language: Sports! Naturally, I chose the latter.

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Things I’ll Always Remember From My Time Abroad

Zachary, Spring 2024, Rome

This semester has been a truly unique and life-changing experience! I could not have predicted the impact it would have, and I’m very sad to see it come to an end. One of my favorite parts of this study abroad experience was volunteering with TuttoBlue breakfast distribution. It became a part of my weekly routine, as I would meet bright and early with fellow John Cabot University students to buy bananas at the local supermarket.

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Italy’s Revolutionary Concept of Books and Coffee

Grace, Spring 2024, Florence

Italy, being known for its richness in history, culture, art, and writing is the long-time home of a concept called a literary café. A literary café is a hidden gem bookstore that carries the aesthetic of old R&B music and a cozy atmosphere. Many bars, café, and pastry shops in Florence are often looked upon as historical figures for their role during the 1900s.

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Farewell, Rome: Reflections of a Study Abroad Student

Peyton, Spring 2024, Rome

As I sit here amidst the chaos of packing up my room and wrapping up finals, I can’t help but feel a rush of conflicting emotions. The semester abroad in Rome is winding down, and it’s time for me to bid arrivederci to this incredible city and head back home. Getting ready to leave involves a lot more than just stuffing clothes into a suitcase.

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My Study Abroad Experience in Rome

Maddie, Spring 2024, Rome

Hi! My name is Maddie Getman and I am a junior at the University of Tennessee studying Marketing and International Business! Currently, I am studying abroad in Rome at John Cabot University. As the semester comes to a close I have been looking back on this experience and doing a lot of reflecting. This semester has truly changed my life.

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Who I Became While Studying Abroad

Madeline, Spring 2024, Rome

As I sit here in my last 10 days of my time abroad, I am extremely sad to leave, but I have nothing but complete gratitude for this amazing opportunity I have been living for the last 5 months. These past few months I have flourished into a person I could have only dreamed of becoming before I flew across the world.

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Ways to Be Sustainable While Studying Abroad

Katie Chappelle, SAI Staff

Many students are wanting to learn how they can best travel and study abroad sustainably! Here are some tips: Reduce Waste: Carry a reusable water bottle, coffee cup, and utensils. Avoid single-use plastics as much as possible. Use Public Transport: Opt for public transportation, biking, or walking instead of taxis or rental cars to reduce carbon emissions. Shop Locally: Support local markets and businesses for food and souvenirs.

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The Most Rewarding Experience: English Conversations at Casa Internazionale Delle Donne

Grace, Spring 2024, Rome

I immediately was interested in volunteering at Casa Internazionale delle donne or “The International Women’s House” of Rome when I learned English-speaking students at JCU could get involved by helping teach members of the Rome community how to better read, listen, and speak English. This house is a shelter for women who have been victims of violence, providing many services to empower women, and is located only a few feet from JCU’s Guarini campus.

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Soccer in Barcelona

Katie, SAI Barcelona

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, a group of ten SAI Spring 2024 students carved out time every Tuesday night to play the very popular European sport, soccer. The students participated in a local study abroad league, competing against other English speakers living in Barcelona. They laced up their cleats and took to the field, not only displaying their love for the game but also their commitment to teamwork and sportsmanship.

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Why living in a homestay was the highlight of my abroad experience

Emma, Spring 2024, Barcelona

I’ve known that I’ve wanted to study abroad in Spain since I first started studying Spanish in 6th grade. I’ve always loved learning about Spanish culture, so when it was time to make a housing decision for my semester abroad, I knew that staying in a homestay was the perfect way for me to gain a deeper connection to the city and local culture while also improving my Spanish skills in a real-life setting.

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Some of my Favorite Lesser-Known Spots in Florence

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

If you’ve been studying in Florence this semester, you’re probably familiar with the classic study abroad spots, like Red Garter, Pino’s and Lion’s Fountain. In attempts to make the most of my time in Florence, I’ve been visiting more local places to get the most out of my experience in Florence. I’ve compiled a list of a couple additional spots that are must-sees in our last month before we head home!

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Making the Most of Your Time Left Abroad

Jess, Spring 2024, Florence

During my time abroad, I’ve spent many weekends traveling to new countries and cities to see beautiful places and learn about new cultures. While catching flights and trains to new countries every weekend is a big part of the study abroad experience, it is also important to explore the place you call home for 4 months. My time spent in Florence is full of many of my core memories I’ve made while abroad.

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One of the best things I did abroad

Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona

One of my goals studying abroad was to immerse myself in the culture through building relationships with the local community. I wanted to have a personal connection with someone where we could share a mutual connection and understand each other’s culture. Additionally, I love meeting new people and eating, so I was excited to see that SAI partnered students and families together! Each week, I visited my host family for dinner.

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A Changed Perspective

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

  As I sit down to write this post, my semester abroad is coming to a close, and I cannot help but look back at all the new experiences I’ve had while in Rome. It can be described in no other manner than a journey, one that has not only changed my outlook but has also shaped my aspirations.

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Experiencing Milan Fashion Week

Alison, Spring 2024, Florence

When I found out that Milan Fashion Week for Spring 2024 was coinciding with my Spring Break, I knew I had to go. At the time, only one designer was on the calendar, but I didn’t want to waste time and booked everything to see the smaller show. Arriving in Milan was overwhelming. I struggled to get my taxi app to work and was heckled outside the station to buy things from vendors.

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Traveling While Abroad

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

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

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Appreciate What’s Around You

Grace, Spring 2024, Rome

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

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Health Sciences Abroad

Jasmine, SAI Senior Academic Relations Manager

Gaining a global perspective in healthcare can significantly enhance both academic and career goals. Florence University of the Arts (FUA) offers Health Science courses that present you with an exceptional opportunity to learn through case studies, observations, and experiences about the healthcare system in Italy. These courses provide hands-on experiences and valuable observations, leaving a lasting impact on academic pursuits and preparation for medical school.

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Hospitality Growth and Advantages of Study Abroad

Allyson Haney, SAI Academic Relations Associate

Are you looking for a competitive edge to advance your career? Are you looking to create a more robust resume? Consider adding hospitality to your portfolio. Employers are attracted to candidates with global experiences.  The hospitality sector’s global workforce is growing with an average of 1.2 million job openings in the industry each month. Positions in high demand include hotel management, food service, event planning, revenue management, and more.

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Embracing the Unknown: My Solo Journey to Rome and Embracing New Connections

Peyton, Spring 2024, Rome

Studying abroad is often described as a transformative experience, but when you decide to embark on that journey alone, leaving behind the familiar comforts of home in California for the historic streets of Rome, the adventure takes on a whole new dimension. As I reflect on my decision to study abroad in the Eternal City, I can’t help but feel grateful for the incredible experiences and personal growth that have come my way.

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The Immersion of Florence

Grace, Spring 2024, Florence

Arriving in Florence my first week I was overwhelmed with the number of activities, restaurants, cafes, libraries, museums, and artwork to see. I thought to myself, “How am I going to see everything in 3 and a half months?” Before coming to Florence, I didn’t do my research. I was surprised at how much of a tourist town Florence is. I was shocked at how much history there is in one city like Florence.

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My Time at Escola de les Aigues in Barcelona, Spain

Megan, Fall 2024, Barcelona

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

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Why Choosing A Homestay Was Worth It For Me

Nicole, Spring 2024, Paris

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

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A Quick Guide to Home Cooking Abroad

Alison, Spring 2024, Florence

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

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A Full Day of Florentine Food and Drinks

Taylor, Spring 2024, Florence

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

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Packing List for a Semester Abroad

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

Packing for going abroad is not an easy task at hand. It is something that people do not seem to talk about a lot. So after my experience with packing for a semester in Italy, I wanted to share my tips and packing list! TIPS For Packing:  Pack early!!! Set aside at least 2 free days before you leave that will give you enough time to pack and rearrange to make everything fit perfectly!

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An Everyday Adventure

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

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

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5 Countries in 8 Days?!

Chyler, Spring 2024,

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

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Transforming Discomfort into Drive

Sydney, Spring 2024, Barcelona

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

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Three New Things Every Week

Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona

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

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

Jess, Spring 2024, Florence

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

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Il Dolce Far Niente

Collin, Spring 2024, Rome

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

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

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

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

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Community Choice Awards Winner

We are thrilled to announce that SAI Study Abroad has been honored with the Go Overseas Community Choice Awards in two categories: Housing and Support. We are deeply grateful to all the students who took the time to submit reviews, sharing their experiences and insights with the world.

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The Power of Going Alone

Grace, Spring 2024, Rome

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

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The Nonna Flora Cooking Experience

Harley, Sorrento, Spring 2024

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

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Reflection of Baixeras Service Project – Fall 2023

Laura, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Let’s Face It, We’re all Tourists.

Nicole, Spring 2024, Paris

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

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

Hannah, Spring 2024, Barcelona

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

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5 Reasons to Study Abroad

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Spring 2024 SAI Student Photo Contest

Update: This contest is closed and complete. Our photo contest winners include: You and Your People: Lauren, studying in Florence – Here General: Mandi, studying in Sorrento – Here _________________________________________ We want to give our Spring 2024 students the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos they took while abroad by holding a photo contest!

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Arrivederci Milan

Lauren, Fall 2023, Milan

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

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My “History of the Mafia” Class

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

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

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Getting Ready to Leave

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Balance: Finals Week Vs Final Goodbyes

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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Exploring Your Study Abroad Country

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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The Parks of Barcelona

Mason, Fall 2022, Barcelona

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

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“Students Not Tourists” The Way We Become Community Members

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Adjusting to Live Abroad: Contemporary Italian Society Class at JCU

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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Learning to Fight For Myself

Halie, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Exploring Montserrat

Lance, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Why you should take ART-101 Drawing: Rome Sketchbook

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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Interviewing Students Abroad: Finding Community while Abroad

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Florence On a Budget

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Tips for Learning the Language of Your Host Country

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Navigating Friendships Abroad: Florence, Italy

Margaret, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Escaping the City

Catherine, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Ceramic Charms in Barcelona

Alejandra, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

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

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Finding Your Peace

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Finding Passions Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Cute Boba Spots in Milan

Lauren, Fall 2023, Milan

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

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Life in Florence

Brett, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Intro to Jewelry Making at Paris College of Art

Kiersten, Paris, Summer 2023

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

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Best Experience Through Viva Experiences!

Grace, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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Graffiti Galore

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Best coffee or Study spots in Florence

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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5 Tips for Planning a Perfect Day Trip

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Best Places to Eat in Rome Between Classes

Madeleine, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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Thrifting in Barcelona

Mason, Fall 2022, Barcelona

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

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5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Abroad

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Mental Health While Studying Abroad

Katie Chappelle, SAI Staff

I had only been outside of the United States twice by the time I went to college and studied abroad – Mexico on a cruise, and Italy on a quick week-long trip with my high school Italian class. And although I went to college 2,000 miles away from home and took many flights alone, the longest flight I ever took, was about six hours.

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Take the Risk and Come to Rome

Alexandra, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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Abroad on Film

Bella, Summer 2023, Sorrento

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

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36 Hours in Mallorca

Zoe, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Fall 2023 Student Photo Contest

We want to give our Fall 2023 students the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos they took while abroad by holding a photo contest! You will be eligible to win a $75 Amazon gift card, just by sharing your photo(s) with the SAI Instagram community. Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens Wednesday, October 4th, 2023!!

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Hidden Gem in Costa Brava

Alejandra, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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A Memorable Day on Montjuïc

Lance, Fall 2023, Barcelona

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

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Maintaining a Sense of Identity in a New Place

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Pre-Departure Tips and Tricks

Cidney, Fall 2023, Sorrento

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

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What I’ve Learned After 3 Months in Europe

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

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

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My experience with Study Abroad and my favorite places I visited

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence University of the Arts

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

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If I could do it all over again…

Florence, Fall 2022, Rome

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

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Florence Study Abroad Tips and Guide

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Surviving the Heat in Rome

Lucy, Fall 2023, Rome

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

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Spontaneity on the Streets of Florence

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

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

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Creative Outlets While Abroad 101

Kiersten, Paris, Summer 2023

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

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Why You Should Consider Studying in Sorrento

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Looking Back on Study Abroad – One Year Later

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Culture Through Cooking

Hallie, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Upcoming Alumni Panels

Ready to get started planning your study abroad experience? Join us for our upcoming series of Intro to SAI info sessions to learn more about our programs. Explore academics, student support services, cultural activities, housing, and more. We also offer Alumni Panels that allow you to hear from, and ask question to, past students about a range of topics.

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Why I Loved Studying Abroad in January

Zoe, Jan Term 2023, Florence

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

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Tempio Maggiore, an unexpected journey

Tuuli, Summer 2023, Pre-College Program

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

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Top 10 Tips: SAI Enrollment & Beyond

Micaela, VP of Enrollment Services

Navigating the pre-departure study abroad process is an essential phase that lays the foundation for your upcoming academic and cultural experience abroad with SAI. This time requires you to be quite meticulous as you will need to adhere to many deadlines, submit plenty of paperwork, and read through pages of important material. This phase is all about laying the groundwork for the adventure that awaits you.

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My Top 5 Places to Visit in Florence

Isabelle, Summer 2023, Florence

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

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My Top Meditation Spots in Sorrento, Italy

Shannon, Sorrento, Summer 2023

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

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July 2022 Amazon Prime Day Travel Deals

Travel specific items for your trip abroad!

Amazon Prime Day is here! Here are some of the items study abroad alumni have mentioned are the best items they received or at least are glad they brought with them for their time abroad! Take a look at some of the most requested items here: Beauty Deals: Dry Shampoo isn’t a thing in Italy. So, if you are an avid user of it, make sure you bring some with you!

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Elementary Volunteer Position

Meredith, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Slow Down and Be Present

Paige, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Volunteering In Florence, Italy

Rachel, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Managing Life Abroad

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Do’s and Don’ts of Living Abroad

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

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

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The Best Things Outside of the City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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A Scavenger Hunt in Barcelona

Josh, Summer 2023, Barcelona

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

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My Gelato Addiction

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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A Medieval Castle and Fortifications in France

Sophie, Fall 2022, Barcelona

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

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Why Survive When You Can Thrive

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Summer 2023 SAI Video Contest!

All Summer 2023 Students are Eligible!

We want to give you the opportunity to share all the amazing videos you took or are taking while abroad by holding a video contest! You will be eligible to win a $100 airline gift card just by sharing your video(s) with the SAI community. Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens Monday, June 5th, 2023!! Deadline: Friday, August 18th, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET.

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A Summer in the Contradas

Katellen, May 2023, Siena

When I first arrived in Siena, my host family kept mentioning something called contradas. Because of our language barrier, I was so confused as to what they were talking about. After walking around the city for a couple days, I quickly learned that contradas are like social clubs for districts of Siena dating back to the 13th century.

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SAI Volunteer Project – Barcelona

Anya, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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A Year in Roma

Izzy, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage Class in Barcelona

Cristina, Spring 23, Barcelona

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

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

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Interning at Il Vilaggio dei Popoli in Florence

Mercer, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Top 5 Cities I Traveled to Studying Abroad

Alexandra, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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My Local Friend – Barcelona

Kavya, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Big City vs. Small City

Grace, Spring 2023, Sorrento

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

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The Best Things Outside of the Florence City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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My time in Barcelona and Europe

Qiuhong, Spring 2022, The New School

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

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Pass Down Guide to Florence: The More Local Side!

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Sant Jordi in Barcelona

Leonardo, Spring 2023. Barcelona

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

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Serving Others in Milan

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

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

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My Local Family in Barcelona

Annabelle, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Some of the Lessons I Learned While Studying Abroad

KT, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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The Greenery of Florence

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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All You Need to Know About Cell Phones Abroad

Micaela, SAI Vice President of Enrollment

Cell phone options have always been a bit tricky for traveling students! The challenges have evolved over the years, and things are certainly becoming easier in recent years. However, there still is the difficulty with connectivity and the different band frequencies that are used in the U.S. versus abroad. Not to mention the issue of Wi-Fi availability with the ancient stone buildings in so many European cities.

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My International Service Certificate in Barcelona

Allie, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Barcelona Service Learning: Ciutadella Park Middle School

Bryan, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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

Delaney, Spring 2023, Milan

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

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A New Spin on Service

Gabrielle, Milan, Spring 2023

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

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Saying Goodbye to Roma

Bella, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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A Quick Recap of My Semester

William, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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ELISAVA Interior Spaces Class

Annabelle, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Finding a School/Life Balance When Studying Abroad

Mikayla, Spring 2022, Rome

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

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A Black Girl’s Guide to Florence

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

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

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Faculty Led Program Photo Contest

We want to give our SAI Summer 2023 Custom Programs students the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos they took while abroad by holding a photo contest! You will be eligible to win a $100 gift card to the airline of your choice, just by sharing your photo(s) with the SAI Instagram community.Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens May 1st, 2023 and closes Friday July 28th, 2023!

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

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Study Spots in Florence

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Learning and Growing while Abroad

Josephine, Fall 2022, Florence

There is a common stereotype that students who study abroad come back claiming to be a “whole different people.” While I do think that this stereotype is over-dramaticized, I can say with absolute certainty that I have grown quite a bit as a person due to my experiences abroad. I studied in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. During my time there, I was shaped as a person in many ways.

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

Marta, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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Interview with Ceramist Jordi Serra

Leonardo, Spring 2023, Barcelona

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

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Calçotada in Barcelona

SAI Barcelona Office

  If you´ve ever been to Catalunya between January and March you will have heard of the famous Calçotada…or maybe not. La calçotada comes from the word calçot which is a type of green onion which is much milder than your typical onion and a calçotada is a meal in which you eat these onions usually in a rural setting.

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Hidden Gems of Trastevere

Brooke, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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Learning Italian in Italy

Lauren, Summer 2022. Sorrento

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

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Faculty Led Program Highlight – Muhlenburg College

Daniela Viale, M.A. Lecturer, Muhlenberg College

Leading a program with 26 students from Muhlenberg College has turned out to be a stress-free experience from an organizational standpoint, and this is all thanks to SAI. The SAI staff  – in the US and in Italy – has been extremely organized, quick with answers, prepared with solutions, allowing me to focus on the class that I teach on the memory of WWII in Italy.

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

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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5 Ways to Overcome Homesickness When Studying Abroad

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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A Taste of Spain

Cristina, Spring 23, Barcelona

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

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Graffiti in Barcelona

Sophie, Fall 2022, Barcelona

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

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Cuisines Around the World!

Kathryn, Fall 2022, Sorrento

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

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Currently Living My Best Life

Grace, Spring 2023, Sorrento

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

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A Taste of Home Away from Home

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Summer 2023 Study Abroad Internships

There are so many wonderful things that you can do during the summer. Go to a music festival, travel, and connect with nature . Another exciting thing you can do during the summer is intern abroad! SAI provides many opportunities for students to encounter the world and gain experience within multiple fields.  Part time and full time internships are offered in: Barcelona (Spain), Florence, Sicily, and Sorrento (Italy). SAI Barcelona:  Summer 2023 (8 weeks)

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Studying Abroad With Your Significant Other

Mikah and Shlomo, SAI Rome

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

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Rome: A City just of Romans?

Adriana, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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The Best Spring Break of my Life!

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Unbiased Rating of Locations to Cry at in Florence

Elina, Fall 2022-Spring 2023, Florence

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

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5 Picture Perfect Places for the Photogenic Florence Student

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

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

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Spring 2023 Photo Contest

We want to give our Spring 2023 students the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos they took while abroad by holding a photo contest! You will be eligible to win a $100 gift card to the airline of your choice, just by sharing your photo(s) with the SAI Instagram community. Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens Wednesday, February 1st, 2023!!

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A Hidden Gem: Bomarzo and Civita di Bagnoregio

Marta, Spring 2023, Rome

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

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My First Week Abroad with SAI

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

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

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Explore More This Summer with SAI SCOPE

Summer Combo Programs

Summer is a time to explore. To see the world. To step outside of your comforts. To make memories. To make friends. And yes, to get ahead in some schoolwork. Not much can beat studying abroad in the Summer. Europe’s energy is palpable as the days get longer, the nights warmer, and tourists flock into the historical streets. But where in Europe to study? Choosing the perfect location to study abroad can be difficult.

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Learning by Teaching

Martina, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Volunteer Service Project

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

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

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Six Summer 2023 Programs under $6,000

Study abroad prices can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of our most affordable summer programs to help you get started on your adventure! And don’t forget, we offer you a helping hand every step of the way. Think of us as your guides to an unforgettable experience. View a complete list of all SAI Summer programs here.

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Diversity Courses Abroad

The values of diversity and inclusion are embodied by the twenty-seven member countries of the European Union. As a global crossroads of creativity, commerce, and culture, Europe stands out as a region that celebrates both the individual’s rights and the perfectibility of human institutions. For decades, Europe’s commitment to liberty and self-expression has existed alongside a deeply-held commitment to crafting a more just society through democratic means.

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

Jacqueline, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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The Best Memories Have Been At The Dinner Table

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

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

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Reflecting on My Semester in Florence

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Things To Do In Rome Around Christmas

Rachael, Fall 2022, Rome

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

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Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad 

Jocelyn, Fall 2022, Rome

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

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Faculty Led Programs: Florence, Italy: Culture & Cuisine

Dr. Laurel Lambert, University of Mississippi

I get excited for my students, or any student, who has and takes the opportunity to travel and study abroad. What better way to open yourself to different cultures and new experiences. When I think about traveling, it reminds me of a quote by Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) who said, “I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” Those words are so true!

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Gift Guide: What to Purchase for your Study Abroad Trip!

Don't forget these on your list

Welcome to your Christmas shopping guide for the student in your life that is studying abroad. Even if that student is you! We asked some of our previous students for their input on what items they used the most often or the items they were super grateful they had while studying abroad in Italy, France, and Spain.

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Advice for Planning a Solo Trip

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

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

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A Dance of the Elements: Olafur Eliasson’s “Nel tuo Tempo” (In Your Time)

Maddalena, SAI Staff, Florence

Olafur Eliasson’s impossible-to-miss new show at the historical Strozzi Palace is a psychedelic journey in the multifaceted possibilities of light. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is a household name in the world of contemporary art. Over the years, the 55-year-old’s works have been put on display at major galleries around the globe (including the MOMA, the Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery, the Pinakothek in Munich, Chicago, and Tokyo).

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5 Things I Have Learned Living in Florence

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

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

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Music for Studying Abroad!

Follow us on Spotify

I have always loved how listening to music can bring back specific memories, and how certain songs can trigger emotions or mentally transport us to different moments. How people’s wedding dance song can take them back to that day, or a child’s nursery rhyme can take their parent/guardian back to when the child was young. Even people with memory loss can react to certain songs.

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Book The Ticket!

Michel, Fall 2022, Florence

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

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Taking A Closer Look At Florence

Gabriella, Florence, Fall 2022

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

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4 Lessons that I Re-Learned in Rome

Jocelyn, Fall 2022, Rome

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

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Traveling Europe as a Study Abroad Student

Florence, Fall 2022, Rome

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

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Most Affordable Spring 2023 Study Abroad Programs

Some say that studying abroad is priceless, and we believe that it is! But the price tag is real, and we know that it matters. The largest expense of a study abroad experience is typically the program fee which can vary greatly. When you’re considering what program is right for you, always research the inclusions and decide what’s most important to you.

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Summer 2022 Pre-College Program

Mikaylee, Summer 2022, Florence

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

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Fall 2022 Photo Contest!

Fall 2022 Students

We want to give our Fall 2022 students the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos you took while abroad by holding a photo contest! You will be eligible to win a $100 gift card to the airline of your choice, just by sharing your photo(s) with the SAI Instagram community.Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens Friday, September 9th, 2022!! Deadline: Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET.

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July 2022 in Barcelona

Tracey, Summer 2022, Barcelona

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

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Spring and Summer 2022 Video Contest!

Spring and Summer 2022 Alumni!

We want to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing videos and photos you took while abroad by holding a video contest! You will be eligible to win a $100 Airbnb gift card just by sharing your video(s) with the SAI Instagram community. Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022!! Deadline: Friday, August 19th, 2022 at 11:59 PM ET.

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Tackling Your Journey With Energy and Enthusiasm

Amelia, Summer 2022, Florence

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

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Navigating Paris: Top 5 Tips for Studying Abroad in Paris

Maddie, Summer 2022, Paris

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

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The Importance of Befriending the Locals

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

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

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SAI Service Certificate

Anya, Spring 2022, Barcelona

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

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My Top 5 Must Visit Places in Europe

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

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

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Sai Che…?

Did you know that...

“Sai che” in Italian means, “did you know that…?” 25 years ago, we started as Study Abroad Italy. As we expanded outside of Italy into Spain and France, we shifted to being called SAI. In our 26th year, we’re redefining ourselves yet again, and in doing so, we’re tying back to our Italian roots. SAI (S-A-I) is now SAI (pronounced “sigh”). It’s a simple change with a big meaning.

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Milan: Italy’s Crown Jewel

Experience it all with SAI Milan

There are many important cultural cross-roads in Italy, locations which have blossomed over the centuries into great cities where diverse currents of thought, commerce and tradition converge. Rome, Venice, Florence, Ravenna, Sorrento, Syracuse: each of these communities can boast its own proud history. But few cities in all of Europe can claim both deep historical significance and vital contemporary relevance in so many domains as Milan.

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Making the Most of an Opportunity

An interview with Anya Carney, Barcelona

We sat down for a virtual interview with Anya Carney, a SAI Spring 2022 student studying in Barcelona at the University Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), to tell us all about her experience abroad: My name is Anya Carney, and I’m from Charleston, SC. I go to the University of South Carolina, and I’m an Economics and Management double major.

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4 Tips and Tricks for Visiting a New City

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

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

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Best Gelato in Florence

Ranked by SAI Alumni

Our Florence students are passionate about a lot of things, but they feel VERY strongly about one thing in particular: their favorite gelato spots. We recently asked our alumni on Instagram what their favorites were and boy, did they deliver. Prospective students: you’ll want to save this list. Without further ado, here are the best gelato spots in Florence (ranked by the number of votes on Instagram).

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Spring Photo Contest 2022

Before your time in your new home comes to an end, SAI wants to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos you have taken by holding a photo contest! By entering, you will be eligible to win a $100 Amazon gift card just by sharing your photo with the SAI Instagram community. The process is quick and easy: Email your photo to photos@saiprograms.

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Inspiring Creativity: SAI Webinar Series

SAI’s vision, “Inspiring Creativity“, speaks to our aim to provide rewarding educational experiences through a combination of personalized services and high quality academics. During Spring 2022, SAI highlighted our commitment to creativity through a series of webinars and virtual info sessions featuring faculty from SAI’s European partner institutions, as well as SAI alumni.

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Studying Abroad in Barcelona: Take it all in!

Sally, Spring 2022, Barcelona

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

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

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

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

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Take the Leap, Study Abroad!

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

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

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Stand Out from the Crowd with SAI’s Global Leadership Certificate (GLC)

Now, more than ever, students are searching for ways to maximize their time abroad by gaining real-world experience for future careers. The SAI Global Leadership Certificate (GLC) offers a combination of courses and activities that provide access to leaders and the local community for personal and professional growth. The GLC schedule fits nicely into the semester to allow for ample free time. Students choose the GLC to gain cultural competency and develop leadership skills.

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The Beauty of Florence

Stephany, Spring 2022, Florence

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

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Love is in the Air

Fareeda & Steven, SAI Rome Alumni

This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do something extra special! Two of our previous students, Fareeda and Steven, met while they were studying abroad with SAI in Rome in Spring 2019. They just got engaged (woo!!!) and we wanted to highlight their story, ask them how they maintained a relationship after studying abroad, and if they have any advice for prospective students. Steven and I met during our orientation outing to Ostia.

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Making the Most of Studying Abroad During the Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

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

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

Emily, Spring 22, Florence

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

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5 Summer 2022 Programs Under $5,000

Thinking about studying abroad can feel overwhelming at times, but that’s why we’re here! We offer you a helping hand every step of the way. Think of us as your guides to an unforgettable experience. Keep reading to learn about five summer study abroad programs in 2022 that cost under $5,000 – because who doesn’t like a good deal! To check out all our Summer programs see here. BARCELONA: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB)

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SAI Summer 2022 On-Site Program Policies

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  The world may look a little different now than when you started thinking about studying abroad, and you may have some concerns about your health and safety due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your concerns are understandable, and in response we have made some policy changes that we hope will ease your decision-making.

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How I Launched My Career Through SAI

An Interview With Sean Weber-Quigley

This is a Conversation between Sean Weber-Quigley (SWQ), Executive Chef and Owner of Chico Verde, and Dr. Edna Farace Wilson (EFW), SAI’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. EFW: When did you decide to become a chef? SWQ: Cooking has always been a part of my life and I realized in high school when I was a part-time line cook, I wanted to become a chef.

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Recovering a Lost Heritage: My History With Paris

Joelle, Spring 22, Paris

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

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Parks Off the Beaten Paths

Discovering Florence's Most Public Gardens

While Florence’s city center is full of historical marvels, it is also definitely a little deprived of green areas. But fret not! Our lovely city is full of gorgeous spots for sunbathing, and here are our top picks. Time to go and venture out! LE CASCINE Le Cascine is Florence’s biggest and oldest park. It was the Medici’s private hunting and farming grounds, and it stretches along the river Arno.

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How to Transport Your Medicine to Europe

Micaela, Vice President of Enrollment Services

SAI Vice President of Enrollment Services, Micaela Kliegl, provides an in-depth look at how to transport your medicine on your study abroad adventure.   While it’s not as fun as planning weekend trips to the Amalfi Coast or practicing those language skills with the Duolingo app, understanding how to bring medicine to Europe is often overlooked, but an oh-so-important detail.

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New SAI Partnership: Universitat de Vic

Barcelona, Spain

SAI is pleased to announce a new partnership with Universitat de Vic (UVic). Our partnership with this dynamic and distinguished university allows us to round out our Barcelona offering with a curriculum focused on Business and Design. Named for the town of Vic where the main campus is located, the university maintains a thriving study abroad center in the very heart of Barcelona.

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Collectivity Revolution at UPF

Patricia, Fall 2021, Barcelona

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

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Day Trips from Rome

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

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

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Eating in Italy

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

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

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

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

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

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

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Mindful Tourism

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Experiencing Europe Through Food

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

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

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My Volunteer Experience: Teaching English

Lauren, Fall 2021

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

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Returning to Barcelona

Megan Forbes & Hannah Lowder

SAI Alums, Megan Forbes and Hannah Lowder, returned to Barcelona this summer after their Spring 2020 semester was cut short due to COVID-19. They sent us a collection of film photos from their trip and we’ve been obsessing over them ever since! Our Barcelona Program Coordinator also connected them with another student, Mason Dahl, who happened to be back visiting after his Fall 2019 semester.

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It’s a Beautiful life

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

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Fall 2021 Video Contest

We want to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing videos and photos you took while abroad by holding a video contest! You will be eligible to win a $150 Airbnb gift card just by sharing your video(s) with the SAI Instagram community. Please read all the information below carefully. Contest opens November 2nd! Deadline: Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET.

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The Value of Partnerships: Affiliate Perspectives

In June 2021, SAI invited Dr. Kelly Newlon, Director of Global Learning at Washington State University (WSU) to join a panel of affiliates during our Avanti virtual series. In this blog post, we asked Dr. Newlon to provide additional insight on the value of partnerships with both international partners and campus academic departments: What SAI programs are popular with WSU students? What about SAI appeals to your students?

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Upcoming SAI Info Sessions and Webinars

Art, Faculty-Led Programs, Field Learning and More

Throughout Fall 2021, SAI hosted a series of virtual info sessions featuring faculty colleagues from SAI’s programs in Italy, as well as partners from U.S. affiliate institutions. These sessions were recorded and can be viewed at the links below: Sustainability in Sorrento: SAI’s program at Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento offers an incredible opportunity for students to explore topics related to sustainability and local ecosystems.

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How to Eat with Dietary Restrictions in Italy

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

Oh, Italy. The land of pizza, pasta, and all things gluten. This should be such a lovely experience for all food lovers, however, there is just one issue. I have Celiac Disease. I know what you may be thinking, “Why on Earth would you study abroad in Italy!” The thing is… they are actually quite accommodating.

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My Cultural Introduction to Italy

Trenedy, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Why You Should Embrace Uncertainty

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Walking Back in Time

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

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

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

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

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Real Estate Internship Barcelona- DO IT!!!!!

Lillie, Summer 2021, Barcelona

Hi everyone! My name is Lillie Wilcox and I’m currently about to finish up my summer internship with Max Ricart, a luxury real estate firm in Barcelona. If you are thinking about doing an internship with SAI but aren’t sure….. DO IT!!!! This has been the most amazing experience I have ever had, both professionally and just personally.

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Sustainability & Environment Courses Abroad

Europe is recognized for promoting sustainable development at a global level; indeed Europeans benefit from some of the highest environmental standards in the world. As the world turns its attention this fall to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 held in Europe, we recognize the importance of understanding environmental sustainability from various global perspectives. Studying abroad with SAI in Europe will offer you the opportunity to develop a strong understanding of environmental sustainability.

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Carly Owens’ International Internship

Engaging in an international internship allows students to deepen their interaction with the host city’s culture, develop relationships beyond the classroom, enhance their professional networks and build their resumes. By participating in an internship abroad, students set themselves apart from their peers with a demonstrated ability to work across cultures. SAI staff works with students and their home universities to arrange internship placement based on their academic major, interests, career goals, knowledge, and skills.

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Beach, please!

A guide to Barcelona's beaches

Beach, please! Barcelona, a city of amazing monuments, great tapas food and…beautiful beaches! The city of Gaudi is famous for its long, sandy shores. Its beaches have always attracted many visitors every year (well, at least pre-covid times) and has been a nice getaway those past few months for all the people living in Barcelona as it is a great place to chill and enjoy the Summer holiday feeling unique to our city.

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