Blog

Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Packing for a 2 Week Trip in Only a Carry On

Hi guys! My name is Nicole and I was a student with SAI in the Spring of 2016! I studied in London and fell in love with Europe as a whole. I now work for SAI doing Digital Marketing and Social Media and I LOVE it! I am headed to Europe with only a carry on and a backpack to go under my seat!

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Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Finding Love with SAI

Katherine & Stephen, SAI Rome Alumni

This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do something special. We interviewed two SAI alumni, Stephen and Katherine, who met while they were studying abroad with SAI in Rome, in Fall 2011. We asked them some questions about their love story and they also gave some really great advice for those studying abroad! Stephen and Katherine got married last month (YAY)

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The (Dreaded) Application Process

Vanessa, SAI Admissions

It’s really not that bad! “I’m in the middle of finals.” “I’m too busy with school and work to fill out the application.” “I don’t want to write another essay about myself!” As SAI’s Admissions Counselor I get my fair share of students wanting to forgo the application process and head straight for acceptance into one of SAI’s programs. And I can’t blame you. However, rest assured the SAI application process is not that bad!

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Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Make a Wish!

Peyton, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Expectation vs. Reality

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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How to Survive Your First Month Abroad

Angela, London, Spring 2018

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

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Packing for Rome 101

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Exploring Barcelona Through Local Cuisine

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

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

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Some Life Advice from an Alumna

Allie, Florence, Spring 2017

For those of you just starting the adventure of your life, and those of you currently settling in abroad, this is for you. I was in your shoes one year ago today, and I could not handle the anticipation for what was to come. I shortly learned that not everyone’s abroad experience is the same, and that is okay.

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Week One – Check!

Peyton, SAI Rome, Spring 2018

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

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

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Making Memories + Saving memories: Alternatives to Journaling

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

Were you gifted a journal before studying abroad? Well.. I will break the news to you now and say that you probably won’t write in everyday like you’re hoping and planning. I am an SAI Ambassador who went to Italy with high hopes that I would avidly journal, but if you’re not in the habit of doing so already it will quickly get put on the back burner.

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The Highs and Lows of Traveling While Abroad!

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

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

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My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Best Class I Have Ever Taken

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Get involved. Give back. Gain experience. Volunteering in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Program Director Regan, who is contributing to our blog this month. Regan is including her on-the-ground insight on volunteering while studying abroad in Florence.   You arrive in a new country, new city, new culture, new school, new people … new everything! How do you get involved in your new community and enrich your already dense experience of studying abroad?

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Ultimate Frisbee in Italy

Marisa, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Marisa, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Marisa is providing her point of view on Ultimate Frisbee, a sport she loves playing in her spare time.   One of the most difficult aspects of my transition to life in Italian was my inability to access community sports teams.

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Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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What I Found in London

Kara, London, Summer 2017

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

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Ten Ways to Prevent Becoming Hangry in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Once in a Lifetime

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Best Coffee in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

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

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Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Do Something Different in Florence This Summer

We have a few new things coming in summer 2018! Travel all of Italy with our new SUMMER C Program: Want to get the most out of your summer abroad? We combined our Summer II and III programs to create a new 6 week summer program, which includes three weeks of traveling throughout Italy before you end in Florence for a three week program.

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Moving to London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Outdoor Activities for the Summer

We’re in the midst of the coldest months and already dreaming about those warm summer days! Ready for the cold weather to fade and the sun to make an appearance so we can get outside and start exploring! Our on-site staff are sharing their favorite summer activities in each city, so start planning your summer adventures now! Syracuse: Flamingo watching at the Vendicari Marine Wildlife reserve.

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Why You Should Study Abroad in Sicily

We sat down with Micaela Kliegl & Lindsay Arentz, SAI Sicily Admissions Counselors, and Michael Cruciano, SAI President, to talk about SAI’s newest program in Sicily, Italy. Why did SAI choose to offer this program?  Michael Cruciano, SAI President: The history of Sicily is astounding. We think Syracuse is a special place in Sicily, due to its past artists, philosophers, and writers. Historically Syracuse has been the main source of Sicilian contributions to society.

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Study Abroad in 2 Italian Cities this Summer

Summer is a time to explore, see the world, step outside of your comforts, make memories, and make friends. And yes, 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 to the historical streets. But where in Europe to study? Choosing the perfect location to study abroad can be difficult.

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Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Giving a Helping Hand in the Roma Community

Andres, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Tips: Sneaking in to Milan Fashion Week

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

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

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How to Make Vin Chaud aux Epices

Jenn, SAI Paris

We caught up with SAI Paris Program Coordinator Jenn, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Jenn is including her favorite recipe for winter: Vin Chaud Aux Epices, a spicy, warm French classic.  In France like in other European countries, as soon as the weather starts to cool off, cafés start serving vin chaud (hot wine). Simple hot wine can be found on the menu, as well as vin chaud aux épices (hot mulled wine)

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Selecting the perfect gift can be difficult.. Not sure what to get for that person that is always on the go? Luckily, we’re here today with a Gift Guide filled with products your fellow traveler is guaranteed to love. Here are 13 gift ideas for the modern traveler!   Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera, $99 The ultimate travel essential!

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Meet Our Spring 2018 Scholarship Recipients

Since our beginning, SAI has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to students. We are pleased to offer scholarships to deserving students each academic year, generously funded by the International Education Foundation, host universities, and by SAI itself. Many SAI scholarships are paired with volunteering, interning, or professional experience, granting students more opportunities to become involved in the local or study abroad community.

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Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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A Change of Pace on Cobblestone Streets

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Not Quite Home for the Holidays

Maddie, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Fall 2017 Photo Contest Winner

Mallory Royer

Congratulations to Mallory Royer for winning the SAI Fall 2017 Photo Contest! Mallory is studying abroad with SAI in Florence from College of Charleston, and she submitted this stunning photo taken in Cinque Terre, Italy. “5-stars for this magical place!” Mallory’s photo received the most “likes” and she has been awarded a $100 Amazon gift card. To view all the photos please see the Facebook album.

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What I’ll Miss Most in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

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

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The Davids of Florence, Ranked

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Privilege of Volunteering: Improving Lives Around Us

Rafa, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Top 10 Items to Pack

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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A Day in the Life of Paris

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

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

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Ten Ways to Discover Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Global Fashion School Rankings 2017

The top global fashion schools of 2017 have been released by the Business of Fashion and many of the schools we work with are featured on the list at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are many excellent fashion programs throughout Europe and this list shows how they stack up against the best schools stateside. The rankings take into consideration global influence, learning experience, long-term value, and then they receive an overall score.

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The SAI Student Experience

What is it like to study abroad with SAI? Listen to our free 20-minute webinar that highlights the SAI student experience. It is led by Nicole Gagne, an SAI alumna who studied abroad in spring 2016. Nicole shares details of what makes the SAI student experience unique, and what you can expect as a student on an SAI program.

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International Education Week: An SAI Alum’s Journey Back Abroad

Mariam, SAI Florence Alumna

In celebration of International Education Week, I wanted to highlight how studying abroad can affect you even after you leave. After studying abroad last fall, my first instinct when I got home was to look at graduate schools abroad. I was infatuated with the idea of living in Europe again, and I had to know more about it.

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2017 IIE Open Doors Report

To kick off International Education Week, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released the 2017 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange on Monday, November 13, 2017. With an emphasis on the importance of student mobility and global experience in forming prepared citizens, the IIE report offers helpful insight into the trends of incoming and outgoing study abroad students.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

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

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Alumni Photo Contest

Leaving your home abroad can be hard, but why stop your travel journey now?   SAI wants to give you the chance to revisit and share the amazing photos you took while you were abroad! By entering the Alumni Photo Contest, you have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, and have your photo featured on the SAI Instagram.

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My “SAI Moment”

Christina, SAI Ambassador

We asked SAI alumna Christina to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. I had my “SAI Moment” when I visited Ireland while studying abroad this past summer. This trip was particularly special to me because I feel like I really got immersed in the Irish culture, which is so unique and interesting.

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Apicius Career Programs: what are they & are they right for you?

Marilyn, SAI Admissions Counselor

Do you like the idea of living in Florence, inarguably one of Italy’s foremost centers of cuisine, wine and hospitality? Do you like the idea of enrolling in a program focused on culinary arts, hospitality management, Italian baking and pastry or wine studies? If this sounds amazing, then perhaps enrolling in an Apicius Career Program might be a good option for you.

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The Honeymoon Phase in Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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The Cultural Experience

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Top Ten Things to do in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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When Going to Class Becomes an Experience

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

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

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The Italian Way of Learning

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

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

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5 Ways to Make Homesickness Productive

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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SAI Excursion: Nice & Cote d’Azur

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

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

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Top 10 Must-See’s When Traveling Abroad

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Fall 2017 Photo Contest

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 Facebook community.

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Balling on a Budget

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Sick of Italian Food?

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Why Classes Abroad are Worth Every Penny…

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Birthdays in Roma

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Loving How to Learn Again: The Renaissance of my Education

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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A Joyous Day of Kayaking

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

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

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Lose Yourself and You Will Find Your Way

Abbey, SAI Ambassador

Take the trip, embrace the un-comfortability, enjoy the bewilderment-study abroad! Studying abroad may have been the most difficult thing I have ever done. 21 years of figuring life out, myself out and now a new culture is an incredible adventure. To step away from all that is familiar, to acknowledge that you will get lost mentally, emotionally and physically but that it will grow you in ways you could never imagine is daunting.

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My SAI Moment: Birthday Edition

Kolbyn, SAI Ambassador

We asked SAI alumna Kolbyn to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. My SAI Moment has to be my birthday in Brussels, Belgium. I turned 21 in the city of waffles, fries, chocolate, beer, and lace with some pretty rad people. We were functioning on a small amount of sleep and a large amount of wonder, which is often contradictory, but not in Brussels!

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Play Big Abroad

Rod, SAI Director of Strategic Initiatives

For years now I have had the good fortune of providing last minute guidance to those about to embark on a study abroad experience (aka, pre departure orientations). In all of those years one might suspect the message has changed or developed, much like our world has. Funny though, some things remain the same – as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.

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My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence!

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

We asked SAI alumna Jessica to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence!  When I arrived in Florence, I was shocked to learn that my peers had been planning trips long before the semester began. I felt like I was rushed to schedule trips to other countries, so I did.

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Beautiful Places

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

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

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All About Abroad: A Quick Guide to Navigating Your Journey

Lauren, SAI Intern

A year ago, I began my journey with SAI, studying in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts, and a year later, I can say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Before going, I could not imagine how life changing of an experience it would be, and what was in store for me in the beautiful land of Tuscany.

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All the World has to Offer

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Roots and Wings: A Remedy for Homesickness

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Culture Shock: Edible Edition

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

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

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Thriving in Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Embracing Individuality

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Amazing Foods of Rome

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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My Story in the Streets of Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

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

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Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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How to Choose: Summer or Semester?

Jamie, SAI Admissions Counselor

You’ve officially made the decision that you want to study abroad. You’ve looked at locations and picked a school. Now how do you decide on a term? There are a few things to consider when choosing between a summer term abroad and a semester… 1. Class Options First thing to look at when considering a summer or semester is the available classes for the different terms you are thinking of attending.

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Oh the places you’ll go… and eat!

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Travel Pass

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Devin Parr

SAI recently caught up with SAI/ Apicius International School of Hospitality alumna Devin Parr. Devin was recently named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers by Wine Enthusiast and is currently the Wine Country Marketing Director for Visit Temecula Valley.    What have you done since studying abroad (career-wise)?  It would probably be easier to ask me what I haven’t done (in wine) since studying abroad!

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Two Weeks Down in Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Acclimating to Italia

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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All You Need to Know About Cell Phones Abroad

Sharon, SAI Student Resources Coordinator

I’ve been working with SAI students and their cell phone options abroad for almost 14 years now, and I can officially say it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years! With Europe finally getting rid of some roaming issues, things are getting better; however, there still is the difficulty with connectivity and the different band frequencies that are used in the U.S. versus abroad.

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Spring 2018 App Deadlines

SAI Spring 2018 semester & quarter application deadlines are fast approaching – don’t miss out! Italy Florence / FUA: November 1, 2017 (registration is already open – for the best course choice apply ASAP!)

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Because 1 Semester is not Quite Long Enough….

Florence and Milan Program Add-ons

Florence & Milan students: start off your Spring 2018 semester with a bang by adding one of two academic (you get to earn extra credits) and fun (learn Italian or gallivant through Tuscany) program options to your term! Florence: Cultural Introduction to Italy (1 week / 3 credits)

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New Scholarship Application Deadlines

Mark your calendars, we have new scholarship application deadlines! Fall sessions: June 1 Spring sessions: October 15 Summer sessions: March 15 Scholarship FAQs When will I know if my scholarship application is complete? You will receive an email when we have a complete application on record. If you have not received an email entitled “Your application is complete” make sure you email us at scholarships@saiprograms.

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Computer Science & Engineering Courses

SAI Course Highlights

Are you studying Engineering or Computer Science and wondering if you can study abroad? With SAI, the answer is yes! Computer Science, Programming, and Engineering are all fields at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, design, and innovation. As a student in these fields, you learn to be adaptable to different contexts and advancements, and to apply your skills across various platforms.

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Kristen

Kristen, SAI Florence Alum

We got in touch with SAI alumna Kristen Martin, who studied abroad with SAI in Florence in Fall 2016, to ask her about her experience and her life now. What have you done since studying abroad? I graduated from the University of South Carolina in December and then a month later I moved to Dallas, Texas to start my dream job! I work at Neiman Marcus as an assistant buyer in the beauty division.

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Student Visas: Top Three Application Pitfalls

Rose, SAI Visa Director

I have been the Visa Director at SAI for 12 years and have seen and heard about a million stories from students that have made me laugh and cry. Like the time when a student camped out overnight in front of the San Francisco Italian Consulate in order to get in the following morning to bring in their visa application. This, of course, was before the amazing invention of the “appointment” system.

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Seven Things To See And Do While In Como

Summer in Milan can be scorching, but not far from the fashion and design capital is a verified oasis, Lake Como. Our students each summer enjoy a day trip to the city of Como to explore the shores of one of Italy’s northern lakes. Saturday afternoon we pack our daypacks, hope on a train at Cadorna Station and in 40 minutes arrive to Como Lago Nord to tackle a day at the lake.

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Finding Yourself in Another Country

Cassandra, London, Summer 2017

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

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Summer 2017 Photo Contest Winner

We Have a Winner!

SAI is excited to announce that voting for the summer 2017 photo contest has ended and we have a winner!  SAI Florence student Leah Crawford from the University of Kentucky, submitted the photo below and received 217 “likes” to win a wireless, waterproof speaker and a printed copy of her photo. It was a tight race; we had eight participants from five different SAI cities and over half of the photos had 87+ votes.

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Meet our Fall 2017 Bloggers

Since our beginning, SAI has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to students. We are pleased to offer scholarships to deserving students each academic year, generously funded by the International Education Foundation, host universities, and by SAI itself. Many SAI scholarships are paired with volunteering, interning, or professional experience, granting students more opportunities to become involved in the local or study abroad community.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog #2

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Patrick

Patrick, SAI Florence Alum

We got in touch with SAI alumnus Patrick Sutton, who studied abroad with SAI Florence in Spring 2012, to ask him about his experience and his life now. What have you done since studying abroad? A few days after returning home from Florence, I started an internship at Paragon PR, a financial communications firm in Westfield, NJ (now headquartered in Hoboken, with an office in London).

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My SAI Moment

Nicole, SAI Intern

Nicole is an SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. Below she talks about her “SAI Moment”, a defining moment in her SAI study abroad experience. The six months I spent in Europe hold so many of my most favorite memories. However, there are a few that really stand out from the others.

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Top 10 Tips: SAI Enrollment & Beyond

Micaela, Director of Enrollment Services

1 – Call us or we will call you! *insert creepy laugh* Just kidding (sort of). Not only do we love to talk about the programs, we like to get to know you! I get really excited when I get to share my knowledge and excitement about your upcoming term abroad with you. I like to hear what led to your decision to study abroad, what you did last weekend, your cat’s name, etc.

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Weekend Trip from London or Paris: The ORIGINAL Jersey Shore!

Kate, SAI

Did you know that one hour from both England and France there are a series of small, English-speaking islands mixing both cultures and boasting gorgeous beaches, scenic views, cliffside walking trails, castles, museums, a wildlife trust and remnants of German occupation during WWII? Welcome to the Channel Islands!

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Bryce

SAI Florence Alum

We got in touch with SAI alumnus Bryce Casper, who studied abroad with SAI Florence in Spring 2012, to ask him about his experience and his life now.  What have you done since studying abroad? Studying abroad in Italy made me fall in love with travel more than I could have ever imagined.

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Align your Career Goals with your Study Abroad Experience

Kelsie, SAI Staff

A critical part of the study abroad experience is aligning your career goals with the program you select, and taking action before and during the experience to stay involved in your field of interest. After you return, it is important to translate the experience into marketable skills that employers seek.

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Dream Big

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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Summer 2017 Photo Contest

Before your time in your new home winds down, SAI wants to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos you have taken! Wait…it gets better. By entering the SAI photo contest, you will be entered to win a wireless, waterproof speaker and will be sharing your photo with the SAI Facebook community.

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Fall Remote Communications Internship with SAI

Apply now!

Did you love studying abroad with SAI? Do you have a passion for international education, travel, social media and adventure? Would you like to explore an international education career? SAI is seeking a remote fall semester intern to support ongoing marketing, social media, design, and research projects. The SAI remote semester intern will be a recent SAI alumnus/a, currently enrolled in university, with a flexible schedule.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

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

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A Syrian in Qatar, US, and Italy

Huda, Rome, Summer 2017

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

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3 Places You Need to Visit in Milan!

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

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

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Meet our Summer Intern: Nicole

Nicole, SAI Intern

Nicole is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. What’s your name? Nicole Gagne What school do you attend? I attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and graduated this past May! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended London College of Fashion in the spring of 2016! What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?

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Riflessioni di Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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European Adventures Video

Ana, SAI Barcelona Alumna

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

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Home Away From Home

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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How to Order Coffee in France Like a Local

Jenn, SAI Paris Program Coordinator

There are several important things to keep in mind when ordering coffee in France if you don’t want to look like a tourist. First of all, DO NOT order Coffee To Go! Getting coffee to go used to be unheard of in Paris but with the presence of Starbucks and other shops catering to tourists, we are starting to see more and more coffee To Go.

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My SAI “Moment”

Felicia, SAI Intern

Felicia is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. Below she talks about her “SAI Moment”. The “aha” moment of study abroad is different for everyone, but we all experience it. It’s different for everyone, and comes at a unique time for everyone too. I remember mine vividly.

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Ten Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

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Il Giorno Perfetto

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Florence

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

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A Vegan Abroad

Anna, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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Benvenuti a Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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You’re not in Wisconsin Anymore

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

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

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Survival Guide for your First week in Firenze

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Meet our Summer Intern: Felicia

SAI Ambassadors have the opportunity to apply for a summer internship in our US office in Northern California. We are pleased to welcome Felicia to our team for the next few weeks!   What’s your name? Felicia Homan What school do you attend? I attended Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and graduated in May! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended John Cabot University in bella Roma in Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016!!

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The Fascinating Coffee World in Spain

Mireia, SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator

Looking for an immersion into local life in Spain… order and enjoy a nice coffee! How important is it to know how to order a coffee in Spain? What does coffee mean in Spanish Culture? Actually it means much more than I even thought! It means everything: a good start of the day, a warm and homey smell, a pleasure for mindfulness and the most important… a perfect way of socializing!

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Three Things I’ve Learned About Firenze Culture

Ellie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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I Love my Apartment!

Alexis, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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New Gap Semester Program in Rome

Coming Spring 2018

We are excited to announce a brand new program geared toward students who have completed high school and are looking to explore their passions abroad. The SAI Gap Semester Program grants students the opportunity to develop a sense of self, their interests, and passions, as well as plan for their future during an immersive four months.

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Seafood Diet!

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Bon Voyage

Sarah, Paris, Spring 2017

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

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Growing Pains and Catching Trains

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Italian Coffee Lesson 101

Christy, SAI Florence

Italians love their coffee, and each person likes it in their own particular way. There are probably hundreds of different ways to order coffee here. All coffee drinks in Italy consist more or less of simple ingredients: espresso and milk. The True Classics: un caffè: single shot of espresso.

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10 Tips for Future Study Abroad Students

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

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

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Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Milano Design Week

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

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

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What I Will Miss Most

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

It’s official. I am leaving Milan in exactly fifteen days. Being in Milan has opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities, given me lifelong friends, and changed me for the best. I am more than excited to get back and share my experience with family and friends, but there are a few things I will miss once I get back to the states.

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Dual Citizenship (part 2: professional perspective)

Katrina, SAI Ambassador

Part 2: An interview with Jennifer Wright, SAI Paris Program Coordinator Professional Perspective. This article is a sequel to the personal perspective of dual citizenship through the eyes of a French and American citizen. In case this is the first one that you are reading, I will give a short summary to catch you up. I recently had the please of interviewing Jennifer Wright, the Paris Program Coordinator for SAI, over Skype.

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FLY: BeGiuls, Be You Springtime Launch Party

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

Fashion Loves You (FLY) is a boutique inside the school of Fashion and Accessory Studies and Technology (FAST) at FUA. It is a vintage store that also sells emerging designers’ work as well as students’ work. The latest FLY Event featured BeGiuls, an emerging fashion designer located in Florence, a live photo shoot, a gourmet aperitivo and a special exhibition of the garments created in Florence University of the Arts’ Apparel Design class.

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Tips to a Successful Night Life

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

It’s inevitable, while studying abroad you are going to find yourself going out at night! Going out at night can be an awesome time to meet locals and to make fun memories but there are a few things to keep in mind when hitting the bars, clubs, etc. These are my tips to staying safe and having a great time specifically in Italy! 1. Stick together and look out for each other!

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European Food Tour

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

Over the course of 10 weeks I have taken eight trips, four of them to different countries. I love being able to explore different places, but one of my favorite things to do in a different country is try the traditional food from that region. Now I will take you on a what I like to call my own personal European Food Tour. First stop is Brussels, Belgium.

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Must Do Things In and Around Florence

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

After living in Florence for a little over 2 months I’ve come to really appreciate everything that it has to offer, especially the small not well known secrets of the city. To begin with, we will start with the panino topic. After traveling to other Italian cities I’ve noticed that no other place has panini like Florence, it’s one of their specialties!

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10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

These are my 10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad: Best gelato It’s no surprise that Florence has the best gelato in Italy (and in Europe), considering the fact that it was invented in Florence! I think that this is on the top three things of what I’m going to miss the most about Florence.

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Cultural Differences

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

Because you’re traveling to western Europe, you have probably heard more similarities between the United States and Italy than differences. I understand. It can get a little frustrating when you’re trying to prepare yourself for what to expect when you have literally no idea what to expect. Before I studied abroad I barely thought about any of the differences because all of my relatives said there was little to no difference.

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Spring Break, the Study Abroad Way!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

Since I am currently in the Eastern Hemisphere, I had greater access to a wide variety of awesome countries to choose from for my spring break trip. I have never been on an actual spring break trip so that was a first too. I chose to go up North and visit London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. I was so excited to visit two very historical cities, being that I am a history buff.

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Back Home

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

My last blog post talked about some of the ins and outs of my overall study abroad experience, since my time to go home was quickly approaching. Fast-forward, I have been home for just over a week now, and personally, it is crazy to think that I spent the last three months living in Europe. In all honesty, it almost feels like it didn’t happen!

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12 Best Things About Studying Abroad in Sorrento

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

These are the 12 best things about studying abroad in Sorrento. 1. The people in southern Italy are the most friendly people you will ever meet! Nobody does hospitality like they do. 2. The birthplace of pizza was in this region of Italy. The best pizza in the world can be found here. 3. Sorrento is the original home of limoncello, a delicious lemon liquor that is served all over the south of Italy. 4.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Ami, Spring 2017, Rome

We handed over our Instagram account to Ami for the day. This is her day in Rome. CIAO CIAO FROM ROME! My name is Ami(Girl) and I’m studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome this semester! I’m an education major with a minor in history so basically I’ve been in heaven the past four months!

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Interning at FLY

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

For the spring semester in Florence, I was given the opportunity to intern at FLY. FLY, which stands for fashion loves you, is a non-profit clothing store ran an operated by the students and faculty in the Fashion and Accessories Studies and Technology programs at Florence University of the Arts.

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Florence Food Bucket List for Abroad Students

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

As I become more and more familiar with my surroundings around Florence, I have found some amazing cafés, restaurants, and gelaterias that I feel are an absolute must for abroad students to try in their time here. Of course there are still so many hidden places I need to hunt down, but so far here are 10 of my favorite go-to places I have found in my time here! 1.

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Navigate Rome like a Pro

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

So after my four months in Rome, naturally, I’ve found my favorite grocery store, favorite study spot, cafe, restaurant, etc. It’s insanely easy to gravitate towards the more tourist-y attractions that are scattered all around Rome. But that’s the total opposite of what you want to do! You’re studying abroad to delve into the culture full-force and to NOT do what the average person would do. You’re beyond that.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Siena

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Coco for the day. This is her day in Siena. Hello and good morning Instagram! My name is Coco. I’m currently studying abroad in Siena, Italy at @sienasis. I can’t wait to show you all what #adayinthelife of me looks like. Today is going to be quite a busy day, we’ve got places to go and people to see– are you ready?

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Take Time to Reflect on Your Study Abroad Experiences

Dr. Edna Wilson, SAI VP of Academic Affairs

Studying abroad offers many benefits. You can discover another culture, make friends, expand professional networks, travel, take required and elective courses, learn a language, and uncover information about yourself. Your study abroad experience can expand your horizons, provide you with interesting stories to share with others and make you more marketable to prospective employers. I have such incredible experiences in my life.

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Lake Garda: The Path Less Traveled

Miranda, SAI Ambassador

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” This popular quote by Robert Frost has inspired many to go off the beaten path and see what treasures they may find. As studying abroad becomes increasingly popular with university students, I find it imperative to maintain the original purpose behind the experience.

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New Culinary Program in Barcelona

Food Culture and Culinary Arts in the Mediterranean

SAI is pleased to announce a new culinary arts program at CETT in Barcelona. The semester program at CETT, entitled Food Culture and Culinary Arts in the Mediterranean, is the first of its kind in Spain, offering an English language culinary program geared toward international students.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lily, Florence, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Lily for the day. This is her day in Florence. Hey peeps it’s Lily Herring from Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy comin’ at you today with an Instagram takeover of SAIprograms for an inside look into the day to day life of a study abroad student.

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Positano and Capri

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Amalfi coast and explore the towns of Positano, Capri, Anacapri, and Pompeii. I have to say I was not too excited to begin with because my good friend could no longer make the trip with me so I had to venture solo.

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New First Generation College Student Scholarship

As a first generation college student, attending college isn’t just a big milestone for the student, but a huge step for the entire family. This can also be said for the road to studying abroad. First generation college students who study abroad are demonstrating an important commitment to becoming global citizens, and expanding their future opportunities.

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Meet our Summer 2017 Bloggers!

Since our beginning, SAI has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to students. We are pleased to offer scholarships to deserving students each academic year, generously funded by the International Education Foundation, host universities, and by SAI itself. Many SAI scholarships are paired with volunteering, interning, or professional experience, granting students more opportunities to become involved in the local or study abroad community.

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Spring 2017 Photo Contest Winner

Christa Casolino

Congratulations to Christa Casolino for winning the SAI Spring 2017 photo contest! Christa is studying abroad with SAI in Florence from University of Missouri, and she submitted this stunning photo taken in Paris. “Walking On Sunshine”- This photo was taken in Paris, France at sunrise in front of the Eiffel Tower. Christa’s photo received the most “likes” and she has been awarded a wireless, waterproof speaker.

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One Museum, Many Occasions

Kim, SAI London Program Coordinator

Each person is drawn to different places, and London is great because it has such variety! Now it has not always been so, but my favorite has become the V&A – the Victoria & Albert Museum. Here’s why: Museum, Library, and Café! The museum itself has over 4.5 million pieces in the permanent collection and there are always exciting exhibits going on.

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An Amazing Experience!

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

The Nice trip, organized by SAI, was one of my favorite trips during my study abroad experience. We were a group of eight students and our SAI coordinator, and I really enjoyed spending time getting to know each one of them. It is a great opportunity for all the SAI students in your program to socialize and talk about your study abroad experience so far. It’s also a great opportunity to make new friendships!

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Never Say No

Felicia, SAI Ambassador

Do you remember that childhood dream you always had? The one where you would explore every treasure the world has to offer? Well you’ve set yourself up to accomplish this very dream. Be sure to take full advantage of everything this experience has to offer. Say yes to everything. Every travel opportunity, every event, every photo op. Even if you think you would absolutely hate it, do it.

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Thanksgiving in Portugal

Maria, Rome, Fall 2016

In the United States, I usually celebrate Thanksgiving by eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and so forth with my family. This year, Thanksgiving was very different. First, this was my first thanksgiving away from home.  So you can imagine the feelings of missing being with your loved ones, especially since now it has been about three months since not seeing all of them. However, there were also feelings of gratefulness, of course, and happiness too.

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Traveling Internationally Brought my Family Closer Together

Halie, SAI Ambassador

One aspect that made my Study Abroad Experience so unique and special was when my family came to visit me during Spring Break. A break from classes, and reuniting with my family was much needed, as I was beginning to feel the effects of homesickness and that middle of the semester slump we all know so well.

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An Explosive Easter in Florence

Chiara, SAI Staff

Every year on Easter Sunday, Florence explodes (literally) in celebration, and it’s not to be missed. The Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, is a tradition dating back over 350 years that attracts large crowds to the Piazza del Duomo in downtown Florence.

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How to Dress Like a Local in Rome

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

After living in Rome for three months, I realized Italian women always look put together. Even on quick runs to the nearby grocery store, Italians always look their best. The “athleisure” trend that we all love in the US – leggings, tennis shoes, and athletic tops or t-shirts – has not made its way to Italy. Here are some ways to dress like a local in Rome: 1. When in doubt, wear black.

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One Love Cultura

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

Aside from being a student in Siena, I am also an English teacher. I work at an elementary school inside the city walls and teach English to a class of 4th graders as a part of my weekly service work for Siena Italian Studies. I began my teaching experience with a little apprehension.

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Presento i Miei Amici Fiore e Alessio!

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

The very first night in Florence, my roommate Emma and I decided to go out and experience the exciting nightlife the city has to offer. Little did we know we were going to meet a few locals who are now two of our really good friends. At one of the more well known clubs, Space, my roommate, Emma, and I were approached on the dance floor by two gentlemen who began speaking Italiano to us.

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Things I’ve Learned So Far from a Semester Abroad

Jessica, Florence, Spring 2017

While by no means exhaustive, the following list is a compilation of lessons learned and tips I would give for a semester abroad: 1. (And therefore the most important) You can never have too much gelato. Stressful test? Get some gelato. You walked a long way and are hot and tired? Get some gelato. Meeting up with friends? Get some gelato. Just passed a good-looking gelateria? Get some gelato.

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Alumni Voices: NYC Menswear Designer Dominic Sondag

When Dominic Sondag first arrived in Florence with SAI Programs in August of 2009, he knew he always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer.  It was within the classroom walls of an Italian palazzo in Florence’s historical center where his dream started to seem more like a career he could pursue.  After a year of perfecting his skills at Florence University of the Arts (FUA)

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My Favorite Excursion Yet: Le Cinque Terre

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

This past weekend, I went to Le Cinque Terre. It is a collection of five small villages along the west coast of Italy, next to the Ligurian Sea. This weekend was full of nature adventures and local foods. There are no huge mountains in Kansas, so I was so excited to get to go hiking once again, as that is a rare activity for me.

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Fond Memories

Binh, Barcelona, Summer 2016

As an aspiring physician with an obsession for all things sports, the vibrant metropolis of Barcelona, with a strong independent spirit, was able to offer the best of both worlds. Two of the highlights of my month-long trip overseas (my first ever) included walking on the legendary and hallowed grounds of Camp Nou, where FC Barcelona plays, and touring the campus of the Hospital de Sant Pau, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Tips for Studying in Rome

Felicia, Student Ambassador

1. Go with the Flow. Be flexible and enjoy your time! Embrace that there will be good days and bad days and you’ll have the time of your life. Promise. If you’re offered an impromptu trip out of the country, do it. 2. Practice your Italian. Immerse yourself in your host country. You will be more comfortable and you will feel more at home if you can understand basic Italian!

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A Fresh Perspective

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

My time abroad in Florence has been incredible thus far and I have loved documenting my travels, but for this blog post, I decided to interview someone else to hear their perspective on being abroad. With that being said, I interviewed my roommate, and also fellow SAI student, Shelby S. about her experiences. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

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Nearing the End

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

Being a “quarter” student for SAI, my student abroad time ends mid-April, instead of mid-May, like many other students doing the full term. I remember looking back at my Delta Airlines app on my phone, out of curiosity, to see how many days it said until I could check in for my return flight…it said 80 some days. Now, it says 15, and I know those are going to absolutely fly by.

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1 Train, 3 Terrifyingly Twisty Bus Rides: Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii

Elizabeth, Spring 2017, Milan

The month of March was a big travel month. I visited the Colosseum in Rome (through an SAI excursion); wandered through the maze-like streets of Venice; soaked in the coastal views in Sorrento, and saw the sparkling lit-up Eiffel Tower in Paris. One of the most memorable trips this month was staying in Sorrento with my family. I took a train (lasting about 4 hours) from Milan to Naples.

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Living in London: My Flat

Mia, SAI Ambassador

Studying abroad to me meant so many things, it meant that for the first time in my life I was going to be going out of the United States and at the same time it was the first time in my life I would be living away from home. When I applied to study in London I didn’t have any expectations especially with where I would be actually living.

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6 DOs & DON’Ts to Survive Milan Design Week

Claudia, SAI Milan

DO create a plan of attack Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone are beasts of a market and design fair variety – monsters that take over the entire city. Rho Fiera (Salone del Mobile) itself is an overwhelming giant consisting of design displays from some of the top furniture design firms in the world. And Fuorisalone itself has over 1300 events! Needless to say, it’s a good idea to have a plan of attack.

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Discover Italy

Nancy, Spring 2017, Florence

Weekend trips! Stressful am I right? Not one week had passed when I started hearing my classmates talk about how they had every single weekend booked until May. I was in shock. I hadn’t even thought what I was going to eat for dinner that night much less what cities/countries I wanted to visit. It was sad to see how eager students were to leave Italy.

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A Few “Most-Dos”

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

After being in Florence for about a month now, there are definitely a few things I would put on a “must-do” list. First and foremost, take a cooking class. SAI has cooking classes offered throughout the semester, and they’re great, especially because you just have to put a small deposit down, and you get that back when you show up! Basically free – we all know college kids can’t pass up free.

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Brunch in Paris

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

I love brunch, it’s my favorite meal of the day and my mandatory Sunday activity (along with church of course). Well if you love brunch as much as I do, I have good news – Paris is the place to be! After a Saturday night out with friends, my roommate and I decided we wanted to find a brunch place that would serve a “good breakfast” for a good price.

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Quick and Easy Travel Tips

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

When applying for a study abroad program, I made sure to pick my dream destination, Florence, Italy. I knew coming to Florence would be an adventure in itself, and that the city would have a lot to offer. Luckily, Florence is in a great location and is surrounded by many other beautiful cities and countries.

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On Working Abroad

Nicole, SAI Ambassador

Hello! My name is Nicole Gagne and I studied abroad the spring of 2016 in London. I am very interested in working abroad after graduation, so I interviewed two on-site SAI staff members about their experience working for a U.S. company abroad. Hear their answers in the video below! _____ Nicole Gagne Stephens College My study abroad adventure was nothing short of amazing.

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My Absolute Favorite Class Right Now

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

One of my favorite classes so far this semester has to hands down be my Introduction to Fashion Photography class. It’s only been a month and I’ve already learned so much that it makes me really excited to see what the rest of the semester has in store! I remember saving for months so that I could finally buy this beautiful Nikon DSLR camera with an LCD swivel screen.

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Per Come La Vedo

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

I have been living in Siena for one month and I am already calculating how many months, weeks, days, hours and seconds I have left so that I can savor every single moment.  I’ve always been one to feel homesick. I vividly remember crying myself to sleep every night at sleep-away camp in middle school.

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Food Tours Galore!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

One of my absolute favorite things about being abroad is, of course, the food! I love eating local food wherever I go, whether I am in Italy or another country. First off, some of my favorite things to pick up at the grocery store here in Milan are patate gnocchi, Italian sausage, and ravioli. I have always loved pasta and the amount that is available to me here is almost dangerous.

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Go abroad through SAI, it got me a job in Italy

Adam, SAI Ambassador

When I first came back from being abroad in Florence I applied to be an alumni ambassador for SAI at my home campus of Muhlenberg College. As an Ambassador, I have given multiple talks and presentations on why SAI is the right decision. In addition, I was featured in a video for SAI Florence giving future study abroad students advice before heading to Europe.

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Ten Things to do in Rome

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

Some friends from home are visiting me in Rome for a few days, and they asked me to make a list of things to do in Rome over a weekend. With so much to do in Rome, it is so hard to make a short list! However, after spending almost two months in Rome now, there are definitely a few things that have stood out.

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Travels Gone Wrong

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

Traveling around Europe is something I was extremely nervous about coming into this semester. I have a terrible sense of direction, don’t speak other languages very well, and have a tendency to break down in stressful situations. It turns out those three things really don’t mix well when something goes wrong during traveling.

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Spring 2017 Photo Contest

Before your time in your new home winds down, SAI wants to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos you have taken. Wait…it gets better. You will be entered to win a wireless, waterproof speaker and will be sharing your photo with the SAI Facebook community. The process is quick and easy: Send your favorite photo from your time abroad with a short description to photos@saiprograms.com by April 3, 2017.

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Endless Opportunities

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

February has been filled with experience after experience. First let’s start with classes. Classes in Milan are very different, just as I expected.  But I had no idea I was going to have the chance to have so many hands-on activities and projects. Since January, I have been on 7 class trips, some including the Mipel Handbag Show, Manolo Blahnik Museum, and the Fashion Hub Market.

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Contemporary Art in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

When you think of Florence, what comes to mind is probably the architecture of Filippo Brunelleschi, the sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti, the incredible collections of paintings in the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti, and important frescoes in many of the churches in the city. What we view today as historically important records of human thought made manifest in art and architecture, were in their time, contemporary.

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Traveling While Abroad: My Top 5 Tips

Margarette-Ruth, Florence, Spring 2017

Studying abroad and becoming engulfed in another culture is such an amazing experience. On top of that, it provides an opportunity to get to see more than just your host country. Traveling while abroad can be so excited but also so stressful! I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for seamless travel abroad. 1.

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Tips to Tasteful Travel

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

If you ever find yourself in Florence, you’ll see that there are thousands of places to get food. So many people make the mistake of spending their money on the tourist spots and miss out on the tastiest hidden treasures of Florence. Here are some of the tips and tricks to finding the perfect hole in the wall and authentic Florentine food—organized by category of course!

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Visit My Favorite Places With Me!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

Now that I have been in Milan for two months, I have made my way around the city and discovered some of my favorite spots. Most of these spots, I frequent, but some are little shops, go on walks to, or just visit on a nice afternoon. The first of my favorite spots is the city center where the Duomo is.

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Parli Inglese? Do you speak English?

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

My first week in Florence consisted of basically three things: getting lost, getting gelato and getting a lot of Italian pronunciations wrong! I started my travels on January 23, 2017. I said goodbye to my family and boarded the first of 3 connecting flights to Florence, Italy! I had been saving my whole college career for this opportunity and I couldn’t wait to just get there already.  The plane ride went surprisingly well.

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Making an Impact in the Fashion and Design World

Madison, SAI Ambassador

Although many may not notice it, the impact of the Fashion and Design has a far reach, touching almost every aspect of our lives. I was able to speak with SAI Program Coordinator, Claudia Castaneda, about her view on the impact of the fashion and design word. Claudia moved to Milan in 2012 to pursue a MA degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies and joined the SAI team in 2013.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Sorrento

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Tristan for the day. This is his day in Sorrento. Ciao! My name is Tristan and I am studying in Sorrento, Italy! I am from California where I go to school at Point Loma Nazerene University. I study Business Management and Pre-Law and love to surf in my free time. I chose Sorrento because I love the ocean, Italian food, and because my family came from Southern Italy.

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Get a Job in International Education

Sarah, SAI Staff

Did you love your study abroad experience? Want to continue spreading the word about education abroad while making a difference in the lives of students? Consider a career in the field of international education. It’s not always easy to break into, but here are a few ways you can get started: Network: Reach out to your study abroad advisor, program admissions counselor, and other international education professionals.

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Pompeii

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

Last weekend, I took a trip to Napoli (Naples) with my roommates. I was very excited to go because everybody I talked to about my weekend plans got very excited for me as well! And, because Napoli is the birthplace of pizza, we received plenty of pizzeria recommendations. It was also my first time to the ocean! What I first noticed about Naples is the vibrant and youthful atmosphere.

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Summer Rain

Evan, SAI Ambassador

It was last June, and I was walking back from Piazzale Michelangelo on the afternoon of my twenty first birthday. It was raining, then suddenly pouring, in broad daylight, and every student on the tour seized cover under roof overhangs and storefront awnings. On the street, Italians walked unabated through the summer shower. The boys and girls got separated, and me and Pietro, our Florentine tour guide, were stuck under a leaking gutter.

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Gucci: Nine Shoes, Three Bags

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

One of my favorite classes at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti) is Fashion Accessory Design. Last semester, I learned about textiles and designed and constructed a gym bag through a studio course at R.I.T. This course opened my eyes to the world of soft goods and is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue this interest at NABA.

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My Ten Favorite Things to do in Florence

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

I have lived in Florence, Italy, for just about a month now, and I have fallen in love with all the incredible sights and activities this city has to offer. Although I cannot say I have experienced everything yet, here is a list of my 10 favorite things to do in Florence thus far. 1. Visiting Piazzale Michelangelo. Fortunately for my roommates and I, we live a very short distance from Piazzale Michelangelo.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Kordai for the day. This is her day in Rome (February 16, 2017). 🌞 Buon giorno! My name is Kordai and I’m a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College of California @stmarysca in Moraga, CA studying abroad at JCU Rome. Today I’ll be sharing my normal Thursday with you. I usually have to take public transportation to get to my classes.

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Roma

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

My study abroad experience as a whole was unexpected and definitely one I will cherish the rest of my life. What I mean by unexpected is that I never really thought about studying abroad when I started college. It wasn’t until one of my friends encouraged me to consider it, that it seemed to be a possibility for me.

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Not Your Typical Tourist: London Must-Sees

Madison, London, Spring 2016

When most people visit London, they typically steer towards the classic attractions we all know and love, such as Big Ben, The London Eye, or Buckingham Palace. But limiting yourself to just the most common sights restricts you from truly experiencing all that this wonderful, quirky city has to offer. I have compiled a list of my top three “not-so-typical” destinations for anyone who wants to truly experience London.

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Peaking in Switzerland

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

Wow, I learned a lot about myself in the short time I was able to explore the Swiss Alps. I have never felt so light and free. I am in Switzerland and peaking in life. This is the most visceral connection I have ever had to a land. If there is a god out there, please let this be my eternal resting place.

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Florentine Sorpresa!

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

The first impression I had of Florence occurred to me as I was leaving the airport upon my arrival. Right away, I noticed the similarities between the suburbs of Florence and my home country, Mexico, which I was recently in. The city’s infrastructure, streets, driving style, and buildings were very similar. Even the language, Italian, printed on murals and advertisements was almost identical to Spanish. It gave me an advantage and a feeling of comfort.

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Sorrento, Italy, A Small Slice of Heaven

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

I have been in Sorrento for one and a half weeks and I am overwhelmed every single day by the amount of beauty that this place has to offer. Sorrento is on the golden coast of Italy and it sure reflects that title.

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The Art of Food and Drink in Florence

Bonnie, Florence, Summer 2016

Italians take pride in their food and fine wines. Whether you stumble upon tiny cafes or street restaurants, Italy is full of extraordinary and unique places to dine. While my summer abroad in Florence, I had the chance to discover some of these treasures for myself. It did not take me long to discover that the Italians truly have a way with how they choose to display food and drink.

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10 Tips for A Successful First Week Abroad

Ami, Rome, Spring 2017

After exploring the city that will be my “home away from home” for the next four months, I have realized a few things that really helped or would have helped make my packing, arrival, and first week a lot easier.  While some of these things may seem like common sense, it’s important to stress how helpful they may be!

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Buon Appetito: the Edible Language of Southern Italy

Lydia, Sorrento, Spring 2017

When I arrived in Sorrento two weeks ago, I have to admit that I had average expectations for the food of southern Italy. I thought that, of course the pizza, pasta, and seafood would be exquisite but outside of these preconceived “specialities” I did not expect the plethora of fresh ingredients that became presented to me daily, being as ingrained in the small coastal town as the Italian language itself.

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Sweet Beginnings

Nancy, Florence, Spring 2017

I have never worked harder for anything in my life like I did for this study abroad trip. I spent a year doing scholarship applications, working at my work-study job everyday, and helping my siblings with anything for a couple bucks. I had several departure meetings at school and interviews to prepare for this amazing trip.

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4,069 miles: Seven days, One adventure

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

It’s been exactly a week since my plane touched down at the Milan Linate Airport and I walked out of baggage claim to a sea of people. After a few minutes of scanning the crowd, I spotted the program’s driver with “SAI PROGRAMS” scrolling across his phone. My classmate and fellow SAI student, Hannah, and I got into the car, and headed off to our apartment, our home for the next four months.

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Preparing & Adjusting: Welcome to Florence

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

Preparing to go abroad is one of the most exciting times in the process, but can also be stressful and overwhelming. No matter how many blogs you read, or people you talk to, it is difficult to know just how prepared you are, and how you will adjust to your new home. I will admit, I had my fair share of meltdowns in the weeks before departing for Florence.

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Breaking Down “The Barrier”

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

I feared the “language barrier” as I prepared to embark on my study abroad journey in Siena, Italy. I practically screamed from the rooftops, “I am going to be studying abroad in Italy for four months!! All my classes are taught in Italian and I am living with a host family!! I am so excited!” And, without fail, whoever happened to be listening would ask, “How long have you been speaking Italian?

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A Potential Solution to Your Luggage Woes

Halie, Student Ambassador

Love to travel, but hate the stress and hassle of having to pack for a long trip? Well, flying suitcase-free to your favorite European destinations could be a thing of the future, according to the market research group Euromonitor.

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{Rome}ing Around My New Home

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

After months of preparing to study abroad, I finally arrived in Rome! The flight getting here was a bit stressful. Of course, with my luck, my suitcase weighed more than fifty pounds and I got to the airport later than I had hoped. By the time I arrived in Rome, I was ready to get to my apartment, unpack, and take a shower.

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It’s a Learning Process

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

Ten days down. Ten days full of adventure, shopping, and of course, endless amounts of carbs. I came to Milano knowing very little about the culture and the city itself, but in these last ten days, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. My apartment is where it all began.

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A Semester of Simple Pleasures

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

Have you ever gotten excited over a tiny cup of espresso?, A freshly baked croissant from your favorite secret bakery?, A lemon the size of your head?, or a 1 euro scoop of gelato? If you answered yes to any of these I think we may have a lot in common! Coming from a big city like New York I sometimes find it hard to take joy in life’s simple pleasures.

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Fun in Firenze

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

I have lived in a small town in Washington State my whole life. It is a quaint little town that even people born and raised in Washington have never heard of before. I love where I am from more than anything, but being that I’ve hardly traveled outside of the United States and away from my hometown, I knew I had to go out and see the world.

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Know Before you Go

Research your Host City & Country

Who is the current prime minister of Italy? What is traditional Spanish cuisine? What exactly does Brexit mean? If you are going abroad soon and don’t know the answers to these questions, you will want to do some research while you’re packing. Researching your destination helps you feel more comfortable in your surroundings. Demonstrating knowledge of your host culture also shows respect and interest- qualities that will serve you well when making new friends abroad.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Sicily

We handed our instagram over to Arianna, SAI Sicily Program Coordinator, to show what a day in the life of SAI Sicily is like. Check it out! Hi SAI, Arianna here from Syracuse Academy! Today, I am going to show you what studying on the beautiful island of Sicily is all about. If you were born and raised on an island (like I was)

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Jumping in to Barcelona

Casey, Barcelona, Spring 2017

After weeks of brainstorming what to bring, packing, figuring out flights, and racing the clock, the time finally came for us to head abroad to Barcelona. As I sat on a seven hour flight to Paris, and a little over an hour flight to Barcelona, I never could have imagined what I was about to experience.

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A Brief Introduction to Milano

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

“A brief introduction to Milano” was a phrase that I heard a lot these first two weeks of my stay in the city. All of the locals kept saying how small the city is, although I could not imagine we were getting a complete look into Milan in such a short amount of time. Being from a small town in Kansas, every other city naturally looks giant to me.

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Learning Barcelona

Carter, Student Ambassador

Moving from The United States to Barcelona for almost 5 months sounded pretty terrifying at first. And trust me, I did not want to go the day before I left. I was crying and holding my mom saying to myself, “Why did I decide to do this?!” And then I remembered why, it was because I wanted to experience something different and wanted to be somewhere completely different on my own.

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A Thank You Letter to Florence

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

A Letter to Florence, Thank you.  Thank you for being my home away from home. You were my little bubble of safe haven in Europe. Every weekend I traveled to another country, I would always get really excited to return to you. Thank you for never disappointing me. You provided me with so much . There was so much art, history, and culture right at my fingertips every single day.

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Summer internships

Internships are the perfect way to supplement your academic course work, gain valuable experience in your area of study, and have fun! SAI offers summer internships for credit in most areas of study across a variety of cities. SAI alums say it best…. “Through my internship, I have had amazing opportunities that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.

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Study a Language this Summer

In 1 month or less

Summer is the perfect time to finally focus on learning that language that you keep hoping you’ll pick up but turns out to be quite hard to learn. Or better yet, Summer is an even better time to really dig into that language that you have a strong foundation in but would love to get over the hump to conversational.

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New Sorrento Fall 2017 Grant

SAI is pleased to announce a brand new $800 grant offered by Sant’Anna Institute. The grant will automatically be awarded to all SAI Sorrento Fall 2017 students – no application required! About Sant’Anna Institute Sant’Anna Institute (SA) is housed in an historic former convent and school, located in the old center of Sorrento, just steps from the sea of the Amalfi coast.

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New Partnership with Paris School of Business

SAI is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Paris School of Business (PSB), which offers a wide-ranging international business curriculum in the heart of Paris. Founded in 1974, the Paris School of Business (PSB) is an elite “Grande École” management school, combining academic excellence, international awareness, and a focus on gaining real-world professional experiences.

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Tasting My Way in Downtown Sorrento

Katrina, Student Ambassador

Anyone who knows me knows that my love for food has no boundaries or limits. After living in Sorrento, Italy for less than a week, I was already torturing my friends and family back home with tantalizing photos of food. My college friends had it the worst, because many times they would be looking at my photos side by side with whatever the dining hall was trying to pass off for food that day.

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Study Fashion in Rome

A new SAI program

SAI students now have the opportunity to study cutting-edge fashion in the Eternal City! Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (NABA) of Milan has recently opened a new campus in Rome, providing world-class design education in the heart of one of Europe’s great capital cities. NABA was founded in Milan, Italy in 1980 and offers undergraduate and graduate level programs accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education.

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About SAI

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