Blog

5 Summer 2020 Programs Under $5,000

Anna, SAI Programs

Study abroad expenses can stack up pretty quickly, so we’ve created a list of our most affordable summer programs to jumpstart your adventure! 1. Syracuse Academy (Sicily): Summer I, II (3 weeks, 3-4 credits) Discover Sicily and the ancient city of Syracuse while enrolled in 3 or 4 credits of Italian language at Syracuse Academy!

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Summer 2020 Internships in Sorrento

Anna, SAI Programs

Everyone tells you that you need professional experience if you want to land your dream job after graduation. But you also need academic credit in order to graduate. Why not accomplish both goals at the same time? Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento is proud to offer for-credit internships, both during the academic year and the summer terms! This summer, you can gain valuable professional experience relating to your major while also earning 3 or 6 credits.

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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 over 15 years now and I can officially say it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years! With Europe finally getting rid of some roaming charge 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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Leaving the Tourist Bubble in Search of Authenticity

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Top 7 Views Overlooking Paris

Jennifer, SAI Staff, 2019

Whether it’s an outdoor view from Montmartre hill overlooking Paris, a view from a hotel with an outside terrace, or a view from the top floor of a skyscraper, Paris has some special spots to take in the beauty of the city. Read on below for some more info on these well-known and lesser well-known views. 1)

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3 Must-See Attractions While in Rome

Dwight, Rome,Fall 2019

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

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Best Gelato in Florence: The Complete Guide

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Essential Packing List for a Semester in Italy

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Photo Contest Announcement!

Fall 2019

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

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Calcio Storico 101 – A guide to Florence’s Ancient Game

Elizabeth, SAI programs

Calcio Storico Fiorentino 101 A great way of enriching your study abroad experience is connecting with locals, learning about their traditions and joining in the festivities! Florence is not only the birthplace of the renaissance but is also known for its ancient customs and Florentines take pride in practicing them even today. My favorite by far is Calcio Storico Fiorentino, also known as Calcio in Costume as it is a symbol of bravery and defiance.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for Milan

Olivia, Milan, Fall 2019

The minute I decided to study abroad in the world’s fashion capital was the minute I started to stress about packing! It seems overwhelming to pack for four solid months, but now that I’ve been here for two I feel like I have a much clearer idea on what is useful and what is a waste of precious space! First of all, DON’T pack heels!

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A Time When Taking a Great Risk Had a Great Reward

Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Arianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Weekend Travel and Overdoing It

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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You get out what you put in. Make it worth it!

Audrey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What has your experience taught you about the world? My experience abroad has taught me the importance of appreciating where you are at any given time or place. It is not about where you are in the world, it is about the mindset you bring to that place that makes the experience special. The study abroad experience is unlike any other time in your life and completely unique to each person.

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Study Abroad in a Not-So-Foreign Land

Tessa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? I studied abroad in Rome, Italy. This is a city that is very well known to the world. Before my study abroad semester, I thought I knew what to expect about Rome, the fashion/pasta/coffee/history capital of the world.

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Morgan’s Memoir

Morgan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was “Rome and its Ancient monuments”. This was an on-site class where we would walk to different historical and ancient monuments in Rome and learn about them as they are right in front of us. I gained greater independence and confidence through this class by meeting at our designated location in Rome every week.

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Tips from an Ambassador!

Courtney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite study abroad memory and why? Throughout my time studying abroad, my favorite memory would be traveling to the different cities with my roommates. Knowing that we were out of the country and making our way around is still unbelievable to me. All the sight-seeing we did and walking around was amazing. The food we had was just in awe. The cities we traveled to were Venice, Genoa, and Florence.

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License to Study Abroad

Elena, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? What They Don’t Tell You About Studying Abroad. In the months before I left for Florence Italy, I would sit and day dream about my upcoming adventure across the pond.  How I’d eat pasta in the piazza next to the Duomo every day, spending weekends in Paris laying under the Eiffel, or in Germany sipping on a Haufbra House beer.

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Living Like a Local

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What advice do you have for new study abroad students? Try your best to fit in and live like a local! Once you are settled in your city, pay attention to the way locals live and try them out yourself. For example, in Florence, instead of grabbing a coffee to-go like I normally would in the US, I would get a cappuccino and sit outside in the palazzo.

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Kyle’s Guide to Studying Abroad!

Kyle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad in Siena was called Flavors and Tastes. We learned about the chemistry of different foods and beverages around Tuscany. We studied wine, beer, cheese, chocolate, olive oil, and the Sienese specialty of Panforte. In every class, we got to taste test many varieties of the food we were covering that day and while it was certainly delicious, it was also really memorable.

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Somewhere Under the Duomo

Emma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? There were so many things I loved doing while I was in Florence. Each and every day brought a handful of new adventures, all of them being so unique and exciting.

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An Everlasting Experience

Maxine, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? With the ease of access to travel while abroad in Europe, it is tempting to want to visit as many countries as possible. However, you will regret doing this. While I obviously recommend taking advantage of cheap flight prices, I also think that a crucial part of the study abroad experience is getting to know the city you’re living in for a semester.

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Studying Abroad in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite memory from your time abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was being able to travel almost every weekend. It was so easy and cheap to get around, I traveled to 12 different countries within four months! The best part about it all was jumping into that country’s way of life for the weekend and really getting a feel for life somewhere else!

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Alumni Photo Contest

Fall 2019

SAI wants to give you the opportunity to look back on all the amazing photos you have taken by holding an Alumni photo contest! By entering, you will be eligible to win a $100 Amazon gift card! The process is quick and easy: Email your photo to photos@saiprograms.com by Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 at 11:59 PM ET.  Make sure to include your Instagram handle and a short caption describing your photo!

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Spontaneous Excursions around Sorrento!

Kelsey, Sorrento, Fall 2019

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

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My Time Abroad!

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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“Remember To Look Up and Take It All In”

Kara, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Little Adventures

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Exploring Different Cultures

Kaleo, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad was traveling to 6 different countries and learning about the different cultures. I am from Hawai’i, where we are heavily invested with our culture and it is very important to us. I loved being able to experience different cultures and see how other people live their lives on a day-to-day basis.

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My Fi: Semester at Firenze

Tanvi, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad would definitely be the Gelato festival in Florence. It was held at the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, a panoramic scene to behold. This festival was a competition among 30 plus gelato chefs, for the most innovative gelato flavor. The experience of trying inconceivable combinations of gelato flavors was an incredible sensation, it literally was a gelato party in my mouth!

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What I Loved About Studying Abroad

Brenna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Many people say that studying abroad was the single best thing they’ve ever done. A turning point in their lives. An incredible experience that allowed them to expand their horizons and grow in ways they didn’t think possible. And why believe them? Why should you trust the words of some stranger when you’re considering embarking on an adventure so new and exciting you can’t even comprehend what it will be like?

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Falling in Love With Florence

Alexa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad would probably be when my new roommates and I took a hike with SAI to Piazzale Michelangelo for the first time. When we reached the top, I was blown away by the beauty and overlook of the places that I would soon be able to explore.

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Rome Away From Rome

Olivia, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What does your study abroad experience mean to you? When people ask what my study abroad experience means to me, it’s nearly impossible to accurately put it into words. It was truly the first time in my life that I was put into an unknown environment and had to find the tools within myself and around me to figure it out.

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My Home Away from Home

Evan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Making the most out of your time abroad

Abbey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Studying Abroad

Erica, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my Marketing Research class. In the past, all of my marketing classes have been lecture style with little to no student involvement and participation. However, in my marketing class at UPF, different group projects were assigned every week.

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Fun in Florence

Noah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Joseph, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Flowing Into Florence – Easy, Peasy, Spaghetti

Danielle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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What They Don’t Tell You Before Going Abroad

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Reminiscing About My Spring in Florence

Sarah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Rome Sweet Rome

Theresa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Barcelona Journey

Kyle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Most Eye-opening Experience

Charlotte, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Ci vediamo, Roma!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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Finding Magic in Milan

Ashley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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A Trip of a Lifetime

Jaelyn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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& Pizza Was Never The Same

Madeline, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Isabella, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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La prima volta: Milano

Regina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Thoughts on My Semester Abroad

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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When in Spain

Noor, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Doumo: Morning, Noon, and Night

Lia, Milan, Fall 2019

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

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My SAI Housing

Dwight, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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

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

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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My Experience So Far

Nina, Barcelona, Fall 2019

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

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A Beautiful City with Beautiful Views

Sarah, Siena, Fall 2019

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

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A-Lot-O’ Gelato

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Friends Are Made Over Dinner

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Barcelona in the Rain

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

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

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My Top Five Tips for Florence

Ariana, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Paris, is that You?

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

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

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A Weekend in the Mountainous Beauty of Abruzzo

Warheal, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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

Taylor, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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A Tip or Two (or five!)

Josie, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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Breezy in Abruzzo

Karissa, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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5 Things to know about LGBTQIA+ Culture in Italy

Clau, SAI Programs

IIE Open Doors 2018 surveys put Italy at one of the top destinations for study abroad students. When advising students about their host country, how do we answer those questions concerning LGBTQIA+ culture and safety? Having lived in Italy for 6+ years and as a queer person, I can offer my experience and other resources to paint a picture of today’s LGBTQIA+ culture in Italy. 1.

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Sicily: Doing While Learning

Micaela, SAI Vice President of Enrollment Services

As the SAI Vice President of Enrollment Services I am bestowed with the honor of guiding students in finding the perfect program in the perfect location. I get to listen to student’s fears, goals, wishes and dreams. And I get to answer lots of questions, which I truly love.

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How To: Survive Your First Week Abroad

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

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

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

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

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

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First Day of Classes!

Marie, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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Ciao da Roma!

Hamzah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was experiencing Italian lifestyle. There are many changes that I have witnessed. The biggest difference that I have witnessed was socialization. Italians tend to spend time in socializing with other people. Fact: Eataly considers socialization as a company value according to its Italian cultural values.

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Finding Peace in Solitude

Kathryn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? While abroad, I learned how to be at peace with being alone and that sometimes your own company can be the best kind. This peace came to me in a bit of a watershed moment on my last day in Florence.

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Paris Me Manque Tous Les Jours

Jordan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? A favorite memory of mine while studying abroad was my first trip outside of Paris. My roommate and I met my friend from my home university in Dublin for my birthday. This trip was my favorite because not only was it my birthday weekend, but we had been in Paris for a month and were honestly excited to be in a new country for a couple days.

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Florence Local for 6 Weeks

Annabel, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? Other than the Italian’s affinity for Pringles (they’re everywhere), I was pleasantly surprised by the prevalence of spending quality time with others in Italian culture. Whether it be at an aperitvo, family-style dinner, or a regular sit-down meal, Florence was always bursting with people coming together.

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Summer in Sorrento

Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I can’t pick just one favorite memory from abroad, so I’ll share a few of my favorites. My friends and I went horseback riding in Pompei. The scenery was stunning, as we were surrounded by vineyards and Mt. Vesuvius. We had a fantastic lunch afterwards, which included tasting the delicious wine made fresh on the farm. That was a day I’ll never forget.

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? The moment you first arrive in the city that will be your home for the next four months is very exciting, but it can also be intimidating. You are thousands of miles from home, you don’t know the language, and you haven’t gotten the first clue about how to get around the city.

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A Forensic Dream

Molly, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Traveling to Europe has always been a dream of mine to cross off my bucket list. Between all the beautiful things to see, history and the authentic Italian food, I was fortunate enough to purchase my plane tickets to Florence and study abroad for six weeks. I am honored to share my experience with other students who are just as inspired as I was to explore the world outside of the United States!

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Never Ending Footsteps

Alayna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How did you change? Initially, thoughts of spending a semester abroad in a strange country provoked an anxiousness in myself I never knew I had. There was such a buildup of emotions, thoughts, and doubts constantly in my mind. I worried about making new friends, adapting to the new culture I was about to submerge myself in, and missing out on my college’s events.

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Advice from an Ambassador!

Palma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What advice do you have for new study abroad students? Oh wow, where do I begin!? My most important tip would be to take advantage of every opportunity that comes by. Say yes to everything and spend time exploring your home city with not only your friends, but also by yourself. Take the time to have the conversations with locals and spend as much time as you can traveling to different destinations.

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Endless Pastabilities

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What does your study abroad experience mean to you? Traveling has always been a passion of mine. Growing up I had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and even to a few other countries with my family. Making the decision to study abroad during my collegiate years was easy, or so I thought.

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Culture is Key

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What is your most memorable interaction with a local in your host city? For years, I had this pair of very cheap rubber rain boots from Walmart. They didn’t take up much room in my suitcase, so I thought they’d be a good shoe to bring “just in case”.

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When in Rome

Mariana, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do while I was studying abroad in Rome, Italy was to take a passeggiata, or stroll, in the evenings. I would discover the most charming neighborhoods in Italy and would always find a new gelato shop! What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?

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A Guide To Exploring The Lush Bardini and Boboli Gardens in Florence

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

Spring has finally arrived in Florence. On a sunny day, you can venture into the city’s enchanting gardens that sit on the other side of the Arno river. The Bardini and Boboli gardens are not only a short walk from one another, but they are also the perfect place to bring friends or family that are visiting. Be prepared to witness breathtaking views (better than Piazzale Michelangelo, I may add)

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Eight Foods You Must Try in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Reed, SAI ambassador, 2019

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? While studying abroad, I came to a lot of realizations about myself. You may think of yourself as independent, and someone who wants to study abroad most likely is but being abroad really puts it to the test! I realized that I am much more capable than I originally thought!

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The Best Experience of My Life!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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Become a Student Photographer for SAI!

Fall 2019

BECOME A STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR SAI THIS FALL! SAI is seeking a passionate and talented student photographer and social media contributor to help us communicate what studying abroad is like through photos.  Position Summary The Student Photographer will take photos while abroad at student events, campuses, and around host cities, to be used in a wide variety of SAI’s marketing communications.

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How to Transport Your Medicine to Europe

Micaela, Vice President of Enrollment Services

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

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Travel Tips from an SAI Ambassador!

Bri, SAI Ambassador, 2019

Bri Carter was a spring 2019 Barcelona student from Appalachian State University. What was your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was the day trip to Sitges. As much as I love the city and the mountains for me, the beach is where it’s at, and Sitges was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.

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Summer 2019 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 Instagram community.

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More Than an Internship

Sophia, Summer Intern 2019

As a college student, entering the adult workforce can seem scary. I know everyone is different, but let me tell you a little about my journey and how SAI helped shaped my future. I graduated from Lasell College with a bachelor’s degree in fashion communication. I have always loved fashion, but somewhere along the way I found another passion.

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My Experience on an SAI Excursion: Nice, France

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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My First Spain Experience!

Toyin, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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Meet Our Summer Intern, Cameron!

Cameron, Summer Intern, 2019

Cameron is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. What’s your name? Cameron Cipolla What school do you attend? I am a recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended Florence University of the Arts in the Fall of 2017 (I can’t believe it has already been two years!)

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What to Expect Before the Big “Take Off”

Megan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What I have learned about myself abroad and how I have changed: I have always loved to be outside of my comfort zone. I get a thrill of being uncomfortable and meeting new people. I have traveled independently in the past but I must say, none of my prior experiences compare to actually living in a new country. After my semester abroad I noticed a growth in independence and confidence.

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The Adventure of a Lifetime

Haley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

My experience studying abroad has shown me how far I can stretch myself out of my comfort zone. Before going abroad, I could barely understand how to take the L train down Chicago and now I can get around a city by myself with no problem! Asking the locals was always my go to, as long as we could communicate in the same language.

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3 Feelings for My First 3 Days

Kyra, Siena, Summer 2019

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

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

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

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

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Studying Abroad as a First Generation Student

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Creating Unique Travel Photos

Sami, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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A Fashionista’s Guide to Milan: What to Pack

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

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

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Ciao Roma

Christina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

What was your favorite class abroad and why? I took an Intercultural Communications class at JCU. This class compared the culture in the U.S. to Italy as well as other parts of the world. In the beginning this class really highlighted the differences in Rome compared to the U.S. which helped when getting comfortable and adjusting. The variety of students in the class expanded the comparison even more, having students from all over 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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Meet Our Summer Intern, Sophia!

Sophia, Summer Intern 2019

Sophia is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. What’s your name? Sophia Carasone What school did you attend? I am a recent graduate from Lasell College in Boston, Massachusetts Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended Florence University of the Arts in Fall of 2017 What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?

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Top 4 Things to Do in Florence for FREE

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Q&A: Studying Abroad With SAI

Erica, SAI Ambassador

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my Marketing Research class. In the past, all of my marketing classes have been lecture style with little to no student involvement and participation. However, in my marketing class at UPF, different group projects were assigned every week.

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

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Hanna Lester, SAI Ambassador

There were many moments when I attempted to blend in with my host country. Italy’s everyday culture is so different from America’s and I never wanted to stick out. I was already at a disadvantage with my blonde hair and tall height, which often made me stick out like a sore thumb while abroad. I wanted to live like the locals live and fully immerse myself in their culture as best I could.

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A Faculty Perspective on Barcelona

This is a guest blog post written by Dr. Lynn McGee, faculty member in the Department of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina- Beaufort. Dr. McGee recently participated in a professional site visit to SAI’s Barcelona programs and shares her observations and perspectives here:   Barcelona: “The Great Enchantress”  Art critic Robert Hughes’ describes Barcelona as “the great enchantress.

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Meet Our Summer 2019 Bloggers!

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media.   Below is the list of our Summer 2019 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.   Marie Herzing, Florence Home school: University of Kentucky 1. I am going to be a senior at the university of Kentucky 2.

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Quick Getaways From Paris

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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My Top 5 Restaurants in Florence

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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A Nice Time in France

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Reasons Why You Should Journal

Sara Catherine, SAI Ambassador

When it comes to reminiscing on my time in Florence this past summer, I immediately look through my photos, as most people would. It is amazing to have these visual representations of my trip, and usually a few memories come flooding back. However, just having a photo does not tell you the whole story and some of the best experiences end up forgotten. This is why it is important to journal.

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A Guide to Getting Where You Want to Go

Marissa, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Cameron Cipolla, SAI Ambassador

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

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Spring 2019 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 Instagram community.

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My Photo Blog

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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Five Things You Never Knew About Milan

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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Seven Must-Visit Locations in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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My Homestay Abroad: A Multicultural Experience

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Overcoming the Homesick Blues

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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My Trips While Studying Abroad

Holly, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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A Valentine Sunday in Verona

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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My Favorite Class Project

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Lessons Learned

Bailey, Rome, Spring 2019

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

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

Samantha, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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From Strange to Sweet

Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Nine Tips for How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Katherine, Rome, Spring 2019

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

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How to Improve Weekend Traveling

Olivia, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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New Grant, Partnerships, Programs, and Courses

Fall 2019 Sorrento Scholarship (Sorrento, ITALY) In collaboration with the Sant’Anna Institute, SAI is pleased to announce that an $800 grant will be extended to all Fall 2019 applicants to that program. The grant will automatically be awarded to all fall 2019 SAI students enrolled at the Sant’Anna Institute and no additional scholarship application is required.

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The Pigeon Chronicles

Jack, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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SAI Sorrento Summer Internship: Pompeii Excavation & Survey Project

We are excited to announce the following unique for-credit (3 – 6 credits) internship opportunity for SAI Sorrento students enrolling in the Sant’Anna Institute Summer III 2019 program: Pompeii: An Excavation and Survey Project of the “Queen Caroline House” (directed by Cornell University and the University of Reading) Positions available: Diggers and trench supervisors (depending on experience) Finds registrar Faunal specialist (Biology) Site photographer (Photography) Summer III 2019 (10 weeks)

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What I Learned From My Time Abroad

Jessica, Paris, Fall 2018

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

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Italian Love Affair

Arianna, SAI Ambassador

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

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Why Go Abroad?

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Five Things I Learned About Myself Studying Abroad

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

Ever since I got on my six am flight back to America, I’ve missed Florence. The feeling of living in a city with so much history and culture is just absolutely unmatched. I find myself reminiscing frequently, going through my Snapchat memories and the hundreds of pictures on my phone, trying to keep the memory of Italy alive in me.

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Immersing Yourself into the Local Community

Leticia & Sandrine, SAI Barcelona

We caught up with SAI Barcelona team members Leticia, Ashley and Sandrine, who provide some ideas on immersing yourself into the local scene.   Being a team who is always looking for that off the beaten path adventure, from our personal experience, in order to get the true flavor of Barcelona, the best way is to get involved in the community.

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Falling in Love with Unconventionality

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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The Declassified Florence Survival Guide: First Week Edition

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Lights on Art

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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Italian Restaurant Etiquette

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

Eating out in Italy is nothing like it is in the States. There are many expectations around eating out that we’ve grown up with at home, but those all need to disappear once you move across the ocean, especially if you’re moving to Italy. Italians don’t eat to live; they live to eat. One of the first, and main differences that you’ll notice when eating out in Italy is the service.

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The Part of Florence you May be Overlooking

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Eataly

Theresa, Rome, Spring 2019

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

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Planes, Trains, and Confusing Keys

Claire, Rome, Spring 2019

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

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When I “Romed” Around the World

Yael, SAI Ambassador

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

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How to Dress Like a Parisian

Jennifer, SAI Paris

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

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Five Fun Facts About SAI Programs: Sebastopol

We have two annual staff gatherings: a summer barbecue in August and a fabulous holiday party each December. 2. There are fourteen of us in the U.S office, plus many more working remotely in the U.S.  We also have a lot of SAI staff working in our onsite offices in Rome, Florence, Milan, Sorrento, Siena, Paris & Barcelona. 3.   We have two furry, regular office “mascots:” Gaia and Patty.    4.

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Tuscany’s Green Gold: l’Olio d’Oliva

Alessandra, SAI Florence

Alessandra, SAI Florence’s Program Coordinator, provides a colorful description of Tuscany’s “green gold,” otherwise known as “delicious, unforgettable olive oil.”  In ancient times, olive oil was considered not only as food but much more valuable.  It was also used to produce both medicines and cosmetics. Hippocrates called it “the great healer” while Homer called it “liquid gold.

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Fall in Love with Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

We caught up with Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Elizabeth, who highlights why you should choose Florence as a study abroad host city during the fall semester.   There are many things to consider when choosing to study abroad so I’ve decided to shine light on some often overlooked things for you to consider before coming abroad. Drum roll… Let’s talk about seasons! Have you thought about which season you would like to experience abroad?

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My Internship Experience in Rome

Peter, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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How to Use Your Study Abroad Experience in a Job Interview

From the GoOverseas.com Blog

This month we are highlighting a wonderful entry from the blog on GoOverseas.com. We find this article so relevant to study abroad students who are just returning from their host countries.   Getting your thoughts together after studying abroad can be a challenge. Mentally, you may still be back on the beaches of southern France, or sitting on an Argentinean balcony with a Spanish novel in your hand.

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Now Listen Here Youngster

Rodney Harris, SAI Director of Strategic Initiatives

SAI took a moment to chat with SAI’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Rodney Harris, who shares some wisdom on studying abroad.   Indulge me if you will as a previously young person who would like to pass on a bit of wisdom in regard to international education. As you may suspect, you are going to meet many people in your life.

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European Travel on a Budget

Amanda, SAI Assistant Admissions Counselor

SAI caught up with SAI Assistant Admissions Counselor Amanda Roscoe, who provides some helpful options for budget-friendly travel in Europe.  Living in Europe as an American brings a lot of unexpected surprises. Try finding an open pharmacy, bank, or grocery store on a Sunday, for example. The Europeans tend to take leisure a lot more seriously than we do in the States. Vacation and time spent with family are very important.

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Fix Your Focus: Rome From a Distance

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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In a Holi-Daze in Firenze

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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A Glance Into Ancient Rome

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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Trekking Through Montmartre

Ariana, Paris, Fall 2016

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

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The Finish Line

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Fun Facts about SAI’s Headquarters: Sebastopol, California

The SAI Programs home office is located in California’s Sonoma Wine Country, in a small town called Sebastopol.  “Only an hour north of San Francisco, Sebastopol offers small town charm, farm-to-table organic food and wine, creative artists and healers, and easy access to the Laguna, the Russian River, Sonoma coast and Redwoods” boasts the Experience Sebastopol website.   The SAI offices have been located in Sebastopol since 1995.

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Top Spots in Sorrento

Anna, Sorrento, Fall 2018

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

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Hannah, SAI Ambassador

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

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Must-Sees in Siena

Karina, Siena, Fall 2014

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

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Student Visas: Top Three Application Pitfalls

Rose, SAI Visa Director

SAI caught up with SAI Visa Director Rose Maier, who has provided some helpful tips on the student visa process.   I have been the Visa Director at SAI for fourteen years and have seen and heard a million stories from students that have made me laugh and cry.

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What the Paris Metro Taught Me

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

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

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SAI Barcelona’s Day Trip to Montserrat

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

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

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A weekend in the Eternal City

Alessandra, SAI Rome

We caught up with SAI Rome Assistant Program Coordinator Alessandra, who talks about a weekend in the Eternal City.  Move to Rome in the summer, when the heat almost splits the sidewalks open. Move to Rome without knowing which buses, trams or metros to take. Move to Rome and be confronted with hoards of tourist every single day.

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The Best Places to Take Your Family When They Visit

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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How to Deal with Homesickness while Studying Abroad

Camille, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Studying Abroad: Expectations vs Reality

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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What My Study Abroad Experience Means to Me

Samantha, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Preparing for a Safe Study Abroad Experience

Chiara, SAI Staff

I know, it’s not the most fun part of studying abroad, but it’s important that all students are well prepared for their experience, especially when it comes to safety. Use this quick guide to make sure you take the necessary steps to prepare! Before You Depart The best you can do to ensure a safe time abroad, is to prepare before you depart!

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Take a Step

Katie, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who talks about some of her favorite things to do in Florence.  Florence offers individuals an abundance of heart and soul in every direction. From the famous museums, delicious food and hidden gems tucked away in each corner, there is truly something for everyone. Studying abroad is such a unique opportunity in the sense that you get to not just visit but live in a foreign city.

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What I Ate in a Day

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

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

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Ten Non-Touristy Places to Visit in Paris

Andrea, SAI

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

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Piazza Santa Croce

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

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An Adventure in Abruzzo

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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Fall 2018 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 Instagram community.

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Meet our Spring 2019 Bloggers

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media.   Below is the list of our Spring 2019 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.   Aileen Hernandez, Florence Home school: Colorado State University 1. I am a proud First Generation Student 2.

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Rome and Saying Sorry to Pigeons

Kaylyn, Rome, Summer 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

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

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Do This With SAI (Or Else)

Laurence, SAI Milan

SAI Milan Program Coordinator Laurence is contributing to our blog this month.  Laurence shares some wise advice for students considering studying abroad.   New students must be slightly nervous about meeting their housemates for the semester. Multiply that by the whole group and you have my Program Coordinator semester nerves in a nutshell!

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Student Traveler’s Guide to Hostels

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Study Abroad Open House at my University

Danielle, SAI Ambassador

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

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Cultural Expectations: Food, Family, Nightlife

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

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

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Ballin’ On a Budget

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Positano: Where Dreams Become Reality

Nicole, Rome Fall 2018

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

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Rocking Day Trip: Marble Quarries and A Stone Walled City

Allan, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Increase Your Skills and Develop New Strategies to Become an Entrepreneur While Studying Abroad

Edna, SAI Programs

This month Edna Wilson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, is contributing to our blog.  Here, Edna provides some tips on learning about entrepreneurship during your semester abroad.   SAI partner schools offer a wide range of learning opportunities in one of the fastest growing educational areas by giving students access to entrepreneurs and internships with a focus on entrepreneurship.

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The Top Five Places in Santo Spirito

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Becoming Culturally Introduced

Katherine, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Forza Viola!

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

This month, SAI Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Elizabeth is contributing to our blog.   Elizabeth highlights one of our student excursions to a Fiorentina soccer game.  In March, SAI students were able to attend one of Fiorentina’s home games. This match was especially important, as it was the first one after the sudden passing of Fiorentina’s captain Davide Astori one week earlier. The stadium was sold-out and several homages were planned on the player’s behalf.

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Meet Me in Roma

Morgan, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Morgan, who answers some questions about her time touring Italy while studying in Rome.   What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? Something that surprised me most about Rome was how small it felt even though it is the largest city in Italy with a population of over two million.

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Jazz Speaks for Life

Piera, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Excursion to Annecy

Jenn, SAI Paris

We caught up with SAI Paris Program Coordinator Jenn, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Jenn is highlighting one of the SAI-included weekend excursions.     One of the SAI Paris Excursion destinations is the Medieval town of Annecy. Located about 30 mins south of Geneva and 90 mins east of Lyon, Annecy is in Southwest France not far from the Swiss border.

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What I Learned About Myself in Florence

Katie, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Florence.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? I have never loved college courses as much as the ones I took at Florence University of the Arts. It is hard to choose a favorite when each class varied so much in its structure and personality.

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Sorrento, You Were Worth Every Penny

Brianna, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Brianna, who took some time to answer questions about her summer in Sorrento.  What does your study abroad experience mean to you? Studying abroad was something that I had always dreamed of doing, so when it finally happened I couldn’t even believe it. I have always had a passion for traveling and experiencing the world and the variety of cultures it has to offer.

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Frenzy in Firenze: Settling in Abroad

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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What I’ve Learned About Paris (So Far)

Jessica, Paris, Fall 2018

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

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Weekend Excursion to Abruzzo

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

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

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Besos from Barca

Molly, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Molly, who answered some questions about her summer in Barcelona. How has studying abroad impacted your life goals? I have always known I’ve wanted to travel as much as possible in life. I chose my major based on what would allow me to travel. I chose my university based on who would let me travel as much as possible.

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Barcelona Recommendations

Street Markets With Live Music (Cultural Events): Monumental Club

Check out SAI Barcelona’s new reporter’s introduction to his blog and his first recommendation: Street Markets With Live Music.   The Plaza de Toros Monumental de Barcelona, more commonly known as La Monumental is a fascinating bullfighting ring located in the Eixample district. Having a capacity of 19,582 this venue has been graced with concerts from the revolutionary Beatles and the legendary Rolling Stones.

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My Semester in The Eternal City

Amanda, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with Ambassador Amanda, who answered some questions about her time in Rome.   My advice for new study abroad students: Start a journal and keep up with it. Take lots of pictures but don’t let that distract you from the moment. Of course, take lots of trips but don’t forget to spend lots of time exploring the city that you are in.

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My Experience in Barcelona

Victoria, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Victoria, who answers some questions about her time in Barcelona.   Favorite week abroad My second week abroad in Barcelona had to be my favorite week out of the six.

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The Whirlwind of Emotions

Samantha, Fall 2018

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

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2018/19 SAI Ambassador Questionnaire

Courtney, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Courtney, who answers some questions about her time abroad.   What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Florence was eating! The food was incredible and I tried so many new types of Italian cuisine. Every week I tried new restaurants with new friends which was a great way to get to know them over an exceptional meal.

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A Half a World Away, A Forever Piece of Home

Lillie, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Lillie, who talks about her summer in Florence.  What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I grew up traveling with my family both in the U.S and abroad so before I left for Florence I just assumed my mindset throughout the term and just general attitudes would be the same as a vacation just with a couple classes added on….

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Summer 2018 Florence, Italy

Mary Paige, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Mary Paige, who took some time to answer a few questions about her time in Florence.   What advice do you have for new study abroad students? The best advice I have for new study abroad students would be to plan, plan, plan. Once you figure out your host city I would advise to do some research on local restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, etc.

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Secrets of Milan

Claudia, SAI Milan

Claudia Castaneda is the SAI Milan Program Coordinator. Below are some of her favorite events in Milan. Fashion Week is just around the corner and the city is buzzing with excitement! But there’s so much more than fashion and design to discover in this amazing city.

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My Time in Florence

Madison, SAI Ambassador

We connected with SAI Ambassador Madison, who took some time to answer some questions about her stay in Florence.  What was your favorite class abroad and why? Florentine Art Walks with Dario. We spent the class period walking around Florence learning about the history around every corner. We went into churches and museums with our professor who told us stories and fun facts about where we were.

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2018/19 Ambassador Questionnaire: Barcelona

Andrew, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Andrew, who answers some questions regarding his semester in Barcelona.  What was your favorite class abroad and why? I loved all my classes that I took in Barcelona. One of the Spanish culture courses that I took was called “Seven Wonders of Spain.” This amazing class featured professor-led tours throughout different neighborhoods in Barcelona.

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My Fashion Trip in Italy

Zhenan, SAI Ambassador

SAI Ambassador Zhenan answered some questions about his summer in Milan.  Read what he has to say:  What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is the memory with my friends. We met with each other during the abroad program. We were all from different countries.

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My Study Abroad in Florence

Cecelia, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with Ambassador Cecelia, who answers some questions about her time in Florence.  What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was “Florence Art Walks.” I expected this class to be going to the different museums in Florence and learning about the paintings and sculptures in each one. In reality, we literally walked all around Florence each week.

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Semester Abroad in Florence

Jackie, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Jackie, who took some time to answer some questions about her time abroad.    What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It’s hard to pick just one moment, so I’ll pick my FIRST favorite moment. When my roommates and I went to Cinque Terre a few days after arriving in Florence. It was the first of many trips we took together.

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My Time Abroad

Kirsten, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Kirsten, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Rome.   What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I have always thought of myself as a shy and reserved person and did not like to branch out much.

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2018/19 SAI Ambassador Questionnaire

Krystal, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with Ambassador Krystal, who spent some time answering questions about her time in Rome.   What felt the most “foreign” to you when you came back to the US? Coming back was strange to me but what felt the most completely different was being able to talk to my family in one room.

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Milano Moments and Memories Made

Grace, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with Grace, who reflects on her semester in Milan. What does your study abroad experience mean to you? At first, study abroad was just a way for me to travel more. It was always an expectation of mine as my sister studied and lived abroad and my mom left Ireland when she was 18 to travel the world and found a new home in America.

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Florence, My City

Gal, SAI Ambassador

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I find this question to be the most common, yet the hardest to answer. My favorite memory isn’t made of one specific moment; it’s made of many. However, if I had to share one it would be coming back to Florence from my first weekend trip. Moving to a new place is difficult, moving to a new city in a new Country even more challenging.

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My Time in Rome

McKenna, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with former SAI Rome student McKenna, who is now an Ambassador.  McKenna reflects on her semester abroad.  What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I have many favorite things to do in Rome, but I will narrow it down into two categories: a favorite food and a favorite place.

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Forever Florence

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sophia, who reflects on her time in Florence.    What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? While abroad I learned a lot about friendship. And one of my favorite memories was during the SAI farewell dinner. At the beginning of my experience I was nervous to attend events where I didn’t know the people, but overtime I grew a strong relationship with the group.

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Reflecting on a Great Semester

Christian, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Christian, who reflects on his time in Rome.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? My on-site urban sociology class was definitely my favorite because we met, mostly, in Rome instead of in the classroom. The professor for this class was Roman, so we learned some fascinating information about the city and saw spots in the city we might not have known about.

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Live the Experience

Katie, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who reflects on her semester in Florence and her fun weekend travels.  What travel tips would you give to someone studying abroad? Laugh it off when something goes wrong. It is inevitable that at some point something will go astray. It is so easy to get caught up in the ideal and how things “should have” gone.

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What My Marketing Class Taught Me

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador, Sarah, who answers a question about her Marketing class in Florence.  What was your favorite class while in Florence?  Picking classes was easy when it came to my semester abroad because all of the Marketing classes sounded exciting! My favorite class abroad was International Marketing. Our three-person group assignment was to pick a country around the world and market a product of our own creation.

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A Life-Changing Experience

Alex, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Alex, who reflects on her summer in Florence.  What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My roommate and I would go on late night walks around Florence to reach our daily step goals (which were over 10 miles!). I loved these walks because were we able to just wander with nowhere to be.

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My Semester in London

Marybeth, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Marybeth, who reflects on her time in London.  What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? There are so many things I love to do in London, and there is always something to do in the big city. Generally, I really just enjoyed going out and exploring all of the different districts and areas throughout the city.

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La Mia Bella Italia

Danielle, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Danielle, who answered some questions about her time in her bella Italia.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? Growing up in an Italian American household I learned a lot about my family’s Italian heritage and traditions. When I finally made it to Italy, I wanted to learn more about what it truly means to be Italian.

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My Experience Abroad

Sara, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with student Ambassador Sara, who answered a Q&A about her time in Florence.   What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is from the day I spent with my friends in Positano. We were so exhausted from a long bus ride and slept for only two hours. But, once we got going the next day, we had the most relaxing time on the black sand beaches.

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A Look Into My Semester Abroad

Lisa, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with Ambassador Lisa, who looks back at her spring in the Eternal City.  What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It snowed for the first time in six years in Rome, so my friends and I spent hours walking around enjoying the locals’ reactions to the strange weather. Seeing the Trevi Fountain covered in snow was a rare sight.

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Ciao, Florence!

Madison, SAI Ambassador

We touched base with SAI Ambassador Madison, who reminisces about her time abroad.  What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? Studying abroad is always something that I wanted to do but I never thought it would have this much of an impact on my life. While I was abroad I gained many self-dependent skills throughout my various adventures.

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My Summer in Florence

Francesca, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Francesca, who reflects on her summer in Florence.  My favorite memory from studying abroad would have to be hiking up to the Piazza Michelangelo with all my roommates. We would hike up with Pino’s and eat our dinner watching the sunset.

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My Semester in Roma

Lorraine, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Lorraine, who answers some questions about her time in Rome.  What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? One major travel tip I would recommend to people who are going to study abroad is to make sure that you get to travel to a bunch of different places during the semester, but also make time to get to know the new home you are in.

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Study Abroad Impacts

Camille, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Camille, who reminisces on her time in Florence.   While I was abroad in Florence, Italy, I almost did not realize how much my life was changing. It did not happen in one day. Over the course of the semester, I found that I thought about myself and the world differently.

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Studying in Florence Taught me a Few Things and Changed me Too

Bryce, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with Ambassador Bryce, who took some time to answer questions about his time in Florence.  Studying abroad taught me so many things about myself. First, I learned that I had the ability to independently travel to a foreign country, learn the culture, and immerse myself in a whole new environment.

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My Time in Rome

Alexis, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Alexis, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Rome.  What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from my time abroad is an odd one. It was my first trip outside my host city, Rome, with three of my roommates from my program (who are now my best friends) and we went to Venice for the annual carnival.

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Romeing Around

Bailey, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Bailey, who took a moment to reflect on his time in Rome.   Q. How has studying abroad impacted your life goals? A. Studying abroad has taught me to always just try and do what I want. If there was a city I wanted to go to, I would go. If there was a food I wanted to try, I would try it.

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Best Semester of My Life: Studying Abroad in Rome

Kajal, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Kajal, who took the time to answer some questions about her memorable semester in Rome.   What does your study abroad experience mean to you? My study abroad experience was absolutely life-changing in the best ways possible. I learned so much in that one semester alone outside of a classroom than my entire college experience has been able to give me.

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My Time in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador

We caught up with SAI Ambassador Elizabeth, who reflects on some great memories from her semester in Florence.    Study abroad was not just visiting new places and living in another country, but believe it or not studying. One class that made my experience more special was one called Florence Sketchbook. I had always loved art and drawing so I figured an entire class about sketching would greatly help my artistic abilities.

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My SAI Moment

Bailey, SAI Summer Intern

My journey with SAI has evolved into some wonderful opportunities over the past couple years, so for me to chose my “SAI Moment” is difficult. I have experienced so many moments with SAI that I hold to be significant, but when having to choose one, a specific memory came to mind. While abroad, I had the opportunity to work in the SAI Barcelona office after being awarded a scholarship from SAI.

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More Than Just Gelato

Tara, SAI Ambassador

SAI Ambassador Tara shares her story about how she progressed from a novice to seasoned traveller.  For some of us, going on vacation with family means going to the airport and following our parents to different terminals, trams and check-points. We get in taxis and mindlessly make our way to hotels.

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My Experience Abroad

Hanna, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Hanna, who answered some questions about her time in Florence.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? While abroad, I took four classes. They were all related to my major (marketing and communications) or my minor (art history). My favorite class was Florentine Art Walks. Once a week we would meet up and walk around the city for two and a half hours.

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My Milan

Richelle, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Richelle, who helps paint a picture of her semester in Milan.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class while I was abroad was The Fashion Market. It combined my two passions: marketing and fashion!

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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.