Blog

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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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 its 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 14 years now and I can officially say it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years! With Europe finally getting rid of some roaming 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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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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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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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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Whirlwind Semester

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Lauren, who answered a short Q&A about her time abroad!  What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I completely fell in love with the city of Florence and cannot wait to go back. One of my all time favorite memories from studying abroad was one of the smaller moments there.

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“La Serenissima”: 8 Ways to Visit Venice Like a Local

Clau, SAI University Relations Associate

We recently caught up with SAI University Relations Associate, Clau, who shares some insider tips on the famous town of Venice.  I absolutely love Venice. It is a unique city which, unfortunately, gets a bad reputation of ‘too crowded’ and ‘cruise line infested’. Known as “La Serenissima” (The Serene One), I always try to make my visits as relaxed and serene as possible and I love introducing people to this magnificent place.

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My Time in Barcelona

Ashlynne, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Ashlynne, who answered some questions about her time in Barcelona.  What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I think the biggest thing I learned about myself when I was abroad was the fact that I had the ability to be independent and that I was fully capable of doing things on my own, even traveling.

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Moving Forward

Katie, SAI Ambassador

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who explains how studying abroad helped shape her future career goals.  Studying abroad has already opened up new doors and possibilities regarding career goals. In my decision to study abroad, my main goal and mindset was centered around the purpose of growing as a person. I intended to break out of my comfort zone and branch out.

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Misha Maier

SAI recently caught up with SAI alumna Misha Maier, who completed her Masters degree abroad, to ask her about her experience abroad and her life now. Where and when did you study abroad? From 2009 to 2010 I attended the Masters in Interior Design and Living program at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. Was there a class that you took abroad that really stood out from the others?

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Getting to Know Italy

Kristen, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Kristen, who answers some questions about her time in Florence.  What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class I took abroad was my Wine Marketing class. I took it at the beginning of my semester every day for three weeks straight. It was a great way to be introduced to the Italian wine culture.

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My Two Cents

Alina, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Alina, who answers some questions about her time in Paris.  What advice do you have for new study abroad students? You’ll be wasting a ticket if you travel abroad and stay in your comfort zone. Try all the local food you can. If you’re going to Paris, I personally suggest to get your fill of pain au chocolats (croissant-like bread filled with two sticks of dark chocolate)

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Caleb Crum

We got in touch with former SAI ambassador Caleb Crum, a Missouri State University alum who studied abroad with SAI during the spring of 2014 at Florence University of the Arts. Caleb is now the founder of a blog called Goingabroadtips and now works as a travel planner! Needless to say, studying abroad was an important part of his life and guided him choose to work in the travel industry.

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My Time in Florence

Emily, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with with SAI Ambassador Emily, who answers some questions about her time in Florence.   What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing about my host city was finding the local spots. Tourist traps can be easy to fall into. While you definitely want to explore everything that TripAdvisor may suggest, you’re there for four months.

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The Best Summer of My Life

Lindsey, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Lindsey, who answers some questions about her semester in Barcelona.   What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Barcelona was to just walk around as much as I could to discover new places. After class, I would run home to drop my things and then hop on the metro.

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My Time Abroad

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Sabrina,  who answers some short follow-up questions from her time in Barcelona.   What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was the Political Economy of European Integration.

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Study Abroad Packing Essentials

Nicole, SAI

Whether this is your first time abroad or you’re an expert globetrotter, it’s always helpful to have a list of items you may want to pack – you know, a comprehensive travel checklist! Save this post because you’ll want to refer back to it as your trip approaches. Step 1: What Luggage to Bring Whatever your destination, you’ll want luggage that is lightweight and big enough to hold all of your essentials.

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My Journey

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my modern art history class with Professor Lucia Giardino. She began a modern art class to allow another option of art history to be available to students and it was my favorite class while abroad. Many come to Florence to see the Renaissance art that is evident throughout the city but there is also a modern art scene in Florence as well.

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My Rome Away From Home!

Kate, Leadership Mentor

Hi all! My name is Kate and I spent my whole sophomore year abroad with SAI in Rome, Italy. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to go back. I’ve answered some of the questions I have gotten asked a lot! What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It’s hard to choose just one memory out of my year abroad!

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Home Sweet Rome

Dana, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Dana, who took some time to answer questions about her semester in Rome.   What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? Being abroad has definitely changed me for the better. However, I did have anxious beginnings.

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The Best and Best of Studying Abroad

Antonio, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Antonio.  Antonio answers some questions describing his recent semester in Rome. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad in Rome would have to be all the group dinners my friends would have every week. We discovered so many different “hole in the wall” places and had some of our best memories together over dinner.

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A Look Into My Time Abroad!

Ellie, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Ellie, who reflected on her memories in Barcelona.  What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? My first week in Barcelona I went to a Barcelona futbol game. I had no idea how passionate and crazy these games were. I was shocked. I have been to NFL games before, Seattle Seahawks, and those games are crazy loud. I didn’t imagine a game like this would even compare.

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Adventure Is Out There!

Cameron, SAI Ambassador

Hey everyone! My name is Cameron Cipolla and I studied abroad in Florence, Italy last Fall of 2017. I am now going into my senior year at Belmont University where I study commercial voice. For those wondering, commercial voice really just means I am a vocalist who sings contemporary music, and yes that is actually a real major.

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A Summer in Italy

Kinsey, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Kinsey Kelly, who answers some fun questions about her summer in Florence.   What does your study abroad experience mean to you? My study abroad experience means a great deal to me because it gave me the opportunity to learn and indulge in a completely foreign country. I absolutely loved throwing myself into the Italian lifestyle and encountering traditions from their culture.

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Ciao for Now

Laura, SAI Ambassador

SAI recently chatted with SAI Ambassador Laura, who reflected on her memories in Florence.  What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Florence was to stop and listen to what was going on around me. Sometimes I would find myself getting so caught up in plans and activities that I would forget that the first of my favorites was the sound of the streets.

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Meet Our Fall 2018 Scholarship Recipients

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.     Jordan Benda, Paris Home school: Baylor University Rock climbing/bouldering and snow boarding are some of my favorite ways to stay active.

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A Semester of a Lifetime

Gwen, SAI Ambassador

We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Gwen, who shared with us her memories on her time in Florence.  What was your favorite class abroad? While studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts I had the opportunity to take Travel Writing; a weekly class that encouraged travel and diary style writing about my personal experiences abroad. As a creative writing minor, this course was an absolute dream for me.

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The Best of SAI: Choosing a Host City For YOU!

Camille, SAI Intern

Camille is an SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer.   Ciao everyone! So it looks like you’re interested in studying abroad! Of course you are! Let me guess, you’ve read some articles, talked to your school about realistic options for your major, maybe stalked your friends photos from their study abroad experience…You’re starting to get overwhelmed with options. So now what?

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Summer 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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Real World Experiences with SAI and JCU

At John Cabot University in Rome, students have the opportunity to gain real life experience with real life clients through their projects. Once the students complete the project, they present them and one is selected and used by the client. One of our students, Sam Gleason, took an Advanced Graphic Design course with professor, Sabrina Schmidt, and her designs were chosen for the rebranding of Joanne Bergamin’s blog, TravelAngel.

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What You Don’t Know About Rome

Brayden, Rome, Summer 2018

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

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A Customized Program in Rome

Marco, SAI Rome

We recently caught up with SAI Custom Programs Coordinator Marco.  Marco shares his experience on a spring weekend trip with Muhlenburg College.   As Custom Programs Coordinator at SAI I come in contact with several groups of students all over the year. The most exciting part of my job is when, after months of planning, a group arrives and I get to meet and greet the students on site.

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Meet our Summer Intern: Camille

Camille, SAI Intern

Hey there, I’m Camille. I’m the SAI summer intern at the headquarters in Northern California. I was born and raised in Philadelphia (cue Fresh Prince theme song) and recently graduated from Muhlenberg College, where I studied Acting and Fine Arts, and worked as a barista. So… if the rumors are true about interns just doing coffee runs, I’ve got it covered.

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Going Outside My Comfort Zone

Madeline, SAI Ambassador

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

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From Home to Rome

Gigi, Rome, Summer 2018

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

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Abroad Advice

Angelika, SAI Ambassador

Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Angelika, who studied abroad in Florence during the spring 2018 semester.   In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence. • What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. While there are so many things I can talk about that were my favorite, one activity that will never get old is hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo.

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My Study Abroad Experience

Grace, SAI Ambassador

Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Grace, who studied abroad in Florence during the spring 2018 semester.   In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence.   1. What felt the most “foreign” to you when you came back to the U.S? The toilets in Europe you push the top of them to make them flush.

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Semester Reflection

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Study Abroad Reflection

Holly, SAI Ambassador

Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Holly, who studied abroad in Florence during the Fall 2017 semester.   In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence.   1. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? One of my favorite things to do was to just walk around the city and explore new areas. Even in a small city such as Florence there is so much to discover.

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The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly!

Christy, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Housing Coordinator & Assistant Program Coordinator Christy, who is contributing to our blog this month. Christy retells some of the unique parts of living in Italy.   When I first landed in Italy from the US, I was in awe and also a little bit surprised. I was in awe of the beauty, the sound of the Italian language and the food was absolutely amazing!

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“Parli inglese? Me Too!”

Charlee, Sorrento, Summer 2018

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

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Tips for Advising on SAI programs

Sarah, SAI Programs

We recently caught up with SAI Senior University Relations Manager Sarah Langston.  Sarah shares some reasons to consider SAI Programs for your study abroad experience.   As a former study abroad advisor, I know that it can be challenging to help students differentiate between various programs.

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New Master’s Programs

Milan, Paris and Florence

SAI is thrilled to announce new academic partnerships with two of Europe’s leading design institutes. The addition of Master’s programs at Instituto Marangoni (Milan and Paris) and Polimoda (Florence) will give students the opportunity to pursue graduate-level coursework in a wide range of design-related fields, including Design Management, Fashion Design, Creative Direction, Fashion Buying, and many more. Istituto Marangoni, Milan and Paris Istituto Marangoni (IM)

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All the World’s a Stage

Brielle, Florence, Summer 2018

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

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Italians and Americans at Work

Maurizio, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Maurizio, who is contributing to our blog this month.  As an Italian, Maurizio is including his insight of working with Americans in Florence.  Here is his summary. Differences between Americans and Italians: a delicate issue to talk about, especially if 80% of your co-workers are American. I have been working for an American company (SAI, maybe you are familiar with it)

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Sicily is Not New York

Deztiny, Sicily, Summer 2018

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

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10 Things to do in the First Week of Study Abroad

Laurence, SAI Milan

We caught up with SAI Milan Program Coordinator Laurence, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Laurence is including some must-do’s for those first few days in your host city.   Here are 10 alternative things to do during your first week in your new study abroad city: 1) Get the boring stuff done “Oh god! If this is number 1, I’d hate to see number 10.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Home Away From Home

Destini, SAI Ambassador

Prior to finalizing my decisions to study abroad I always knew that I wanted to stay with a host family to get the full experience of cultural immersion. I wanted to live in a house where they could help teach me the language, feed me authentic food and be a part of their everyday lives.

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Travel Bug

Destini, SAI Ambassador

It has been a year since my time abroad and I have been itching to get that experience again. It’s the itch my body feels for adventure, change, and new experiences. It’s not necessarily studying abroad that I’m craving, but just traveling to different countries in general. I have officially diagnosed myself with the travel bug, and this guy is worse than the flu.

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The Last Waltz with Florence

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Tidbits Gained from Being Abroad

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Tuscan Farm Adventures: An SAI Excursion!

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Learning Something

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Volunteering in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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14 Things I Learned in 14 Weeks in Paris

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

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

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Study Abroad Is About The People, Not The Places

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Favorite Places in My Neighborhood

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Exploring Italian Business Culture in Milan

Jordan, SAI Rome

We caught up with SAI Rome Custom Programs Coordinator Jordan, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Jordan talks about his recent experience  joining a Faculty-Led Program in Milan.   One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to travel around Europe with our Custom and Faculty-led Programs, learn new things and meet great people along the way.

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My Last Few Days in Roma

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Sam, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Meet Our Summer 2018 Scholarship Recipients

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.   Brayden Aime, Rome Home school: Gap year student 1. I have played basketball for 5 years.

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

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Cycling Through Annecy’s Alps

Alina, Paris, Spring 2018

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

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Contemporary Art Class Field Trip

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Food Around the World

Christina, SAI Ambassador

Last summer when I studied abroad in Rome, I got the chance not only to see, but to eat my way through some of the best cities in the world – not just in Italy but all over Europe! I traveled all around Italy, then up to London, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and France.. It was the ultimate summer filled with the most amazing experiences.

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Small Towns in a Worldly Experience

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

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

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My SAI Moment

Carly, SAI Student Ambassador

My SAI moment happened as soon as I landed in Florence. Here I was in a foreign country, alone, my Italian phone wasn’t working yet, my luggage got left behind at my connection in Paris, and I was so lost on what to even do. I didn’t follow the number one travel rule that says “always pack your tooth brush and an extra change of clothes in your carry on.

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Friends for Life

Holly & Julia, Florence, Fall 2017

Two SAI Florence alumni, Holly and Julia,  recently reunited in Chicago.  The two close friends submitted a blog post on how they met while studying abroad in Florence.   Ciao! The first day we met each other was in our small apartment on Via San Gallo. Soon after that, we started planning trips together and getting to know the beautiful city of Firenze.

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Spring 2018 Photo Contest Winner

Congratulations to Brigid Deegan for winning the SAI Spring 2018 Photo Contest! Brigid is studying abroad with SAI in Siena from Muhlenberg College, and she submitted this stunning photo taken in Verona, Italy! Brigid’s photo received the most votes and she has been awarded a $100 Amazon gift card.To view all the photos please see the Facebook album.

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The Italian Coffee Experience

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

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Cose preferite da fare a Siracusa- Favorite things to do in Siracusa

Kelsie, SAI

When someone asks me, “what is your favorite place in the world?”, it’s always an easy answer. My favorite place in the world is a 2,700 year-old city located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, notable for its ancient ruins, rich Greek history, culture, and amphitheatre, and as being the birthplace of Archimedes. This magical place is called Siracusa (or Syracuse in English).

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Why My First Week Abroad Is Still My Favorite

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Döner Kebab: The Pride of Europe

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

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

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Weekend Excursion to Seville: A City Full of History and Folklore

Leticia, SAI Barcelona

We caught up with SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator Leticia, who is contributing to our blog this month. Leticia recounts her weekend student excursion to the sunny, southern town of Seville.   I have lived in Andalusia for a few years and I have explored Spain’s southern region several times.

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A ‘Nice’ Getaway

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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The Town of Medieval Towers

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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What to Wear to Look Like a Local in Florence

Carly, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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Five Summer 2018 Programs Under $5,000

Chiara, SAI Staff

Are you looking to study abroad this summer without shelling out too much money? We have you covered! Check out 5 Summer 2018 programs that will cost you under $5,000, below. Barcelona: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) – Summer 4 weeks (3 credits) – $3,950 UAB offers an intensive 4 week Spanish language summer program through its renowned language school, UAB Idiomes.

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Spring 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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Making the Most of Rainy Days in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Sant Jordi: The Dragon, the Book and the Rose

Sandrine, SAI Barcelona

In honor of next month’s Sant Jordi holiday on April 23, our SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator Sandrine has provided a brief history of this special holiday. Also, our SAI Barcelona students will have the honor of celebrating this unique day with a memorable dinner and book exchange!

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My Internship in Rome

Lauren, Rome, Fall 2017

My name is Lauren and I am a senior at St. Mary’s College of California. I was a study abroad student in Rome, Italy my senior fall semester of 2017. My experience with SAI and being abroad was unforgettable. The memories I made, the people I met, the food I ate, the places I traveled… it was four months of being in constant awe of where I was and what I was doing.

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How I Prepared For My First Week Abroad

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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How to Transport Your Medicine to Europe

Andrea, SAI Admissions

SAI Programs Admissions Counselor Andrea Moran provides an in-depth look at how to transport your medicine on your study abroad adventure.   “Nooooo…not another pre-departure detail!” you might be thinking.  I totally get it. You already have a ton on your mind as you prepare to study abroad. Luckily, preparing to take medicine abroad normally doesn’t require epic amounts of paperwork, but only good judgment and some preparation.

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You Had Me at Pizza

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Cooking & Eating My Way Through Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Special Spots in Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Living Like a Local in Barcelona

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

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

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SAI Adventures in the Wild Heart of Italy

Arianna, SAI Rome

We caught up with SAI Rome Assistant Program Coordinator Arianna, who is contributing to our blog this month.  In her entry, Arianna describes a recent SAI excursion to the beautiful Abruzzo region of Italy. In September 2017, SAI Rome took over 50 American university students on an inaugural weekend excursion throughout the region of Abruzzo.

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ROME-ing as a Local

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Alex, Paris, Spring 2018

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

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How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Five Best Places to Eat in Rome

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Abroad Alone? Abroad Alone.

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Packing for a 2 Week Trip in Only a Carry On

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

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Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Finding Love with SAI

Katherine & Stephen, SAI Rome Alumni

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

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The (Dreaded) Application Process

Vanessa, SAI Admissions

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

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Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Make a Wish!

Peyton, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Expectation vs. Reality

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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How to Survive Your First Month Abroad

Angela, London, Spring 2018

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

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Packing for Rome 101

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

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

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Exploring Barcelona Through Local Cuisine

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

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

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Some Life Advice from an Alumna

Allie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Week One – Check!

Peyton, SAI Rome, Spring 2018

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

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

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Making Memories + Saving memories: Alternatives to Journaling

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

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

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The Highs and Lows of Traveling While Abroad!

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

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

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My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Best Class I Have Ever Taken

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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

Regan, SAI Florence

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

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Ultimate Frisbee in Italy

Marisa, SAI Florence

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

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Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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What I Found in London

Kara, London, Summer 2017

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

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Ten Ways to Prevent Becoming Hangry in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Once in a Lifetime

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Best Coffee in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

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

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Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Do Something Different in Florence This Summer

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

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Moving to London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

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

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Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Outdoor Activities for the Summer

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

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Why You Should Study Abroad in Sicily

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

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Study Abroad in 2 Italian Cities this Summer

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

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Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Giving a Helping Hand in the Roma Community

Andres, Rome, Fall 2017

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

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Tips: Sneaking in to Milan Fashion Week

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

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

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How to Make Vin Chaud aux Epices

Jenn, SAI Paris

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

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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

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Meet Our Spring 2018 Scholarship Recipients

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.   Alexandra Lehnhard, Paris  Home school: University of Alabama 1.

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Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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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.