Blog

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

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

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

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

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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My Volunteer Experience: Teaching English

Lauren, Fall 2021

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

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Returning to Barcelona

Megan Forbes & Hannah Lowder

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

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It’s a Beautiful life

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

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Fall 2021 Video Contest

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

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The Value of Partnerships: Affiliate Perspectives

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

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Upcoming SAI Info Sessions and Webinars

Art, Faculty-Led Programs, Field Learning and More

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

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How to Eat with Dietary Restrictions in Italy

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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My Cultural Introduction to Italy

Trenedy, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Why You Should Embrace Uncertainty

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Walking Back in Time

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

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

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

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

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

Lillie, Summer 2021, Barcelona

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

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Sustainability & Environment Courses Abroad

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

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Carly Owens’ International Internship

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

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Beach, please!

A guide to Barcelona's beaches

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

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Different People, One Planet

Carly, Summer 2021, Sorrento

I walked into my first day as an intern greeted by 10 select Europeans who had decided to dedicate 10 months of their time to volunteer for the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella. Prior to even engaging in conversation, I was quite blown away by the sense of selflessness this special group had, giving this big chunk of their time to such a cause.

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Inside Look: Furniture & Product Design in Barcelona

Studying abroad always helps you see your field through a different lens, as you gain experiences that you wouldn’t have at home. And sometimes, a course pushes you to do something new that you are proud of; something that leaves an imprint in your academic career.

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SAI Programs 2022: Town Hall Meetings & Info Sessions

Spring & Summer

Do you have questions about studying abroad in 2022? Spring 2022 Town Hall Meetings: SAI is happy to offer Town Hall Meetings via Zoom: an open forum for students and families to ask questions, get advice, and discuss how SAI is continuously responding to the changing landscape of the study abroad world. Upon registering, attendees have the opportunity to submit any questions or topics that they would like to be discussed.

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Introducing our Fall 2021 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 Fall 2021 student bloggers. You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.

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Most Affordable Full Semester Study Abroad Programs

Spring 2022

Some say that studying abroad is priceless…but the price tag is real, and costs can add up quickly. The largest expense of a study abroad experience is typically the program fee which can vary greatly due to differences in tuition, housing, and the cost of activities in each location. According to GoAbroad.com, the average cost of a semester abroad is $18,000.

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Alyssa, Summer 2021, Siena

Studying abroad is a rewarding experience for so many reasons and there are a million and one things to be excited about. However, the days leading up to the flight and the first few days in a new country can be scary and are quite the adjustment. I just made it through my first week in Siena, Italy and I want to share with you some tips and tricks for adjusting!

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Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy Abroad

Bradley, Summer 2021, Sorrento

With a little over three weeks left in my summer term, my experience here in Sorrento has been nothing short of life-changing. Through this experience, I have gained knowledge and friends that will last me for a lifetime and still have many more memories to make in the coming weeks ahead.

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Worldwide Vegetarian Ramen Recipe

Worldwide Vegetarian Ramen This recipe from Apicius chef students and faculty puts a spin on Japanese ramen by adding vegetables from around the world. Flavors include a dash of tom kha phak, anise, kaffir leaves, and galangal for a truly global dish.

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Eggs Florentine Recipe

This Florentine recipe from FUA-Apicius students and faculty is ideal for breakfast and lunch. It is also great for beginners as the poached egg and Balsamella* sauce can be reutilized in a variety of other dishes. *Balsamella is the Tuscan name for Bechamel sauce and one of the five mother sauces. For this recipe, the Tuscan name is used according to the Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

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Pesto Ligure Recipe

Add extra flavor to your everyday recipes with this easy-to-follow recipe from Apicius culinary arts students and faculty. Hailing from Genova, in Liguria (a region famous for its basil), pesto is a delicious sauce that can be used in a variety of food and settings.

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Studying Abroad During a Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Some might ask why would you choose to study abroad during a pandemic, is it worth it? Why didn’t you wait a semester or year? All of these questions roamed my head before making my final decision about studying abroad. I have now been in Florence for 53 days and looking back I would not have changed a thing.

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GoAbroad 2021 Innovation Awards Finalist

Each year, the meaningful international travel resource GoAbroad presents awards recognizing innovation and creativity in international education. These awards showcase exceptional ideas and initiatives that are making a positive impact on the field of education abroad.  We are excited to share that SAI is a finalist for a 2021 award in the category of Innovation in Alumni Engagement:  SAI has a long history of offering a robust alumni ambassador program.

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Feel like you missed your chance to study abroad?

You haven't!

Do you feel like the global COVID-19 pandemic threw off your plan to study abroad while you were in college? Don’t worry, you can still make your dream come true! The global pandemic changed our lives in countless ways, and for some (maybe you?), it eliminated the option of studying abroad.

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All You Need to Know About Cell Phones Abroad

Sharon, SAI Student Resources Coordinator

I’ve been working with SAI students and their cell phone options abroad for over 15 years now and I can officially say it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years! With Europe finally getting rid of some roaming charge issues, things are getting better, however, there still is the difficulty with connectivity and the different band frequencies that are used in the U.S. versus abroad.

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Heston’s Cocoa & Curry Cauliflower Risotto

This week’s recipe provided by FUA-Apicius students and faculty combines the flavors of the East and the West. The use of curry and cocoa powder adds a creative, international flair to the classic Italian risotto. Serves 3 For the risotto: 200g  of risotto rice 75ml white wine 50ml vermouth (preferably Noilly Prat)

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Learning From the Locals

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Ciao, it is Rachael! Today, I wanted to share some amazing opportunities I have had in my home city these last two months. The Florence SAI team has put together unique and fun activities for the students to take advantage of while studying here. Before I even landed in even knew I was studying in Florence, I always told myself that I would love to learn how to make handmade pasta.

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Spring 2021 Photo Contest

Spring Photo Contest 2021 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 $25 Amazon gift card just by sharing your photo with the SAI Instagram community.

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SAI Spring 2022 On-Site Program Policies

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  You may have concerns about studying abroad this spring due to the lingering effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. To begin, please know that we are currently operating programs abroad safely and responsibly. We remain hopeful that prospects for world travel will only improve, as vaccination rates increase worldwide.

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SAI Fall 2021 On-Site Program Policies

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  You may have concerns about studying abroad this fall due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. To begin, please know that we are currently operating programs abroad safely and responsibly. We remain hopeful that prospects for world travel will only get better from here, as vaccinations become available worldwide.

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Traveling During a Pandemic

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Pre-departure Where should I even begin? I started dreaming of the time I could potentially study abroad, long before I could even drive a car. Now as I sit at home, surrounded by family, friends, and my dogs, I quickly realize my dream from long ago is right around the corner.

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Telling My Story

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Growing up in an Italian household I always dreamed to go to Italy. In 2018 my parents made it possible for my family to visit on vacation and I fell in love. I knew after that I had to go back. Studying abroad with SAI is not only allowing me to explore Italy again but giving me the chance to live immersed in the culture for the semester.

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Interview with SAI’s Rome Program Director

Jordan Wood

Jordan is based in Rome, Italy, and supports students on-site as SAI’s Rome Program Director. Jordan also coordinates many of SAI’s faculty-led programs in Italy.  In general, what attracts most students to SAI’s program in Rome? Rome has so much to offer students with its rich history, culture, and cuisine.

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Interview with a Gap Student

Sinclair, Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Sinclair is completing an Academic Career Gap Year with SAI Programs at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021.   What motivated you to pursue an academic career program abroad during the pandemic? I took the opportunity to come to Florence during the pandemic because I wouldn’t have been able to have in-person classes in the US.

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Interview with a Gap Student

Catherine, Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

Catherine is completing an Academic Career Gap Year with SAI Programs at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021.   What motivated you to pursue an academic career program abroad during the pandemic? Given the current situation, and not really knowing what I wanted to do next, a gap year seemed like the best option for me. I really wanted to go abroad.

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Interview with a Gap Student

Francesca, Fall 2020

Francesca completed a Gap Semester with SAI Programs at John Cabot University in Rome, Fall 2020.   What motivated you to pursue a gap semester abroad? COVID was the main reason. I was going to be attending courses online, at home, and I really wanted the college experience especially because it was my first year of college. So I started looking at different options, and I came across SAI Programs.

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SAI Maymester & Summer 2021 On-Site Program Policies

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  You may have concerns about whether you will be able to study abroad this summer due to the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We understand that this situation, with all of its unknowns, can be difficult, and we are here to share with you some policy changes that we made for our Summer 2021 on-site programs.

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Summer 2021 Virtual Programs

Enroll in virtual courses this summer! In addition to offering all of our programs on-site, we are also delighted to offer virtual programs to those unable to travel this summer. At SAI, we are deeply committed to a global education.

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Discover SAI: Upcoming Info Sessions

Ready to get started planning your study abroad experience? Join us for our upcoming series of “Intro to SAI” info sessions to learn more about our programs.  Explore academics, student support services, cultural activities, housing, and more.  SAI student alumni will share their experiences and discuss student life abroad. The sessions will include time for Q&A, so you can have your questions answered by SAI staff.

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Four Reasons to Connect with an SAI Ambassador

Researching and planning your study abroad program can be a daunting task. You likely have many questions about what to expect- luckily, we have an active team of SAI ambassadors ready to assist! SAI ambassadors are a group of carefully selected students who have recently completed an SAI program. These program alumni are an excellent resource for you- here are four ways you can benefit from engaging with our ambassador team:  1.

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Christmas Traditions in Barcelona

In Barcelona, the holiday spirit starts when the Christmas lights are on and the Fira de Santa Llúcia market opens. The Fira de Santa Llúcia has been held in front of Barcelona’s beautiful gothic Cathedral since 1786 and attracts many visitors each year looking for Christmas trees and decorations, local handmade gifts, beautiful craft nativity scenes, eucalyptus branches, activities for children, and more.

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The Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

During the month of December, as the longest night of the year approaches, France enters the traditional winter holiday season or les fêtes de fins d’années. This is typically a season when families come together to celebrate a series of holidays which span a period of about one month, beginning with the start of Advent (in early December) and ending with Epiphany or “Kings’ Day” (January 6).

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A Tuscan Christmas 

Christmas is an exciting time of year in Florence and while it may look a little different in 2020, there is much to look forward to. Italy officially ushers in the Christmas season on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and the merriment lasts through January 6 with Epiphany. Throughout this period, Christmas lights enliven the city streets, and big trees bring cheer to every main piazza.

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Harvest Traditions in Italy

Fall harvest in Italy is filled with some real Italian favorites. Seasonal traditions can vary up and down the peninsula, but some tried and true classics include apples, grapes, persimmons, chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles, squash, pumpkins, and olives.  Autumn is often a seasonal favorite – filled with changing colors and temperatures as well the harvest time for many types of foods. The vendemmia, or grape harvest, usually happens at the end of August through early October.

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Life in Italy: Study Abroad During COVID

Life in Italy: Study Abroad During COVID-19 Are you curious to see what life has been like in Italy for current study abroad students? SAI welcomed students back to our re-opened programs in Rome and Florence this fall. SAI committed to a number of added health and safety measures to support our students on-site and mitigate COVID-19 risks.

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SAI Spring 2021 On-Site Program Options

Many aspects of life have been put on hold for 2020, including most travel and study abroad plans. As the world adjusts to the “new normal”, we are turning our focus to the future and are excited to highlight our Spring 2021 on-site programs. For students who are hesitant to hop on a plane, we invite you to explore our virtual study abroad programs and virtual internship programs.

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Study Abroad Programs that DON’T Require a Student Visa

Spring 2021: Semester & Quarter

There are many aspects to preparing for a study abroad term, from packing to medication to booking flights, and of course, the student visa application process. To make the pre-departure process simpler and to give students more time to plan for their term, we’ve amended several program dates to create programs under 90 days.

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SAI Spring 2021 On-Site Program Policies

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  You may have concerns about whether you will be able to study abroad this spring due to the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We understand that this situation, with all of its unknowns, can be difficult, and we are here to share with you some policy changes that we made for our Spring 2021 on-site programs.

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FUA’s Apicius Ranks in Top Culinary Schools in the World

We are pleased to announce that Apicius International School of Hospitality, a school within Florence University of the Arts, was ranked in the Top Culinary Schools in the World by Chef’s Pencil. SAI has long partnered with Florence University of the Arts and Apicius, offering students opportunities to begin or refine a career in hospitality and culinary arts.

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Study Abroad in Italy this Spring 2021

Are you ready to make this Spring semester really count? We can help you find the right program in Italy to give you the experience you’ve been waiting for! Here at SAI, we offer opportunities for you to study abroad and earn US credits at host country institutions, all while providing you with the services and support to ensure that you thrive.

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On-Site Internships

Semester & Summer

By completing an internship abroad, students demonstrate the capacity to adapt and thrive in varying cultural contexts, in addition to being immersed in a new language. An internship abroad is an invaluable tool for jump-starting a career, as students develop skills that any international organization values: professionalism, adaptability, confidence, open-mindedness, and a global mindset. Take your study abroad experience to the next level with an internship!

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Global Connections, Local Learning: Fall 2020

Building a Global Network From Home

While some students are gearing up for an in-person Fall 2020 term abroad, most students have had to cancel their plans to be abroad. This does not mean that your dreams of learning about a new culture are out the door. You could look at going abroad in the spring or summer, but if that does not fit into your schedule, you can explore virtual programs this Fall!

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A Taste of Tuscany

String beans with garden vegetables

We have another delicious, homegrown recipe from GG this week! “Dell’orto” translates to “from the vegetable garden” which is perfect for this summery dish. Gather guests around your table to enjoy this simple yet satisfying dinner addition. If this delightful dish sparks your interest in culinary arts, hospitality or event management, check out our blog about SAI’s Career Certification programs.

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SAI Virtual Internships: Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

8 - 12 weeks, non credit

Internships are the bridge between the academic and the professional world. They allow students and recent graduates to develop skills, learn new ones, network within their field, and bolster their resume with relevant experience. International internships add even more value for young professionals seeking a competitive edge in the global job market.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Braised bell peppers

On the menu this week from GG’s recipes is a sweet and colorful dish – the perfect addition to any summer table. Peperonata gives you the opportunity to hit your local farmer’s market, or better yet, your own garden to collect fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and basil. Your guests will love this refreshing and tangy recipe!

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10 Productivity Tips While You’re Abroad

Lexi, Spring 2020, Sorrento

Studying abroad is an exciting time packed with many adventures and traveling. In my first month in Italy, I could not sit still. I was either traveling, exploring my city, or planning future travel plans. It felt like I was constantly going at 100 miles an hour because I was so obsessed with taking advantage of living in a new country and having the freedom to catch cheap flights all over Europe on the weekends.

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Looking Back at a Time Cut Too Short

Madeleine, Spring 2020, Florence

The days and weeks leading up to my Florentine experience felt like a daydream. I had been looking forward to this experience for the past years to come and excited to push myself out of my comfort zones. Florence truly was all I could have asked for and more. The moment I had arrived in Florence, I was truly starstruck.

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Devastating News

Kaeli, Spring 2020, Florence

The week leading up to the devastating news was kind of a blur. Every day we were being told schools were going home and it didn’t actually hit until our friends began to be sent home. At this point majority of the schools had sent the email saying their students needed to come home. I knew it was coming but when I actually got the email it was devastating.

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So You Got Sent Home…

Sofia, Spring 2020, Barcelona

Like most people around the world, study abroad students were blindsided by the new normal brought on by Coronavirus. With the need to return home, our experiences were cut short with no warning. However, we were given something that no other study abroad students had received before—time to reflect on our experiences in our host cities.

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Pros and Consulates

I have been the Visa Director at SAI for 16 years so I think this makes me a pro when it comes to students and their study visas. I’ve heard so many visa stories from students that have made me laugh and cry. Like the time when a student was about to depart for their program and told us he didn’t get a visa because he already had a Master Card.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Reginette pasta with pesto

Reginette al pesto This week’s recipe “di GG” includes ribbon-shaped pasta and a Genovese delight! Pesto adds not only a tangy bite to this dish – but also a splash of color. Served with potatoes and green beans, this pasta will surely keep the guests around your table happy. Learn more about culinary arts, wine studies and hospitality by visiting our page “How to Expand Career Options with a Career Certificate?

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SAI Fall 2020 Program Options

At SAI, we are deeply committed to international education. That’s why we are doing everything we can to help you have an international experience this Fall 2020, despite the uncertainty resulting from the global COVID-19 outbreak. Keep reading for a full update on all we are offering this Fall 2020 – we think you’ll find a perfect fit, no matter what you’re looking for!

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Fall 2020: Available Study Abroad Programs

With so many recent changes in the education and travel world, we wanted to highlight SAI’s Fall 2020 on-site study abroad programs that are still available. Bonus: the following Fall 2020 programs do NOT require a student visa. 1. John Cabot University in Rome Immerse yourself in the Eternal City while studying at JCU, a US accredited university in the heart of Rome.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Tortino di carciofi – Artichoke Frittata

This week’s culinary delight from GG’s recipes comes in the form of a tortino, or frittata. Simple ingredients make for delicious flavor. The dish can be enjoyed morning, afternoon and night! If these innovative yet classic recipes appeal to your creative side, head over to our blog, “How to Expand Career Options with a Career Certificate?” to explore professional opportunities through SAI.

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Inspiration on Every Corner

Anneliese, Spring 2020, Barcelona

I came to love Barcelona on my third day in the city. It just so happened that a childhood friend from my small hometown of Vermillion, South Dakota was in Barcelona on vacation. We trekked up to los Bunkers del Carmel – an incredible 360-degree view of the city – watched the sunset and talked for hours on end. I was inspired as she told stories about her semester abroad in Verona, Italy.

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GoAbroad 2020 Innovation Awards Finalists

Each year, the meaningful international travel resource GoAbroad presents awards recognizing innovation and creativity in international education. These awards showcase exceptional ideas and initiatives that are making a positive impact on the field of education abroad.

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Student Resilience Challenge Submissions

This Spring 2020 semester did not go as expected, so we created a special challenge just for our students who, unfortunately, had to return home due to the COVID-19 crisis. The unprecedented global pandemic has posed new challenges and increased hardships for many, but it has also united us through empathy, compassion, and greater global awareness.

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The Quinoa Club

Brianna, Florence, Spring 2020

The photo I have submitted for the Student Resilience Challenge is a drawing of some of my favorite people I met while studying abroad. Each portrait is based on a picture of the person sitting on the bank of the Arno on one of my most cherished days in Florence.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Spaghetti alla Carrettiera

This is a Tuscan favorite we never tire of – especially for its spicy kick! This week’s “Le Ricette di GG” feature is a Spaghetti alla Carrettiera recipe, a staple of Florentine families and restaurants alike. At first bite, you might feel momentarily transported to a ristorante in centro! This may also whet your appetite to explore our Culinary Arts Career Certificate program through Florence University of the Arts.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Parmigiana di melanzane

This week from “Le Ricette di GG” we are taking on an Italian classic: Eggplant Parm. There is an age-old debate over whether it’s better to dredge or fry the eggplant. Our version calls for grilling the eggplant at high heat, which can also be done the evening prior. This maintains all the flavor without frying!

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Before You Go: Prepare with a Virtual Program

If you are planning to study abroad, consider taking an online course (or multiple!) through SAI’s virtual programs before you go. Virtual courses are quickly becoming commonplace in today’s academic culture. The online platform offers students the opportunity to fulfill requirements for other classes or to engage in a topic of interest – all from the comfort and safety of their own home.

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Summer 2020 Virtual Programs

Enroll in virtual courses this summer! At SAI, we are deeply committed to a global education. That’s why, during these difficult and uncertain times resulting from the global COVID-19 outbreak, we have redoubled our efforts to provide authentic, culturally relevant, and academically stimulating experiences to students who are currently not able to travel.

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Considering a Gap Study Abroad Program?

For all the uncertainty in the world today, one thing seems clear for many recent high school graduates.  As most college campuses will allow you to defer for a year, meaning you can roll admission over to the following school year, it’s time to consider a gap year.

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A Taste of Tuscany

Strawberry and Whipped Cream Roll

Since most of us are at home these days, SAI felt it was a great time to share the inspired culinary work of our partner school in Florence. Apicius is the Culinary and Hospitality department of Florence University of the Arts – The American University of Florence. The kitchens at Apicius emit enticing smells from the delicious creations prepared by professional chefs and their students-in-training.

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How to Expand Career Options with a Career Certificate?

Changing Careers? Or Job Hunting? Looking for Opportunities to Meet the New Challenges? In these uncertain times, reviewing career choices and exploring new ones can open new doors and accelerate your career path. Earning a Career Certificate can facilitate a rapid change to an exciting career.

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Career Certificate Programs: FAQ’s

As the SAI senior admissions counselor and SAI career certificate specialist, I am here to answer some common questions about the FUA Career Certificate Programs in Florence to help you decide how a career certificate can propel you to a new career or advance in a current one.

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NABA Summer 2020 Virtual Design Programs

July 5 – July 17, 2020

Toss out any ideas you may have about virtual programs being boring or static, because NABA’s (Nuova Academia di Belle Arti) summer virtual programs in Interior Design or Fashion Image and Styling are anything but that! Colorful, fresh, young, vibrant, and contemporary, NABA is paving the way for a new way of learning.

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Summer 2020 Virtual Internships

Your summer might not be shaping up exactly as expected, but you can still take this time to build your resume and global awareness through a virtual internship!  This summer, SAI invites students and young professionals to gain pre-professional experience while building cross-cultural competencies in the comfort and safety of their homes with an SAI Virtual Internship.

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Flowing In My Practice

Rachael, Spring 2020, Sorrento

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  After the chaos that was returning home, (arranging flights, packing-up, transitioning to online learning,) I took some time to start reflecting on the virus as a whole.

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Remembering the Happy Moments

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  Although the situation of studying abroad in Florence did not go as planned, there are many aspects of my trip that I can learn from and value for the rest of my life.

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Corona Revelations

LeAnne. Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  As someone who likes to research and plan just about everything I can, you can imagine my surprise when my semester abroad didn’t in any way go as I anticipated.

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My Study Abroad Experience Was Nothing Like I Expected

Alexa Jo, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m just going to say it…my study abroad experience was nothing like I expected. I’m sure every study abroad student has said some iteration of this upon returning home, but this semester was different. The first month was a whirlwind of new people, new foods, and new places.

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How Studying Abroad During a Pandemic Changed the Way I Think

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m a control freak by nature. I’m most comfortable when I am able to exercise control over my surroundings, which means that I plan. And plan. Excessively. The label seems to invoke negative feelings from the vast majority, but I have come to view it as a double-edged sword.

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Dear Rome,

Ana, Spring 2020, Rome

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  When I first came to Rome I was full of excitement for the new journey I was about to start. I never thought my journey will end so soon, and how I will learn so much in such little time.

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SAI Fall 2020 Programs & COVID-19

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  We know that many students are concerned about whether they will be able to study abroad this fall due to the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you are uncertain about the situation and whether you should proceed with your application with SAI, we want you to know that we have updated a few policies to offer you more time to make your decision.

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SAI Student Resilience Challenge

Spring 2020

SAI Spring 2020 students, we know your time abroad didn’t go as you had expected, so we have created a special challenge just for you! The unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges and increased hardships for many, but it has also united us through empathy, compassion, and greater global awareness.

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In Good Times and Bad

Anneliese, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  My time in Florence was unmatched. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay in Europe for around 40 days but I cherished every second of it. I was very excited because it was my first time leaving the country, and I am sad it had to end.

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Getting Lost in the Eternal City

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

Nineteen years of living in the same place has left me feeling rather claustrophobic. While I love my hometown, there is little to no diversity of thought, culture, and background. And sometimes, I can’t help feeling as if I have been living in a box for the last nineteen years–forced to conform to the ideals of other people.

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First Thoughts on Florence

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

When choosing to study abroad, the options seemed endless. I went to a study abroad fair at my university and it seemed like there were countless program I could study abroad with, I thought I would never be able to decide which program would be best for me. After doing much research, I decided to go to Florence, Italy with SAI.

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I’ve Met My Match in Rome

Alyssa, Spring 2020, Rome

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m restless. Nothing is ever quite enough to keep my attention for too long. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been beautiful places that I’ve loved wholeheartedly. But after a short while, I’m craving something new. I can always go back – but there is still so much I haven’t seen. Going abroad is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.

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10 Creative Ways to Use Your Study Abroad Photos

Nicole, SAI Staff, 2020

I don’t know about you all, but I’m always looking for something new and creative to make with my travel photos. My camera roll is overflowing (seriously, I have 47,000 photos on my phone.. help), and while in quarantine, I’ve made it my mission to try out some new photo ideas.

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SAI Summer 2020 Programs & COVID-19

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  Please know that we made the difficult decision to cancel all SAI Summer 2020 on-site programs. We will be offering an array of virtual opportunities for students who are interested in earning credits while gaining some international exposure from home. —–  We know that many students are concerned about studying abroad this summer due to the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

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Free (and Discounted) Resources During COVID-19

With many businesses, libraries, museums and event spaces temporarily closing down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many organizations have decided to make their content more accessible for all. We’ve compiled a list of different resources or deals available during this time and we’ll continue to edit this post as needed. Adobe Adobe has announced that it will be providing free at-home access to Creative Cloud apps to those students who usually only have access on-campus.

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Remote Learning: Tips & Practical Advice

Things may feel uneasy right now. Amid the uncertainties presented by COVID-19, many things have changed with concerns about how we attend classes, work from home, and socialize with friends. Engaging in a healthy, productive, and balanced remote learning environment may be completely new to you. It can be difficult to navigate the unknowns, disruptions, and uncertainties you may be experiencing.

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SAI Italy Summer 2020 & Coronavirus

For updates on SAI’s response to Coronavirus regarding current programs see COVID-19 updates.  We know that many students are concerned about studying abroad this summer due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy. Please know that, while SAI had to suspend Spring 2020 programs in Italy, we do not currently expect to do so for Summer 2020 programs. We are anticipating our programs will proceed as usual, but we will notify all students if that changes.

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A Florence Fiasco

LeAnne, Florence, Spring 2020

When researching the location I should study, I read and heard from past study abroad students that Florence is the place to go to have a true life-altering study abroad experience. I wanted to expand my knowledge on art and culture, and I thought Florence would be the perfect place for that.

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Overwhelmed in the Best Way: My First Week in Firenze

Sophie, Florence, Spring 2020

  To be honest, I was dreading writing this post – how could I possibly have a reflection about my time in Florence if I’ve barely unpacked? But as I began to reflect on my short time here, I realize that Florence has already begun to make an impact on me. I go to my state university, only about an hour and a half from where I have lived my entire life.

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First few days in Florence!

Amelia, Florence, Spring 2020

I decided to study abroad with SAI because they offered many excursions and Florence seemed like a beautiful, wonderful city to study abroad in. Overall, I wasn’t very nervous about anything, besides the language barrier and being so far away from home. I have never learned the Italian language, so it will be all new to me.

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One Blink and A Week Flew By

Alexa Jo, Florence, Spring 2020

Less than a week ago, I hugged my parents, friends, and family goodbye and set off on my own adventure. I have always been independent, but never like this. I got through security, my plane had free movies, and the nine-hour flight seemed to fly by. That is until I set foot in the Paris airport for my layover.

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Me, Myself, and Milan

Raquel, Milan, Spring 2020

I always knew I wanted to study abroad from the moment I began college. Study abroad was an adventure I knew I wanted to experience during my time in college, as I thought it was an experience and a different approach in my education that could further my knowledge in design.

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Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy While Abroad

Katherine, Paris, Spring 2020

Mental and physical health should be a priority wherever you are. It can be beyond easy to lose sight of your overall health when you are living out your dream in a foreign country. Take it from someone who has been living in Paris for months, ensuring you are in good health is essential to having a successful semester abroad.

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Two Weeks Abroad

Jocelyn, Florence, Spring 2020

For as long as I can remember I have been waiting to travel the world. Before coming to Florence I had never been to another continent and felt as though I was greatly lacking cultural diversity and experience. From the moment I got to the airport, I was overcome with excitement to begin this next chapter in my life.

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The Biggest Lessons I Learned While Being Abroad

Bri, SAI Ambassador, 2020

When students talk about their study abroad experience it is common to hear “I had the time of my life!”, “It was awesome!”, or “It was the most fun I’ve ever had!”. While all of those statements are very true and I am guilty of using them myself, I believe it is just as important to mention the challenges you experienced because overcoming adversity or setbacks shape who are just as much (and maybe more)

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Paris School of Business Awarded AACSB Accreditation

SAI is very pleased to announce that the Paris School of Business (PSB) has just received international AACSB accreditation. This award is the culmination of a rigorous five-year review process and recognizes PSB’s commitment to engagement, innovation, impact, and academic excellence.

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Spend Your Summer 2020 in Sicily!

Do you dream of a summer that’s both productive and endlessly fun? Look no further than Syracuse Academy’s Summer IV term in Sicily! You’ll spend your summer soaking up the Mediterranean sun while discovering the many histories of Sicily: pre-historic, baroque, and mythological.

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How to Vote While Abroad

Clau Castaneda, University Relations Associate

So you’ve unpacked your bags, shaken off those last remnants of jetlag, and are ready to dive into a carefree semester of breathtaking sights, drool-worthy food, and new friends. There’s nothing quite like saying goodbye to the responsibilities, expectations, and to-do lists of daily life in the United States for a semester, right? Not so fast!

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Become a Student Photographer for SAI!

Spring 2020

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

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Meet Our Spring 2020 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 2020 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.

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A Singer in the SAI Office: Finding A Voice I Never Knew I Had

Cameron, SAI Intern, 2019

I am a musician with a bachelor’s degree in voice, so I always have to update two different resumés: My artistic resumé and my work experience resumé. My life would be a lot easier if I only needed one resumé, but I am pretty sure a restaurant manager is not going to care that I played Doralee Rhodes in a production of 9 to 5 when I was a freshman in college.

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Navigating the Rocky Terrain: Studying Abroad while in a Long-Distance Relationship

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

Before coming to Paris, my biggest anxiety wasn’t the language barrier I’d surely encounter with my mediocre french-speaking skills nor was it the fact that I was moving 6,000 miles away from my family and friends at my home university. Rather, my biggest apprehension surrounded my relationship– fearful that studying abroad and moving away from my partner inevitably meant breaking up.

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A Familiar Kind of Foreign

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

Last weekend I took a trip to Fes, Morocco. I had been looking forward to taking a weekend trip to Morocco since I arrived in Spain. Morocco is so close and I had always drawn inspiration from the ornate patterns in Moroccan design which are so full of color and texture. My excitement stemmed from the fact that I would be seeing something that I recognized on a screen firsthand.

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5 Amazing Views of Florence

Margaret, Florence, Fall 2019

Florence is one of the oldest and most incredible cities in Italy and every street is filled with history and beauty. Whether it’s a hike up out of the valley of Florence, a view from the most important cathedral in Florence, or a view from your local palace, Florence has the most incredible places to take in the beauty of the city.

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Study Abroad: A Time For Adventure and Growth

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2020

At the very beginning, I was just another wide-eyed American who had never been anywhere but the States. I was eager to begin traveling and explore every part of Florence and the rest of Europe. This was the first time I was ever truly on my own without having my parents at my beck and call. I could certainly call my parents, but there wasn’t much they could do when an ocean stood between us.

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Top 10 Tips: SAI Enrollment & Beyond

Micaela, Vice President of Enrollment Services

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

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Why You Should Study Abroad in Sicily

We sat down with Micaela Kliegl, SAI Vice President of Enrollment Services, 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, 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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5 Summer 2020 Programs Under $5,000

Anna, SAI Programs

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

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Summer 2020 Internships in Sorrento

Anna, SAI Programs

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

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SCOPE Summer 2020 Programs Have Been Announced!

Anna, SAI Programs

Summer is a time to explore, to create, to make new friends and memories. And if you’re like most students, summer is a valuable time to get ahead in your studies. Instead of staying on campus next summer, we invite you to step outside of your comfort zone and discover two incredible European cities with our SCOPE programs. SCOPE (multi-city) programs combine two of our wonderful summer programs into one incredible experience.

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Study Abroad Tattoos!

Some of our students loved their study abroad experience SO much that they decided to add permanent reminders to their bodies. That’s right… study abroad tattoos! We recently collected photos and descriptions of a couple from throughout the years and we think they’re all pretty awesome. “At the end of my Florence trip, I knew I wanted to commemorate the experience forever.

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Leaving the Tourist Bubble in Search of Authenticity

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Top 7 Views Overlooking Paris

Jennifer, SAI Staff, 2019

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

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3 Must-See Attractions While in Rome

Dwight, Rome,Fall 2019

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

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Best Gelato in Florence: The Complete Guide

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Essential Packing List for a Semester in Italy

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Photo Contest Announcement!

Fall 2019

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

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

Elizabeth, SAI programs

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

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

Olivia, Milan, Fall 2019

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

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A Time When Taking a Great Risk Had a Great Reward

Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Arianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Weekend Travel and Overdoing It

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Audrey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Study Abroad in a Not-So-Foreign Land

Tessa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Morgan’s Memoir

Morgan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Tips from an Ambassador!

Courtney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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License to Study Abroad

Elena, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Living Like a Local

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Kyle’s Guide to Studying Abroad!

Kyle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Somewhere Under the Duomo

Emma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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An Everlasting Experience

Maxine, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Studying Abroad in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Alumni Photo Contest

Fall 2019

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

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Spontaneous Excursions around Sorrento!

Kelsey, Sorrento, Fall 2019

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

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My Time Abroad!

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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“Remember To Look Up and Take It All In”

Kara, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Little Adventures

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Exploring Different Cultures

Kaleo, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Fi: Semester at Firenze

Tanvi, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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What I Loved About Studying Abroad

Brenna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Falling in Love With Florence

Alexa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Rome Away From Rome

Olivia, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Home Away from Home

Evan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Making the most out of your time abroad

Abbey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Studying Abroad

Erica, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Fun in Florence

Noah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Joseph, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Flowing Into Florence – Easy, Peasy, Spaghetti

Danielle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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What They Don’t Tell You Before Going Abroad

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Reminiscing About My Spring in Florence

Sarah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Rome Sweet Rome

Theresa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Barcelona Journey

Kyle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Most Eye-opening Experience

Charlotte, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Ci vediamo, Roma!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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Finding Magic in Milan

Ashley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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A Trip of a Lifetime

Jaelyn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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& Pizza Was Never The Same

Madeline, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Isabella, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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La prima volta: Milano

Regina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Thoughts on My Semester Abroad

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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When in Spain

Noor, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Doumo: Morning, Noon, and Night

Lia, Milan, Fall 2019

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

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My SAI Housing

Dwight, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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

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

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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My Experience So Far

Nina, Barcelona, Fall 2019

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

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A Beautiful City with Beautiful Views

Sarah, Siena, Fall 2019

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

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A-Lot-O’ Gelato

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Friends Are Made Over Dinner

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Barcelona in the Rain

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

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

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My Top Five Tips for Florence

Ariana, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Paris, is that You?

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

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

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A Weekend in the Mountainous Beauty of Abruzzo

Warheal, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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

Taylor, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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A Tip or Two (or five!)

Josie, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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Breezy in Abruzzo

Karissa, Rome, Fall 2019

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

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5 Things to know about LGBTQIA+ Culture in Italy

Clau, SAI Programs

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

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Sicily: Doing While Learning

Micaela, SAI Vice President of Enrollment Services

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

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How To: Survive Your First Week Abroad

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

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

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

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

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

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First Day of Classes!

Marie, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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Ciao da Roma!

Hamzah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Finding Peace in Solitude

Kathryn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Paris Me Manque Tous Les Jours

Jordan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Florence Local for 6 Weeks

Annabel, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Summer in Sorrento

Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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A Forensic Dream

Molly, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Never Ending Footsteps

Alayna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Advice from an Ambassador!

Palma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Endless Pastabilities

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Culture is Key

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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When in Rome

Mariana, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Eight Foods You Must Try in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Reed, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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The Best Experience of My Life!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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How to Transport Your Medicine to Europe

Micaela, Vice President of Enrollment Services

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

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Travel Tips from an SAI Ambassador!

Bri, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Summer 2019 Photo Contest!

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

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More Than an Internship

Sophia, Summer Intern 2019

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

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My Experience on an SAI Excursion: Nice, France

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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My First Spain Experience!

Toyin, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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Meet Our Summer Intern, Cameron!

Cameron, Summer Intern, 2019

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

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What to Expect Before the Big “Take Off”

Megan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Adventure of a Lifetime

Haley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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3 Feelings for My First 3 Days

Kyra, Siena, Summer 2019

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

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

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

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

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Studying Abroad as a First Generation Student

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Creating Unique Travel Photos

Sami, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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A Fashionista’s Guide to Milan: What to Pack

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

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

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Ciao Roma

Christina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Know Before you Go

Research your Host City & Country

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

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Meet Our Summer Intern, Sophia!

Sophia, Summer Intern 2019

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

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Top 4 Things to Do in Florence for FREE

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Q&A: Studying Abroad With SAI

Erica, SAI Ambassador

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

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

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Hanna Lester, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Faculty Perspective on Barcelona

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

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Meet Our Summer 2019 Bloggers!

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

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Quick Getaways From Paris

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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My Top 5 Restaurants in Florence

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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A Nice Time in France

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Reasons Why You Should Journal

Sara Catherine, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Guide to Getting Where You Want to Go

Marissa, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Cameron Cipolla, SAI Ambassador

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

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Spring 2019 Photo Contest

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

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My Photo Blog

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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Five Things You Never Knew About Milan

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

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

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Seven Must-Visit Locations in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

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

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My Homestay Abroad: A Multicultural Experience

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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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.