Blog
Florence

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

“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?

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

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?

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

& 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.

Read Full Article

“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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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)

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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”.

Read Full Article

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)

Read Full Article

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?

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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!

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article

Overcoming the Homesick Blues

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

A Valentine Sunday in Verona

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

My Favorite Class Project

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

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

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

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

Samantha, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

From Strange to Sweet

Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

The Pigeon Chronicles

Jack, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

Italian Love Affair

Arianna, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Why Go Abroad?

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

Five Things I Learned About Myself Studying Abroad

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Falling in Love with Unconventionality

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

The Declassified Florence Survival Guide: First Week Edition

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

The Part of Florence you May be Overlooking

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

Read Full Article

Tuscany’s Green Gold: l’Olio d’Oliva

Alessandra, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

Fall in Love with Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

In a Holi-Daze in Firenze

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

The Finish Line

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Learning Outside the Classroom

Hannah, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

The Best Places to Take Your Family When They Visit

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

How to Deal with Homesickness while Studying Abroad

Camille, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Studying Abroad: Expectations vs Reality

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

What My Study Abroad Experience Means to Me

Samantha, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Take a Step

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

What I Ate in a Day

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Piazza Santa Croce

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Student Traveler’s Guide to Hostels

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Ballin’ On a Budget

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Rocking Day Trip: Marble Quarries and A Stone Walled City

Allan, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

The Top Five Places in Santo Spirito

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Becoming Culturally Introduced

Katherine, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

Forza Viola!

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

Jazz Speaks for Life

Piera, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

What I Learned About Myself in Florence

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Frenzy in Firenze: Settling in Abroad

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

The Whirlwind of Emotions

Samantha, Fall 2018

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

Read Full Article

2018/19 SAI Ambassador Questionnaire

Courtney, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Half a World Away, A Forever Piece of Home

Lillie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Summer 2018 Florence, Italy

Mary Paige, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Time in Florence

Madison, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Study Abroad in Florence

Cecelia, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Semester Abroad in Florence

Jackie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Florence, My City

Gal, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Forever Florence

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Live the Experience

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

What My Marketing Class Taught Me

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Life-Changing Experience

Alex, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

La Mia Bella Italia

Danielle, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Experience Abroad

Sara, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Ciao, Florence!

Madison, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Summer in Florence

Francesca, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Study Abroad Impacts

Camille, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

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

Bryce, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Time in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

More Than Just Gelato

Tara, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Experience Abroad

Hanna, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Whirlwind Semester

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Moving Forward

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Getting to Know Italy

Kristen, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

SAI Alumni Spotlight: Caleb Crum

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

Read Full Article

My Time in Florence

Emily, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Journey

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Adventure Is Out There!

Cameron, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Summer in Italy

Kinsey, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Ciao for Now

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Semester of a Lifetime

Gwen, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Going Outside My Comfort Zone

Madeline, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Abroad Advice

Angelika, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Study Abroad Experience

Grace, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Semester Reflection

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Study Abroad Reflection

Holly, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

All the World’s a Stage

Brielle, Florence, Summer 2018

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

Read Full Article

Italians and Americans at Work

Maurizio, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

The Last Waltz with Florence

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Tidbits Gained from Being Abroad

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Tuscan Farm Adventures: An SAI Excursion!

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Learning Something

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Volunteering in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Favorite Places in My Neighborhood

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

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

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Contemporary Art Class Field Trip

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

My SAI Moment

Carly, SAI Student Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Friends for Life

Holly & Julia, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Italian Coffee Experience

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

Read Full Article

Why My First Week Abroad Is Still My Favorite

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

A ‘Nice’ Getaway

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

What to Wear to Look Like a Local in Florence

Carly, Florence, Summer 2017

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

Read Full Article

Making the Most of Rainy Days in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

How I Prepared For My First Week Abroad

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

You Had Me at Pizza

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Cooking & Eating My Way Through Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Special Spots in Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Abroad Alone? Abroad Alone.

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

Read Full Article

Some Life Advice from an Alumna

Allie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

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

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Making Memories + Saving memories: Alternatives to Journaling

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Do Something Different in Florence This Summer

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

Read Full Article

Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

A Change of Pace on Cobblestone Streets

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Not Quite Home for the Holidays

Maddie, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Davids of Florence, Ranked

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

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

Marilyn, SAI Admissions Counselor

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

Read Full Article

The Honeymoon Phase in Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Cultural Experience

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

5 Ways to Make Homesickness Productive

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Top 10 Must-See’s When Traveling Abroad

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Balling on a Budget

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Why Classes Abroad are Worth Every Penny…

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Loving How to Learn Again: The Renaissance of my Education

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Lose Yourself and You Will Find Your Way

Abbey, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence!

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

All the World has to Offer

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Roots and Wings: A Remedy for Homesickness

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

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

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Oh the places you’ll go… and eat!

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Two Weeks Down in Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

Acclimating to Italia

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

Read Full Article

SAI Alumni Spotlight: Kristen

Kristen, SAI Florence Alum

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

Read Full Article

SAI Alumni Spotlight: Patrick

Patrick, SAI Florence Alum

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

Read Full Article

SAI Alumni Spotlight: Bryce

SAI Florence Alum

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

Read Full Article

Ten Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

Read Full Article

How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Florence

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

Read Full Article

A Vegan Abroad

Anna, Florence, Summer 2017

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

Read Full Article

Survival Guide for your First week in Firenze

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Three Things I’ve Learned About Firenze Culture

Ellie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

I Love my Apartment!

Alexis, Florence, Summer 2017

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

Read Full Article

Seafood Diet!

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Growing Pains and Catching Trains

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Italian Coffee Lesson 101

Christy, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

FLY: BeGiuls, Be You Springtime Launch Party

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Must Do Things In and Around Florence

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Back Home

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Interning at FLY

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Florence Food Bucket List for Abroad Students

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Lake Garda: The Path Less Traveled

Miranda, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lily, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Positano and Capri

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Traveling Internationally Brought my Family Closer Together

Halie, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

An Explosive Easter in Florence

Chiara, SAI Staff

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

Read Full Article

Presento i Miei Amici Fiore e Alessio!

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Things I’ve Learned So Far from a Semester Abroad

Jessica, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

SAI Alumni Spotlight: Dominic Sondag

NYC Menswear Designer

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

Read Full Article

A Fresh Perspective

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Nearing the End

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Discover Italy

Nancy, Spring 2017, Florence

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

Read Full Article

A Few “Most-Dos”

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Quick and Easy Travel Tips

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

My Absolute Favorite Class Right Now

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Travels Gone Wrong

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Contemporary Art in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

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

Read Full Article

Traveling While Abroad: My Top 5 Tips

Margarette-Ruth, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Tips to Tasteful Travel

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Parli Inglese? Do you speak English?

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Pompeii

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Summer Rain

Evan, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

My Ten Favorite Things to do in Florence

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Peaking in Switzerland

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Florentine Sorpresa!

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

The Art of Food and Drink in Florence

Bonnie, Florence, Summer 2016

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

Read Full Article

Sweet Beginnings

Nancy, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

Preparing & Adjusting: Welcome to Florence

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

A Potential Solution to Your Luggage Woes

Halie, Student Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

A Semester of Simple Pleasures

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

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

Read Full Article

Fun in Firenze

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

Read Full Article

A Thank You Letter to Florence

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

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

Read Full Article

Returning for the Holidays: A Year Removed

Adam, Student Ambassador

It has been a year since I have had a taste of the great Italian culture in Florence, Italy. I was fortunate enough to live there for almost four months last fall. I traveled to seven countries and countless cities across Europe. It was amazing. However, while I was traveling it never crossed my mind how difficult it would be to explain to my family how truly great all of my adventures were.

Read Full Article

Abroad Reflection

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

After the dozens of weekend trips, studying for finals, and packing away everything from the past four months, it’s finally time to go back to the United States. It’s difficult to summarize all the amazing experiences, memories, and friends that I have made while abroad.  During these past four months, I’ve experienced some of the most beautiful places and have gotten to live in a European culture.

Read Full Article

High Fives Around Europe / Video

Erin, Florence, Fall 2016

We can’t get enough of Erin Pachter’s creative video of her semester abroad. She studied with SAI in Florence Fall 2016, and visited so many beautiful places! I had previously seen a video like this on YouTube and I really enjoyed it. I knew going into my trip that I wanted to make a video like this because it would show and remind me of all the adventures I had traveling.

Read Full Article

“Tell Me a Story”

Danielle, Student Ambassador

Studying abroad as a fashion merchandising student was an amazing opportunity for me. I took a visual merchandising class during my time abroad, which is something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. My professor was so knowledgeable and really sparked my interest even more about the visual aspects of the fashion industry. Our class final project was called “Tell Me a Story.

Read Full Article

Doggie on Alfani

Evan, SAI Ambassador

There was a dog I never met in Florence. He was a little guy, mostly white with some ink splotches, and he had a hard time walking. Yet his owner, upright and undeterred, would walk him down a street near mine whenever night fell. During my time attending FUA this summer, seeing that dog and his patient owner was as much a nightly routine for me as walking seemed to be for them.

Read Full Article

A Day in the Culinary City of Florence

Miranda, SAI Ambassador

One of the main things that draws tourists to Florence and Italy in general is the promise of delicious food. From tiny cafés to sidewalk restaurants, Florence has so much to offer in terms of food that it can get overwhelming to decide where to go! While studying abroad in Florence, I had the opportunity to explore the streets to find my favorite places to eat for every meal.

Read Full Article

What To Do When You Leave The Classroom

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

“There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this” – Unknown The best thing about studying in Florence Italy this fall is that not only am I baking my dreams come true in the kitchen but also my horizon is expanding and nothing but a growing curiosity for adventure and knowledge is left. There is so much more to experience than just classes when studying abroad!

Read Full Article

Top 10 Things to do in Florence!

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

1. Get Gelato My favorite thing about Italy is the amazing gelato. There are so many different little gelato shops, and they all have different flavors! Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any choice of gelato shops. There is a gelato shop where they serve you gelato and decorate it as a flower; the shop is called Amorino. 2. Eat at a local restaurant There are so many options for yummy restaurants in town!

Read Full Article

Love To Be Lost

Heather, Florence, Fall 2015

In the normal world, being lost is not a good thing; it is to be avoided at all costs. However, during your abroad experience, I would suggest you do get lost in your new city. (Of course make sure you have the right tools to find your way back home if you get really lost; I would suggest CityMaps).

Read Full Article

Fall in Firenze

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

So it’s officially fall in Firenze! Yes that means it is COLD, oh and rainy! Okay so it’s not really that bad……. But if you plan on traveling to Florence (which I completely support), bring a good jacket and umbrella. Remember to carry your umbrella with you. If you are like me, you won’t think about your umbrella until you are soaking wet walking through Florence.

Read Full Article

Tips For Traveling While Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

Do your research! Always do your research before your trips. Look into what airport or train station you are arriving in and how far that is from where you are staying. Research the area that you are going. Research transportation from the train station to your hotel or where ever you are staying. (Some places have Uber).

Read Full Article

Top 10 Things to do in Firenze

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

Now that I have been in Florence for about a month and a half, I have definitely picked out some of my favorite things to see, places to go, and things to do. I did my best to compile a list of just 10 of these to share with all of you. The following are in no specific order: 1.

Read Full Article

Top 10 Things to do in Florence

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

1. Enjoy wine and watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. It is very touristy so my recommendation is to get there early (before the sun sets) to get a good seat. 2. Shop and watch local street entertainment at the Piazza della Repubblica. Enjoy shops from fast fashion stores like Zara to luxury shops like Gucci. There are some of the best places to enjoy dinner with an amazing view.

Read Full Article

A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

We handed over our Instagram account to Hannah for the day. This is her day in Florence (October 12, 2016). Hello! My name is Hannah Latham and I will be taking over this account for the day to show you my typical day in Florence! I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan and am currently a junior attending Florence University of the Arts but back home I go to Carthage College in Wisconsin and study Neuroscience.

Read Full Article

SAI Excursion Vlog

Jessica, Florence, Fall 2016

Jessica takes us along as she tastes wine in Bolgheri, swims in the warm waters of the Isola del Giglio and hikes around archaeological sites on the SAI program inclusive weekend excursion to Maremma and the Tuscan Islands. ___ Jessica is a current student at Georgia State University studying at the Florence University of the Arts, Italy during the Fall 2016 term.

Read Full Article

Surviving My First Week Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

From the moment I left the airport, I knew that the next four months were going to be full of many first foreign adventures for me. Going to Europe was the first foreign step I was taking. There were so many emotions that I was feeling as I stepped on the plane from Boston to Zurich, Switzerland and then to Florence, Italy.

Read Full Article
Load More

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.