Blog
Florence

Forza Ferrari Sempre: Attending a Formula One Race in Italy

Taylor, Spring 2024, Florence

Although I have crossed the finish line on my time with SAI in Florence, being in Italy gave me the opportunity to continue having incredible experiences, like going to a Formula One race. I was able to attend the Imola Grand Prix as a Ferrari fan in Italy. If you know anything about F1, you know how wild they go for the Scuderia at their home races.

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LGBTQ+ Abroad

Ali, Spring, Florence

With anywhere you go aboard, it’s important to do your research on many aspects of life. The food, the language, the currency and the politics and laws. The laws are especially important as things you might have known to be okay, are illegal in another country. In this time of uncertainty, it is especially important to do so as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Some of my Favorite Lesser-Known Spots in Florence

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

If you’ve been studying in Florence this semester, you’re probably familiar with the classic study abroad spots, like Red Garter, Pino’s and Lion’s Fountain. In attempts to make the most of my time in Florence, I’ve been visiting more local places to get the most out of my experience in Florence. I’ve compiled a list of a couple additional spots that are must-sees in our last month before we head home!

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Making the Most of Your Time Left Abroad

Jess, Spring 2024, Florence

During my time abroad, I’ve spent many weekends traveling to new countries and cities to see beautiful places and learn about new cultures. While catching flights and trains to new countries every weekend is a big part of the study abroad experience, it is also important to explore the place you call home for 4 months. My time spent in Florence is full of many of my core memories I’ve made while abroad.

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Experiencing Milan Fashion Week

Alison, Spring 2024, Florence

When I found out that Milan Fashion Week for Spring 2024 was coinciding with my Spring Break, I knew I had to go. At the time, only one designer was on the calendar, but I didn’t want to waste time and booked everything to see the smaller show. Arriving in Milan was overwhelming. I struggled to get my taxi app to work and was heckled outside the station to buy things from vendors.

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Traveling While Abroad

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

Exploring while abroad can evoke a mix of excitement, apprehension, and challenges. Prior to my study abroad experience, I held the misconception that traveling would be inexpensive and effortless. However, I quickly learned that while it becomes more manageable with practice, it never truly becomes effortless. It often involves moments of overwhelm and fatigue, yet the rewards are always profound. Despite the potential for expenses, it’s vital to embrace the opportunity to explore the world.

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The Immersion of Florence

Grace, Spring 2024, Florence

Arriving in Florence my first week I was overwhelmed with the number of activities, restaurants, cafes, libraries, museums, and artwork to see. I thought to myself, “How am I going to see everything in 3 and a half months?” Before coming to Florence, I didn’t do my research. I was surprised at how much of a tourist town Florence is. I was shocked at how much history there is in one city like Florence.

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A Quick Guide to Home Cooking Abroad

Alison, Spring 2024, Florence

When I asked people what they were most excited about studying abroad, they almost always said the same thing: trying authentic cuisines. Thanks to some of my cultural classes, I’ve been living in Italy for nearly two months and have tried many things I didn’t expect to. However, I have turned to cooking meals at home most weeks. With access to a kitchen and several grocery stores nearby, I wanted a taste of home.

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A Full Day of Florentine Food and Drinks

Taylor, Spring 2024, Florence

One of the things I was most excited for in Florence was the food. There are many famous places to get food and drinks that you will see on social media, such as All’Antico Vinaio and the wine windows.

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Packing List for a Semester Abroad

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

Packing for going abroad is not an easy task at hand. It is something that people do not seem to talk about a lot. So after my experience with packing for a semester in Italy, I wanted to share my tips and packing list! TIPS For Packing:  Pack early!!! Set aside at least 2 free days before you leave that will give you enough time to pack and rearrange to make everything fit perfectly!

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5 Countries in 8 Days?!

Chyler, Spring 2024,

At the beginning of the semester my roommates and I sat down wanting to figure out how to visit the most countries during our mid-session break while still giving us time to see the cities we were visiting. We also didn’t want to break the bank to get to these cities.

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Embracing Florence: How to Make Your New City Feel Like Home

Jess, Spring 2024, Florence

Moving to a new place, yet alone a new country, can be daunting. You’ve spent months anticipating and preparing for this moment and now it’s finally here. After my first few weeks in Florence, I’ve experienced a whole new world of opportunities and changes. While I still have a lot to learn, these are a few of my tips to make the transition abroad easier and make the most of your new city.

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Finding Slivers of America While Abroad: A Tourist’s Middle Ground

Lauren, Spring 2024, Florence

As an American getting settled in the routine of living abroad, it’s easy to feel a bit out of place. Hyper-aware of your American-ness, trying to dress and act as Italian as you can, all the while making yourself look more American in the process. You might try to order your coffee in Italian, but the bartender will reply in fluent English, leaving you embarrassed that they could tell from just a few words.

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5 Reasons to Study Abroad

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

As my time in Italy came to an end, I reflected on the things that stood out to me the most while studying abroad there and the benefits of doing it. I learned that even though there were situations and things that were not very positive about it, the good experiences and memories of it, definitely make it worthy to study abroad no matter what!! Here are 5 reasons why you should study abroad!!

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Getting Ready to Leave

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

You’re reaching the end of your semester with SAI! Leaving your study abroad city can be an emotional experience, regardless of how excited you are to see your friends and family back home. It might be hard to think through packing and planning for your return trip amidst the last few activities, finals, and goodbyes.

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“Students Not Tourists” The Way We Become Community Members

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

As my journey abroad is coming to an end I have no choice but to reflect on the many adventures, lessons, and hardships I’ve had along this journey. I’ve learned from my peers, my professors, and locals of Italy. While reflecting there is one lesson that stands out to me the most. It is the lesson that we as members of the study abroad experience are students and not tourists.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

When studying abroad, there is a lot to plan in advance. It may feel overwhelming to students who are trying their best to adequately prepare and respond to situations they may encounter abroad. I decided to compile questions that students often have about studying abroad and provide my insight.   Question 1: How will I make friends?

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Learning to Fight For Myself

Halie, Fall 2023, Florence

Throughout my entire life, everything I had done and every decision I had made, I always asked myself what other people would think. It wouldn’t matter what I wanted or what I thought I needed; the fear of disappointing others had controlled and consumed me for as long as I can remember.

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Interviewing Students Abroad: Finding Community while Abroad

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

For my interview I decided to focus on the more underrepresented demographics when studying abroad. More specifically minority groups like and introverted personalities. During my experience abroad I have met a wide variety of people and personalities most of them fitting the stereotypical demographics for countries like Italy. Although they have welcomed me and other minority peers like myself with open arms, I was worried about how I would find community here.

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Florence On a Budget

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Dreaming about studying in Florence but worried about the cost? I have good news for you! Studying abroad does not need to be as expensive as some people make it be. Many students spend every night at the bar and every weekend in a new country. However, this is not feasible for many of us, nor do I think it is worth it.

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Tips for Learning the Language of Your Host Country

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Moving to a new country can be extremely daunting, and comes with a whole bundle of daily culture shocks. Adding a whole new language into the mix can make things even more challenging. Before coming to Italy, I knew very little Italian but made it my goal to learn as much as I could out of respect to locals and in the hopes of reconnecting with my grandmother’s heritage.

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Navigating Friendships Abroad: Florence, Italy

Margaret, Fall 2023, Florence

Embarking on a journey abroad can be an exciting adventure, but it can also come with the challenge of building new friendships in an unfamiliar environment. Making friends while abroad is a crucial aspect of creating a fulfilling and enriching experience. Here are some practical tips and strategies to help you forge meaningful connections and build a supportive social network in a new international setting.

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Escaping the City

Catherine, Fall 2023, Florence

When I decided to study abroad, I knew I specifically wanted to get to know the city of Florence better after traveling here once before. The culture itself has so much to offer and I found the possibility of discovering cafes, bookstores, and historical sites very exciting.

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Finding Passions Abroad

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

While studying abroad, I expected to learn fascinating things about the history and culture of Italy, but I never imagined that I would also unlock a new future passion. I chose to study abroad in the Fall of 2022 and had planned my schedule accordingly to take mostly general education classes.

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Life in Florence

Brett, Spring 2023, Florence

As I sit on my comfy couch in my home in Columbia, South Carolina, I can’t help but think back about my time abroad in Florence, Italy. As cliche as it sounds, this experience genuinely changed my life. I would like to consider myself a well traveled individual so my choice to take the semester abroad in Italy was about so much more than just getting away from home for a little while.

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Best coffee or Study spots in Florence

Isai, Fall 2023, Florence

If you’re studying in Florence, working, or simply visiting and you need to take your daily cup of coffee, I recommend 5 places to visit. All these coffee spots function as study spaces as well so they’re perfect to do some homework, work on your computer, read a book, and more. They are spread throughout the Florence city center for a convenient pit stop if needed, and all of them provide wife service.

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5 Tips for Planning a Perfect Day Trip

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

Learning how to plan and budget your own day trips as an adult can be intimidating, especially in an unfamiliar country. However, with a few considerations and a willingness to pivot when needed, day trips can make unforgettable memories and allow you to venture outside of your host city while studying abroad! Here are a few tips that I think will help you perfect your day trip planning, even as an inexperienced traveler! 1)

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Taking a Step Closer: Reflection of the Historical influence of TYPE

Jaylen, Fall 2023, Florence

As a graphic designer there are plenty of avenues of inspiration that come from being in Florence. I’ve decided to focus on one that is a major challenge for most designers to research and use properly. This challenge is typography and the use of typographic materials. Typography is the arrangement of letters and text to communicate clear ideas. Whether those ideas are to enlighten, warn, intrigue, or comfort.

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5 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Abroad

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

Chances are studying abroad will be an adjustment for most people! Moving to a whole new city surrounded by all new people can be pretty overwhelming. Being burned out, or homesick is a plausible reality for many. Of course, it is all temporary and does not come close to outweighing the positives, but while abroad it is still important to focus on yourself. Once you do, the experience becomes that much better.

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Maintaining a Sense of Identity in a New Place

Katherine, Fall 2023, Florence

One piece of advice I found online when preparing for my study abroad (and I wish I could have cited this person, because it really stuck with me) was that you will continue to be the same person at your study abroad location as you are at home. Your skills, weaknesses, insecurities, comfort zones, social skills, etc will not magically change for the better once your plane lands. And that’s a good thing!

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My experience with Study Abroad and my favorite places I visited

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence University of the Arts

I arrived in Florence and immediately fell in love with the city and all the culture and history it holds. Walking past the Duomo on my way to class every morning and experiencing the city buzz with energy every day felt like a dream. I learned so much about the history of Italy and adjusted to the everyday lifestyle of a Florentine.

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Florence Study Abroad Tips and Guide

Andrea, Fall 2022, Florence

Florence is a beautiful city filled with so much history, good food, and great people. It takes a while to find the hidden gems of this city and establish a routine of everyday cafes and hangout spots. I am a month and a half into my semester abroad and have discovered some great spots for all kinds of different activities.

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Spontaneity on the Streets of Florence

Makena, Fall 2023, Florence

Besides the delicious food, one of my favorite things about Florence is that there is always something new to see or explore, whether it is hidden or in plain sight. Florence is such a lively and diverse city, bearing a unique experience for every person, mood, and day. To make the most of my time here (and improve my navigation skills!), I make an effort to always walk down different streets.

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Looking Back on Study Abroad – One Year Later

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I packed my things and flew to Florence, Italy for a semester abroad. Going in, I had so much uncertainty about my ability to adjust to a different culture, converse in another language, and make connections with locals. However, I also had a deep excitement that carried me forward despite my nerves.

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Why I Loved Studying Abroad in January

Zoe, Jan Term 2023, Florence

Studying abroad is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself and the world around you. I was privileged to study abroad in January 2023 in Florence, Italy. I attended the Florence University of the Arts (FUA) and encountered various new experiences, especially finding my independence. Attending FUA allowed me to leave the United States for the first time in my life.

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Tempio Maggiore, an unexpected journey

Tuuli, Summer 2023, Pre-College Program

While in Florence on my three week study abroad trip, my Art History class took me to “The Great Synagogue of Florence” or Tempio Maggiore. The Synagogue was easily my favorite place I went to in Florence, not only because of its stunning architecture and grand interior, but because of its story.

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My Top 5 Places to Visit in Florence

Isabelle, Summer 2023, Florence

These are just a few of my top places to visit while in Florence! 1- Piazzale Michelangelo The Piazzale Michelangelo has the most magical view in Florence, which makes it my number one must-visit spot. You can see everything from the Plaza: the Arno, the Duomo, and all the beautiful buildings and streets. The panoramic view shows just how beautiful this city really is. I recommend grabbing your favorite pizza in Florence (mine is Biancazerozero!)

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Elementary Volunteer Position

Meredith, Spring 2023, Florence

I had the opportunity to work at three different schools in the outer parts of Florence. Each class that I worked in gave me different experiences and lessons that I will take with me when I leave to go back to the United States.  The first class I worked with were a group of 3rd grade students which I learned to love.

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Slow Down and Be Present

Paige, Spring 2023, Florence

“I will never have this version of me again. Let me slow down and be with her” – Rupi Kaur. Slow down, read that over again. I read this quote last year and immediately went into a deep reflection. I reflected on my school life, work life, and social life. There are so many different aspects of my life where I tend to overwork myself and not enjoy where I am both physically and mentally.

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Volunteering In Florence, Italy

Rachel, Spring 2023, Florence

My time volunteering this semester while abroad in Florence has been an amazing experience. I volunteer quite often at home to gain service hours for my sorority but also just because it makes me feel good to do acts of service and to know I am helping at least one person if not multiple. When I found out about this program through SAII wanted to get involved.

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Managing Life Abroad

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

Many people make studying abroad look like this glamorous life of traveling to cool places, eating delicious food, and partying until the sunrises, but there’s a lot more that isn’t shown on instagram. Traveling is not always seamless, sometimes you’re just going to want Chick-fil-a, and the videos aren’t always as fun as they seem. You actually have to do school and your normal responsibilities.

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The Best Things Outside of the City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

  Florence is one of the most historical cities in the world. The amount of history, architecture, and art in this beautiful city is astonishing. The most famous attractions in Florence include the Uffizi gallery, the Accademia Gallery of Florence where you can see Michelangelo’s David, the Gucci Gardens, the Medici Palace, and of course, the Duomo.

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My Gelato Addiction

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

It’s dark and raining. The stars are blocked by the overcast and all I can hear is the never-ending “squish squish squish” that flows from my shoes as I step rapidly over the wet slanted cobblestones of Florence.” The illuminated sign welcomes me, and my addiction to indulge and enjoy the creamy deliciousness of its famous Italian treat. I’d be at the wooden door frame made of glass in a minute.

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Why Survive When You Can Thrive

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

Why settle for surviving during your time abroad, when you can be thriving. Spending the past four months as a foreign exchange student has taught me a lot about myself. The journey has been one filled with smiles and laughs as well as tears and frustration. Life is all about balance and duality, figuring this out early is what has helped me make this time the best of my life.

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A Day of Adventure and Relaxation: San Gimignano and the Local Thermal Baths

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

As a study abroad student, I was lucky enough to take a tour of San Gimignano and visit the local thermal baths with a group of new friends. It was my first trip after arriving to study in Florence, and I was eager to explore Tuscany and immerse myself in the local culture. San Gimignano is a small hilltop town in Tuscany, recognized for its well-preserved medieval architecture and towers.

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Interning at Il Vilaggio dei Popoli in Florence

Mercer, Spring 2023, Florence

Interning at Il Vilaggio dei Popoli has inspired me in many different ways. I have gained new insight as to what fair trade is, why fair trade is so important to human rights, and the social and environmental impact that fair trade holds.

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The Best Things Outside of the Florence City Center!

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

The Best Things Outside of the City Center! Florence is one of the most historical cities in the world. The amount of history, architecture, and art in this beautiful city is astonishing. The most famous attractions in Florence include the Uffizi gallery, the Accademia Gallery of Florence where you can see Michelangelo’s David, the Gucci Gardens, the Medici Palace, and of course, the Duomo.

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Pass Down Guide to Florence: The More Local Side!

Caroline, Spring 2023, Florence

TRAVEL TIPS – Travel Like a Florentine Trains Use the Trenitalia (government run) or Italo (Privately run) apps to look at train tickets! Super easy but make sure to book far in advance to avoid a steep increase in prices. Flights Fly like a local out of Pisa or Bologna! You’ll come to find that mostflights out of Florence tend to be very expensive/with layovers.

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The Greenery of Florence

Abby, Spring 2023, Florence

Outdoor Areas in Florence The first week I got to Florence, I was surprised by the lack of greenery. The architecture is stunning in Florence, but after going to other cities, I realized I missed the small pockets of nature I am used to. Luckily, I was wrong! Florence is filled with green areas, and the city center just happens to focus on other beauties of the world.

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A Black Girl’s Guide to Florence

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

For the Spring Semester, I decided to study abroad in Florence, Italy. I chose to study here for the arts, the culture, the pasta, and to learn more about myself. Don’t let the “This is your sign to study abroad” TikToks fool you. Studying abroad can be challenging. It’s a moment of firsts for everyone–it can be daunting.

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Viva L’Italia – Making the most of SAI Viva Experiences!

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

Traveling to a new country across the world can be very rewarding and exciting, but it definitely does not come without its challenges. Once settled into your new home, it can be a daunting task venturing out to explore such an unknown environment. But as many of us know, the only way to meet new people and find your new favorite places is to go out and try new things!

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Study Spots in Florence

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

Living in Florence, Italy has been a dream come true! The city is a treasure trove of wonders, from traditional Tuscan cuisine to Renaissance art and Italian culture. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to forget that as students, we’re here to study and further our education in this magnificent city. In this article, I’ll be sharing three study spots in Florence that are essential for any student living here.   1.

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Learning and Growing while Abroad

Josephine, Fall 2022, Florence

There is a common stereotype that students who study abroad come back claiming to be a “whole different people.” While I do think that this stereotype is over-dramaticized, I can say with absolute certainty that I have grown quite a bit as a person due to my experiences abroad. I studied in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. During my time there, I was shaped as a person in many ways.

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Faculty Led Program Highlight – Muhlenburg College

Daniela Viale, M.A. Lecturer, Muhlenberg College

Leading a program with 26 students from Muhlenberg College has turned out to be a stress-free experience from an organizational standpoint, and this is all thanks to SAI. The SAI staff  – in the US and in Italy – has been extremely organized, quick with answers, prepared with solutions, allowing me to focus on the class that I teach on the memory of WWII in Italy.

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From Zero to Hero: 3 Tips to Finding Success in Your First Weeks Studying Abroad in Florence

Joe, Spring 2023, Florence

So you’re getting ready to study abroad. Question is, How can I take full advantage of my time in my new home away from home? Studying abroad can seem like a daunting experience at first, but with the right mindset and expectations you can set yourself up to thrive in your new environment. So you want to start off on the right foot and have a memorable first week abroad?

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5 Ways to Overcome Homesickness When Studying Abroad

Charlene, Spring 2023, Florence

You’ve likely heard that studying abroad is the most incredible chance you’ll ever have. And it is, but truth is, it can be tough for some of us. Moving thousands of miles across the globe to a new nation, where you will be surrounded by new things and people, is a significant shift, and homesickness is unavoidable. Although it can bring you down it’s important to find ways to lift yourself back up.

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A Taste of Home Away from Home

Yanisha, Spring 2023, Florence

As a family-oriented girl now living 5,000 miles away from home for the next 4 months, homesickness was inevitable. I attempted to find comfort through journaling and FaceTiming friends and family. As these methods did help improve my mood, nothing made me feel better than finding my comfort foods in Italy. For this reason, I’m going to help you skip the research by providing 5 places to experience a taste of home while in Florence.

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The Best Spring Break of my Life!

Jordyn, Spring 2023, Florence

I have only been studying abroad in Florence, Italy for a month now and I can say that it wasn’t exactly what I had expected at first. The culture shock is real, and it makes you question the normal routines you have compared to the average Italian, but after this month I can say that I am beyond happy that I took this opportunity and stepped out of my comfort zone.

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Unbiased Rating of Locations to Cry at in Florence

Elina, Fall 2022-Spring 2023, Florence

Studying abroad is hard. No doubt about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing for all the reasons people say it is—widening perspective, new experiences, meeting people from all across the globe—but when you study abroad, you’re also choosing to live an entirely different life than the one you’re used to. It takes time to adjust, and it might take a few weeks (or months, even) before your new location starts to feel like home.

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5 Picture Perfect Places for the Photogenic Florence Student

Kayla, Florence, Spring 2023

Studying abroad can be such a fun adventure, with new food, new friends, and new surroundings. And the best way to remember those moments are with photos! Whether you brought your digital camera or are using your smartphone, taking a picture will be the best way to make the memory last forever. But you might be asking yourself, “Where do I go to take a good picture?

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My First Week Abroad with SAI

Gina, Spring 2023, Florence

When I decided to study abroad in Florence, I was honestly very nervous about how I would adjust to such a new lifestyle. One of the things that led me to choosing to study abroad in Florence was the accompaniment of SAI Programs as well as the SAI Viva Experiences.

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Learning by Teaching

Martina, Fall 2022, Florence

I can say that this volunteering opportunity has been the greatest learning experience that I could’ve gained as a student abroad. On the one hand, I was able to practice my Italian by teaching English to Italian children, and at the same time, I was able to fulfill one of the biggest objectives that I had coming to Florence: “immerse myself in Italian culture”.

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Iconic movies and TV shows to watch while study abroad to feel like the main character!

Jacqueline, Fall 2022, Florence

– Emily In Paris Netflix’s original series by Darren Star called Emily in Paris is an American-French romantic comedy series. The series, which is set and filmed in Paris, stars Lily Collins as aspiring marketing professional Emily Cooper, an American who relocates to France in order to give Savoir, a French marketing business, an American perspective. – La Dolce Vita In the acclaimed Italian film by Federico Fellini, reporter Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni)

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The Best Memories Have Been At The Dinner Table

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

My study abroad adventure is coming to an end and I can’t help but reflect on these past four months. I took a leap of faith to travel so far away from home, like most students studying abroad, and I have been rewarded in so many remarkable ways.

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Reflecting on My Semester in Florence

Josie, Fall 2022, Florence

As the semester draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the many opportunities and experiences that studying abroad has provided me, and I truly believe it has been one of the most influential times in my life. To give a bit of background about myself, I am a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at the University of South Carolina, pursuing a career in medical and psychological research.

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A Dance of the Elements: Olafur Eliasson’s “Nel tuo Tempo” (In Your Time)

Maddalena, SAI Staff, Florence

Olafur Eliasson’s impossible-to-miss new show at the historical Strozzi Palace is a psychedelic journey in the multifaceted possibilities of light. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is a household name in the world of contemporary art. Over the years, the 55-year-old’s works have been put on display at major galleries around the globe (including the MOMA, the Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery, the Pinakothek in Munich, Chicago, and Tokyo).

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5 Things I Have Learned Living in Florence

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

Ciao! My name is Chiara, and I am studying in Florence, Italy. I am from California where I attend Point Loma Nazarene University. I chose Florence because I wanted to live in a smaller city and experience the Northern Italian culture that is different from my culture roots, Southern Italy. I have been living in Florence for two months and my Italian experience has been more than I could have expected.

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Book The Ticket!

Michel, Fall 2022, Florence

From falling asleep on the beach in Malibu, gazing out at the Empire State building from the Top of the Rock, watching the sunset from the mountains of Max Patch, swimming in the hot springs of Costa Rica, to riding ATVs in Cabo San Lucas, this insatiable wanderlust only continues to burn inside of me. Deciding to study abroad should have been an easy decision.

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Taking A Closer Look At Florence

Gabriella, Florence, Fall 2022

At first glance, Florence looks to be a heavily populated area full of ancient buildings, majestic artwork, and historic landmarks. However, on further inspection, there is so much more to this beautiful city. As a student studying abroad, I have had the amazing opportunity to take classes where I can explore the city on a closer level. My instructors have provided me with an in-depth history and explanation of buildings, statues, and local attractions.

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Summer 2022 Pre-College Program

Mikaylee, Summer 2022, Florence

My time in Florence was nowhere near what I imagined it would be like. I went into the experience with this idea: I would be taking a couple classes to broaden my knowledge of art history as well as learning new drawing techniques. The program would include a few mandatory activities and I would be fed two free meals a day.

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Tackling Your Journey With Energy and Enthusiasm

Amelia, Summer 2022, Florence

When traveling to a new place, adjusting to a new lifestyle may be difficult. As different cultures structure their days differently, it is vital to be prepared for an altered routine. People in various countries differ in the time they work, the time they eat meals, the way they dress (according to fashion trends/weather), and the standard modes of transportation they utilize.

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The Importance of Befriending the Locals

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Florence can be a daunting place upon a tourist’s first arrival. I was definitely overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending green shutters rushing past my taxi windows between the airport and my apartment nestled on the corner of Borgo Pinti. The streets are lined on either side with towering buildings, making each cobblestone walkway look like the next, so much so that it is easy to get lost in the tangle of alleyways and winding roads.

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Best Gelato in Florence

Ranked by SAI Alumni

Our Florence students are passionate about a lot of things, but they feel VERY strongly about one thing in particular: their favorite gelato spots. We recently asked our alumni on Instagram what their favorites were and boy, did they deliver. Prospective students: you’ll want to save this list. Without further ado, here are the best gelato spots in Florence (ranked by the number of votes on Instagram).

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Top 10 Things To Do In Florence To Get To Know Your New Roommates Better

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Studying abroad can be incredibly daunting. You’re leaving behind everything you’re familiar with, friends, family, professors, and traveling to a brand new country with a brand new apartment and most importantly, brand new roommates that you’ve probably never met. But getting to know your new housemates is one of the easiest ways to create connections as soon as you arrive in your new home.

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The Beauty of Florence

Stephany, Spring 2022, Florence

Whenever someone is visiting, or maybe living in a new place, the first item on the agenda is to see the wonders that the city has to offer. This is what makes up a tourist area. The plazas are cleaned up, showing their best side. Myths and legends tell their tales, gathering the attention of those who will listen. Stalls are set up at every corner of the street, gaining a little more income.

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10 Things I Learned on My Cultural Introduction to Italy Travel Course

Emily, Spring 22, Florence

My first experience abroad EVER and in Italy was through my pre-semester traveling course: Cultural Introduction to Italy. We began in Rome and worked our way towards Florence, stopping every day in different Italian towns with a full day of field learning. It was a jump into the deep end if I’ve ever heard of one, but I would not change it for the world.

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How I Launched My Career Through SAI

An Interview With Sean Weber-Quigley

This is a Conversation between Sean Weber-Quigley (SWQ), Executive Chef and Owner of Chico Verde, and Dr. Edna Farace Wilson (EFW), SAI’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. EFW: When did you decide to become a chef? SWQ: Cooking has always been a part of my life and I realized in high school when I was a part-time line cook, I wanted to become a chef.

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Parks Off the Beaten Paths

Discovering Florence's Most Public Gardens

While Florence’s city center is full of historical marvels, it is also definitely a little deprived of green areas. But fret not! Our lovely city is full of gorgeous spots for sunbathing, and here are our top picks. Time to go and venture out! LE CASCINE Le Cascine is Florence’s biggest and oldest park. It was the Medici’s private hunting and farming grounds, and it stretches along the river Arno.

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

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Mindful Tourism

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

This may come as a huge surprise, but not all Europeans love tourists. Luckily in my experience about 95% of the locals I have interacted with while traveling have been not only helpful but very patient with my unilingualism.

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My Volunteer Experience: Teaching English

Lauren, Fall 2021

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

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It’s a Beautiful life

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

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How to Eat with Dietary Restrictions in Italy

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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My Cultural Introduction to Italy

Trenedy, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Why You Should Embrace Uncertainty

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

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

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Eggs Florentine Recipe

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

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Pesto Ligure Recipe

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

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Studying Abroad During a Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

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

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Heston’s Cocoa & Curry Cauliflower Risotto

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

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Learning From the Locals

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

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

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Traveling During a Pandemic

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

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

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Telling My Story

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

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

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Interview with a Gap Student

Sinclair, Fall 2020-Spring 2021

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

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Interview with a Gap Student

Catherine, Fall 2020 - Spring 2021

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

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A Tuscan Christmas 

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

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

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

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Looking Back at a Time Cut Too Short

Madeleine, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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Devastating News

Kaeli, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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The Quinoa Club

Brianna, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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How to Expand Career Options with a Career Certificate?

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

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Career Certificate Programs: FAQ’s

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

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Remembering the Happy Moments

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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Corona Revelations

LeAnne. Spring 2020, Florence

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

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My Study Abroad Experience Was Nothing Like I Expected

Alexa Jo, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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In Good Times and Bad

Anneliese, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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First Thoughts on Florence

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

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

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A Florence Fiasco

LeAnne, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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Overwhelmed in the Best Way: My First Week in Firenze

Sophie, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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First few days in Florence!

Amelia, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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One Blink and A Week Flew By

Alexa Jo, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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Two Weeks Abroad

Jocelyn, Florence, Spring 2020

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

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

Cameron, SAI Intern, 2019

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

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5 Amazing Views of Florence

Margaret, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Study Abroad: A Time For Adventure and Growth

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2020

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

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Leaving the Tourist Bubble in Search of Authenticity

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Best Gelato in Florence: The Complete Guide

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Essential Packing List for a Semester in Italy

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Elizabeth, SAI programs

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

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

Arianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Weekend Travel and Overdoing It

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Audrey, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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License to Study Abroad

Elena, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Living Like a Local

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Somewhere Under the Duomo

Emma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Studying Abroad in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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“Remember To Look Up and Take It All In”

Kara, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Little Adventures

Sabrina, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Exploring Different Cultures

Kaleo, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Fi: Semester at Firenze

Tanvi, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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What I Loved About Studying Abroad

Brenna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Falling in Love With Florence

Alexa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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My Home Away from Home

Evan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Fun in Florence

Noah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Joseph, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Flowing Into Florence – Easy, Peasy, Spaghetti

Danielle, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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What They Don’t Tell You Before Going Abroad

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Reminiscing About My Spring in Florence

Sarah, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Most Eye-opening Experience

Charlotte, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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A Trip of a Lifetime

Jaelyn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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& Pizza Was Never The Same

Madeline, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Isabella, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Thoughts on My Semester Abroad

Brianna, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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A-Lot-O’ Gelato

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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Friends Are Made Over Dinner

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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My Top Five Tips for Florence

Ariana, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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

Taylor, Florence, Fall 2019

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

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First Day of Classes!

Marie, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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Finding Peace in Solitude

Kathryn, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Florence Local for 6 Weeks

Annabel, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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A Forensic Dream

Molly, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Advice from an Ambassador!

Palma, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Endless Pastabilities

Kate, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Culture is Key

Marissa, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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The Best Experience of My Life!

Sydney, SAI ambassador, 2019

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

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What to Expect Before the Big “Take Off”

Megan, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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The Adventure of a Lifetime

Haley, SAI Ambassador, 2019

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

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Studying Abroad as a First Generation Student

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Creating Unique Travel Photos

Sami, Florence, Summer 2019

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

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Top 4 Things to Do in Florence for FREE

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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My Top 5 Restaurants in Florence

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Reasons Why You Should Journal

Sara Catherine, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Guide to Getting Where You Want to Go

Marissa, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Cameron Cipolla, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Homestay Abroad: A Multicultural Experience

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Overcoming the Homesick Blues

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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A Valentine Sunday in Verona

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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My Favorite Class Project

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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

Samantha, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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From Strange to Sweet

Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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The Pigeon Chronicles

Jack, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Italian Love Affair

Arianna, SAI Ambassador

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

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Why Go Abroad?

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Five Things I Learned About Myself Studying Abroad

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Falling in Love with Unconventionality

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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The Declassified Florence Survival Guide: First Week Edition

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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The Part of Florence you May be Overlooking

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

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

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Tuscany’s Green Gold: l’Olio d’Oliva

Alessandra, SAI Florence

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

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Fall in Love with Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

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

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In a Holi-Daze in Firenze

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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The Finish Line

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Learning Outside the Classroom

Hannah, SAI Ambassador

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

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The Best Places to Take Your Family When They Visit

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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How to Deal with Homesickness while Studying Abroad

Camille, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Studying Abroad: Expectations vs Reality

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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What My Study Abroad Experience Means to Me

Samantha, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Take a Step

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

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What I Ate in a Day

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

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

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Piazza Santa Croce

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

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Student Traveler’s Guide to Hostels

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Ballin’ On a Budget

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Rocking Day Trip: Marble Quarries and A Stone Walled City

Allan, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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The Top Five Places in Santo Spirito

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Becoming Culturally Introduced

Katherine, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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Forza Viola!

Elizabeth, SAI Florence

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

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Jazz Speaks for Life

Piera, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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What I Learned About Myself in Florence

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

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Frenzy in Firenze: Settling in Abroad

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

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

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The Whirlwind of Emotions

Samantha, Fall 2018

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

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2018/19 SAI Ambassador Questionnaire

Courtney, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Half a World Away, A Forever Piece of Home

Lillie, SAI Ambassador

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

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Summer 2018 Florence, Italy

Mary Paige, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Time in Florence

Madison, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Study Abroad in Florence

Cecelia, SAI Ambassador

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

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Semester Abroad in Florence

Jackie, SAI Ambassador

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

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Florence, My City

Gal, SAI Ambassador

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

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Forever Florence

Sophia, SAI Ambassador

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

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Live the Experience

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

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What My Marketing Class Taught Me

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Life-Changing Experience

Alex, SAI Ambassador

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

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La Mia Bella Italia

Danielle, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Experience Abroad

Sara, SAI Ambassador

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

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Ciao, Florence!

Madison, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Summer in Florence

Francesca, SAI Ambassador

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

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Study Abroad Impacts

Camille, SAI Ambassador

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

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

Bryce, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Time in Florence

Elizabeth, SAI Ambassador

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

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More Than Just Gelato

Tara, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Experience Abroad

Hanna, SAI Ambassador

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

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Whirlwind Semester

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

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

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Moving Forward

Katie, SAI Ambassador

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

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Getting to Know Italy

Kristen, SAI Ambassador

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Caleb Crum

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

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My Time in Florence

Emily, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Journey

Sarah, SAI Ambassador

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

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Adventure Is Out There!

Cameron, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Summer in Italy

Kinsey, SAI Ambassador

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

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Ciao for Now

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.

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A Semester of a Lifetime

Gwen, SAI Ambassador

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

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Going Outside My Comfort Zone

Madeline, SAI Ambassador

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

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Abroad Advice

Angelika, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Study Abroad Experience

Grace, SAI Ambassador

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

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Semester Reflection

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Study Abroad Reflection

Holly, SAI Ambassador

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

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All the World’s a Stage

Brielle, Florence, Summer 2018

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

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Italians and Americans at Work

Maurizio, SAI Florence

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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The Last Waltz with Florence

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Tidbits Gained from Being Abroad

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Tuscan Farm Adventures: An SAI Excursion!

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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