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Florence

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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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

Laura, SAI Ambassador

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

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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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Learning Something

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Volunteering in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Favorite Places in My Neighborhood

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Contemporary Art Class Field Trip

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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My SAI Moment

Carly, SAI Student Ambassador

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

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Friends for Life

Holly & Julia, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Italian Coffee Experience

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

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Why My First Week Abroad Is Still My Favorite

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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A ‘Nice’ Getaway

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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What to Wear to Look Like a Local in Florence

Carly, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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Making the Most of Rainy Days in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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How I Prepared For My First Week Abroad

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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You Had Me at Pizza

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Cooking & Eating My Way Through Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Special Spots in Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Abroad Alone? Abroad Alone.

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

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

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Some Life Advice from an Alumna

Allie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Making Memories + Saving memories: Alternatives to Journaling

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Do Something Different in Florence This Summer

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

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Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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A Change of Pace on Cobblestone Streets

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Not Quite Home for the Holidays

Maddie, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Davids of Florence, Ranked

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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

Marilyn, SAI Admissions Counselor

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

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The Honeymoon Phase in Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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The Cultural Experience

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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5 Ways to Make Homesickness Productive

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Top 10 Must-See’s When Traveling Abroad

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Balling on a Budget

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Why Classes Abroad are Worth Every Penny…

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Loving How to Learn Again: The Renaissance of my Education

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Lose Yourself and You Will Find Your Way

Abbey, SAI Ambassador

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

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My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence!

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

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

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All the World has to Offer

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Roots and Wings: A Remedy for Homesickness

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Oh the places you’ll go… and eat!

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Two Weeks Down in Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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Acclimating to Italia

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Kristen

Kristen, SAI Florence Alum

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Patrick

Patrick, SAI Florence Alum

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Bryce

SAI Florence Alum

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

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Ten Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

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How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Florence

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

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

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A Vegan Abroad

Anna, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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Survival Guide for your First week in Firenze

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Three Things I’ve Learned About Firenze Culture

Ellie, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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I Love my Apartment!

Alexis, Florence, Summer 2017

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

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Seafood Diet!

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Growing Pains and Catching Trains

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Italian Coffee Lesson 101

Christy, SAI Florence

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

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Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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FLY: BeGiuls, Be You Springtime Launch Party

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Must Do Things In and Around Florence

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Back Home

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Interning at FLY

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Florence Food Bucket List for Abroad Students

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Lake Garda: The Path Less Traveled

Miranda, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lily, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Positano and Capri

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Traveling Internationally Brought my Family Closer Together

Halie, SAI Ambassador

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

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An Explosive Easter in Florence

Chiara, SAI Staff

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

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Presento i Miei Amici Fiore e Alessio!

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Things I’ve Learned So Far from a Semester Abroad

Jessica, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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SAI Alumni Spotlight: Dominic Sondag

NYC Menswear Designer

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

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A Fresh Perspective

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Nearing the End

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Discover Italy

Nancy, Spring 2017, Florence

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

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A Few “Most-Dos”

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Quick and Easy Travel Tips

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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My Absolute Favorite Class Right Now

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Travels Gone Wrong

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Contemporary Art in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

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

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Traveling While Abroad: My Top 5 Tips

Margarette-Ruth, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Tips to Tasteful Travel

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Parli Inglese? Do you speak English?

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Pompeii

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Summer Rain

Evan, SAI Ambassador

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

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My Ten Favorite Things to do in Florence

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Peaking in Switzerland

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Florentine Sorpresa!

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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The Art of Food and Drink in Florence

Bonnie, Florence, Summer 2016

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

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Sweet Beginnings

Nancy, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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Preparing & Adjusting: Welcome to Florence

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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A Potential Solution to Your Luggage Woes

Halie, Student Ambassador

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

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A Semester of Simple Pleasures

Lauren, SAI Ambassador

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

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Fun in Firenze

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

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

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A Thank You Letter to Florence

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Returning for the Holidays: A Year Removed

Adam, Student Ambassador

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

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Abroad Reflection

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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High Fives Around Europe / Video

Erin, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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“Tell Me a Story”

Danielle, Student Ambassador

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

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Doggie on Alfani

Evan, SAI Ambassador

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

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A Day in the Culinary City of Florence

Miranda, SAI Ambassador

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

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What To Do When You Leave The Classroom

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Top 10 Things to do in Florence!

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Love To Be Lost

Heather, Florence, Fall 2015

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

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Fall in Firenze

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Tips For Traveling While Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Top 10 Things to do in Firenze

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Top 10 Things to do in Florence

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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SAI Excursion Vlog

Jessica, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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Surviving My First Week Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

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

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So Much Prettier

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

My first impression of Italy was OH MY GOODNESS! EVERYTHING IS SO PRETTY!! That was literally my thoughts about every building as the shuttle drove me to my apartment. Everything is so big and different, and so much prettier compared to my hometown.

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The Start of Everything New!

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

You never truly know what to expect when you leave everything you know to study in a different country. A couple of weeks ago I made that leap of faith and came to Florence, Italy for a semester abroad! I have only been here for a short time but, besides the fact that I still find myself lost a majority of the time, it is starting to feel like I have been here for months!

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Seeing Art through a New Lens

Cole, Florence, Summer 2016

Despite my rather small sampling size of classes in Florence, I am going to break down the major differences and similarities in my experience at an art school in Florence versus an art school in America. Here in Italy I have completed Watercolor and Sketchbooking Florence, and am currently in Street Photography. First and foremost is the art of course.

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Architectural Masterpieces to Street Art Treasures

Cole, Florence, Summer 2016

First and foremost, the food in Florence is finger-licking good. Jumping from dorm food, to fresh, succulent Italian cuisine, my stomach has yet to experience any symptoms of culture shock. From, a nice, affordable three course meal at Osteria de Pazzi, to greasy, late night pizza at Fo’Caccia la Notte, my tastebuds continue to be pleased. I also think it is worthy to note taste tasting gelato has been integrated into my daily routine.

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Volunteering Abroad

Ashley, Florence, Spring 2016

This semester is coming to a close and unfortunately I have to say goodbye to this city I have fallen in love with. Florence is a small city that I have been able to spend the past four months exploring and learning from. Everywhere you go is beautiful and a piece of history and sometimes it needs to have a little cleaning.

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Time to say Goodbye

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2016

It has come down to our final days here in Florence. We are saying bye to our friends, the delicious food, and the amazing city we have been able to call home for 4 months. Leaving is becoming harder everyday because I have built a life here and created memories I will never be able to experience again.

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How the Past 100 Days Have Changed my Life

Jenica, Florence, Spring 2016

When I arrived in Florence back in January, I remember being absolutely terrified. I had never left the country let alone by myself and I had never been away from home for longer than a month. I remember walking around that very first day thinking what am I doing here since everything was so foreign and different to me. Those first few weeks were very difficult to say the least.

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Nowhere to Go and All Day to Get There

Sheena, Florence, Spring 2016

My typical day as a travel abroad student consists of usually meeting with my Italian chat pal Alessia. We practice our Italian and I help her with her English. We always get coffee, Paninis, or gelato. Sometimes I check out the events and excursion sign-up through my SAI program. –Take advantage of these!

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A Recap of My Best Semester

Noah, Florence, Spring 2016

Well, what once looked like a distant possibility is now over. For many months, I was stressing about finding the perfect program, then coordinating meetings between different departments at Tufts trying to receive course credit, and finally attaining meetings with my Dean to understand my options if I couldn’t achieve said credit. This was over six months ago before I set off on my first (or maybe it’s my second) study abroad experience.

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Where I Call Home

Noah, Florence, Spring 2016

There’s a really incredible charm about Florence. When I arrived the first day, I could feel it when I walked to my apartment or went to the grocery store. Everyday since, I’ve known there’s something special about Florence, but it took me a long time to figure out exactly what it was. Traveling to other cities helped my search.

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Exploring Florence Inside and Out

Jenica, Florence, Spring 2016

These past two and a half months have been the time of my life. Florence has quickly become a part of me, somewhere that I know leaving will be very difficult.

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My Ten Favorite Places In Florence

Ashley, Florence, Spring 2016

These are many places I frequent in Florence. From a café, to one of the squares, I try to spend as much time as possible exploring this city that I have come to call my new home. It is crazy to think that I have been here almost three months and only have one remaining.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2016

Ciao! My name is Olivia Mendoza and I am studying at SAI in Florence. I will be taking over the Instagram today and sharing a day in my life here. I am from Los Angeles, California, but go to school in Texas at Baylor University. This is a picture taken at Giardino di Pratolino during a spur of the moment picnic with my roommate!

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Annalise, Florence, Spring 2016

We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Annalise’s day in Florence (April 6, 2016). Ciao Ciao! My name is Annalise Andriacchi and I’ll be taking you around Florence today to show you what it’s like to live “a day in the life of an SAI student”. A bit about myself: I am a junior studying Hospitality Management at the University of Missouri.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Ashley, Florence, Spring 2016

We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Ashley’s day in Florence (March 29, 2016). Ciao! My name is Ashley Shealor, I’m from Charleston, South Carolina and a Junior at University of South Carolina, currently studying at FUA in Florence, Italy!

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Home Sweet Home?

Annalise, Florence, Spring 2016

“It’s the time of your life!! You will never want to come back to America!! You’re going to fall in love with places you’ve never been to and people you haven’t met! You are going to find yourself and this experience is going to change your life!” These are some of the things former study abroad students tell you about going abroad…. Am I right?

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A Wonderful Life in Florence

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2016

My journey getting to Florence was a long, hauled out, highly anticipated journey. When I told my study abroad counselor 1 year ago I wanted to study abroad in Florence during the spring semester, he told me I was too early and to come back in the fall semester when applications actually opened. I have known since the beginning of college that I wanted to come to Italy.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Jenica, Florence, Spring 2016

We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Jenica’s day in Florence (March 17, 2016). Buongiorno!My name is Jenica Sounart and I’ll be taking over for the day! I am currently a sophomore studying Hospitality Management at Colorado State University & am here in Florence as a culinary arts student. Today is my last day before Intersession (spring break)

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Different on the Daily

Sheena, Florence, Spring 2016

Just as there are some differences between the states of Wisconsin and New York there are tons of differences between countries like Florence and the United States. Whether I love the differences or can barely stand them I have to embrace every second of it because there is no changing culture and to rebel would be rude, look silly, and would be a waste of time.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Noah, Florence, Spring 2016

We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Noah’s day in Florence (March 14, 2016). Good morning! My name is Noah and today I will taking over the SAI Instagram to show you what my day is like in Florence! This is the view from my front door.

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From Denver to Florence

Jenica, Florence, Spring 2016

After months of anticipation and planning, January 25th 2016 finally came around, the day I left for my study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. Looking back at the day I left and my travel here I would say the hardest part was saying goodbyes to family and friends in person.

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Home Sweet Home? Home Sweet Home!

Annalise, Florence, Spring 2016

“It’s the time of your life!! You will never want to come back to America!! You’re going to fall in love with places you’ve never been to and people you haven’t met! You are going to find yourself and this experience is going to change your life!” These are some of the things former study abroad students tell you about going abroad…. Am I right?

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Everything’s New

Noah, Florence, Spring 2016

Dear Mom, It’s already been about two weeks since I arrived in Florence and a lot has happened. I’ve met new roommates; I’ve changed my diet (quite a bit of pasta and pizza); I’ve walked more than I ever imagined; and I’ve started new classes to name a few things. Throughout, there have been the ups and the downs.

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These are Crucial, Believe Me.

Ashley, Florence, Spring 2016

I am going to give you some insight into the 10 things I learned my first week studying abroad. Before I came abroad I thought people were over exaggerating experiences and information, but boy was I wrong. So if you are thinking about going abroad here are some things I picked up really quickly. 1. You walk… A LOT.

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Am I Allowed to Stay Forever?

Olivia, Spring 2016

I’ve only been in Florence for a week and I already want to live here for the rest of my life. The people, the city, and the lifestyle, all of it is wonderful! From the first day of living in this bustling city, I’ve noticed some very obvious cultural differences both great and a somewhat strange. 1.

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Florence Firsts

Sheena, Spring 2016

My journey to Florence, Italy, started on Monday, January 25th. Because I had never been to an airport, I was a little nervous to embark on the trip all alone. Luckily, I met a girl named Ellen, who was in the same program and going to the same place I was. We met up at the gate to board and all my nerves were calmed.

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A Guide to Finding the Best Eats in Florence

Kaela, SAI Ambassador

When I think of Italy, all I imagine is the amazing pasta, bruschetta, pizza, gelato, and wine that are consumed daily.  When friends and family heard I would be studying abroad in the heart of Italy – Florence – they would all coo about the mouth-watering food.  After living in Florence for 4.

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Feeling Alive – Bike Rides to Fiesole

Jessica, SAI Ambassador

Perhaps the happiest and most alive I have ever felt was when I would go on bike rides to Fiesole. There were all of these fliers that SAI had provided my roommates and me with in our apartment. One of them was for Tuscany Cycle where one could rent bikes, go on bike tours, and Vespa tours through the Tuscan hillside and Chianti. I went one day early on in my semester abroad.

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15 Best Things About Studying Abroad in Florence

Jake, Florence, Fall 2015

THE MUSEUMS 1. The Uffizi Gallery: An amazing art collection established in 1581. Get lost among the masterpieces of the  Renaissance and Baroque. 2. Galleria dell’Accademia: Originally intended to be a Michelangelo museum, the Accademia is now home to the original David, along with several other of the artist’s works. The museum also boasts a large collection of Gothic and Renaissance paintings. 3. Palazzo Vecchio: The seat of the Florentine government since its construction in the 14th century.

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10 Confessions of an Americana

Mariam, Florence, Fall 2015

I’ve undergone more changes and matured faster in the past 4 months than in the past 4 years in college. Yes, that’s a very bold statement, but it’s true. Coming to Florence was a huge breath of fresh air. I was initially so happy to be out of my hometown, Bethesda, which was quite homogenous and filled with type A, semi-pretentious and ambitious liberals.

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Meet our Blogger: Taylor

Florence, Spring 2016

Taylor was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at Washington State University studying at Florence University of the Arts in Italy, during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT TAYLOR 1. I am scuba certified through NAUI. 2. I have bottle fed twin calves for a month (their names were Greg and Bridget). 3. I was president of my sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma as a sophomore. 4.

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Meet our Blogger: Jenica

Florence, Spring 2016

Jenica was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at Colorado State University studying at Florence University of the Arts in Italy, during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT JENICA I love anything related to food. Cooking it, eating it, learning about it, I’d say food occupies my mind most of the day. I believe God has a purpose for each and every one of us (Romans 8:28).

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Meet our Blogger: Noah

Florence, Spring 2016

Noah was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. He is a current student at Tufts University studying at Florence University of the Arts in Italy, during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT NOAH I love going on adventures, whether that’s hiking up a ravine and skiing with my family (see the picture) or finding one-of-a-kind pizza places with my friends. I love skiing and surfing, baseball and soccer, and golf.

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Meet our Blogger: Melissa

Rome, Spring 2016

Melissa was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at St. Norbert College studying at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT MELISSA 1. I am from a small town in Wisconsin 2. I am left-handed 3. I have been to Zambia and South Africa for a humanitarian trip 4. I used to work at Lambeau Field 5.

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12 Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alvaro, Florence, Fall 2015

Studying abroad, a story of how a man became a boy….Just kidding, it’s not that deep, these are the 12 things that I learned while studying abroad.  1. Experiencing a variety of cultures makes me ask more questions about the world. Did you know that the United States is not the center of the universe? If you would have asked me this question three months ago my head would’ve exploded in disbelief. 2.

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Meet our Blogger: Sheena

Florence, Spring 2016

Sheena was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at Carroll University studying at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT SHEENA 1. I have never seen an airplane up close nor the ocean. 2. I dislike wearing socks and prefer to go barefoot. 3. I danced for 13 years. 4. The smell of sandalwood is wonderful.

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Your Guide to Florence

Caitlin, SAI Ambassador

As we wrap up the end of the fall semester, I am feeling so much jealousy for all of you who are getting ready to study abroad in Florence in the spring. Don’t worry, I’m also really excited for you, but I remember this time last year, getting ready, packing, getting my visa figured out. It’s a lot, but it’s absolutely worth it.

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Meet our Blogger: Hylen

Florence, Spring 2016

Hylen was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at Washington State University studying at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT HYLEN I value my family and friends highly and dear to my heart, I would do anything for them.

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Firenze: My Home Away From Home

Michaela, Florence, Fall 2015

It wasn’t until after I came home from fall break did I feel like Florence was my home. Before leaving for break I didn’t feel as if the city was a part of me yet, or if there was really anything about it that would ever rail me back in later on in life.

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7 Essential Tips for the BEST Fall Break!

Mariam, Florence, Fall 2015

I made the slightly stupid but still courageous decision to plan my own Fall break with my roommate and another friend. It’s a great experience; it forces you to plan the details and rely on yourself (plus other students going with you). 1. Do NOT book overnight travel— (past 1 am – before 6 am). Europe doesn’t operate that smoothly after hours, especially not Italy.

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Meet our Blogger: Olivia

Florence, Spring 2016

Olivia was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at Baylor University studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT OLIVIA 1. I am a Junior Speech Pathology major at Baylor University, which I absolutely love. A passion of mine is working with special needs children, which I hope to do after I graduate. 2.

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9 Daily Reminders

Madelaine, Florence, Fall 2015

1. Remember your goals Why did you choose to come to this country? What were you looking to discover? I find it helpful to continually remind myself of my original goals. Are there any goals that you have yet to complete? Each day, you are able to make the choice to work towards them. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler 2.

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Meet our Blogger: Ashley

Florence, Spring 2016

Ashley was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at University of South Carolina studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT ASHLEY I go to USC and am a Public Health Major. I am from the South but don’t like grits or sweet tea. I have twin sisters. I suffer from a diet coke addiction.

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Meet our Blogger: Annalise

Florence, Spring 2016

Annalise was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Spring 2016 term. She is a current student at University of Missouri studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Spring 2016 term. 10 FUN FACTS ABOUT ANNALISE I attend the University of Missouri (Mizzou) and am a Hospitality Management major (Conference and Events) with a Business minor.

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Heard it Through the Grapevine

Madelaine, Florence, Fall 2015

The past month and a half has consisted of moments of excitement, amazement, nervousness, and adventure. Make it a routine to try new things, go new places, and meet new people. Seek things that you are interested in and curious about. Allow yourself to wander into unfamiliar parts of town, where you might just find your next favorite spot.

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My Favorite Places in Florence

Jake, Florence, Fall 2015

FOOD 1. Osteria Santo Spirito. Piazza Santo Spirito, 16/R I have gone here six or seven times and it has been great every time. This place is very cheap, with primi piatti pasta dishes for as little as 5 Euro for a big portion. 2. All’Antico Vinaio. Via dei Neri, 74/R The best panini in Florence. All’Antico Vanaio is famous.

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3 Days in France With 21 Euros

Mariam, Florence, Fall 2015

I know student budgets are tight, but traveling is the most rewarding way to spend your money. Seriously, take off your pizza-stained hoody and explore Florence. Take impromptu bus and train trips around Italy and plan weekends in Barcelona, or Côte d’Azur, or Dublin. You’re never going to be 20-something again, studying in a foreign country and building friendships that could easily last the rest of your life.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Alvaro, Florence, Fall 2015

We handed over our Instagram to a few students this month and asked them to take us through their day in their host city. This is Alvaro’s day in Florence (October 15, 2015). Hello everyone! My name is Álvaro Castro Cid, I am currently a Senior at Colorado State University and a proud native Coloradan. Currently I am attending Florence University of the Arts in Firenze, Italia!

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Florentine Daze

Madelaine, Florence, Fall 2015

This past weekend I travelled to Rimini, a beach town on the Adriatic, to meet a friend from my home university who is studying in Turin. Being such a distance from home, I felt a level of independence I have never experienced before. I navigated the foreign train stations with delays, connections, and all. While traveling, I realized that trains in Italy are very often late, sometimes in your favor, sometimes not.

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New Life in Firenze

Michaela, Florence, Fall 2015

It’s been 12 days since I’ve moved to Florence (Firenze) and there are all sorts of emotions going through my head. For once in my life I feel homesick, often. How am I feeling homesick in a city that’s so beautiful, full of culture and places to discover, a place that feels so right? Well, even I cannot give you that answer.

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5 Tips For Your First Two Weeks

Jake, Florence, Fall 2015

1. Make yourself at home. This place is going to be your home for the next few months, so start acting like it right away! Get acclimated to your surroundings by exploring the neighborhood around your apartment. Spend the first few days checking out the local restaurants and shops.

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How to Survive Firenze: 10 Tips

Mariam, Florence, Fall 2015

Okay, so you’re in a new country, you barely know the language, or the customs. How quickly can you adjust? There’s no specific time limit or methodology to how you can best orient yourself when moving to another country, but those first few days are the most crucial.

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Firenze… OMG, What Did I Get Myself Into?

Alvaro, Florence, Fall 2015

How are things different from my culture? 1. I have read about Florence in quite a few books, but man is experiencing it first hand a whole other experience. One of the largest differences that I have noticed between American and Italian culture is that Americans are (or at least they try to be) obsessed with order. Italians seem to be more about going with the flow.

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Meet our Blogger: Mariam

Florence, Fall 2015

Mariam was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. She is a current student at George Washington University studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term. GET TO KNOW MARIAM Tell us why you chose to study abroad. I chose to study abroad because I’ve always imagined traveling to Europe, but I’ve never been able to find the right time or proper finances to go.

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Meet Our Blogger: Michaela

Florence, Fall 2015

Michaela was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. She is a current student at Lasell College studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term. GET TO KNOW MICHAELA Tell us why you chose to study abroad. Since I can remember I have always been intrigued by travel and experiencing different cultures first hand.

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Meet Our Blogger: Madelaine

Florence, Fall 2015

Madeline was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. She is a current student at College of Charleston studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term. ABOUT ME Tell us why you chose to study abroad. Three years ago, when I entered my freshman year at the College of Charleston, I absolutely knew that I wanted to study abroad.

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Meet Our Blogger: Alvaro

Florence, Fall 2015

Alvaro was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. He is a current student at Colorado State University studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term. GET TO KNOW ALVARO Tell us why you chose to study abroad. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to show my family and my fellow Latino’s that anything is possible.

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Meet Our Blogger: Jake

Florence, Fall 2015

Jake was selected as an SAI scholarship recipient and blogger for the Fall 2015 term. He is a current student at University of Miami studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Florence, Italy during the Fall 2015 term. Tell us why you chose to study abroad. I chose to study abroad because I am interested in immersing myself in a foreign culture. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn about Italy in-depth.

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Bringing Home Spontaneity

Dominique, Florence, Summer 2015

Spontaneous is never a word I would use to describe myself. If you asked me of words or phrases I would use to describe myself, I would say things like “organized, thoughtful, goal-oriented”, but never spontaneous. Doing things out of plan, with no schedule or organization was like a phobia of mine. So no, spontaneity was not my forte.

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From Vespas to Pizza

Dominique, Florence, Summer 2015

Cultural differences are a given. The world is full of a vast array of people with a vast array of cultures. While the United States is built on much of European history, actually experiencing Europe is much different. Your favorite food may be Italian, but until you experience real Italian food, there is a vast difference between Pizza Hut and ordering a Napoli at an Italian Pizzeria, trust me.

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How to Survive Your 1st Week Abroad

Dominique, Florence, Summer 2015

Step 1: Calm down! I was quite nervous getting ready to leave from Washington State to Florence. Though I had been out of the country before, it had been quite some time since I had done any extensive traveling. So many thoughts were running through my head; what will it look like, what will the people be like, how will I adapt, what if I get lost, what if there are huge language barriers?

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Lessons Learned

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2015

I have learned the most about who I am in my last four months in Florence.  I learned more about what I want from life, and how I hope to live. I have reflected a lot on my last four years of college, and how higher education has helped me grown into an adult. I have only just begun to imagine what life has in store for me in the future.

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The Things in Life Worth Experiencing

Andrea, Florence, Spring 2015

You never realize how much you have changed until you put yourself in an experience you’re not familiar with. Whether you believe if people change or not, we all have experiences that shape us into who we really are, or who we are becoming, and thankfully, who I’m becoming is someone who has more resilience. I’m thankful that I am able to see how much I have grown and changed just in one semester.

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Arrivederci Firenze

Charles, Florence, Spring 2015

As I sit in my apartment I have no desire to begin packing to head back to the States in a few days.

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Italian Adventure

Tameka, Florence, Spring 2015

One of my favorite SAI excursions was the weekend to Milan and Como. On the way to Como were the most beautiful mountains. The bus ride was long but the views were great. Our first stop when we arrived in Como was a restaurant that served a variety of pizza that I’m sure everyone enjoyed. The next day we went to visit Milan, the fashion capital of Italy.

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How I Learned to Live

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2015

If you were to ask me a year ago if study abroad was in future I would have corrected you immediately.  I am the type of person who plans out their life years in advance and it is very comforting to me to have an idea of what to prepare for. I am a second semester senior studying fashion design, my home school is Western Michigan University.

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A Peaceful Day-Trip

Andrea, Florence, Spring 2015

My favorite SAI excursion, so far, would have to be the day trip to Bologna! Ironically, the ride there (about an hour and a half) was the worst ride of my life. I was very carsick, but thankfully, I didn’t get sick on the bus!

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Meet our Blogger: Dominique

Florence, Summer 2015

My name is Dominique Norman. I am currently a junior at Washington State University, double majoring in Apparel Design and Merchandising with a focus in Comparative Ethnic Studies. I chose to study abroad originally because of my love of travel. Learning about different histories, cultures, and people is something I’m very passionate about.

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Da Vinci in Milano

Charles, Florence, Spring 2015

What a trip it has been so far! Half way through and I have been to around fifteen Italian cities in seven different regions. Among those cities I have visited my favorites (in no particular order)

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Cross-Culture Quality

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2015

When you go to another country it is expected that there will be differences in culture. I had an idea of what I thought Italy was like. I have to say it was not far off from the stereotype that I had in my head. I think that my idea of the Italian lifetime was very influenced by my family growing up.

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Living in Mistranslation and I Couldn’t be Happier

Charles, Florence, Spring 2015

My first month in Italy has come to a close and it has been quite the experience so far. As a history major, Florence is the place of my dreams. Every building has historical significance from the mighty Duomo to the small chiesa where Dante once preached. Back home you had to drive quite some way to go to a museum or anything like that.

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Trial & Error

Andrea, Florence, Spring 2015

When you’re going to study abroad for your first time, what to pack and what to leave at home is the million dollar question. Everyone seemed to be telling me to pack light, and then the other half was telling me to bring everything because I will want/need it. So, naturally, I had no clue. Upon my arrival, I was so glad that I packed light!

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My First Week In a Whole New World

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2015

Upon Arriving in the city of Florence, it surpassed my expectation. I was not expecting the city to be filled with so much history, and beautiful architecture. I truly feel like I am getting the complete Italian experience. I am living as if I were and Italian. I look forward to exploring this culture moreover the next four months.

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First Week in Florence

Charles, Florence, Spring 2015

Only one week in Florence and it has been quite an experience already! At first I was overwhelmed by the size of the city but, I am getting better at knowing how to get places. That being said, I still get lost every time I explore and kind of aimlessly wander.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.