Deep Gratitude
Elizabeth, Florence, Fall 2013
January 8, 2014

Studying abroad in Florence through SAI developed my global perspective and offered an incredible learning experience on personal level. Learning to adjust to a different culture deepened self-awareness and helped to strengthen my sense of identity. As a young person, I am faced with decisions on how to move into the future as an independent adult. Upon returning from Italy, I graduated from college. Studying in Italy offered a fresh sense of confidence and zeal in approaching the future. Through the support of SAI, family, and friends I was able to thrive in a completely new environment yet still retain my core values and sense of self. I would not say the experience changed me. Rather, it made me more of who I already am. It developed me into a more confident, positive, grateful person; a person ready to take on the challenges of the future with passion and a desire for excellence.

Being immersed in a new environment taught me to adjust to changes in order to thrive. The historical depth and cultural beauty of Italy captured my imagination. Being able to explore some of the world’s most significant museums, walk the streets just as some of the greatest artists of history, and meet local Italians with a passion for their life’s work was a truly unforgettable experience.

The housing SAI provided was a comfortable and safe environment.  The location was convenient, right in the center of the city with easy access to classes and the sites of Florence. This was an extremely important piece of the experience for me as an introvert. I loved traveling, meeting new people, learning, and exploring the local area, but having a safe home away from home to return to and relax enriched the entire experience.

I would like to extend deep gratitude for each person who contributed to this incredible experience. I dreamed of studying in Italy for years and worked hard to make the dream a reality but it would not have been possible without the support of SAI, scholarship donors, family, friends, and professors. The emotional and financial support offered by so many wonderful people made my dream a reality.


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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.