SAI
Meet our Fall 2017 Bloggers
August 10, 2017

Since our beginning, SAI has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to students. We are pleased to offer scholarships to deserving students each academic year, generously funded by the International Education Foundation, host universities, and by SAI itself. Many SAI scholarships are paired with volunteering, interning, or professional experience, granting students more opportunities to become involved in the local or study abroad community.

Below are our Fall 2017 scholarship recipients, many of whom will also be submitting blog posts throughout their time abroad. 

DIANE, Paris
Home School: University of Texas at Arlington

  1. I am from Bogota Colombia but I moved to the United States when I was 7.
  2. I love dogs! I have a cocker spaniel and his name is Freckles.
  3. I caught the travel bug after visiting Salzburg Austria through a school program.
  4. When I am sad or happy I eat ice cream, ice cream is never a bad idea!
  5. I love going to the park and just get away from time to time.
  6. I enjoy connecting with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  7. Sometime I enjoy doing absolutely nothing.
  8. I have a passion for photography.
  9. I am always on the move in order to find new things and places to go around town.
  10. When I have a vision for my future there is nothing that can stop me in order to achieve that vision.

TALEN, Paris
Home School: Rochester Institute of Technology

  1. I am working to one day be a professional eSports player in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. (Article about my college team). I will be coaching my college team from France while also attempting to study and play under EU Players.
  2. I am from K-Town in the Metro Area of Atlanta, Georgia. My dad is from Boston, MA and my mom from Gainesville, GA. This adds all together to give me a very indistinct and non-Southern sounding accent.
  3. I am familiar with French, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese (most proficient with Spanish).
  4. I am the proud owner of a Siberian Husky (Lucky) and a petite calico cat (Karma).
  5. I will be graduating in May 2018 in my third year at Rochester Institute of Technology. I only spent 3 years at Gwinnett School of Math Science Technology (previously ranked number 3 High School in the nation) and 1 year at the University of North Georgia for my high-school career.
  6. My favorite food is Korean Barbecue. I love to mix my food up with lots of meat, vegetables, and spices.
  7. I previously was a rap artist in a Blue Grass Hip-Hop band in High School called “The Flying Turtles”.
  8. I am in the Global Business Group at RIT as an Event Director. The club has just started and we are working on bringing more international ventures to our campus.
  9. My family is really important to me. Every bit of success in my life I owe to my parents and I want to succeed to pay them back for all the sacrifices they have made for me. My mother and father & grandparents are my world to me.
  10. I have a younger brother who I hope that I can inspire everyday to be himself no matter what and to chase he dreams with all his heart. Sometimes though, he teaches me things that I wish I did at his age. He is brilliant.

EMMA, London
Home School: Baylor University

  1. Hi! I am a Texas girl delighted by big cities. New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston…I love them all.
  2. From the cyclical pattern of trends to the artistic canvas of clothing, I am completely and utterly fascinated by the world of fashion.
  3. I will drink a hot chocolate in 90° weather without hesitation. My love for it is that deep!
  4. I can say with full confidence that I would not make it past the first audition on “So You Think You Can Dance,” but I take the words “dance like nobody is watching” very literally.
  5. I love art, but hate drawing.
  6. You know that feeling in your gut after you leap off the diving board or ride a rollercoaster? Yeah. There are few things that I fear more than that feeling.
  7. If I could rewind to any decade, I would, without a doubt, choose the 1920s. I can’t resist the flapper dresses!
  8. I love journals, but I have yet to be consistent in writing. As a result, I have a pile of gorgeous journals with blank pages.
  9. When I was seven, I asked my mom if I could change my name to Ariel (just like the mermaid). She kindly said no.
  10. I have been abroad once. Ever since I stepped off the plane, I have been dying to return! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to begin another adventure abroad!

JOCELYN, Milan
Home School: Lasell College

  1. My major is Fashion Communications and Promotions.
  2. My minor is Sociology.
  3. I have been to Fashion Week in both New York City and Miami.
  4. I have visited three state prisons in Massachusetts to advocate for prison reform.
  5. I am a florist at Whole Foods.
  6. I am a vegetarian.
  7. I love to cook!
  8. I adopted a baby kitten named Frankie this summer.
  9. My favorite TV show is Rick and Morty.
  10. Studying at NABA will be my first time in Europe!

ALEXA, Florence
Home School: Saint Mary’s College of California

  1. I have purple hair which is my favorite color.
  2. I love painting and drawing .
  3. I play rugby at Saint Mary’s College of California.
  4. I work at an art gallery in the Bay Area.
  5. I love piercings. I have 8 and I plan to get more. I get them for important moments in my life with people who are important to me.
  6. I love the sea and hope to live by it at some point in my life.
  7. I usually love the bad guys in movies and tv shows more than the good guys.
  8. I wish I was a mermaid.
  9. I collect rings and other jewelry from places I travel to.
  10. I believe in learning many different skills and trying many different types of jobs instead of just being good at one thing. I learned how to milk a cow working at my family’s dairy, I have been a secretary, I was a waitress and barista at a cafe, a personal assistant to an interior designer, and I took floral and welding classes in high school.

ISABEL, Florence
Home School: George Washington University

  1. I am a painter. I love using oil paints but also enjoy digitally painting.
  2. Reading books is my favorite activity. Critical theory works, war stories and tales of human struggle are my favorite.
  3. Neither my family nor I have left the U.S. before. We all got our passports together in preparation for this trip.
  4. I worked for a nonprofit called First Star Institute that promotes the best practices in education, research and law to help abused and neglected children.
  5. I wrote for the culture section of my school newspaper covering the music scene in D.C.
  6. I spent the second semester of my sophomore year writing about national and local art advocacy. I worked with artists collaborating with the Women’s March, nonprofits, filmmakers and playwrights.
  7. I spend my summers in a beach town in New Jersey waitressing at a bar and working at the local paper.
  8. I have a dachshund (wiener dog) named Pepperoni.
  9. I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Paul Simon, The Smiths, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles with my mom.
  10. Ever since moving to D.C. I have become a huge fan of running, especially around the National Mall and around the city since it allows me to explore and exercise at the same time.

ADELLE, Florence
Home School: George Washington University

  1. I’m studying art history with the hope of working in museums, and I’m especially interested in education outreach.
  2. I’m originally from San Luis Obispo, California, and grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I’m currently a third-year student at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
  3. I worked as a bike tour guide in Washington, DC, during the summer before my fall abroad semester.
  4. I was on my high school speech and debate team, and I broke school records for NFL speaking points by participating in 2 debate types and 4 speaking events at every tournament by my senior year.
  5. In my high school I was well-known for my love of history, especially the Lewis and Clark Expedition; this summer I finally was able to go to Philadelphia to see the real Lewis and Clark journals in person!
  6. I’ve built homes for birds, butterflies, bats, and bees in my garden at home.
  7. I’m the adoptive sponsor of an Egyptian fruit bat named Peek-a-Boo.
  8. I’ve won awards in cosplay contests by using my interest in historical textiles to make period-inspired outfits.
  9. I once toured a castle in France while wearing an eighteenth-century inspired ballgown.
  10. I introduced writer Katherine Boo as the guest speaker for a symposium hosted at my school, and while we were speaking after the event she told me she wanted to be me when she grew up.

SARAH, Florence
Home School: University of Kentucky

  1. I have very red hair and when I was little I used to hate it but now it is one of my favorite things about myself.
  2. Despite being the traveler that I am, my mom has actually never been on an airplane, but I am lucky that I am able to see the world for myself.
  3. My current obsession is asian culture so that is definitely the next destination on my list! (food, beauty, fashion!)
  4. I adopted my very own kitty cat named Tater Tot and he looks quite like me.
  5. I live in New York City and worked as an intern at Kleinfeld Bridal (the store that Say Yes to the Dress is filmed at!)
  6. I am spending the summer before I go abroad in Milwaukee, Wisconsin working in Product Development at Kohl’s Corporate offices!
  7. I am obsessed with YouTube and could watch videos for hours and hours without getting bored.
  8. I am a vegetarian and love thinking of creative ways to recreate meals!
  9. I am a chocoholic and have a sweet tooth that I got from my momma.
  10. I LOVE airports. I arrive unessesarily early for my flights just so I can hang out in them!

DETRANELLE, Florence
Home School: Virginia Commonwealth University

  1. My name is Detranelle and I was born in Gary, Indiana.
  2. My favorite color is tied between black and baby pink.
  3. I have one double jointed shoulder.
  4. I have seen every episode of Spongebob Squarepants ever.
  5. I consider myself to be an amateur DJ’s.
  6. I have a small collection of cd’s and vinyls.
  7. Music is one of my few passions and I consider myself to be well rounded.
  8. I hate frozen strawberries.
  9. This semester abroad will be my first time out of the country.
  10. I am really looking forward to submerging myself in the Italian culture!

HAILEY, Florence
Home School: College of Charleston

  1. I am originally from Long Island, NY, but moved to Greenville, SC about 10 years ago.
  2. I major in Arts Management with a concentration in the Music Industry. I would love to either be a tour manager or work in a record label managing artists. I enjoy listening to most genres of music, but I typically listen R&B and hip hop!
  3. The beach is my happy place.
  4. I’m obsessed with elephants, I even have an elephant tattoo (peep the necklace).
  5. Ice cream is my favorite food group – so obviously I’m super excited to have real Italian gelato!
  6. I also love sushi. Is there good sushi in Italy? Let me know.
  7. Ariel is my favorite Disney princess, and in my next life I would love to be a mermaid. Or a dolphin would do, too.
  8. Puppies make me a very, very happy gal.
  9. I hope to live long term in Europe after I graduate college. I want to experience as many cultures as I possibly can! Therefore, I am so excited to be spending a semester abroad!
  10. I would love to learn how to produce music and record artists.

SIOBHAN, Florence
Home School: Muhlenberg College

  1. My name is Siobhan McKenna and I’m from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
  2. I’m an English Major with Political Science and Studio Art Minors at Muhlenberg College.
  3. I’ve played Women’s Soccer in college for the past two years.
  4. I’m hoping to go to law school in the future.
  5. I have 3 sisters and am an aunt to 3 little kids.
  6. My favorite place to vacation is Avalon, New Jersey.
  7. I’m a vegetarian and love animals.
  8. I love to paint and create new pieces of art work.
  9. Reading and writing are also two of my favorite things.
  10. I’ve only been outside of the country once and am very excited to explore Europe!

MADELINE, Florence
Home School: University of Nebraska – Lincoln

  1. I’m in an a cappella group, so my life is basically “Pitch Perfect.”
  2. I’ve attempted to learn how to play five instruments through my life, and was fairly unsuccessful in all of those endeavors.
  3. My brother pushed me out a window when I was 5 and I broke my wrist.
  4. I love writing.
  5. The best job I’ve ever had was an editing position at The Daily Nebraskan (my school’s student-run newspaper).
  6. I watched “The Sound of Music” every single day of the summer.
  7. I’m an advertising major and hope to move to New York to work in the industry after graduation.
  8. This semester in Florence will be my third time studying abroad (I spent one summer in China and another in Oxford, UK).
  9. My favorite movies are “Mona Lisa Smile” and “10 Things I Hate About You.”
  10. I’m extraordinarily talented at laughing at my own jokes.

FRANCES, Sorrento
Home School: Belmont University

  1. I was born and raised in Central Louisiana, but moved to Nashville, TN for college. Shortly after, my parents moved there as well! So now Nashville is home!
  2. I am majoring in Music Business at Belmont University and hope to work in Music Publishing and Demo Production after college.
  3. I am minoring in Italian and hope to be fluent by the time I finish my semester abroad!
  4. I should’ve graduated May 2017 (oops) but have an extra semester due to adding the Italian minor. I decided to spend it abroad in Sorrento! 
  5. I was the music director for Belmont’s student organization Chadasha Gospel Choir for three years!
  6. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! To the point where I would go caroling all year long if it was socially acceptable.
  7. Old sitcoms are my favorite! I Love Lucy, I Dream of Jeannie, and the Dick Van Dyke Show are my top 3!
  8. My grandmother was from Sicily and her old letters and recipes are what inspired me to take Italian in the first place.
  9. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies! Sometimes I spend all day in the kitchen perfecting recipes.
  10. Traveling is another passion of mine, and I am beyond excited to explore Europe for the first time this Fall!

LAURA, Rome
Home School: Baylor University

  1. I am an English Literature major with a minor in Creative Writing at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. I originally went to Baylor to play my saxophone, but now I’m in the choir. Go figure.
  2. I am from Mesquite, Texas (it’s near Dallas, TX).
  3. I have a sassy cat named Luna. Yes, I am THAT cat lady :)
  4. I love trying new foods, and going outdoors to explore new places.
  5. I want to be a fantasy author and a Creative Writing professor one day!
  6. I have never travelled outside of the United States, so I am extremely excited to study abroad.
  7. My favorite colors are purple and blue. I once had blue hair, but I’m not cool enough for that anymore.
  8. My favorite book is Eragon, by Christopher Paolini.
  9. I am terrified of sharks.
  10. My favorite superhero is Wonder Woman.

DREW, Rome
Home School: University of Tampa

  1. I like to try new things.
  2. I go to school in Florida.
  3. I’m from Buffalo, New York.
  4. I went skydiving.
  5. I caught a tiger shark.
  6. I like to golf.
  7. I would do anything for a friend.
  8. I like to travel.
  9. I enjoy cooking.
  10. But I like eating better.

LUCY, Rome
Home School: Lindenwood University

  1. Working in a nursing home for the past five years has given me a heart of patience, trials, and good times.
  2. In another life, I would be a photographer for National Geographic, traveling the world.
  3. I go to school in Missouri but I’ve never been to the top of the arch.
  4. After college, I want to work in the natural disaster relief field.
  5. I’ve summited two of Colorado’s 53 14-ers.
  6. Dog may be man’s best friend but deep down, I still call myself a cat person.
  7. If I only had one food left to eat for the rest of my life…watermelon.
  8. In middle school, I spent WAY too much money on music so I am forever grateful for Spotify.
  9. I am from China but I don’t speak any Chinese.
  10. After my acceptance letter into SAI-Rome, I wanted to watch an Italian film to “get in the mind set.” I watched Life is Beautiful, to this day it is one the best and most tragic films I’ve ever seen.

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About SAI

SAI Programs 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.