Meet our Spring 2019 Bloggers
November 6, 2018

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media.  
Below is the list of our Spring 2019 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.  

Aileen Hernandez, Florence

Home school: Colorado State University

1. I am a proud First Generation Student
2. My family and I are from Chihuahua, Mexico
3. Majoring in Interior Architecture & Design with a concentration in Graphic Design. I hope to one day work in the Healthcare Design field to maximize and enhance the quality of our healing environments.
4. I am a fluent Spanish speaker
5. My favorite color is Yellow
6. I love a good country song
7. Avid concert attendee
8. I enjoy sketching and watercolor
9. I have a loud voice and even louder laugh
10. Studying abroad in Florence, Italy will be my first time traveling overseas. I am incredibly excited for the opportunity and the journey that lies ahead!

Brianna Carter, Barcelona 

Home school:  Appalachian State University

1. I went snorkeling with a shark and barracuda.
2. I swam with dolphins.
3. I climbed a waterfall.
4. I went on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls.
5. I hope to work for the FBI one day.
6. I am going skydiving for my 21st birthday.
7. Photography is one of my passions.
8. I am a public relations major.
9. Writing is another one of my passions.
10. I believe in spreading positivity everywhere I go.

Bridgette Bacon, Florence

Home school: Washington State University 

1. My all time favorite colors are purple and yellow
2. I am a Capricorn ( Yes, I believe in Astrology)
3. I am from a small town on Highway 50 with a population of 500 people
4. My passion is photography, as well as fashion
5. My hair is now 2x shorter than in this photo
6. My go to movie is Thumbelina when I’m feeling blue
7. Favorite music artist – Adele
8. I am a coffee fanatic (I have an espresso machine in my dorm room)
9. I will never say no to trying something new (unless, ya know, its dangerous)
10. I believe that there is beauty in everything


Carmen Turner, Florence

Home school: George Washington University

1. I am an Italian minor at the George Washington University
2. I love fashion and fashion photography
3. I know how to knit, sew, and crochet!
4. I studied abroad in Mexico in high school!
5. I’ve worked for 50 cent as a fashion stylist intern!
6. I love my family and friends
7. I have a passion for volunteering
8. I used to make my own clothes as a child
9. I attended a quaker high school
10. I am currently working on a fashion magazine

Giavanna Landicini, Paris 

Home school: University of Florida

  1. I love visiting art museums
  2. I love Vietnamese food
  3. I have watched the show “friends” 5 times
  4. I am a skilled seamstress
  5. I love penguins
  6. I can speak 5 languages badly
  7. I drink green tea everyday
  8. I am happiest when on an airplane
  9. I have three tattoos
  10. I love going to Disney

Jack Coning, Florence 

Home school: Georgia College and State University 

1. I have lived in 4 countries. (The Netherlands, England, Scotland and USA)
2. Because of no.1 my accent is a mix of the last three
3. Travelling is my passion and I hope to never stop
4. I spent a summer in Seattle working for Audi and exploring the Pacific Northwest
5. If possible, hugging a bear would be wonderful
6. I am super passionate about all things entertainment (music, movies, tv, video games etc)
7. If you’re sick, I WILL tell you to have a hot cup of tea
8. I lead a college club called The Real Movement that prioritizes loving everyone and meaningful conversation by hosting weekly hangouts.
9. College isn’t really my thing. I’m excited to move onto real life.
10. I lose myself in nature. I can easily spend an hour simply taking in a view. This Earth takes my breath away.

Katherine Snelson, Rome

Home school: University of South Carolina

1. I’m adopted which means I have two moms in my life
2. I’ve studied abroad once before, in Ireland, and it was incredibly life changing
3. I spent the past summer traveling Germany and Greece
4. I think I have a good sense of humor and I’m rather proud of it
5. I’m a great organizer and love planning things, especially travel plans
6. I’m a huge fan of tv shows and movies and am always looking for something new to watch
7. I’m an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church
8. I’m a big food person but I can only make one meal — but I can make that one meal really
really well
9. I consider myself an amateur photographer and love taking pictures everywhere I can —
especially when traveling
10. I broke a bone for the first time in my life four and a half months ago by falling down a
waterfall in North Carolina

Kristina Tidaback, Florence 

Home school: University of Kentucky

1. I am a first generation college student
2. I have never traveled out of the country
3. I love to cook
4. I am from Chicago and hope to move to New York City after graduation
5. I am the merchandising chair of my sorority
6. I can speak a little bit of Italian
7. I could eat only ice-cream for the rest of my life!!
8. I love anything vintage- fashion, music, any history
9. I am very close with my family and we are lucky enough to take family trips every year!
10. I love Chicago sports… go Cubs!

Kyle Wright, Barcelona

Home school: University of South Carolina

1. I have a twin sister
2. I’ve been the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
3. I was a lacrosse goalie
4. I’m a Gamecock
5. I live off of Old Bay
6. I have five sisters
7. My favorite food is sushi
8. I know all the words to Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas
9. My favorite band is the Killers and my favorite artist is Post Malone
10. I spent a week working at the Master’s Golf Tournament

Margaret Simic, Florence 

Home school: University of Kentucky

1. My favorite color scheme is Red, Yellow, and Blue
2. I couldn’t live without pickles
3. I love all scary movies, even the bad ones.
4. If I could be any animal, I would be a dalmatian
5. I have never won a game of bingo ever
6. My favorite thing to do is sew
7. Lauryn Hill is my idol
8. But Liza Lou is my favorite artist
9. I hope to live in Chicago and study at SAIC after undergraduate school
10. I have never been outside of the United States

Monica Mercuri, Florence 

Home school: George Washington University

1. I am currently a junior studying journalism and mass communications at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
2. I am a triplet! I have two twin brothers named Edward and Michael.
3. I worked as a print editorial intern at Billboard Magazine in New York City this summer!
4. I have an unhealthy obsession with dark chocolate.
5. I met Taylor Swift this summer and she gave me the best career advice – to keep continuing as a woman journalist in the industry!
6. My father was born in Siena, Italy, and I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who all live in Palermo, Sicily.
7. I attended the Video Music Awards in NYC this summer and got to hold a moon person (it was really really heavy!)
8. I love writing in-depth feature stories. One of my favorite interviews was with “Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland in 2017.
9. I love playing the guitar; I’ve been playing since I was 12!
10. I met Supermodel Gigi Hadid at her Vogue Eyewear Launch Party in 2017 and it may have been one of the best days of my life.

Olivia Cowden, Paris

Home school: University of Tampa

1. I was born and raised in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with my twin brother.
2. Studying abroad in Paris is something I’ve dreamed of since I was in elementary school. I
always knew I would find myself there, and this is my first time going overseas!
3. I love listening to classic rock and country music more than anything, and I have a
growing record collection. It’s rare that I don’t have some kind of music playing.
4. I’m the Junior Panhellenic Delegate for my chapter of Sigma Kappa.
5. I went skydiving earlier this year, and I can’t wait to go again.
6. I love musicals, especially Les Misérables. I could probably sing the entire show in my
7. I’m organized and unorganized at the same time.
8. My guilty pleasure is watching comedy shows for hours on end, which probably explains
why I’m such a goof.
9. I plan on moving to Nashville after college and working in the music industry doing
public relations or graphic design.
10. I was a swimmer growing up, and I did a triathlon for the first time last year.

Olivia Kolkana, Florence

Home school: Georgia State University

1. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.
2. I am OBSESSED with lavender. Lavender latte, anyone?
3. I used to do competitive longbow archery with my dad.
4. I have a photography business called Invisible Crown Photography.
5. I have a heart for the Pacific Northwest and spent last summer in Seattle.
6. I am the oldest of four girls and I LOVE it.
7. I’m a firm believer in Jesus Christ.
8. I love to write: travel guides, free verse, poems, narratives, etc.
9. I’ve been bitten by the travel bug pretty badly.
10. I recently started practicing yoga and have fallen in love with it!

Olutoyin Jackson, Barcelona 

Home school: University of Missouri

1. I was born in Oxford, England.
2. My favorite snack is grapes with any kind of cheese.
3. My favorite food is a good pasta dish.
4. My favorite color is lavender.
5. I have been to 3 difference continents and love to travel.
6. I am a food science/business major.
7. I played volleyball and ran track in middle and high school.
8. I love to laugh.
9. I am of African Descent, my family is from West Africa.
10. All of my first cousins are girls on my mom’s side.


Rachel Muschett, Florence 

Home school: Winthrop University

1. I am originally from Panama! My mother, brother and I migrated to the U.S. when I was six years old.
2. I LOVE writing! I attended the Iowa Young Writer’s Studio in the summer of 2015, and have been recognized a few times by the National Scholastic Awards for my poetry submissions.
3. I am part French through my dad’s side, but have not been able to learn the language very well.
4. I have been lucky enough to be able to visit 8 different countries!
5. I just obtained my citizenship through naturalization in February of this year.
6. I have a true addiction to eating mangoes – they are truly the way to my heart.
7. I have six siblings all together, so growing up was always crazy.
8. My favorite color is blue, but I have gained a weird obsession with everything rose gold.
9. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity.
10. I am the ONLY person from my school (Winthrop University) who is studying abroad in Florence!

Salam Harik, Paris 

Home school: University of South Carolina

1. Two siblings, middle child
2. Been to four continents
3. Have a schnoodle named Gigi
4. Favorite show is New Girl
5. Afraid of the Grinch
6. Favorite article of clothing is slippers
7. Love food, especially candy
8. Like to craft, but awful at it
9. Favorite season is Summer
10. Like all music except for country

Samantha Mier y Teran, Florence 

Home school: Colorado State University

1. I am first generation American. My father is from Mexico City and my mother is from Durango,
2. I have never visited Europe before, the only time i’ve been out of the country has been in Mexico.
3. I love learning about new artists and paintings.Some of my favorite pieces are The Kiss by
Gustav Klimt, Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, and Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais.
4. I’m not a very religious person but I am very fascinated by the Vatican and the art and
architecture related to it. I really look forward to visiting chapels in Italy.
5. A big hobbie of mine is antiquing. I have one doll that is over a hundred years old and all my
roommates are terrified by it.
6. Being from Colorado I love being in nature and hiking. My ideal summer day is visiting a small
mountain town and exploring.
7. I was born and grew up in Reno. I still have a lot of family there and I try to visit as much as
8. I am the middle child of three sisters. My older sister is studying History in Metro and My younger
sister is in middle school.
9. The Palace of Versaille really inspired me to get into interior design. I would take Baroque
architecture over modern anyday. I look forward to visiting it during my stay in Europe.
10.My whole family really loves history,we’re always going to museums to learn more about the past.
My love for antiques comes from my love of history, and I am so excited to live in a country so
rich in it.

Sarah Hadley Greer, Florence 

Home school: University of Alabama

1. I am a biology major, I am pre-med, and I am getting my MBA degree.
2. I taught myself how to play guitar and piano.
3. I was Annie in the play Annie when I was twelve.
4. This will be my second time going to Florence-I absolutely fell in love with this city the first time.
5. Mexican food is my favorite, and I could literally eat it every day.
6. I am obsessed with Harry Potter.
7. I listen to music 24/7, and I love 90’s rock, indie, and alternative music.
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers is my all-time favorite band. I saw them in concert last year, and it was amazing. They still perform like they’re kids!
9. In high school, I played soccer, volleyball, tennis, and I was a cheerleader. Now I am exponentially less active.
10. I was on the math team in high school. It was exactly like Mean Girls.

Theresa Pham, Rome 

Home school: Baylor University

1. I am a Medical Humanities major with a minor in Corporate Communication!
2. I am Vietnamese!
3. I aspire to become a medical missionary physician!
4. My dad named me Theresa after St. Therese of Lisieux hoping I would become a nun when I grew up.
5. I had a pet hedgehog named Pepper for less than 6 months!
6. I am a Tri-Delt at Baylor University!
7. I’ve never been to Europe!
8. I really want to meet the Pope.
9. I’ve been skydiving!
10. My favorite animal is a quokka because it’s often referred as the world’s happiest animal and that’s what I strive to be!

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