SAI
Meet Our Spring 2020 Bloggers!
January 27, 2020

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 2020 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.

Sophie Bello, Florence

Home School: University of South Carolina

  1. I’m studying visual communications because I want to do graphic design for my career
  2. I can play the ukulele
  3. I could literally eat pasta for every meal
  4. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life
  5. I love going to concerts
  6. I love art; my favorite painting is the Garden of Earthly Delights
  7. My favorite place to be is anywhere on the water, especially the beach
  8. I love going on hikes and being in nature
  9. I helped start a club to support girls’ education
  10. I’m so excited to study abroad in Florence!

Anneliese Downey, Florence

Home School: Washington State University

  1. I am from California
  2. I go to school at Washington State University
  3. My guilty pleasure is watching Veronica Mars
  4. I was named after a song
  5. I volunteer with a girl scout troop in my college town
  6. I am a political science major
  7. My career aspiration is to be a policy advisor
  8. My friends would describe me as passionate, loyal, and sarcastic
  9. I have never been out of the United States and I am excited to travel

Aditi Cuddalore, Rome

Home School: Saint Mary’s College of California

  1. I love to make things! I am an avid DIY-er. Some of the things I have in the past are my prom dress, jewelry, headpieces, pillows, and clothes. In one of the pictures of me that I have attached, the black dress I am wearing is made entirely of trash bags that I hand painted. In the other picture, I made the headpiece that I am wearing.
  2. I am a classical Indian dancer. I have been dancing Bharatanatyam for 13 years now!
  3. I would love to become a fashion designer, but I would truly like to be is a singer. It has been such a passion for so many years. I have sung the national anthem in various school sport events.
  4. I do hair and makeup for formal events such as prom and formals! I have also been requested to do hair for bridesmaids at weddings.
  5. I love to make people laugh! It makes me happy!
  6. I really enjoy helping people around me. I tutor math and teach a Calculus lab class at my college.
  7. I have also been a girl scout for 14 years, so I used to volunteer constantly.
  8. I am super resourceful. I hate throwing away old items that have lost their value to me, so I repurpose them and make them into something new.
  9. I often read in my free time! Some of my favorite books include The Lord of the Rings, the Shatter Me series, the Harry Potter series, and Atlas Shrugged.
  10. I am always open to trying new things. That is one reason I love traveling–because I get to experience new cultures. It is also another reason I am so excited about this study abroad experience.

Rachael Rich, Sorrento

Home School: University of Michigan

  1. I love to run and am an avid long-distance runner; I just competed in my first international half marathon last year!
  2. My favorite genre of music is psychedelic/indie rock. I didn’t know it had its own name/category until recently!
  3. I am an only child, so I often enjoy traveling alone, or exploring cities by myself. (Safely, of course!)
  4. I eat a plant-based, vegan diet :)
  5. I thoroughly enjoy art, so in my spare time, I am usually working with chalk or oil pastel to create whatever I feel.
  6. I am very big into meditation!
  7. I would almost always rather be outside, even if it’s just to study for class.
  8. I am from Florida, so I feel most like myself when I am near the ocean, the beach, or the water.
  9. I am Hispanic and Irish! (Hence the freckles.)
  10. I think it’s more important to travel than to buy tangible things–and to choose your occupation based on happiness, not income!

Sofi Toscano, Rome

Home School: Saint Mary’s College of California

  1. I have played the piano since I was 7 years old
  2. My favorite type of music is Reggaeton
  3. I was born in the city of Guadalajara in Mexico
  4. My great grandfather immigrated to Mexico from Italy
  5. I have a puppy name Logan
  6. I work at the Study Abroad office at my home school
  7. I am fluent in both English and Spanish.
  8. My favorite food is sushi
  9. I’m the Vice President for the Gael Women in Business club at my school as well as the Treasurer for the Gael Sisterhood Club
  10. I love sushi!

LeAnne Davison, Florence

Home School: University of South Carolina

  1. I’m the youngest of 8 kids

  2. I was born in Iowa but have lived in South Carolina as long as I can remember 
  3. I’m in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina. GO COCKS!
  4. I wouldn’t survive without Diet Coke and Coffee 

  5. I’m a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority #AOT

  6. I love to cook (AND eat) 
  7. I have my own clothes selling business 
  8. I love both the beach and the mountains
  9. Some people call me Lele
  10. I’ve never been to Europe

Maddie Wick, Florence

Home School: Bradley University

  1. I have an absurd collection of lipsticks (especially in the color red).
  2. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
  3. I’m pursuing a double concentration in art with drawing and printmaking. Needless to say, you can always find me working on art.
  4. I love collecting unique pairs of shoes; my favorite collection are my Dr. Martens.
  5. Birds are some of my favorite animals; they’re just funky animals.
  6. I’ve gone 20 years of my life without ever trying an uncrustable.
  7. I have a deep admiration for Danny Devito and I can’t really explain why.
  8. I have a tattoo of Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls.
  9. My dad gave me the nickname “Munch”.
  10. Stevie Nicks is my muse and icon.

Hannah Sloan, Florence

Home School: Point Loma Nazarene University

  1. I broke my nose surfing when I was 12, but I still love surfing and spending time in the ocean.
  2. I graduated high school a year early and took a gap year.
  3. During my gap year I did a Christian missionary program called Youth With A Mission aka YWAM.
  4. I lived in Perth, Australia for three months during YWAM.
  5. I lived in Nepal for the following three months and stayed in 25 different locations throughout the country.
  6. I went on an 11 day backpacking trip through the Himalayan Mountains with 35 other people.
  7. I worked at a summer camp this past summer working as a full time camp counselor for 10 weeks.
  8. My parents owned a cafe called The Vault when I was in elementary school that my parents, both my siblings, and I worked at.
  9. I have moved 13 times.
  10. My greatest career dream is to own my own foster care home.

Raquel Rojas, Milan

Home School: Rochester Institute of Technology

  1. I am Dominican and American. 
  2. Spanish is my first language. 
  3. I have a 1 year old Goldendoodle named River. She lives with me in college and is by far the sweetest/craziest pup you’ll ever meet. 
  4. I became one of the founders of a product company called MO:KI
  5. I live 10 minutes away from NYC. I love the city with all my heart. I consider it as my happy place. 
  6. I am a HUGE Game of Thrones fan!  
  7. I am a RA at my home university. I get to work closely with the Freshmen, it’s challenging and rewarding at the same time. 
  8. I have a huge fear of butterflies. I was traumatized by one when I was much younger and the fear has never gone away. 
  9. I love to dance. I’ve been performing since the age of 11. 
  10. The only countries I’ve been outside of the US is Dominican Republic and Haiti. I’m excited to study abroad in Italy this upcoming semester, I plan on dedicating my weekends for travel.

Sofia Acosta, Barcelona

Home School: Kansas State University

  1. I recently completed a summer studying abroad outside of Panama City, Panama- I participated in a design/build program for a sustainable town, living in a hammock for 10 weeks.
  2. I am a barista when I’m not at school, and I love every part of the coffee business.
  3. I speak Spanish as my second language (I am of Colombian heritage) and have spoken French since I was 5. I am currently working on my French minor.
  4. I grew up in a pre-professional ballet company and continue to admire the professional ballet world.
  5. I love yoga, and practice whenever I can.
  6. I admire the illustration art world; drawing, watercolors, digital… I’d love to illustrate a children’s book one day.
  7. I love to hike and backpack when I visit new places.
  8. I love thrift shopping. Upcycling thrifted furniture is something I enjoy.
  9. Trying new recipes is one of me favorite free-time activities. I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen.
  10. I find minimalism extremely interesting, and strive to make changes to reduce the amount of products and disposables I consume.

Kaeli Silva, Florence

Home School: Colorado State University

  1. My major is Agricultural Business
  2. I am from a small farm town in California
  3. I have been out of the country to visit family
  4. I am Portuguese
  5. I have 2 siblings and a dog
  6. My favorite movie is High School Musical
  7. I had many adopted brothers growing up
  8. I have binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy 10 times
  9. I use to raise pigs
  10. I have no feeling in my toes on my left foot

Jocelyn Minich, Florence

Home School: University of South Carolina

  1. I love to go on adventures, particularly ones that involve nature and new experiences
  2. Warm, breezy weather makes me happy
  3. I am the type of person who finds comfort in sitting down in a cozy spot with a good book
  4. I am also the type of person who loves having fun with my best friends
  5. I love to travel and experience new cultures
  6. I feel best about myself when I have the ability to help others
  7. My mother is a fashion stylist which has instilled a love for fashion in me for as long as I can remember
  8. I am happiest when I am near the ocean
  9. My Italian grandmother taught me to cook at a very young age and it has become one of my greatest passions
  10. One of my favorite memories is skiing through fresh powder, breathing in the smell pine trees

Lexi Abbona, Sorrento

Home School: California Baptist University

  1. My first time traveling out of the country was to Thailand this summer where I got to ride elephants.
  2. I come from a loud Italian family, so I am so excited to dive into the culture in Italy.
  3. My favorite thing to do is watch the sunset at the beach.
  4. I collect a keychain and a sticker from every place I travel to.
  5. The number one thing on my bucket list is to see the northern lights.
  6. One of my favorite parts about traveling is experiencing the food of different cultures.
  7. There is a mountain named after the last name of my great grandparents in southern Italy.
  8. I wore a Superman onesie and went indoor skydiving on my 18th birthday.
  9. I caught my first wave surfing in Waikiki, Hawaii.
  10. My goal is to visit every national park in the U.S.

Alyssa Ferrarone, Rome

Home School: Oklahoma State University

  1. I am a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, studying marketing
  2. I am originally from New Hampshire, but my parents just moved to Dallas! I’m pretty excited about it because I’m very close with my family
  3. Last May my bestfriend, Rachel,  passed away from a severe allergic reaction. Now spreading allergy awareness is something extremely important to me – as well as finding ways to prevent something like this happening to anyone else.
  4. I have a German Shepherd who I adore – I’m really excited he’ll be closer now that we moved!
  5. I worked at a daycare in high school and have really close relationships with those families – I love kids!
  6. I am a member of the Gamma Phi Beta, Beta Psi chapter at my school – and extremely thankful for the friendships I’ve formed in my sorority and how they push me to be the best version of myself.
  7. My favorite movie is Fifty First Dates – how could you not love it!
  8. I am excited to branch out during my time studying abroad and explore new places. So far I’ve only been to Barcelona – so I’m excited to see new places and the culture and people there.
  9. While I’m studying marketing and really enjoying it – it’d be a dream to publish a novel one day.
  10. I’m left-handed!

Alexa Jo Schafer, Florence

Home School: Winona State University

  1. I am a firm believer that every grocery list should include a treat for the week.
  2. I write articles for a platform called Her Campus.
  3. I have a pink birthmark on my cheek that’s shaped like a heart.
  4. I was a competition dancer for most of my life and have been trained in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop— you name it.
  5. I am in the National Society for Collegiate scholars.
  6. I’m on the hip hop dance team at my home school.
  7. I’m a double major in Psychology and Communication Studies
  8. I have two tattoos that I love very much!
  9. My guilty pleasure is early 2000’s music.
  10. Some may describe me as theatrical and bubbly.

Amelia Cavanaugh, Paris

Home School: University of Tampa

  1. I’m from Maine 

  2. I go to the University of Tampa

  3. I’ve played soccer, lacrosse, and rowing

  4. The only countries I’ve been to are New Zealand, France, and Canada

  5. I’m Polish, Hungarian, Irish, French, and German 

  6. I’m majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in sustainability 

  7. I love to ski 

  8. I can speak French 

  9. I ride my bike to school (I don’t use a car, to help the environment) 

  10. I love any water activities, sailing, jet-skiing, swimming, kayaking, etc.


Hannah Lowder, Barcelona

Home School: University of South Carolina

  1. I’m from Newton, North Carolina.
  2. I’m a sophomore at the University of South Carolina.
  3. My major is International Studies with a minor in spanish and history.
  4. In the future, I want to work in an embassy or with a non-profit.
  5. I currently intern for Jaime Harrison’s Campaign for Senate.
  6. I have an online thrift account and I love vintage clothes !!
  7. I can’t wait to travel around Europe !
  8. I hate milk, not even with cereal.
  9. I love the outdoors.
  10. I’m so excited to be living in Barcelona for the next few months!!

Katherine Sheridan, Paris

Home School: University of South Carolina

  1. I am from Maryland
  2. I love to write
  3. I played soccer my whole life
  4. I grew up on the water
  5. I have been to ten countries
  6. I love to read
  7. I like to box and run
  8. I hope to live or work abroad at some point in my career
  9. I enjoy learning about fashion
  10. I am minoring in psychology which is one of my passions

Gabrielle Campbell, Paris

Home School: University of Mary Washington

  1. I’m an Artist
  2. I’m the only girl and I have 3 brothers
  3. My dog’s name is Da Vinci
  4. My favorite artist Gustav Klimt
  5. Favorite work  of art is The Woman In Gold
  6. I still sleep with my childhood blanket
  7. I used to play soccer, volleyball, and I also cheered
  8. I hope to become an art professor one day
  9. My favorite food is PASTA!
  10. My zodiac sign is Aquarius

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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.