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SAI Gap Programs are designed for high school graduates and offer access to university-level learning paired with unique exposure to the local community and culture. SAI gap semester students at JCU enroll in one Italian language course, one elective course with a focus on developing global awareness, and additional elective courses for a total of 12 - 15 US credits. Students benefit from program services geared toward gap students, including the Global Leadership Exploration Program, in which students complete community service, gain exposure to a range of career fields, and receive personalized guidance and mentoring from SAI staff on leadership, cultural competency, and value setting.
June 15, 2018
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Official high school transcript
Academic letter of recommendation
JCU Italian privacy consent form
Late August 2018 – Early December 2018
Academic Year: High school graduate
* contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements
High School GPA:* 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
English Language:* Non-native English language speakers must submit TOEFL: 85+ (internet based) or IELTS: 6.5+.
The Global Leadership Exploration Program (Explore Program) is designed to enrich students’ experiences abroad and to provide additional support and structured exploration of global themes to students completing a gap semester program. Students enrolled in the Explore Program broaden their awareness of global issues and explore various career fields and themes, through research, engagement in community service, and interaction with experts and leaders.
Students enrolled in the program must:
Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a reference letter that confirms completion of the certificate and related activities, along with a certificate suitable for framing.
Phone Interview & Consultation
After all application materials are submitted, students complete a phone interview and consultation with their admissions counselor. This call is meant to help admissions counselors get to know students and their interests, as well as for students to ask questions about the program and get assistance with determining what courses might be best suited for them.
Courses & Schedule
SAI Gap program students enroll in 12 – 15 credits (12 recommended). Students must enroll in one Italian language course and at least one course that is designated a global awareness course. The remaining courses can be chosen from any electives, provided the student meets prerequisites. We are happy to provide a list of suggested courses that will help to prepare students for their degree-seeking college coursework.
SAI students complete their course registration directly with JCU through their JCU student account. Students receive their student account login about 2 weeks before registration opens. JCU courses are competitive, and students should complete their course registration on the registration date. JCU course registration begins on the following date.
Fall Semester: May 2018
|June 15 2018
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
|Within 1 week of acceptance
||SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
|May 1 2018
||50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
||JCU Course Registration Opens|
|July 1 2018
||SAI Financial Aid Verification Deadline
Students wishing to defer payment until financial aid disbursement must submit the financial aid verification forms to SAI by this date.
|July 1 2018
||Balance of Total Program Fee Due|
|August 1 2018
||SAI Pre-Departure Form Due|
||Arrival & Housing Check-in
Students fly into Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO). SAI airport pickup is provided between 9:00am and 5:00pm, and students are transferred to SAI housing.
Mandatory SAI orientation is held at JCU and introduces students to their city while covering safety, policies, housing, and culture.
||JCU Academic Orientation
JCU holds several-day orientation activities. In addition to the mandatory orientation, students have opportunities to take city tours, join clubs, and meet professors.
||JCU Classes Begin|
||JCU Drop/Add Deadline|
||Last Day to Withdraw from a Class|
||Thanksgiving Holiday (no class)|
||JCU Classes End|
||Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of SAI housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel.
|SAI Program Fees*||USD|
Refundable at the end of the term.
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI Signature Services (see What’s Included).
|Optional / Additional Fees:|
|Optional Private Room Housing Supplement
Private room in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
|International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
*prices are subject to change
SAI offers discounts to students wishing to complete a Gap Year (two consecutive gap semesters). Additionally, students are able to apply for a personal loan through JCU to assist with paying for their SAI Gap Program. Please contact our Business Office for more information.
|Budget||Low Est.||High Est.|
|Airfare to/from Rome
Visa and Permit to Stay fees.
|Books, Supplies & Course Fees||$100 / course||$300 / course|
Includes groceries and eating out.
|$650/ month||$800 / month|
|Personal Expenses||$300 / month||$350 / month|
|Transportation within Rome
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
|$125 / month||$150 / month|
Cost varies greatly by student.
|$300 / month||$1,000 / month|
This is an SAI Signature Services Program; it includes our full services!
Pre-departure and Re-entry services
SAI offers activities, at no extra cost, for students to get to know their community, city and country. Following is a sample of the activities included in this program. Please note that actual activities may differ.
Ostia Antica and Welcome Lunch
SAI welcomes students to Rome with a visit to the famous Ostia Antica archaeological site. The group follows a guided tour of the site for a glimpse into the life of ancient Romans. Following the visit, students enjoy lunch on a traditional Italian farm.
Survival Italian Language
Students are offered two 3-hour survival Italian lesson during orientation week. Each lesson covers basic Italian conversation taught both in the classroom, and out and about in the city. Students learn to shop at local fruit vendors or order cappuccino at the local cafe.
A Taste of Rome Evening Food Tour
Students get to know their new home by exploring the Trastevere neighborhood and tasting some of Rome’s most celebrated culinary traditions.
Colosseum Night Tour
Students visit the Eternal City’s most important monument by moonlight. The group is guided through the Colosseum’s history, and explores the most important areas, including the underground chambers and arena floor, both of which are usually closed to the public.
Students learn to make gelato with a professional Roman Gelataio (Italian for gelato maker). The workshop provides an inside look at one of the yummiest Italian traditions.
Weekend Excursion to Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria
Students go on an unforgettable journey to experience the hidden treasures of the Italian countryside outside of Rome. The weekend is spent eating lunch near the largest volcanic lake in Italy, relaxing in thermal baths, horseback riding or bike riding in the countryside, eating traditional foods and visiting beautiful hill towns.
Italian Cooking Lessons
Students join Italian cooking lessons taught by local Roman Chef Andrea Consoli. Each lesson covers how to make a traditional Roman three-course meal that is easy to recreate independently. At the end of the lesson, students enjoy their own homemade Italian meal.
Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting
Students are led by award-winning winemaker Sergio Mottura in a tour of his vineyard and a lesson on wine-growing techniques. After a visit to the wine cellars, students enjoy in a delicious wine and food pairing.
Students dress up and spend an evening at the world-famous opera house Teatro dell’Opera to see one of the seasonal performances.
Ancient Appian Way Bike Tour
Students enjoy a guided bike ride down the Appian Way, an ancient Roman road that went to the eastern tip of Italy. After a morning of biking, the group stops for lunch in the Roman countryside.
Students celebrate the end of a successful term abroad and say their goodbyes over a delicious Italian meal.
Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient, clean, and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (upgrade to private bedroom available). Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of private and shared bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless internet. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 90 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.
Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.
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.