Cameron is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer.
What’s your name?
What school do you attend?
I am a recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, TN!
Which program did you attend through SAI?
I attended Florence University of the Arts in the Fall of 2017 (I can’t believe it has already been two years!)
What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?
I am really excited to learn more about SAI and the fabulous people who work hard to make our study abroad experiences so incredible. I was once on the receiving end of this company’s seamless operation, now I want to learn how to be a provider!
What did you love most about your SAI program?
There are many program providers that can get you from point A to point B, but no other program can do it quite like SAI. For starters, the staff is genuinely interested in your well-being, which made me feel comfortable, secure, and cared for. I built real, authentic relationships with people, and was given an opportunity to learn about and explore the world with those people. What could possibly be better than that?! (Well… maybe the food!)
What is your best/favorite memory of your time abroad?
This question is just not fair! Still, I will give you my best answer. Everyday after class I would have to walk across the Ponte Santa Trinita in order to get home. If you aren’t familiar, this is the bridge that provides the very best view of the Ponte Vecchio—the most beautiful, timeless, and famous bridge in Florence! Sometimes your best memory isn’t a specific night, a particular meal, or an incredible trip. Sometimes your best memory is just walking across the Ponte Santa Trinita every single night after class, taking a moment to stare across the river at the most beautiful and iconic landmark, watching as the lights dance on the water and letting yourself feel the last rays of the Tuscan sun before it sets for the night. Sometimes your best memory is the one that happened every single day.
Do you have any funny traveling stories to share?
My roommates and I accidentally traveled to Vienna the first day of Carnival and everyone was waltzing in the streets!! A local family noticed the shock in our faces and taught us how to do the waltz. Then, they offered to show us around the city. We spent the whole day with them, and they even bought us lunch and coffee and cake! When it was time to say goodbye that night we all started to tear up. A last-minute trip turned into the best experience ever. Traveling can be funny that way.
What was your go-to/favorite meal while abroad?
GUSTA. PIZZA. Gusta Pizza is the best pizza ever and nobody can ever tell me otherwise. I ate it so often the staff eventually knew me! They even raised their prices but never charged me the new price. Simply the best, juiciest, most delicious pizza. A close runner up was definitely the truffle gnocchi from Osteria Santo Spirito, just around the corner from my apartment!
What advice do you have to offer those just embarking on their study abroad experience?
Know your boundaries, but be open to possibilities. I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life where I have been more open than when I was in Florence. Soak it all in. Even when you don’t know what to make of an experience, just take it in and unravel it later. Take every experience at face-value, and try not to expect… anything! Experience and then reflect, but don’t get too caught up in your reflection that you forget to experience. If you don’t know what that means now, you will. Enjoy every single second of it, and LEARN! About yourself, about your country, about your city; about food, wine, people, about everything. This time is so much more than a series of Instagram pictures (although your feed will never look so good again).
Cameron will be taking over our Instagram every Wednesday! Click here to follow along.