On-Site Support

SAI Signature Services include a wealth of support to students while they study abroad. Our welcoming staff—based full-time in each host city—create a bridge between home and abroad by fostering a strong SAI community.

Arrival & Orientation

Travel to Europe can be exhausting, so students are welcomed at the airport as they arrive in their host city by SAI on-site staff, and are provided transportation to their program and housing check-in. Students experience a smooth transition into their host culture, as they have time to rest and explore their neighborhood immediately after arrival.

All programs begin with a comprehensive orientation that covers local customs, housing details, safety information, SAI regulations, and introduces students to the rich calendar of activities provided as a supplement to academics.

SAI Advising

SAI’s on-site staff offer an ongoing and reassuring support system for visiting students while allowing participants ample freedom to gain the maximum level of personal growth during their time abroad. Throughout the term, SAI on-site staff hold daily office hours and are available to offer assistance with personal issues that are common when studying abroad as well as academic problems that may arise. Program coordinators serve as advocates and advisors, offering support, guidance, and encouragement, and acting as liaisons between students and host school administrators. Halfway through the term the on-site staff holds an SAI Reorientation, which is a structured time to reflect on goals, discuss any challenges, and ensure that all students feel comfortable and safe in their programs.

Activities & Excursions

SAI offers an active calendar of social events and excursions each term. These activities encourage social interaction between students while including elements designed to foster greater cross-cultural competency and a deeper understanding of the local community. Activities include hands-on culinary demonstrations, sporting events, musical concerts, theater performances, and museum visits, as well as all-day and weekend trips to nearby towns and attractions.

Community & Cultural Integration

SAI offers a variety of high impact service activities that help students gain meaningful global perspective while making a difference in the world. These service activities allow students to have a positive impact on the host communities that welcome them, as well as help students explore their cultural identities. Students engaged in the community examine real-life problems and collaborate with local residents to address community needs. Examples of community activities available to SAI students include working with local immigration officials, teaching English and computer skills, serving the elderly community, participating with local medical emergency teams, or providing services to youth. Often, students are transformed from the service experiences and discover a new sense of their own identities and their roles as global citizens.

Safety

All SAI students have peace of mind knowing that on-site staff is always available should they need help. In the event of serious safety or health issues, students can contact our 24-hour emergency phone number for immediate assistance. We manage a clear communication system should the need arise to contact all students or their emergency contacts at home. Our on-site staff can provide experience and translation with medical professionals, police, and the like, as well as a supportive environment.

Cell Phones

SAI Signature Services include the option to obtain a local SIM card and cell phone, if desired. SAI provides free standard cell phone/SIM rental, and students are responsible for purchasing a plan. Having access to a local phone number allows school advisors and family members to contact students at any time, as most student apartments do not have landline phones. Students who register for their phones and/or SIM cards 14 or more days prior to departure will receive them at their US address in the mail at no extra charge. While incoming calls and texts are free in the host country, outgoing calls, texts and data usage incur fees. See Cell Phones for more information.

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.