SAI 360° 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’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.
Viva Experience: Activities & Excursions
The SAI Viva Experience 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. Viva Experience 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. SAI offers motivated students the opportunity to earn the SAI International Service Certificate for making a commitment to service in their host community.
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.
As a safety measure, all SAI students are asked to have a working cell phone number on which they can be reached while they are abroad. 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. Some students choose to add an international plan to their current US provider, while others, with the help of SAI on-site staff, arrange for a local cell phone service upon arrival. See Cell Phones for more information.