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SAI students have the opportunity to complete a Maymester program at Syracuse Academy in beautiful Sicily. Students enroll in one of two courses, earning 4 credits during the 3 week session. Students select from The Volcanology of Sicily: Mt. Etna Revealed or Mediterranean diet: Tradition, Nutrition, and Innovation. Courses at Syracuse Academy focus on experiential learning and feature multiple field-learning lectures at some of the most iconic sites in Syracuse and Eastern Sicily.
Application: now open
Closes: February 23, 2020
Apps accepted on a rolling basis, and after closing as space permits
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form
May 8, 2020 – May 30, 2020
Academic Year: High school graduate or above.
Cumulative GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
* contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements
Courses Registration & Schedule
Students register for courses during the SAI application process. Course schedules are confirmed 4 weeks prior to the program start. Finalized schedules with class days and times are provided at orientation.
Service Learning & Volunteer
Syracuse Academy holds service learning as a pillar of academic excellence. Courses are intimately connected to the needs of various aspects of the community; they work in tandem with the community to create new ideas and new visions for future improvement. Students attending Syracuse Academy have various unique opportunities to get involved in their community beyond their classroom, including cultural and language exchange programs, classroom and youth engagement programs, and much more. Students receive information about all service and volunteer options upon arrival in Sicily.
|February 23 2020
Applications accepted after closing as space permits.
|Within 1 week of acceptance
||SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
|February 8 2020
||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.
|March 9 2020
||Balance of Total Program Fee Due|
|March 9 2020
||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.
|March 15 2020
||SAI Scholarship Application Deadline
Students wishing to apply for an SAI scholarship must have all application items submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on this date.
|April 8 2020
||SAI Pre-Departure Form Due|
|May 8 2020
||Arrival & Housing Check-in
Students arrive into Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA). SAI airport pickup is provided between 10:00am and 3:00pm, and students are transferred to SAI housing.
|May 9 – 10 2020
||Orientation & Welcome Events|
|May 11 2020
|May 29 2020
||Classes End & Final Exams|
|May 30 2020
||Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of 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.
|Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Option to live with a local host family in a private room; includes breakfast daily.
|Optional Homestay Housing Supplement With Full Board
Option to live with a local host family in a private room; includes breakfast & dinner 5 days/week.
|International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
*prices are subject to change
Note: certain SAI-affiliated US universities require specific payment arrangements. These may require that some fees are paid by the student directly to SAI, and other fees are paid to SAI by the affiliated university on behalf of the student. If you attend an SAI-affiliated university please contact your study abroad office or speak with your SAI Admissions Counselor for details.
|Budget||Low Est.||High Est.|
|Airfare to/from Sicily
|Books, Supplies & Course Fees
||$25 / course||$50 / course|
Combination of cooking at home and eating out.
|$600 / month||$800 / month|
|Personal Expenses||$250 / month||$350 / month|
|Transportation in Syracuse area
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
|$50 / month||$100 / 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.
All students are invited to a typical Italian meal welcoming them to the program and their host city.
Welcome Tour of Syracuse
Students tour Syracuse, including stops at popular shops, supermarkets, and places of entertainment, as well as important landmarks such as main squares, post offices, bus stops and taxi stands.
Day Trip to Pantalica: Prehistoric Sicily
Students visit the historical Neolithic settlement of Pantalica and admire the breathtaking views of the cliff-side necropolis. After taking a step back in time, students will have the opportunity to cool off in the pristine lakes of the Anapo river nearby. After a swim, the day will end with a taste of traditional Sicilian delicacies in a local “agritourismo”.
Day Trip to Noto and Vendicari: Baroque Sicily
Students go on a guided tour of the Baroque town of Noto, UNESCO world heritage site for its architectural splendor, followed by a Sicilian wine tasting in a traditional Val di Noto cantine. The day continues with leisure time at the pristine beach of the Vendicari marine reserve, laying grounds of sea turtles and of other Mediterranean wildlife species. This is followed by bird watching to view one of the largest pink flamingo colonies in Europe. Students then visit the Spanish tuna farm and the ancient Roman summer estate Villa Tellaro, famous for its brilliant mosaics. The day ends with a sunset aperitif in the charming fisherman village of Marzamem.
Day Trip to Mount Etna: Mythological Sicily
This excursion takes students on a unique hike to the craters of Mt Etna, the tallest active volcano of continental Europe. Students visit the volcanic caves, led by an expert volcanologist, and learn about the mythology and traditional storytelling inspired by the volcano. Students then have leisure time to take in the narrow streets and majestic views that were the setting of the Godfather movie scenes and inspired the works of DH Lawrence, Oscar Wilde and many more.
Tandem Language Aperitif
Meet local students while enjoying an aperitif during Syracuse Academy’s weekly language exchange program.
Outdoor Cinema Nights
Students enjoy the beautiful Sicilian evenings as they gather on the school’s lawn for an outdoor movie.
Before heading home students and staff share in a celebratory final meal to reflect and say goodbyes.
Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (option to upgrade to private bedroom, if 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. Housing assignments are single gender; other housing configurations may be available under limited circumstances.
Optional Housing: Family homestay (additional fee applies)
Students choosing the family homestay option are placed with a local family, which could be an older married couple or a family with children. Homestay families are typically within a short walking distance to the school. Homestay housing includes a private occupancy room and either weekday breakfast or weekday breakfast and dinner.
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.
In accordance with Italian law U.S. students studying in Italy for 90 days or less are not required to obtain a student visa. Therefore all U.S. students do not require a student visa for this program. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.
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.