This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do something extra special! Two of our previous students, Fareeda and Steven, met while they were studying abroad with SAI in Rome in Spring 2019. They just got engaged (woo!!!) and we wanted to highlight their story, ask them how they maintained a relationship after studying abroad, and if they have any advice for prospective students. Steven and I met during our orientation outing to Ostia.
This is a Conversation between Sean Weber-Quigley (SWQ), Executive Chef and Owner of Chico Verde, and Dr. Edna Farace Wilson (EFW), SAI’s Vice President of Academic Affairs. EFW: When did you decide to become a chef? SWQ: Cooking has always been a part of my life and I realized in high school when I was a part-time line cook, I wanted to become a chef.
Engaging in an international internship allows students to deepen their interaction with the host city’s culture, develop relationships beyond the classroom, enhance their professional networks and build their resumes. By participating in an internship abroad, students set themselves apart from their peers with a demonstrated ability to work across cultures. SAI staff works with students and their home universities to arrange internship placement based on their academic major, interests, career goals, knowledge, and skills.
Sinclair is completing an Academic Career Gap Year with SAI Programs at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021. What motivated you to pursue an academic career program abroad during the pandemic? I took the opportunity to come to Florence during the pandemic because I wouldn’t have been able to have in-person classes in the US.
Catherine is completing an Academic Career Gap Year with SAI Programs at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Fall 2020 – Spring 2021. What motivated you to pursue an academic career program abroad during the pandemic? Given the current situation, and not really knowing what I wanted to do next, a gap year seemed like the best option for me. I really wanted to go abroad.
Francesca completed a Gap Semester with SAI Programs at John Cabot University in Rome, Fall 2020. What motivated you to pursue a gap semester abroad? COVID was the main reason. I was going to be attending courses online, at home, and I really wanted the college experience especially because it was my first year of college. So I started looking at different options, and I came across SAI Programs.
Studying abroad is an exciting time packed with many adventures and traveling. In my first month in Italy, I could not sit still. I was either traveling, exploring my city, or planning future travel plans. It felt like I was constantly going at 100 miles an hour because I was so obsessed with taking advantage of living in a new country and having the freedom to catch cheap flights all over Europe on the weekends.
The days and weeks leading up to my Florentine experience felt like a daydream. I had been looking forward to this experience for the past years to come and excited to push myself out of my comfort zones. Florence truly was all I could have asked for and more. The moment I had arrived in Florence, I was truly starstruck.
The week leading up to the devastating news was kind of a blur. Every day we were being told schools were going home and it didn’t actually hit until our friends began to be sent home. At this point majority of the schools had sent the email saying their students needed to come home. I knew it was coming but when I actually got the email it was devastating.
Like most people around the world, study abroad students were blindsided by the new normal brought on by Coronavirus. With the need to return home, our experiences were cut short with no warning. However, we were given something that no other study abroad students had received before—time to reflect on our experiences in our host cities.
I came to love Barcelona on my third day in the city. It just so happened that a childhood friend from my small hometown of Vermillion, South Dakota was in Barcelona on vacation. We trekked up to los Bunkers del Carmel – an incredible 360-degree view of the city – watched the sunset and talked for hours on end. I was inspired as she told stories about her semester abroad in Verona, Italy.
This Spring 2020 semester did not go as expected, so we created a special challenge just for our students who, unfortunately, had to return home due to the COVID-19 crisis. The unprecedented global pandemic has posed new challenges and increased hardships for many, but it has also united us through empathy, compassion, and greater global awareness.
When students talk about their study abroad experience it is common to hear “I had the time of my life!”, “It was awesome!”, or “It was the most fun I’ve ever had!”. While all of those statements are very true and I am guilty of using them myself, I believe it is just as important to mention the challenges you experienced because overcoming adversity or setbacks shape who are just as much (and maybe more)
At the very beginning, I was just another wide-eyed American who had never been anywhere but the States. I was eager to begin traveling and explore every part of Florence and the rest of Europe. This was the first time I was ever truly on my own without having my parents at my beck and call. I could certainly call my parents, but there wasn’t much they could do when an ocean stood between us.
Some of our students loved their study abroad experience SO much that they decided to add permanent reminders to their bodies. That’s right… study abroad tattoos! We recently collected photos and descriptions of a couple from throughout the years and we think they’re all pretty awesome. “At the end of my Florence trip, I knew I wanted to commemorate the experience forever.
Your study abroad memories will be some of the best of your life. But whether you study abroad for 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 semesters, time flies when you’re having fun. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the experience and forget about protecting the memories you’re making. What better way to preserve your study abroad than by keeping a journal?
Gelato is a cornerstone of Italian culture, and Florence is home to some of the best. While you’re here, you need to indulge in the tradition–it’s only right! But not all gelato is created equal, and you might as well spend your euro, time, and calories on the best. How to Find the Best Gelato 1. Natural, fresh gelato won’t be displayed in giant mountains piled high in the windows.
While most people have a problem with over-packing, I’m notorious for not packing enough. I usually take a lot of pride in “packing light”, until I’m in a situation where I realize I’ve underestimated what I need for a trip. But finally, after a lot of trial and error, I’ve developed the perfect packing list. Here is your essential female study abroad packing guide for a semester in Italy.
The first thing that came to mind when taking a risk while being abroad was hiking the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast! I knew way before I arrived in Sorrento that I wanted to conquer this hike. Seriously, just google it and you’ll get a glimpse of how surreal it is.
Studying abroad is one of the best experiences that anyone can have, but it’s also a challenging one, especially when it comes to managing your money. Budgeting can be hard because you’re in a new place and everything is so exciting and you can sometimes get carried away and start buying a lot of things.
What has your experience taught you about the world? My experience abroad has taught me the importance of appreciating where you are at any given time or place. It is not about where you are in the world, it is about the mindset you bring to that place that makes the experience special. The study abroad experience is unlike any other time in your life and completely unique to each person.
What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? I studied abroad in Rome, Italy. This is a city that is very well known to the world. Before my study abroad semester, I thought I knew what to expect about Rome, the fashion/pasta/coffee/history capital of the world.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was “Rome and its Ancient monuments”. This was an on-site class where we would walk to different historical and ancient monuments in Rome and learn about them as they are right in front of us. I gained greater independence and confidence through this class by meeting at our designated location in Rome every week.
What is your favorite study abroad memory and why? Throughout my time studying abroad, my favorite memory would be traveling to the different cities with my roommates. Knowing that we were out of the country and making our way around is still unbelievable to me. All the sight-seeing we did and walking around was amazing. The food we had was just in awe. The cities we traveled to were Venice, Genoa, and Florence.
What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? What They Don’t Tell You About Studying Abroad. In the months before I left for Florence Italy, I would sit and day dream about my upcoming adventure across the pond. How I’d eat pasta in the piazza next to the Duomo every day, spending weekends in Paris laying under the Eiffel, or in Germany sipping on a Haufbra House beer.
What advice do you have for new study abroad students? Try your best to fit in and live like a local! Once you are settled in your city, pay attention to the way locals live and try them out yourself. For example, in Florence, instead of grabbing a coffee to-go like I normally would in the US, I would get a cappuccino and sit outside in the palazzo.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad in Siena was called Flavors and Tastes. We learned about the chemistry of different foods and beverages around Tuscany. We studied wine, beer, cheese, chocolate, olive oil, and the Sienese specialty of Panforte. In every class, we got to taste test many varieties of the food we were covering that day and while it was certainly delicious, it was also really memorable.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? There were so many things I loved doing while I was in Florence. Each and every day brought a handful of new adventures, all of them being so unique and exciting.
What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? With the ease of access to travel while abroad in Europe, it is tempting to want to visit as many countries as possible. However, you will regret doing this. While I obviously recommend taking advantage of cheap flight prices, I also think that a crucial part of the study abroad experience is getting to know the city you’re living in for a semester.
What was your favorite memory from your time abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was being able to travel almost every weekend. It was so easy and cheap to get around, I traveled to 12 different countries within four months! The best part about it all was jumping into that country’s way of life for the weekend and really getting a feel for life somewhere else!
What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? Traveling was a major issue for my friends and I when we first started planning trips. We got to Rome and were so excited to explore and travel so we started planning trips right from the start. None of us had ever traveled on our own so nobody necessarily knew what they were doing, which may have been our first issue.
Studying abroad in Florence during the Fall of 2018 was the best four months of my life! Traveling the world has and always will be one of my biggest dreams. To begin fulfilling this dream in an incredible city like Florence is more than I could have ever hoped for from the food and culture to the architecture and quality of life, everything was terrific. What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? The amount of lifelong memories I made abroad is immeasurable. Looking back, it feels like every second I spent in Italy is special in its own unique way. But if I had to choose a favorite memory, my choice my surprise you. While abroad, I visited countless countries, went on endless trips, saw extraordinary places, and did incredible things.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad was traveling to 6 different countries and learning about the different cultures. I am from Hawai’i, where we are heavily invested with our culture and it is very important to us. I loved being able to experience different cultures and see how other people live their lives on a day-to-day basis.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad would definitely be the Gelato festival in Florence. It was held at the Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, a panoramic scene to behold. This festival was a competition among 30 plus gelato chefs, for the most innovative gelato flavor. The experience of trying inconceivable combinations of gelato flavors was an incredible sensation, it literally was a gelato party in my mouth!
Many people say that studying abroad was the single best thing they’ve ever done. A turning point in their lives. An incredible experience that allowed them to expand their horizons and grow in ways they didn’t think possible. And why believe them? Why should you trust the words of some stranger when you’re considering embarking on an adventure so new and exciting you can’t even comprehend what it will be like?
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from study abroad would probably be when my new roommates and I took a hike with SAI to Piazzale Michelangelo for the first time. When we reached the top, I was blown away by the beauty and overlook of the places that I would soon be able to explore.
What does your study abroad experience mean to you? When people ask what my study abroad experience means to me, it’s nearly impossible to accurately put it into words. It was truly the first time in my life that I was put into an unknown environment and had to find the tools within myself and around me to figure it out.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? During my time in Florence, I focused on taking business related classes to keep myself on track with my major at the University of Kentucky. My only non-business related class was called “Cultural Introduction to Italy.” This class focused on introducing American students to this new country that would be their home for the next three and a half months.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? One of my favorite memories from studying abroad was the day me and my roommates tried to go visit Versailles. Since it was finally starting to warm up in Paris, we had planned for a day trip there so we could really enjoy it. But after riding the train for about 30 minutes we realized that we were going in the completely wrong direction.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my Marketing Research class. In the past, all of my marketing classes have been lecture style with little to no student involvement and participation. However, in my marketing class at UPF, different group projects were assigned every week.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was Culture Shock: Cross-Cultural Psychology. To start, there is no reason this should have ever been my favorite class. I study Communication and randomly took a Psych class as an elective. Plus, it was at 9am every Tuesday morning… Not quite the set up for a wonderful time. Yet it changed the course of my entire semester.
What has your experience taught you about the world? No matter where one finds themselves in this vast, spacious yet small, densely populated, and heavily interconnected world; the priorities and passions of people are largely the same. The divisions between peoples are very real; there are different languages, traditions, customs, styles, etc.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? One of my favorite memories from studying abroad was when someone was having their rooftop worked on, and there was a giant window in our kitchen that looked out onto their roof. We would be in the kitchen eating breakfast and this guy working on the rooftop would always smile and wave to us as we stuffed our faces with food.
What was your favorite memory from studying abroad? I find this question so easy, yet so difficult to answer whenever I’m asked it. In short, every bit of my experience was my favorite memory, but it’s the little things about my study abroad that still stand out to me in my memory.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? As a biology major on a pre-med track, I chose my abroad program/school solely because I could take Organic Chemistry II. I knew that this course would be incredibly useful for my future plans of medical school and checked another box toward receiving my degree. However, I did not expect to have such impactful experiences in another class completely different from my intended scholastic path.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? As you can imagine, Rome is a city to be awed and enjoyed! Whether it be getting gelato as study breaks or running along the Tiber River to Vatican City, you will never be bored.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? I really enjoyed all of my classes, but one of my personal favorite classes was my Managerial Skills class. In this class, my professor really made the classroom a positive environment and used games and activities to help us better understand information. For example, there was one task where I was blind-folded using my non-dominate hand to stack as many blocks in 10 seconds.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is having met some really good friends from both the Netherlands and Germany. Prior to going abroad, I did not expect to become so close with people outside of the United States and Italy. After spending months with my new friends from Europe, I became so appreciative of their culture and how they shared it with me.
What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? My study abroad experience in Italy posed itself as an eyeopener. It has changed me in ways unimaginable, and it has taught me many things about myself. I believe that although I have had prior experience of acclimating to new environments, this one has been quite different.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I will never forget my day trip to Venice! Everything about the city was breathtaking! I loved walking around and observing the architecture. My friends and I even got to ride in a gondola! It was amazing to float down the water and observe the houses around us—talk about a dream come true! What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory was traveling to Budapest, Hungary for Spring Break with a few of my friends. I randomly ran into my best friend from middle school while I was there, and we explored Budapest together for the entire weekend. It was incredible, and she ended up coming to Florence to visit me later in the semester!
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory has to be one of the last memories I made while in Florence. Three friends & I went to Gusta pizza and got the pesto pizza to go. Fighting the urge to eat it right then and there, we made our way up to Piazzale Michelangelo. We found some steps to all sit on and began to dig into our pizza.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? While I am not a math person at all, my favorite class I took while I was studying in Florence was a three-week intensive Hospitality Accounting class. I liked it so much because my professor was hands-on, passionate, and knowledgeable.
Oh Milano, the city of change and evolution, history and unexpected beauty. To start off my journey, studying abroad was my first encounter with Europe, more so Italy. Whichever image I had in my mind of what Italy was like, was an understatement to the way it seemed once I moved to the country.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? I took an Intro to Drawing class that I loved because there was something very exciting about taking an art class in Florence, a city that was home to so many famous artists. Not only was the class itself enjoyable, but it felt especially meaningful when I was spending my weekends at the Uffizi or L’Academia, or at any of the many, many museums in Florence.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in my host city would be the daily walks to the Sagrada Familia. My apartment was conveniently located 10 minutes from the Sagrada Familia, so it could not have been more perfect. After class, I would walk to Sagrada and would people watch for hours. It was the perfect place to relax, read a book, or grab a cappuccino.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was experiencing Italian lifestyle. There are many changes that I have witnessed. The biggest difference that I have witnessed was socialization. Italians tend to spend time in socializing with other people. Fact: Eataly considers socialization as a company value according to its Italian cultural values.
What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? While abroad, I learned how to be at peace with being alone and that sometimes your own company can be the best kind. This peace came to me in a bit of a watershed moment on my last day in Florence.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? A favorite memory of mine while studying abroad was my first trip outside of Paris. My roommate and I met my friend from my home university in Dublin for my birthday. This trip was my favorite because not only was it my birthday weekend, but we had been in Paris for a month and were honestly excited to be in a new country for a couple days.
What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? Other than the Italian’s affinity for Pringles (they’re everywhere), I was pleasantly surprised by the prevalence of spending quality time with others in Italian culture. Whether it be at an aperitvo, family-style dinner, or a regular sit-down meal, Florence was always bursting with people coming together.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I can’t pick just one favorite memory from abroad, so I’ll share a few of my favorites. My friends and I went horseback riding in Pompei. The scenery was stunning, as we were surrounded by vineyards and Mt. Vesuvius. We had a fantastic lunch afterwards, which included tasting the delicious wine made fresh on the farm. That was a day I’ll never forget.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? The moment you first arrive in the city that will be your home for the next four months is very exciting, but it can also be intimidating. You are thousands of miles from home, you don’t know the language, and you haven’t gotten the first clue about how to get around the city.
Traveling to Europe has always been a dream of mine to cross off my bucket list. Between all the beautiful things to see, history and the authentic Italian food, I was fortunate enough to purchase my plane tickets to Florence and study abroad for six weeks. I am honored to share my experience with other students who are just as inspired as I was to explore the world outside of the United States!
What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How did you change? Initially, thoughts of spending a semester abroad in a strange country provoked an anxiousness in myself I never knew I had. There was such a buildup of emotions, thoughts, and doubts constantly in my mind. I worried about making new friends, adapting to the new culture I was about to submerge myself in, and missing out on my college’s events.
What advice do you have for new study abroad students? Oh wow, where do I begin!? My most important tip would be to take advantage of every opportunity that comes by. Say yes to everything and spend time exploring your home city with not only your friends, but also by yourself. Take the time to have the conversations with locals and spend as much time as you can traveling to different destinations.
What does your study abroad experience mean to you? Traveling has always been a passion of mine. Growing up I had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and even to a few other countries with my family. Making the decision to study abroad during my collegiate years was easy, or so I thought.
What is your most memorable interaction with a local in your host city? For years, I had this pair of very cheap rubber rain boots from Walmart. They didn’t take up much room in my suitcase, so I thought they’d be a good shoe to bring “just in case”.
What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do while I was studying abroad in Rome, Italy was to take a passeggiata, or stroll, in the evenings. I would discover the most charming neighborhoods in Italy and would always find a new gelato shop! What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad?
What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? While studying abroad, I came to a lot of realizations about myself. You may think of yourself as independent, and someone who wants to study abroad most likely is but being abroad really puts it to the test! I realized that I am much more capable than I originally thought!
I studied abroad in the spring of my sophomore year in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). I was very nervous to leave my home university (University of South Carolina) and all of my friends and family behind for a semester, but I was so excited for the adventures ahead of me. What does your study abroad experience mean to you?
Bri Carter was a spring 2019 Barcelona student from Appalachian State University. What was your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad was the day trip to Sitges. As much as I love the city and the mountains for me, the beach is where it’s at, and Sitges was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
As a college student, entering the adult workforce can seem scary. I know everyone is different, but let me tell you a little about my journey and how SAI helped shaped my future. I graduated from Lasell College with a bachelor’s degree in fashion communication. I have always loved fashion, but somewhere along the way I found another passion.
What I have learned about myself abroad and how I have changed: I have always loved to be outside of my comfort zone. I get a thrill of being uncomfortable and meeting new people. I have traveled independently in the past but I must say, none of my prior experiences compare to actually living in a new country. After my semester abroad I noticed a growth in independence and confidence.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? I took an Intercultural Communications class at JCU. This class compared the culture in the U.S. to Italy as well as other parts of the world. In the beginning this class really highlighted the differences in Rome compared to the U.S. which helped when getting comfortable and adjusting. The variety of students in the class expanded the comparison even more, having students from all over the world!
Sophia is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. What’s your name? Sophia Carasone What school did you attend? I am a recent graduate from Lasell College in Boston, Massachusetts Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended Florence University of the Arts in Fall of 2017 What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my Marketing Research class. In the past, all of my marketing classes have been lecture style with little to no student involvement and participation. However, in my marketing class at UPF, different group projects were assigned every week.
There were many moments when I attempted to blend in with my host country. Italy’s everyday culture is so different from America’s and I never wanted to stick out. I was already at a disadvantage with my blonde hair and tall height, which often made me stick out like a sore thumb while abroad. I wanted to live like the locals live and fully immerse myself in their culture as best I could.
When it comes to reminiscing on my time in Florence this past summer, I immediately look through my photos, as most people would. It is amazing to have these visual representations of my trip, and usually a few memories come flooding back. However, just having a photo does not tell you the whole story and some of the best experiences end up forgotten. This is why it is important to journal.
As a music major living in Music City (aka Nashville, TN), music has been at the forefront of most of my college experiences. While other students were off at frat parties on the weekends, students at my school were going to “house shows,” which are essentially parties with live music, mainly made up of student bands and artists.
When I first decided to study abroad I knew I wanted to do one thing, travel. Isn’t that everyone’s main goal? To go as many places as you can in the three or four months that you are there, and not go into hundreds of dollars of debt. When I arrived in Rome, I was pleasantly surprised that that was the main goal of all my roommates as well.
When I first arrived in Paris for my fall semester, I remember my roommate telling me how she had heard of Reverse-Culture Shock: Essentially, returning home was a more difficult adjustment than coming here. I couldn’t really fathom it – how could returning home to the place I had always been be so difficult?
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Arianna, who answered some questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I studied in Florence, Italy and there were so many things that I loved to do it’s hard to choose one. However, the first one that came to my mind after reading this question was simply walking around.
Ever since I got on my six am flight back to America, I’ve missed Florence. The feeling of living in a city with so much history and culture is just absolutely unmatched. I find myself reminiscing frequently, going through my Snapchat memories and the hundreds of pictures on my phone, trying to keep the memory of Italy alive in me.
Eating out in Italy is nothing like it is in the States. There are many expectations around eating out that we’ve grown up with at home, but those all need to disappear once you move across the ocean, especially if you’re moving to Italy. Italians don’t eat to live; they live to eat. One of the first, and main differences that you’ll notice when eating out in Italy is the service.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Yael, who took time to answer some questions about her semester in the Eternal City. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? While I had many favorite memories and moments from studying abroad, one of my favorites is the traveling I was able to do. I have always had a travel bug within me and being abroad let that spirit roam free.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Hannah, who reminisces on her time abroad from spring 2018. As I am approaching finals week at the University of Mississippi, I can’t help but reflect on my last semester in Florence, Italy. Specifically thinking of the difference between my SEC school, and Florence University of the Arts. I took 12 hours, which is four courses while abroad and I think it was the perfect amount.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who talks about some of her favorite things to do in Florence. Florence offers individuals an abundance of heart and soul in every direction. From the famous museums, delicious food and hidden gems tucked away in each corner, there is truly something for everyone. Studying abroad is such a unique opportunity in the sense that you get to not just visit but live in a foreign city.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sophia, who gives us a glimpse of what she ate in Florence. The word amazing can describe Florence in many ways. Amazing scenery. Amazing architecture. Amazing art. Amazing people. And my favorite, amazing food. There’s so much culture and perspective in Italian food to make trying it all the more rewarding. While abroad I did not eat out for every meal, because it would not be cost effective.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sarah, who recently gave us a look at her time in the beautiful city of Florence. I studied abroad in Florence and it was the greatest decision I could have ever made. The beautiful cobblestone, magnificent churches, and the gorgeous Arno River, how could I not fall in love?
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” -Babe Ruth This past weekend, SAI Ambassador Danielle worked at her school’s Fall Open House through the study abroad department and had the chance to speak with potential students to share her experiences as a student abroad and answer some of their questions and sooth their doubts. So here is her take of some of the most common questions she got.
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Morgan, who answers some questions about her time touring Italy while studying in Rome. What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? Something that surprised me most about Rome was how small it felt even though it is the largest city in Italy with a population of over two million.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad and why? I have never loved college courses as much as the ones I took at Florence University of the Arts. It is hard to choose a favorite when each class varied so much in its structure and personality.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Brianna, who took some time to answer questions about her summer in Sorrento. What does your study abroad experience mean to you? Studying abroad was something that I had always dreamed of doing, so when it finally happened I couldn’t even believe it. I have always had a passion for traveling and experiencing the world and the variety of cultures it has to offer.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Molly, who answered some questions about her summer in Barcelona. How has studying abroad impacted your life goals? I have always known I’ve wanted to travel as much as possible in life. I chose my major based on what would allow me to travel. I chose my university based on who would let me travel as much as possible.
SAI caught up with Ambassador Amanda, who answered some questions about her time in Rome. My advice for new study abroad students: Start a journal and keep up with it. Take lots of pictures but don’t let that distract you from the moment. Of course, take lots of trips but don’t forget to spend lots of time exploring the city that you are in.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Courtney, who answers some questions about her time abroad. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Florence was eating! The food was incredible and I tried so many new types of Italian cuisine. Every week I tried new restaurants with new friends which was a great way to get to know them over an exceptional meal.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Lillie, who talks about her summer in Florence. What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I grew up traveling with my family both in the U.S and abroad so before I left for Florence I just assumed my mindset throughout the term and just general attitudes would be the same as a vacation just with a couple classes added on….
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Mary Paige, who took some time to answer a few questions about her time in Florence. What advice do you have for new study abroad students? The best advice I have for new study abroad students would be to plan, plan, plan. Once you figure out your host city I would advise to do some research on local restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, etc.
We connected with SAI Ambassador Madison, who took some time to answer some questions about her stay in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad and why? Florentine Art Walks with Dario. We spent the class period walking around Florence learning about the history around every corner. We went into churches and museums with our professor who told us stories and fun facts about where we were.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Andrew, who answers some questions regarding his semester in Barcelona. What was your favorite class abroad and why? I loved all my classes that I took in Barcelona. One of the Spanish culture courses that I took was called “Seven Wonders of Spain.” This amazing class featured professor-led tours throughout different neighborhoods in Barcelona.
SAI Ambassador Zhenan answered some questions about his summer in Milan. Read what he has to say: What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is the memory with my friends. We met with each other during the abroad program. We were all from different countries.
We caught up with Ambassador Cecelia, who answers some questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was “Florence Art Walks.” I expected this class to be going to the different museums in Florence and learning about the paintings and sculptures in each one. In reality, we literally walked all around Florence each week.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Jackie, who took some time to answer some questions about her time abroad. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It’s hard to pick just one moment, so I’ll pick my FIRST favorite moment. When my roommates and I went to Cinque Terre a few days after arriving in Florence. It was the first of many trips we took together.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Kirsten, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Rome. What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I have always thought of myself as a shy and reserved person and did not like to branch out much.
We caught up with Ambassador Krystal, who spent some time answering questions about her time in Rome. What felt the most “foreign” to you when you came back to the US? Coming back was strange to me but what felt the most completely different was being able to talk to my family in one room.
SAI caught up with Grace, who reflects on her semester in Milan. What does your study abroad experience mean to you? At first, study abroad was just a way for me to travel more. It was always an expectation of mine as my sister studied and lived abroad and my mom left Ireland when she was 18 to travel the world and found a new home in America.
What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I find this question to be the most common, yet the hardest to answer. My favorite memory isn’t made of one specific moment; it’s made of many. However, if I had to share one it would be coming back to Florence from my first weekend trip. Moving to a new place is difficult, moving to a new city in a new Country even more challenging.
We caught up with former SAI Rome student McKenna, who is now an Ambassador. McKenna reflects on her semester abroad. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I have many favorite things to do in Rome, but I will narrow it down into two categories: a favorite food and a favorite place.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Sophia, who reflects on her time in Florence. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? While abroad I learned a lot about friendship. And one of my favorite memories was during the SAI farewell dinner. At the beginning of my experience I was nervous to attend events where I didn’t know the people, but overtime I grew a strong relationship with the group.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Christian, who reflects on his time in Rome. What was your favorite class abroad and why? My on-site urban sociology class was definitely my favorite because we met, mostly, in Rome instead of in the classroom. The professor for this class was Roman, so we learned some fascinating information about the city and saw spots in the city we might not have known about.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who reflects on her semester in Florence and her fun weekend travels. What travel tips would you give to someone studying abroad? Laugh it off when something goes wrong. It is inevitable that at some point something will go astray. It is so easy to get caught up in the ideal and how things “should have” gone.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador, Sarah, who answers a question about her Marketing class in Florence. What was your favorite class while in Florence? Picking classes was easy when it came to my semester abroad because all of the Marketing classes sounded exciting! My favorite class abroad was International Marketing. Our three-person group assignment was to pick a country around the world and market a product of our own creation.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Alex, who reflects on her summer in Florence. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My roommate and I would go on late night walks around Florence to reach our daily step goals (which were over 10 miles!). I loved these walks because were we able to just wander with nowhere to be.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Danielle, who answered some questions about her time in her bella Italia. What was your favorite class abroad and why? Growing up in an Italian American household I learned a lot about my family’s Italian heritage and traditions. When I finally made it to Italy, I wanted to learn more about what it truly means to be Italian.
SAI caught up with student Ambassador Sara, who answered a Q&A about her time in Florence. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory is from the day I spent with my friends in Positano. We were so exhausted from a long bus ride and slept for only two hours. But, once we got going the next day, we had the most relaxing time on the black sand beaches.
SAI caught up with Ambassador Lisa, who looks back at her spring in the Eternal City. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It snowed for the first time in six years in Rome, so my friends and I spent hours walking around enjoying the locals’ reactions to the strange weather. Seeing the Trevi Fountain covered in snow was a rare sight.
We touched base with SAI Ambassador Madison, who reminisces about her time abroad. What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? Studying abroad is always something that I wanted to do but I never thought it would have this much of an impact on my life. While I was abroad I gained many self-dependent skills throughout my various adventures.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Francesca, who reflects on her summer in Florence. My favorite memory from studying abroad would have to be hiking up to the Piazza Michelangelo with all my roommates. We would hike up with Pino’s and eat our dinner watching the sunset.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Lorraine, who answers some questions about her time in Rome. What travel tips would you give someone studying abroad? One major travel tip I would recommend to people who are going to study abroad is to make sure that you get to travel to a bunch of different places during the semester, but also make time to get to know the new home you are in.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Camille, who reminisces on her time in Florence. While I was abroad in Florence, Italy, I almost did not realize how much my life was changing. It did not happen in one day. Over the course of the semester, I found that I thought about myself and the world differently.
SAI recently caught up with Ambassador Bryce, who took some time to answer questions about his time in Florence. Studying abroad taught me so many things about myself. First, I learned that I had the ability to independently travel to a foreign country, learn the culture, and immerse myself in a whole new environment.
SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Alexis, who took some time to answer questions about her time in Rome. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from my time abroad is an odd one. It was my first trip outside my host city, Rome, with three of my roommates from my program (who are now my best friends) and we went to Venice for the annual carnival.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Bailey, who took a moment to reflect on his time in Rome. Q. How has studying abroad impacted your life goals? A. Studying abroad has taught me to always just try and do what I want. If there was a city I wanted to go to, I would go. If there was a food I wanted to try, I would try it.
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Kajal, who took the time to answer some questions about her memorable semester in Rome. What does your study abroad experience mean to you? My study abroad experience was absolutely life-changing in the best ways possible. I learned so much in that one semester alone outside of a classroom than my entire college experience has been able to give me.
We caught up with SAI Ambassador Elizabeth, who reflects on some great memories from her semester in Florence. Study abroad was not just visiting new places and living in another country, but believe it or not studying. One class that made my experience more special was one called Florence Sketchbook. I had always loved art and drawing so I figured an entire class about sketching would greatly help my artistic abilities.
My journey with SAI has evolved into some wonderful opportunities over the past couple years, so for me to chose my “SAI Moment” is difficult. I have experienced so many moments with SAI that I hold to be significant, but when having to choose one, a specific memory came to mind. While abroad, I had the opportunity to work in the SAI Barcelona office after being awarded a scholarship from SAI.
SAI Ambassador Tara shares her story about how she progressed from a novice to seasoned traveller. For some of us, going on vacation with family means going to the airport and following our parents to different terminals, trams and check-points. We get in taxis and mindlessly make our way to hotels.
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Hanna, who answered some questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad and why? While abroad, I took four classes. They were all related to my major (marketing and communications) or my minor (art history). My favorite class was Florentine Art Walks. Once a week we would meet up and walk around the city for two and a half hours.
SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Richelle, who helps paint a picture of her semester in Milan. What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class while I was abroad was The Fashion Market. It combined my two passions: marketing and fashion!
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Lauren, who answered a short Q&A about her time abroad! What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? I completely fell in love with the city of Florence and cannot wait to go back. One of my all time favorite memories from studying abroad was one of the smaller moments there.
SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Ashlynne, who answered some questions about her time in Barcelona. What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? I think the biggest thing I learned about myself when I was abroad was the fact that I had the ability to be independent and that I was fully capable of doing things on my own, even traveling.
SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Katie, who explains how studying abroad helped shape her future career goals. Studying abroad has already opened up new doors and possibilities regarding career goals. In my decision to study abroad, my main goal and mindset was centered around the purpose of growing as a person. I intended to break out of my comfort zone and branch out.
SAI recently caught up with SAI alumna Misha Maier, who completed her Masters degree abroad, to ask her about her experience abroad and her life now. Where and when did you study abroad? From 2009 to 2010 I attended the Masters in Interior Design and Living program at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy. Was there a class that you took abroad that really stood out from the others?
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Kristen, who answers some questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class I took abroad was my Wine Marketing class. I took it at the beginning of my semester every day for three weeks straight. It was a great way to be introduced to the Italian wine culture.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Alina, who answers some questions about her time in Paris. What advice do you have for new study abroad students? You’ll be wasting a ticket if you travel abroad and stay in your comfort zone. Try all the local food you can. If you’re going to Paris, I personally suggest to get your fill of pain au chocolats (croissant-like bread filled with two sticks of dark chocolate)
We got in touch with former SAI ambassador Caleb Crum, a Missouri State University alum who studied abroad with SAI during the spring of 2014 at Florence University of the Arts. Caleb is now the founder of a blog called Goingabroadtips and now works as a travel planner! Needless to say, studying abroad was an important part of his life and guided him choose to work in the travel industry.
SAI recently caught up with with SAI Ambassador Emily, who answers some questions about her time in Florence. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing about my host city was finding the local spots. Tourist traps can be easy to fall into. While you definitely want to explore everything that TripAdvisor may suggest, you’re there for four months.
SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Lindsey, who answers some questions about her semester in Barcelona. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Barcelona was to just walk around as much as I could to discover new places. After class, I would run home to drop my things and then hop on the metro.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Sabrina, who answers some short follow-up questions from her time in Barcelona. What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was the Political Economy of European Integration.
What was your favorite class abroad and why? My favorite class abroad was my modern art history class with Professor Lucia Giardino. She began a modern art class to allow another option of art history to be available to students and it was my favorite class while abroad. Many come to Florence to see the Renaissance art that is evident throughout the city but there is also a modern art scene in Florence as well.
Hi all! My name is Kate and I spent my whole sophomore year abroad with SAI in Rome, Italy. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to go back. I’ve answered some of the questions I have gotten asked a lot! What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? It’s hard to choose just one memory out of my year abroad!
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Dana, who took some time to answer questions about her semester in Rome. What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed? Being abroad has definitely changed me for the better. However, I did have anxious beginnings.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Antonio. Antonio answers some questions describing his recent semester in Rome. What is your favorite memory from studying abroad? My favorite memory from studying abroad in Rome would have to be all the group dinners my friends would have every week. We discovered so many different “hole in the wall” places and had some of our best memories together over dinner.
SAI recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Ellie, who reflected on her memories in Barcelona. What surprised you most about your study abroad city/culture? My first week in Barcelona I went to a Barcelona futbol game. I had no idea how passionate and crazy these games were. I was shocked. I have been to NFL games before, Seattle Seahawks, and those games are crazy loud. I didn’t imagine a game like this would even compare.
Hey everyone! My name is Cameron Cipolla and I studied abroad in Florence, Italy last Fall of 2017. I am now going into my senior year at Belmont University where I study commercial voice. For those wondering, commercial voice really just means I am a vocalist who sings contemporary music, and yes that is actually a real major.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Kinsey Kelly, who answers some fun questions about her summer in Florence. What does your study abroad experience mean to you? My study abroad experience means a great deal to me because it gave me the opportunity to learn and indulge in a completely foreign country. I absolutely loved throwing myself into the Italian lifestyle and encountering traditions from their culture.
SAI recently chatted with SAI Ambassador Lauren, who reflected on her memories in Florence. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? My favorite thing to do in Florence was to stop and listen to what was going on around me. Sometimes I would find myself getting so caught up in plans and activities that I would forget that the first of my favorites was the sound of the streets.
We recently caught up with SAI Ambassador Gwen, who shared with us her memories on her time in Florence. What was your favorite class abroad? While studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts I had the opportunity to take Travel Writing; a weekly class that encouraged travel and diary style writing about my personal experiences abroad. As a creative writing minor, this course was an absolute dream for me.
Camille is an SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. Ciao everyone! So it looks like you’re interested in studying abroad! Of course you are! Let me guess, you’ve read some articles, talked to your school about realistic options for your major, maybe stalked your friends photos from their study abroad experience…You’re starting to get overwhelmed with options. So now what?
At John Cabot University in Rome, students have the opportunity to gain real life experience with real life clients through their projects. Once the students complete the project, they present them and one is selected and used by the client. One of our students, Sam Gleason, took an Advanced Graphic Design course with professor, Sabrina Schmidt, and her designs were chosen for the rebranding of Joanne Bergamin’s blog, TravelAngel.
Hey there, I’m Camille. I’m the SAI summer intern at the headquarters in Northern California. I was born and raised in Philadelphia (cue Fresh Prince theme song) and recently graduated from Muhlenberg College, where I studied Acting and Fine Arts, and worked as a barista. So… if the rumors are true about interns just doing coffee runs, I’ve got it covered.
Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Angelika, who studied abroad in Florence during the spring 2018 semester. In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence. • What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. While there are so many things I can talk about that were my favorite, one activity that will never get old is hiking up to Piazzale Michelangelo.
Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Grace, who studied abroad in Florence during the spring 2018 semester. In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence. 1. What felt the most “foreign” to you when you came back to the U.S? The toilets in Europe you push the top of them to make them flush.
Recently we caught up with SAI Ambassador Holly, who studied abroad in Florence during the Fall 2017 semester. In this blog entry, she answers some questions describing her time in Florence. 1. What was your favorite thing to do in your host city? One of my favorite things to do was to just walk around the city and explore new areas. Even in a small city such as Florence there is so much to discover.
Prior to finalizing my decisions to study abroad I always knew that I wanted to stay with a host family to get the full experience of cultural immersion. I wanted to live in a house where they could help teach me the language, feed me authentic food and be a part of their everyday lives.
It has been a year since my time abroad and I have been itching to get that experience again. It’s the itch my body feels for adventure, change, and new experiences. It’s not necessarily studying abroad that I’m craving, but just traveling to different countries in general. I have officially diagnosed myself with the travel bug, and this guy is worse than the flu.
Last summer when I studied abroad in Rome, I got the chance not only to see, but to eat my way through some of the best cities in the world – not just in Italy but all over Europe! I traveled all around Italy, then up to London, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and France.. It was the ultimate summer filled with the most amazing experiences.
My SAI moment happened as soon as I landed in Florence. Here I was in a foreign country, alone, my Italian phone wasn’t working yet, my luggage got left behind at my connection in Paris, and I was so lost on what to even do. I didn’t follow the number one travel rule that says “always pack your tooth brush and an extra change of clothes in your carry on.
Two SAI Florence alumni, Holly and Julia, recently reunited in Chicago. The two close friends submitted a blog post on how they met while studying abroad in Florence. Ciao! The first day we met each other was in our small apartment on Via San Gallo. Soon after that, we started planning trips together and getting to know the beautiful city of Firenze.
Before I left for Florence, I had the daunting task of packing for six weeks. I’m a fashion major, so clothes are how I express myself. I had no idea what clothes I needed to pack, and I couldn’t find much on the internet about what the locals wore. I heard somewhere that shorts are a very American thing to wear, so I decided to only pack a few pairs of shorts.
My name is Lauren and I am a senior at St. Mary’s College of California. I was a study abroad student in Rome, Italy my senior fall semester of 2017. My experience with SAI and being abroad was unforgettable. The memories I made, the people I met, the food I ate, the places I traveled… it was four months of being in constant awe of where I was and what I was doing.
This Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do something special. We interviewed two SAI alumni, Stephen and Katherine, who met while they were studying abroad with SAI in Rome, in Fall 2011. We asked them some questions about their love story and they also gave some really great advice for those studying abroad! Stephen and Katherine got married last month (YAY)
For those of you just starting the adventure of your life, and those of you currently settling in abroad, this is for you. I was in your shoes one year ago today, and I could not handle the anticipation for what was to come. I shortly learned that not everyone’s abroad experience is the same, and that is okay.
Were you gifted a journal before studying abroad? Well.. I will break the news to you now and say that you probably won’t write in everyday like you’re hoping and planning. I am an SAI Ambassador who went to Italy with high hopes that I would avidly journal, but if you’re not in the habit of doing so already it will quickly get put on the back burner.
In celebration of International Education Week, I wanted to highlight how studying abroad can affect you even after you leave. After studying abroad last fall, my first instinct when I got home was to look at graduate schools abroad. I was infatuated with the idea of living in Europe again, and I had to know more about it.
We asked SAI alumna Christina to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. I had my “SAI Moment” when I visited Ireland while studying abroad this past summer. This trip was particularly special to me because I feel like I really got immersed in the Irish culture, which is so unique and interesting.
Take the trip, embrace the un-comfortability, enjoy the bewilderment-study abroad! Studying abroad may have been the most difficult thing I have ever done. 21 years of figuring life out, myself out and now a new culture is an incredible adventure. To step away from all that is familiar, to acknowledge that you will get lost mentally, emotionally and physically but that it will grow you in ways you could never imagine is daunting.
We asked SAI alumna Kolbyn to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. My SAI Moment has to be my birthday in Brussels, Belgium. I turned 21 in the city of waffles, fries, chocolate, beer, and lace with some pretty rad people. We were functioning on a small amount of sleep and a large amount of wonder, which is often contradictory, but not in Brussels!
We asked SAI alumna Jessica to tell us about her SAI Moment, a defining moment in her study abroad experience. My SAI moment was the moment I stopped leaving Florence! When I arrived in Florence, I was shocked to learn that my peers had been planning trips long before the semester began. I felt like I was rushed to schedule trips to other countries, so I did.
A year ago, I began my journey with SAI, studying in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts, and a year later, I can say it was one of the best experiences of my life. Before going, I could not imagine how life changing of an experience it would be, and what was in store for me in the beautiful land of Tuscany.
SAI recently caught up with SAI/ Apicius International School of Hospitality alumna Devin Parr. Devin was recently named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers by Wine Enthusiast and is currently the Wine Country Marketing Director for Visit Temecula Valley. What have you done since studying abroad (career-wise)? It would probably be easier to ask me what I haven’t done (in wine) since studying abroad!
We got in touch with SAI alumna Kristen Martin, who studied abroad with SAI in Florence in Fall 2016, to ask her about her experience and her life now. What have you done since studying abroad? I graduated from the University of South Carolina in December and then a month later I moved to Dallas, Texas to start my dream job! I work at Neiman Marcus as an assistant buyer in the beauty division.
We got in touch with SAI alumnus Patrick Sutton, who studied abroad with SAI Florence in Spring 2012, to ask him about his experience and his life now. What have you done since studying abroad? A few days after returning home from Florence, I started an internship at Paragon PR, a financial communications firm in Westfield, NJ (now headquartered in Hoboken, with an office in London).
We got in touch with SAI alumnus Bryce Casper, who studied abroad with SAI Florence in Spring 2012, to ask him about his experience and his life now. What have you done since studying abroad? Studying abroad in Italy made me fall in love with travel more than I could have ever imagined.
Nicole is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. What’s your name? Nicole Gagne What school do you attend? I attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and graduated this past May! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended London College of Fashion in the spring of 2016! What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship?
Felicia is a SAI Ambassador who was selected to intern at SAI’s headquarters in Sonoma County, California for the summer. Below she talks about her “SAI Moment”. The “aha” moment of study abroad is different for everyone, but we all experience it. It’s different for everyone, and comes at a unique time for everyone too. I remember mine vividly.
SAI Ambassadors have the opportunity to apply for a summer internship in our US office in Northern California. We are pleased to welcome Felicia to our team for the next few weeks! What’s your name? Felicia Homan What school do you attend? I attended Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and graduated in May! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended John Cabot University in bella Roma in Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016!!
Part 2: An interview with Jennifer Wright, SAI Paris Program Coordinator Professional Perspective. This article is a sequel to the personal perspective of dual citizenship through the eyes of a French and American citizen. In case this is the first one that you are reading, I will give a short summary to catch you up. I recently had the please of interviewing Jennifer Wright, the Paris Program Coordinator for SAI, over Skype.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” This popular quote by Robert Frost has inspired many to go off the beaten path and see what treasures they may find. As studying abroad becomes increasingly popular with university students, I find it imperative to maintain the original purpose behind the experience.
Do you remember that childhood dream you always had? The one where you would explore every treasure the world has to offer? Well you’ve set yourself up to accomplish this very dream. Be sure to take full advantage of everything this experience has to offer. Say yes to everything. Every travel opportunity, every event, every photo op. Even if you think you would absolutely hate it, do it.
One aspect that made my Study Abroad Experience so unique and special was when my family came to visit me during Spring Break. A break from classes, and reuniting with my family was much needed, as I was beginning to feel the effects of homesickness and that middle of the semester slump we all know so well.
When Dominic Sondag first arrived in Florence with SAI Programs in August of 2009, he knew he always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. It was within the classroom walls of an Italian palazzo in Florence’s historical center where his dream started to seem more like a career he could pursue. After a year of perfecting his skills at Florence University of the Arts (FUA)
As an aspiring physician with an obsession for all things sports, the vibrant metropolis of Barcelona, with a strong independent spirit, was able to offer the best of both worlds. Two of the highlights of my month-long trip overseas (my first ever) included walking on the legendary and hallowed grounds of Camp Nou, where FC Barcelona plays, and touring the campus of the Hospital de Sant Pau, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
1. Go with the Flow. Be flexible and enjoy your time! Embrace that there will be good days and bad days and you’ll have the time of your life. Promise. If you’re offered an impromptu trip out of the country, do it. 2. Practice your Italian. Immerse yourself in your host country. You will be more comfortable and you will feel more at home if you can understand basic Italian!
Hello! My name is Nicole Gagne and I studied abroad the spring of 2016 in London. I am very interested in working abroad after graduation, so I interviewed two on-site SAI staff members about their experience working for a U.S. company abroad. Hear their answers in the video below! _____ Nicole Gagne Stephens College My study abroad adventure was nothing short of amazing.
When I first came back from being abroad in Florence I applied to be an alumni ambassador for SAI at my home campus of Muhlenberg College. As an Ambassador, I have given multiple talks and presentations on why SAI is the right decision. In addition, I was featured in a video for SAI Florence giving future study abroad students advice before heading to Europe.
Although many may not notice it, the impact of the Fashion and Design has a far reach, touching almost every aspect of our lives. I was able to speak with SAI Program Coordinator, Clau Castaneda, about their view on the impact of the fashion and design word. Clau moved to Milan in 2012 to pursue a MA degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies and joined the SAI team in 2013.
It was last June, and I was walking back from Piazzale Michelangelo on the afternoon of my twenty first birthday. It was raining, then suddenly pouring, in broad daylight, and every student on the tour seized cover under roof overhangs and storefront awnings. On the street, Italians walked unabated through the summer shower. The boys and girls got separated, and me and Pietro, our Florentine tour guide, were stuck under a leaking gutter.
Love to travel, but hate the stress and hassle of having to pack for a long trip? Well, flying suitcase-free to your favorite European destinations could be a thing of the future, according to the market research group Euromonitor.
Have you ever gotten excited over a tiny cup of espresso?, A freshly baked croissant from your favorite secret bakery?, A lemon the size of your head?, or a 1 euro scoop of gelato? If you answered yes to any of these I think we may have a lot in common! Coming from a big city like New York I sometimes find it hard to take joy in life’s simple pleasures.
Anyone who knows me knows that my love for food has no boundaries or limits. After living in Sorrento, Italy for less than a week, I was already torturing my friends and family back home with tantalizing photos of food. My college friends had it the worst, because many times they would be looking at my photos side by side with whatever the dining hall was trying to pass off for food that day.
While spending the Fall 2015 semester in Paris, I discovered many new places to eat. Here is just a sampling of some of my favorite spots: Le Petit déjeuner : Benedict in the Marais Benedict offers an array of breakfast and lunch options. My favorite was the avocado benedict! Another delicious option is the fish and chips! Benedict is also located in the Marais which is my favorite area of Paris.
It has been a year since I have had a taste of the great Italian culture in Florence, Italy. I was fortunate enough to live there for almost four months last fall. I traveled to seven countries and countless cities across Europe. It was amazing. However, while I was traveling it never crossed my mind how difficult it would be to explain to my family how truly great all of my adventures were.
Establishing yourself as a young adult in the professional world can be challenging, especially now that the pool of of applicants is bigger than ever before. More people are traveling abroad to study, work or just discover themselves, and even more people say they would like to do those things but they manage to come up with a reason not to.
Studying abroad as a fashion merchandising student was an amazing opportunity for me. I took a visual merchandising class during my time abroad, which is something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. My professor was so knowledgeable and really sparked my interest even more about the visual aspects of the fashion industry. Our class final project was called “Tell Me a Story.
There was a dog I never met in Florence. He was a little guy, mostly white with some ink splotches, and he had a hard time walking. Yet his owner, upright and undeterred, would walk him down a street near mine whenever night fell. During my time attending FUA this summer, seeing that dog and his patient owner was as much a nightly routine for me as walking seemed to be for them.
Being able to attend college as a first generation college student has been such a blessing, but to be able to study abroad has been such a privilege. There was some guidance and resources that helped me choose where I wanted to study abroad, but it took a lot of researching on my own to figure out that SAI at JCU was the best fit for me academically and financially.
One of the main things that draws tourists to Florence and Italy in general is the promise of delicious food. From tiny cafés to sidewalk restaurants, Florence has so much to offer in terms of food that it can get overwhelming to decide where to go! While studying abroad in Florence, I had the opportunity to explore the streets to find my favorite places to eat for every meal.
Part 1: An interview with Jennifer Wright, SAI Paris Program Coordinator I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Wright, the Paris Program Coordinator for SAI, over Skype. I had tons of questions about dual citizenship, including the process, strategies for adaptation, and both personal and professional inquiries. Jenn went above and beyond while answering all of these questions. I highly suggest sticking around in the hopes that your questions and interests are answered and explored below.
Elena studied abroad with SAI during the Spring 2015 semester. She completed one semester at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti and her whole life path changed. Looking back on my semester abroad in my undergrad, I am amazed and thankful for where it brought me now. My experience the first time around was everything and more than I expected it to be.
10 years ago, Amy Winehouse released her Grammy Award winning 2nd and final studio album ‘Back To Black’. Amy was known for her strong vocals and jazzy tone. She was arguably one of the most talented artists of her generation. She died at the age of 27 in 2011, but her legacy still lives on throughout London.
What are the three most important lessons you brought home from abroad? It may be scary but leave your comfort zone every once in a while, you will be better for it The world is full of beauty, from architecture to languages, from food to people: step back and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Things will not always go as planned and that is okay!
The NY Times posted an article recently entitled “Study Abroad’s Seven Deadly Sins“. In it, the author speaks about “some of the threats that, in part by diverting students from pursuing more fruitful educational/travel experiences, can derail a study-abroad experience.” The article raised some good questions and important talking points, so we asked our SAI Summer Intern (California Office) to write her reaction to it.
What’s your name? Jessica Poillucci What school do you attend? I attended Suffolk University in Boston MA.. I graduated in May! Which program did you attend through SAI? I attended John Cabot in bella Roma in Fall of 2014 :) What do you hope to accomplish in this summer internship? I am really excited to learn more about how a study abroad provider works from a behind the scenes perspective.
So yes, I am going to take a break for a second from design stuff and talk a little about my study abroad experience. Looking back at it now, I really wish that I would have blogged more often during the time I was over there but I guess now is as good enough of a time than ever to do it.
Many of us return from studying abroad with reverse culture shock, sound familiar? I know that it happened to me. I found myself wanting to go back and study abroad almost more than I did the first time, it felt different; I felt different coming back home. Why does this happen? When you study abroad you become familiar with travelling around new places and countries (sometimes alone)
So you’ve said ciao to your study abroad friends, au revior to your home away from home, and have landed in your home country… now what? Odds are you are ready to reminisce and wishing you could go back and live the study abroad fairytale again. If you are like me (and most of the friends I made studying abroad)
Disclaimer: Alcohol consumption in Europe is NOT the same as it is in America. Italians simply drink wine, etc. to enjoy it or be social, so any suggestions for beer or wine here are simply for encouragement of enjoying a cultural luxury! Dar Poeta: Great pizza and authentic feel from the people and the food! If you go and you don’t try the Nutella calzone you’re not living!
Sometimes it seems as though everyone that studies abroad has a blog. It seems as though the Internet is full of stories from students experiencing an amazing time abroad. In preparation for our departure, we were all told to write down our experiences while studying abroad, right? I was even given a journal (actually three!), to fill with my thoughts.
It’s January and your entire abroad experience is laying right there in front of you. You have an open schedule, and you feel like anything is possible. Trust me, I was in this exact same spot exactly one year ago. I was packing and planning and trying to figure everything out for the most incredible experience of my life. If I could go back I would, but alas, I cannot.
When I think of Italy, all I imagine is the amazing pasta, bruschetta, pizza, gelato, and wine that are consumed daily. When friends and family heard I would be studying abroad in the heart of Italy – Florence – they would all coo about the mouth-watering food. After living in Florence for 4.
When you go abroad, everyone always tells you about reverse culture shock. I always thought that was going to be the worst part of coming back, it wouldn’t be the culture shock going to Italy, it will be the sadness when I got back from Italy. So, when I got back to Jersey in July I was surprised when I slipped right back to my home routine.
You never realize how much you have changed until you put yourself in an experience you’re not familiar with. Whether you believe people change or not, we all have experiences that shape us into who we really are, or who we are becoming. Thanks to studying abroad with SAI Programs, I became someone who has more resilience.
Perhaps the happiest and most alive I have ever felt was when I would go on bike rides to Fiesole. There were all of these fliers that SAI had provided my roommates and me with in our apartment. One of them was for Tuscany Cycle where one could rent bikes, go on bike tours, and Vespa tours through the Tuscan hillside and Chianti. I went one day early on in my semester abroad.
London is a magical city, composed of unique and historical neighborhoods, each with their own vibe and culture. My favorite way to get to know any new city is through food and through people and my favorite way to get to know London was through it’s markets. There are a multitude of markets scattered around the city center, even lovely ones in Greenwich.
To all of you students preparing to leave for the most incredible semester of your life (it’s true…it really is the best time of your life), I’ll start off with saying I’m incredibly jealous of the amazing time you’re about to have wherever you plan on studying abroad.
Headed to Barcelona this spring for study abroad?! Well, start planning study breaks because this is a non exhaustive list of festivals to add to your calendar right now for the upcoming semester. Even if you will be elsewhere in Europe you might find yourself in the amazing city of Barcelona and you would not want to miss out. Not going to Europe at all?
Studying abroad is a life changing experience. It impacts your life in so many different ways, from academically to personally. Living abroad removes you from your comfort zone and makes you more independent, adaptable, confident and open-minded. These newly acquired traits not only help your personal development, but can also advance your career possibilities. Here are a few ways studying abroad can help you.
As we wrap up the end of the fall semester, I am feeling so much jealousy for all of you who are getting ready to study abroad in Florence in the spring. Don’t worry, I’m also really excited for you, but I remember this time last year, getting ready, packing, getting my visa figured out. It’s a lot, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Coming home from being abroad can consist of a whirlwind of emotions. After spending three and a half months in Florence, I knew I was ready to come back to Minnesota. I missed my family, friends, and boyfriend, and especially the simplicity, comfort, and familiarity of home. Yet, I remember wishing that my last week in Florence would last forever.
When it comes to picking a study abroad program, many people have different wants and needs. Food, language, landscape, and nightlife all can be factors when making a choice. The most important factors for me was that I was in a smaller, more intimate city, that I was able to learn a new language and I could meet and interact with the locals.
If you are studying abroad for the first time, like me, you probably have some worries. These may include feeling homesick, not knowing how to get around the city, or general concern about not seeing the best Paris has to offer. I can assure you that the only way you can have a truly unique and personal adventure is to explore on your own. It’s not hard!
Studying abroad in Rome comes with a guilt-free pass to gain up to 15 pounds from all the delicious Italian cuisine offered on every street; however, the day will come when you find yourself skipping an aperitivo to search for a burger joint or paying upwards of 6 euro for a jar of peanut butter just to have a simple PB&J.
Kelsey Lenoch Missouri State University As a senior at Missouri State University in the Fashion Design Program I studied abroad with SAI in London at the London College of Fashion and had a life-changing experience. SAI gave me the opportunity to study at one of the top fashion schools in the world while also offering freedom and experiences to learn about another culture and, just as importantly, myself.
Caleb Crum is an SAI Ambassador who studied at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) during the Spring 2014 semester. He now promotes SAI and studying abroad at his home university, Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. So you’re about to study abroad, huh? Awesome! I’m also guessing that this will be your first time leaving the country, at least for a long period of time.
Morgan spent her Spring 2014 term in Sorrento, Italy. Upon her return home, she became an SAI Ambassador at her home school, the University of South Carolina. Below she gives us some helpful traveling tips. So you’ve arrived in your new home exhilarated, exhausted, jetlagged, and probably a bit homesick. You’re exploring your new town, eating lots of great food, and meeting the people who will be your family for the next four months.
Olivia studied in Rome through SAI Programs during the Spring 2014 semester. Upon her return home, she was accepted as an SAI Ambassador on her home campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. Below she talks about ways to cope with reverse culture shock. It is that time of year again – time to begin contemplating the end of your SAI program.
Caroline Broston is an SAI Ambassador who studied at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) in Spring 2014. She now promotes SAI and studying abroad at her home university, Muhlenberg College. #10 LAUNDRY IN FLORENCE One of the many things that makes Florence unique. Get ready to authentically dry your clothes the Italian way!
Allison Harpole is an SAI Ambassador who studied at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) during Summer 2013. She now promotes SAI and studying abroad at her home university, Belmont University. _____ I love to talk about my travels with my friends who have also been across the world. We compare our experiences, laugh about our tales, and exchange travel advice.
Caleb Crum is an SAI Ambassador who studied at Florence University of the Arts (FUA) during the Spring 2014 semester. He now promotes SAI and studying abroad at his home university, Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. When you decide to stay in a country other than your own, you can expect to run into some lifestyle changes that you will have to get accustomed to.
Olivia spent her Spring 2012 term at John Cabot University (JCU) in Rome, Italy. Upon her return home, she became an SAI Ambassador at her home school, Suffolk University. Below she gives us some helpful tips for traveling on a budget. Europe is an incredible continent in which to study abroad. SAI chose cities with great care to be sure that students would have an immersive experience into a thriving study away culture.
Morgan spent her Spring 2014 term in Sorrento, Italy. Upon her return home, she became an SAI Ambassador at her home school, the University of South Carolina. Below she gives us some helpful vocabulary to help you better fit in while in Italy. When I arrived in Sorrento in January 2014, the extent of my Italian language skills was “ciao,” “pasta,” and “pizza.
Chelsey Keenan is an SAI Ambassador who spent her Fall 2013 term in Florence studying at Florence University of the Arts (FUA). When studying abroad, you expect to come back with a couple of lessons including, but not exclusively, how much better the food is in Europe, how to find the cheapest flights and train rides, and especially how to ask what the wifi password is.
Nicole is a student at Saint Mary’s College of California. She was selected as the SAI Summer 2013 intern. Nicole completed her Spring 2012 term at John Cabot University in Rome and will attended Florence University of the Arts during the Fall 2013 term. Below are her tips for using social media successfully while abroad. _______________________________________________________________________________ At SAI programs, we want to make sure your experience abroad is a great one.
Maps work wonders – When in an unfamiliar city, it is always a good idea to have a map handy. I can’t tell you how much I underestimated maps before going abroad- I mean Google maps is pretty much my best friend. Yet when you’re in an international country with no Wifi, going old school with maps is your best bet to getting to your destination.
Nicole was selected as our SAI Summer Intern. Below she talks about her last 2 weeks at SAI’s main office in Sebastopol, California. Four weeks into my internship and I find myself feeling very comfortable at SAI. While I started my time here on the wrong foot with my neck injury, my days have begun to feel routine. Each day I arrive at the office around 9:15.
Nicole was selected as our SAI Summer Intern. Below she talks about her first 2 weeks at SAI’s main office in Sebastopol, California. I nervously began my journey up to the quaint town of Sebastopol, CA during the recent West coast heat wave—100 degrees at 6 pm.
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.