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“La Serenissima”: 8 Ways to Visit Venice Like a Local

Clau, SAI University Relations Associate

We recently caught up with SAI University Relations Associate, Clau, who shares some insider tips on the famous town of Venice.  I absolutely love Venice. It is a unique city which, unfortunately, gets a bad reputation of ‘too crowded’ and ‘cruise line infested’. Known as “La Serenissima” (The Serene One), I always try to make my visits as relaxed and serene as possible and I love introducing people to this magnificent place.

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Study Abroad Packing Essentials

Nicole, SAI

Whether this is your first time abroad or you’re an expert globetrotter, it’s always helpful to have a list of items you may want to pack – you know, a comprehensive travel checklist! Save this post because you’ll want to refer back to it as your trip approaches. Step 1: What Luggage to Bring Whatever your destination, you’ll want luggage that is lightweight and big enough to hold all of your essentials.

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Tips for Advising on SAI programs

Sarah, SAI Programs

We recently caught up with SAI Senior University Relations Manager Sarah Langston.  Sarah shares some reasons to consider SAI Programs for your study abroad experience.   As a former study abroad advisor, I know that it can be challenging to help students differentiate between various programs.

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Italians and Americans at Work

Maurizio, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Maurizio, who is contributing to our blog this month.  As an Italian, Maurizio is including his insight of working with Americans in Florence.  Here is his summary. Differences between Americans and Italians: a delicate issue to talk about, especially if 80% of your co-workers are American. I have been working for an American company (SAI, maybe you are familiar with it)

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10 Things to do in the First Week of Study Abroad

Laurence, SAI Milan

We caught up with SAI Milan Program Coordinator Laurence, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Laurence is including some must-do’s for those first few days in your host city.   Here are 10 alternative things to do during your first week in your new study abroad city: 1) Get the boring stuff done “Oh god! If this is number 1, I’d hate to see number 10.

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Exploring Italian Business Culture in Milan

Jordan, SAI Rome

We caught up with SAI Rome Custom Programs Coordinator Jordan, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Jordan talks about his recent experience  joining a Faculty-Led Program in Milan.   One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to travel around Europe with our Custom and Faculty-led Programs, learn new things and meet great people along the way.

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Cose preferite da fare a Siracusa- Favorite things to do in Siracusa

Kelsie, SAI

When someone asks me, “what is your favorite place in the world?”, it’s always an easy answer. My favorite place in the world is a 2,700 year-old city located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, notable for its ancient ruins, rich Greek history, culture, and amphitheatre, and as being the birthplace of Archimedes. This magical place is called Siracusa (or Syracuse in English).

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Weekend Excursion to Seville: A City Full of History and Folklore

Leticia, SAI Barcelona

We caught up with SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator Leticia, who is contributing to our blog this month. Leticia recounts her weekend student excursion to the sunny, southern town of Seville.   I have lived in Andalusia for a few years and I have explored Spain’s southern region several times.

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Sant Jordi: The Dragon, the Book and the Rose

Sandrine, SAI Barcelona

In honor of next month’s Sant Jordi holiday on April 23, our SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator Sandrine has provided a brief history of this special holiday. Also, our SAI Barcelona students will have the honor of celebrating this unique day with a memorable dinner and book exchange!

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How to Transport Your Medicine to Europe

Andrea, SAI Admissions

SAI Programs Admissions Counselor Andrea Moran provides an in-depth look at how to transport your medicine on your study abroad adventure.   “Nooooo…not another pre-departure detail!” you might be thinking.  I totally get it. You already have a ton on your mind as you prepare to study abroad. Luckily, preparing to take medicine abroad normally doesn’t require epic amounts of paperwork, but only good judgment and some preparation.

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SAI Adventures in the Wild Heart of Italy

Arianna, SAI Rome

We caught up with SAI Rome Assistant Program Coordinator Arianna, who is contributing to our blog this month.  In her entry, Arianna describes a recent SAI excursion to the beautiful Abruzzo region of Italy. In September 2017, SAI Rome took over 50 American university students on an inaugural weekend excursion throughout the region of Abruzzo.

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Packing for a 2 Week Trip in Only a Carry On

Hi guys! My name is Nicole and I was a student with SAI in the Spring of 2016! I studied in London and fell in love with Europe as a whole. I now work for SAI doing Digital Marketing and Social Media and I LOVE it! I am headed to Europe with only a carry on and a backpack to go under my seat!

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The (Dreaded) Application Process

Vanessa, SAI Admissions

It’s really not that bad! “I’m in the middle of finals.” “I’m too busy with school and work to fill out the application.” “I don’t want to write another essay about myself!” As SAI’s Admissions Counselor I get my fair share of students wanting to forgo the application process and head straight for acceptance into one of SAI’s programs. And I can’t blame you. However, rest assured the SAI application process is not that bad!

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Get involved. Give back. Gain experience. Volunteering in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Program Director Regan, who is contributing to our blog this month. Regan is including her on-the-ground insight on volunteering while studying abroad in Florence.   You arrive in a new country, new city, new culture, new school, new people … new everything! How do you get involved in your new community and enrich your already dense experience of studying abroad?

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Ultimate Frisbee in Italy

Marisa, SAI Florence

We caught up with SAI Florence Assistant Program Coordinator Marisa, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Marisa is providing her point of view on Ultimate Frisbee, a sport she loves playing in her spare time.   One of the most difficult aspects of my transition to life in Italian was my inability to access community sports teams.

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Outdoor Activities for the Summer

We’re in the midst of the coldest months and already dreaming about those warm summer days! Ready for the cold weather to fade and the sun to make an appearance so we can get outside and start exploring! Our on-site staff are sharing their favorite summer activities in each city, so start planning your summer adventures now! Syracuse: Flamingo watching at the Vendicari Marine Wildlife reserve.

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How to Make Vin Chaud aux Epices

Jenn, SAI Paris

We caught up with SAI Paris Program Coordinator Jenn, who is contributing to our blog this month.  Jenn is including her favorite recipe for winter: Vin Chaud Aux Epices, a spicy, warm French classic.  In France like in other European countries, as soon as the weather starts to cool off, cafés start serving vin chaud (hot wine). Simple hot wine can be found on the menu, as well as vin chaud aux épices (hot mulled wine)

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Selecting the perfect gift can be difficult.. Not sure what to get for that person that is always on the go? Luckily, we’re here today with a Gift Guide filled with products your fellow traveler is guaranteed to love. Here are 13 gift ideas for the modern traveler!   Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera, $99 The ultimate travel essential!

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Apicius Career Programs: what are they & are they right for you?

Marilyn, SAI Admissions Counselor

Do you like the idea of living in Florence, inarguably one of Italy’s foremost centers of cuisine, wine and hospitality? Do you like the idea of enrolling in a program focused on culinary arts, hospitality management, Italian baking and pastry or wine studies? If this sounds amazing, then perhaps enrolling in an Apicius Career Program might be a good option for you.

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Play Big Abroad

Rod, SAI Director of Strategic Initiatives

For years now I have had the good fortune of providing last minute guidance to those about to embark on a study abroad experience (aka, pre departure orientations). In all of those years one might suspect the message has changed or developed, much like our world has. Funny though, some things remain the same – as relevant today as they were 20 years ago.

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How to Choose: Summer or Semester?

Jamie, SAI Admissions Counselor

You’ve officially made the decision that you want to study abroad. You’ve looked at locations and picked a school. Now how do you decide on a term? There are a few things to consider when choosing between a summer term abroad and a semester… 1. Class Options First thing to look at when considering a summer or semester is the available classes for the different terms you are thinking of attending.

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All You Need to Know About Cell Phones Abroad

Sharon, SAI Student Resources Coordinator

I’ve been working with SAI students and their cell phone options abroad for almost 14 years now, and I can officially say it hasn’t gotten any easier over the years! With Europe finally getting rid of some roaming issues, things are getting better; however, there still is the difficulty with connectivity and the different band frequencies that are used in the U.S. versus abroad.

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Student Visas: Top Three Application Pitfalls

Rose, SAI Visa Director

I have been the Visa Director at SAI for 12 years and have seen and heard about a million stories from students that have made me laugh and cry. Like the time when a student camped out overnight in front of the San Francisco Italian Consulate in order to get in the following morning to bring in their visa application. This, of course, was before the amazing invention of the “appointment” system.

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Seven Things To See And Do While In Como

Summer in Milan can be scorching, but not far from the fashion and design capital is a verified oasis, Lake Como. Our students each summer enjoy a day trip to the city of Como to explore the shores of one of Italy’s northern lakes. Saturday afternoon we pack our daypacks, hope on a train at Cadorna Station and in 40 minutes arrive to Como Lago Nord to tackle a day at the lake.

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Top 10 Tips: SAI Enrollment & Beyond

Micaela, Director of Enrollment Services

1 – Call us or we will call you! *insert creepy laugh* Just kidding (sort of). Not only do we love to talk about the programs, we like to get to know you! I get really excited when I get to share my knowledge and excitement about your upcoming term abroad with you. I like to hear what led to your decision to study abroad, what you did last weekend, your cat’s name, etc.

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Weekend Trip from London or Paris: The ORIGINAL Jersey Shore!

Kate, SAI

Did you know that one hour from both England and France there are a series of small, English-speaking islands mixing both cultures and boasting gorgeous beaches, scenic views, cliffside walking trails, castles, museums, a wildlife trust and remnants of German occupation during WWII? Welcome to the Channel Islands!

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Align your Career Goals with your Study Abroad Experience

Kelsie, SAI Staff

A critical part of the study abroad experience is aligning your career goals with the program you select, and taking action before and during the experience to stay involved in your field of interest. After you return, it is important to translate the experience into marketable skills that employers seek.

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How to Order Coffee in France Like a Local

Jenn, SAI Paris Program Coordinator

There are several important things to keep in mind when ordering coffee in France if you don’t want to look like a tourist. First of all, DO NOT order Coffee To Go! Getting coffee to go used to be unheard of in Paris but with the presence of Starbucks and other shops catering to tourists, we are starting to see more and more coffee To Go.

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The Fascinating Coffee World in Spain

Mireia, SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator

Looking for an immersion into local life in Spain… order and enjoy a nice coffee! How important is it to know how to order a coffee in Spain? What does coffee mean in Spanish Culture? Actually it means much more than I even thought! It means everything: a good start of the day, a warm and homey smell, a pleasure for mindfulness and the most important… a perfect way of socializing!

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Italian Coffee Lesson 101

Christy, SAI Florence

Italians love their coffee, and each person likes it in their own particular way. There are probably hundreds of different ways to order coffee here. All coffee drinks in Italy consist more or less of simple ingredients: espresso and milk. The True Classics: un caffè: single shot of espresso.

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Take Time to Reflect on Your Study Abroad Experiences

Dr. Edna Wilson, SAI VP of Academic Affairs

Studying abroad offers many benefits. You can discover another culture, make friends, expand professional networks, travel, take required and elective courses, learn a language, and uncover information about yourself. Your study abroad experience can expand your horizons, provide you with interesting stories to share with others and make you more marketable to prospective employers. I have such incredible experiences in my life.

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One Museum, Many Occasions

Kim, SAI London Program Coordinator

Each person is drawn to different places, and London is great because it has such variety! Now it has not always been so, but my favorite has become the V&A – the Victoria & Albert Museum. Here’s why: Museum, Library, and Café! The museum itself has over 4.5 million pieces in the permanent collection and there are always exciting exhibits going on.

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An Explosive Easter in Florence

Chiara, SAI Staff

Every year on Easter Sunday, Florence explodes (literally) in celebration, and it’s not to be missed. The Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, is a tradition dating back over 350 years that attracts large crowds to the Piazza del Duomo in downtown Florence.

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6 DOs & DON’Ts to Survive Milan Design Week

Claudia, SAI Milan

DO create a plan of attack Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone are beasts of a market and design fair variety – monsters that take over the entire city. Rho Fiera (Salone del Mobile) itself is an overwhelming giant consisting of design displays from some of the top furniture design firms in the world. And Fuorisalone itself has over 1300 events! Needless to say, it’s a good idea to have a plan of attack.

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Contemporary Art in Florence

Regan, SAI Florence

When you think of Florence, what comes to mind is probably the architecture of Filippo Brunelleschi, the sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti, the incredible collections of paintings in the Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Pitti, and important frescoes in many of the churches in the city. What we view today as historically important records of human thought made manifest in art and architecture, were in their time, contemporary.

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Making an Impact in the Fashion and Design World

Madison, SAI Ambassador

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, Claudia Castaneda, about her view on the impact of the fashion and design word. Claudia moved to Milan in 2012 to pursue a MA degree in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies and joined the SAI team in 2013.

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Get a Job in International Education

Sarah, SAI Staff

Did you love your study abroad experience? Want to continue spreading the word about education abroad while making a difference in the lives of students? Consider a career in the field of international education. It’s not always easy to break into, but here are a few ways you can get started: Network: Reach out to your study abroad advisor, program admissions counselor, and other international education professionals.

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Know Before you Go

Research your Host City & Country

Who is the current prime minister of Italy? What is traditional Spanish cuisine? What exactly does Brexit mean? If you are going abroad soon and don’t know the answers to these questions, you will want to do some research while you’re packing. Researching your destination helps you feel more comfortable in your surroundings. Demonstrating knowledge of your host culture also shows respect and interest- qualities that will serve you well when making new friends abroad.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Sicily

We handed our instagram over to Arianna, SAI Sicily Program Coordinator, to show what a day in the life of SAI Sicily is like. Check it out! Hi SAI, Arianna here from Syracuse Academy! Today, I am going to show you what studying on the beautiful island of Sicily is all about. If you were born and raised on an island (like I was)

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2016 IIE Open Doors Report

To kick off International Education Week, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange on Monday, November 14, 2016. The report offers helpful insight into the trends of incoming and outgoing study abroad students, which this year continued to demonstrate the ever-growing popularity and importance of studying abroad. The headline finding this year is that in the 2015/16 academic year, U.S.

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4 Places to Inspire Any Artist

Claudia, SAI Milan

Milan offers more than fashion shows and design fairs. Beyond fashion weeks and design week, Milan offers a myriad of ‘secret locations’ and activities to inspire any creative. Below are four of our favorite, but you can discover more on the SAI Milan blog. La Vigna di Leonardo: Landmark location frequented by Leonardo da Vinci, across from Santa Maria delle Grazie.

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Tips on Staying Healthy While Studying Abroad

Claudia, SAI Milan

Staying fit and healthy while in another country – especially one known for its gelato or chocolate with churros – can be extremely difficult. And you may wonder, how locals manage to look fit and healthy when there are pastas, pizzas, gelati and sweets everywhere. Well here are a few tips on how to boost your mood, stay healthy all while exploring your new home.

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Umbria: My Favorite SAI Excursion

Jordan, SAI Rome

After having worked for SAI for almost three years, I have had the chance to plan and organize, as well as participate in an array of different activities and excursions for our students studying in Rome. This is definitely the best part of my job! There is one excursion in particular, however, that I really love: our weekend trip to the verdant region of Umbria, also known as “the green heart of Italy.

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How to Vote While Abroad (2016 US Presidential)

Gabrielle Longo, SAI Rome Assistant Coordinator

So you’ve unpacked your bags, shaken off those last remnants of jetlag, and are ready to dive into a carefree semester of breathtaking sights, drool-worthy food, and new friends. There’s nothing quite like saying goodbye to the responsibilities, expectations, and to-do lists of daily life in the United States for a semester, right? Not so fast!

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Weasley’s Wizarding Weekend: Harry Potter’s London

Kate Pitts, SAI Univ. & Student Relations Manager

36 years ago today (July 31, 1980) the #1 song on the Billboard charts was Magic by Olivia Newton John. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that both J.K. Rowling and her famous character, Harry Potter, were also born on July 31st (1965 and 1980, respectively). What better way to celebrate the birthday of the two biggest names in the wizarding world than with a Harry Potter adventure?

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La Passeggiata

Marisa, SAI Sorrento Assistant Program Coordinator

Marisa La Greca is the Assistant Program Coordinator for SAI’s program in Sorrento. What do you love about living abroad? From the food to the people, the cities, the landscapes, or the museums, there is a lot to take in. In addition to all of Italy’s  other wonderful qualities, I have come to appreciate “la passeggiata”.

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Do as the Romans Do

Jessica, SAI Rome

Italians are very personable, loud and enthusiastic by nature. Don’t be shocked when they seem like they’re screaming in anger. They’re probably just being theatrical storytellers. Slow Down: Italians love socializing and being out and about. Getting an iced coffee to go is not the best way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture.  My all- time- favorite thing to do is enjoy a coffee at a bar in the morning.

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Leveraging Your Study Abroad Experience

Kelsie Stanley, SAI

Kelsie studied abroad with SAI Programs in  Florence (Spring 2012) and Sorrento (Summer 2013). Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina she began working with SAI as the University Relations Associate. Below are some of her tips for how to transfer your study abroad experience into a resume, cover letter and interview. I hope this article will be useful and can inspire students to use their study abroad experience to the fullest.

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Study Abroad Packing Tips

Chiara has traveled extensively around the world (see below) and even spent 9 years living in Italy as a child. To say that she is a master traveler would be an understatement. Below she has rounded up her best packing tips from her years of experience. But first…just for fun, let’s check out all the places Chiara has visited: Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, St.

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Advice to New Study Abroad Students

SAI Staff

Chiara Cruciano, Admissions Counselor In all my global travels, I have stuck to a few key goals that have proved useful: (1) Don’t make any judgements before you have been somewhere at least two full weeks. It takes time to find your comfort – don’t think it’ll happen immediately (Jetlag is no joke). (2) Go out to a new place every single day for your first few weeks.

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Top 20 Things to do in Barcelona

Mireia Garmendia is a native Spaniard and SAI is lucky to call her the SAI Barcelona Program Coordinator! Below are her top 20 things do in Barcelona – from a local’s perspective! Sagrada Familia: world famous Modernist Architect Gaudí’s masterpiece. Magic Fountain Show at Montjuïc: large and spectacularly colorful fountain performance with music, built in 1929.

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SAI Staff Spotlight: Chiara Cruciano

At SAI we are proud of our highly qualified, well trained staff, many of whom have been with SAI for 10+ years! We think this sets SAI apart and makes it a very unique company. Our staff truly make SAI. We are, therefore, excited to announce our new “Staff Spotlight” feature.

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Secrets of Milan

Claudia, SAI Milan

Claudia Castaneda is the SAI Milan Program Coordinator. Below are some of her favorite events in Milan. Fashion Week is just around the corner and the city is buzzing with excitement! But there’s so much more than fashion and design to discover in this amazing city.

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Little Known London

One of the most fun ways to get to know the UK, as hermetic as it may sound at first, is to experience its TV and Radio culture. One of the best places to get that experience up close and personal without becoming a total couch potato is to be in the audience at any number of filmings and audio recordings all over the city for the national television and radio stations.

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Staff Spotlight

Ben Strevens

At SAI we are proud of our highly qualified, well trained staff, many of whom have been with SAI for 10+ years! We think this sets SAI apart and makes it a very unique company. Our staff truly make SAI.  We are, therefore, excited to announce our new “Staff Spotlight” feature. Each month we will be highlighting one of the members of our staff so that you can get to know us a little bit better.

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Staff Spotlight

Jamie Ronsheimer

At SAI we are proud of our highly qualified, well trained staff, most of whom have been with SAI for 10+ years! We think this sets SAI apart and makes it a very unique company. Our staff truly make SAI.  We are, therefore, excited to announce our new “Staff Spotlight” feature.

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About SAI

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.