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Student Blogger

Advice for Planning a Solo Trip

Kailyn, Barcelona, Fall 2022

One of the many great attributes of studying abroad in Europe is the multitude of options available for a weekend getaway. Whether you prefer to sunbathe along the coast of the Mediterranean or hike to the best look-out point of the city, traveling to a new place can be an easy and affordable excursion to plan. My record of places I’ve visited outside of Barcelona so far consist of Costa Brava, Munich, Paris, and Cadaqués.

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5 Things I Have Learned Living in Florence

Chiara, Florence, Fall 2022

Ciao! My name is Chiara, and I am studying in Florence, Italy. I am from California where I attend Point Loma Nazarene University. I chose Florence because I wanted to live in a smaller city and experience the Northern Italian culture that is different from my culture roots, Southern Italy. I have been living in Florence for two months and my Italian experience has been more than I could have expected.

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4 Lessons that I Re-Learned in Rome

Jocelyn, Fall 2022, Rome

Before coming to Rome to study abroad, I was honestly scared to make this change in my life. Most people would agree that change is uncomfortable and scary. But if there is anything that I have learned from my experience thus far, it is that this uncomfortable change is necessary for growth.

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Traveling Europe as a Study Abroad Student

Florence, Fall 2022, Rome

When my best friend and I were creating our respective study abroad plans for Fall ’22, we joked about going early. I would always say we should just head to Europe immediately, although I knew that wasn’t possible. We were just so excited to study abroad. After joking about it a few dozen times, we began to consider the possibility.  After some preliminary research, it actually seemed possible.

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Summer 2022 Pre-College Program

Mikaylee, Summer 2022, Florence

My time in Florence was nowhere near what I imagined it would be like. I went into the experience with this idea: I would be taking a couple classes to broaden my knowledge of art history as well as learning new drawing techniques. The program would include a few mandatory activities and I would be fed two free meals a day.

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July 2022 in Barcelona

Tracey, Summer 2022, Barcelona

Looking back at these photos now, I’m still in awe of all that Spain has. I feel so privileged to have been able to study here, and I’m so glad I chose Barcelona!!         While in Barcelona, I also got to visit Madrid… and London, England…. and Milan, Italy Europe was absolutely incredible!!

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Tackling Your Journey With Energy and Enthusiasm

Amelia, Summer 2022, Florence

When traveling to a new place, adjusting to a new lifestyle may be difficult. As different cultures structure their days differently, it is vital to be prepared for an altered routine. People in various countries differ in the time they work, the time they eat meals, the way they dress (according to fashion trends/weather), and the standard modes of transportation they utilize.

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Navigating Paris: Top 5 Tips for Studying Abroad in Paris

Maddie, Summer 2022, Paris

Restaurants: Dining at a café or restaurant in Paris is a very different experience from food service in the United States. The culture around dining moves much more slowly, so make sure to give yourself at least an hour and a half if you plan to go to a restaurant.

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The Importance of Befriending the Locals

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Florence can be a daunting place upon a tourist’s first arrival. I was definitely overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending green shutters rushing past my taxi windows between the airport and my apartment nestled on the corner of Borgo Pinti. The streets are lined on either side with towering buildings, making each cobblestone walkway look like the next, so much so that it is easy to get lost in the tangle of alleyways and winding roads.

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SAI Service Certificate

Anya, Spring 2022, Barcelona

Hi! My name is Anya Carney and I am a current student studying abroad at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona through SAI. I have gotten involved in as many activities and programs as I could through SAI and my favorite by far has been the International Service Certificate. Through this program, I teach 2nd graders English at a local primary school here in Barcelona.

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My Top 5 Must Visit Places in Europe

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

Studying abroad in Europe is an extremely unique opportunity. Whether you are based in France, Italy, Spain, or another European country, there are endless sights to see and places to explore in your local area. That being said, I would definitely recommend traveling to other countries as well, as each place has something new to offer.

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Making the Most of an Opportunity

An interview with Anya Carney, Barcelona

We sat down for a virtual interview with Anya Carney, a SAI Spring 2022 student studying in Barcelona at the University Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), to tell us all about her experience abroad: My name is Anya Carney, and I’m from Charleston, SC. I go to the University of South Carolina, and I’m an Economics and Management double major.

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4 Tips and Tricks for Visiting a New City

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

1. Learn about their public transportation system. Each city has its own unique public transportation system. You are likely going to experience some form of a metro or “underground” and buses, trains, or trams. My first suggestion is to get the apple maps app. After this, I would google taxi apps for your city and also google if there are any “city planner” or public transportation planner apps.

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Studying Abroad in Barcelona: Take it all in!

Sally, Spring 2022, Barcelona

After graduating high school I was geared up and ready for what my college life would look like. I had no idea what to expect but I knew for one thing, I wanted to study abroad. Even during my competitive scholarship interviews, I told them that the one thing I definitely wanted to do was go abroad for part of my education.

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Top 10 Things To Do In Florence To Get To Know Your New Roommates Better

Maria, Spring 2022, Florence

Studying abroad can be incredibly daunting. You’re leaving behind everything you’re familiar with, friends, family, professors, and traveling to a brand new country with a brand new apartment and most importantly, brand new roommates that you’ve probably never met. But getting to know your new housemates is one of the easiest ways to create connections as soon as you arrive in your new home.

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Take the Leap, Study Abroad!

Bailey, Spring 2022, Rome

As someone who is chronically indecisive, I never could have imagined I would willingly sign up for a semester abroad. While studying abroad is very enticing, it requires a multitude of decisions on a daily basis which, as I mentioned, is not my strong suit. However, my love for travel and my yearning to immerse myself in a culture entirely different from my own ultimately eclipsed my struggle with indecision.

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The Beauty of Florence

Stephany, Spring 2022, Florence

Whenever someone is visiting, or maybe living in a new place, the first item on the agenda is to see the wonders that the city has to offer. This is what makes up a tourist area. The plazas are cleaned up, showing their best side. Myths and legends tell their tales, gathering the attention of those who will listen. Stalls are set up at every corner of the street, gaining a little more income.

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Making the Most of Studying Abroad During the Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2022, Barcelona

TRAVELING OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOST COUNTRY: When traveling during covid it is a lot harder to plan. Every country has different covid restrictions upon entry and some “must-sees” in your desired city might be temporarily closed. My advice is to make a list of all of the cities outside of the country that you would ideally like to visit while you’re abroad.

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10 Things I Learned on My Cultural Introduction to Italy Travel Course

Emily, Spring 22, Florence

My first experience abroad EVER and in Italy was through my pre-semester traveling course: Cultural Introduction to Italy. We began in Rome and worked our way towards Florence, stopping every day in different Italian towns with a full day of field learning. It was a jump into the deep end if I’ve ever heard of one, but I would not change it for the world.

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Recovering a Lost Heritage: My History With Paris

Joelle, Spring 22, Paris

My relationship with my heritage is unique. I have always felt funny about telling people that I’m French-American. As silly as it sounds, I have never felt entitled to say so. I wasn’t raised in a bicultural household, although I am the product of two people from very different backgrounds; my mother was born in Queens, New York, and my father hailed from Paris, France.

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Day Trips from Rome

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

Just as there is much to do within Rome, there is much more to do outside of Rome. Take a few days to venture out and explore all of the other beautiful and fascinating places Italy has to offer. Monti Monti is a nearby suburb. By simply hopping on the bus, metro, or tram you will quickly arrive in Monti from Rome. In Monti, you will find lots of restaurants, gelaterias, but mostly thrift shops!

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Eating in Italy

Yazka, Fall 2021, Rome

Living in Italy has been a dream, but I won’t lie and tell you that I have been caught off guard or confused by a number of things. While at first something was a bit difficult and frustrating, I have now learned to love and appreciate the customs behind them. Rome is a city full of culture and tradition, and I am just grateful to be able to experience it.

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US, PART 2

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

A cheese plate is a customary part of a meal at a restaurant in Paris, in between the main course and dessert. The main course isn’t referred to as the entrée; instead, the word entrée actually refers to the appetizer eaten beforehand. The waiter/waitress doesn’t come by with the check unless you request it. In fact, it is considered rude to bring the check to your table before you are ready to leave.

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Getting Around in and out of Florence: All You Need to Know

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

As someone who heavily relied on driving to get around in the United States, I was not prepared for the differences Italy would bring. I was not prepared for the walking. For the first month or so, I walked to every class, averaging around 6 miles a day. Although it was great for exercise, I can be a bit lazy. (However, since arrival, I’ve walked almost 400 miles, and I still have a month left!)

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Mindful Tourism

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

This may come as a huge surprise, but not all Europeans love tourists. Luckily in my experience about 95% of the locals I have interacted with while traveling have been not only helpful but very patient with my unilingualism.

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Experiencing Europe Through Food

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

Studying abroad is an experience like no other for many reasons; complete immersion in a foreign city, learning a new language, befriending people you would never have crossed paths with otherwise, traveling with ease to neighboring countries, and my personal favorite: the food. Europe is filled to the brim with dozens of cultures, all with rich histories wrapped up in one continent.

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My Volunteer Experience: Teaching English

Lauren, Fall 2021

We caught up with Lauren Taylor, SAI Florence student at Florence University of the Arts in Fall 2021, and asked her to tell us a bit about her experience. She is completing a SAI Global Leadership Certificate (GLC) as part of her semester abroad, which includes a volunteering component. We wanted to know how the volunteering component of the GLC has been going, and gather some insights that could help future students considering volunteering abroad.

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It’s a Beautiful life

It is impossible to spend a day here and not fall in love with the values and philosophies that form the core of life in Italy. The buildings, the food, the clothes, and the pets all serve a purpose. The pursuit of timeless beauty, above all, dictates everyone’s day-to-day activities. People don’t just do their chores, they do their chores with style.

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How to Eat with Dietary Restrictions in Italy

Lauren, Fall 2021, Florence

Oh, Italy. The land of pizza, pasta, and all things gluten. This should be such a lovely experience for all food lovers, however, there is just one issue. I have Celiac Disease. I know what you may be thinking, “Why on Earth would you study abroad in Italy!” The thing is… they are actually quite accommodating.

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My Cultural Introduction to Italy

Trenedy, Fall 2021, Florence

Trenedy enrolled in the FUA pre-semester traveling course: Cultural Introduction to Italy. This one week 3 credit traveling course, taken prior to regular program coursework, provides students with an in-depth introduction to Italian culture and broadens their awareness and understanding of the role of cultural heritage in Italian customs and lifestyles. The field learning course pairs lectures with visits to many cultural sites and food tastings.

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Why You Should Embrace Uncertainty

Isaac, Fall 2021, Florence

I think most people studying abroad are at an age that makes it pretty hard to give life advice, so I’ll go ahead and just give my two cents and you can do with that what you will. I’ve never been a big planner. Before coming to Florence, I would constantly have people asking me if I had a list of places I wanted to go once I started my study abroad experience.

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Walking Back in Time

Carly, Fall 2021, Rome

I have only been in Rome for three weeks, yet every day I experience lifetimes. Centuries of history emerge around me as I simply walk to class, to the train station, to a café.

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10 things in Paris that I never saw in the US

Matthew, Fall 2021, Paris

1. People walking their dogs on the street without a leash. The dog somehow knows to follow their owner. At first, it’s alarming to see a seemingly stray dog all by itself; then you realize their owner is farther up the road. 2. Fuel pumps on the side of the road for people to put gas in their car.

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Carly Owens’ International Internship

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.

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Different People, One Planet

Carly, Summer 2021, Sorrento

I walked into my first day as an intern greeted by 10 select Europeans who had decided to dedicate 10 months of their time to volunteer for the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella. Prior to even engaging in conversation, I was quite blown away by the sense of selflessness this special group had, giving this big chunk of their time to such a cause.

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Introducing our Fall 2021 Bloggers!

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media. Below is the list of our Fall 2021 student bloggers. You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Alyssa, Summer 2021, Siena

Studying abroad is a rewarding experience for so many reasons and there are a million and one things to be excited about. However, the days leading up to the flight and the first few days in a new country can be scary and are quite the adjustment. I just made it through my first week in Siena, Italy and I want to share with you some tips and tricks for adjusting!

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Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy Abroad

Bradley, Summer 2021, Sorrento

With a little over three weeks left in my summer term, my experience here in Sorrento has been nothing short of life-changing. Through this experience, I have gained knowledge and friends that will last me for a lifetime and still have many more memories to make in the coming weeks ahead.

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Studying Abroad During a Pandemic

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Some might ask why would you choose to study abroad during a pandemic, is it worth it? Why didn’t you wait a semester or year? All of these questions roamed my head before making my final decision about studying abroad. I have now been in Florence for 53 days and looking back I would not have changed a thing.

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Learning From the Locals

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Ciao, it is Rachael! Today, I wanted to share some amazing opportunities I have had in my home city these last two months. The Florence SAI team has put together unique and fun activities for the students to take advantage of while studying here. Before I even landed in even knew I was studying in Florence, I always told myself that I would love to learn how to make handmade pasta.

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Traveling During a Pandemic

Rachael, Spring 2021, Florence

Pre-departure Where should I even begin? I started dreaming of the time I could potentially study abroad, long before I could even drive a car. Now as I sit at home, surrounded by family, friends, and my dogs, I quickly realize my dream from long ago is right around the corner.

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Telling My Story

Grace, Spring 2021, Florence

Growing up in an Italian household I always dreamed to go to Italy. In 2018 my parents made it possible for my family to visit on vacation and I fell in love. I knew after that I had to go back. Studying abroad with SAI is not only allowing me to explore Italy again but giving me the chance to live immersed in the culture for the semester.

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10 Productivity Tips While You’re Abroad

Lexi, Spring 2020, Sorrento

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.

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Looking Back at a Time Cut Too Short

Madeleine, Spring 2020, Florence

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.

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Devastating News

Kaeli, Spring 2020, Florence

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.

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So You Got Sent Home…

Sofia, Spring 2020, Barcelona

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.

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The Quinoa Club

Brianna, Florence, Spring 2020

The photo I have submitted for the Student Resilience Challenge is a drawing of some of my favorite people I met while studying abroad. Each portrait is based on a picture of the person sitting on the bank of the Arno on one of my most cherished days in Florence.

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Flowing In My Practice

Rachael, Spring 2020, Sorrento

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  After the chaos that was returning home, (arranging flights, packing-up, transitioning to online learning,) I took some time to start reflecting on the virus as a whole.

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Remembering the Happy Moments

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  Although the situation of studying abroad in Florence did not go as planned, there are many aspects of my trip that I can learn from and value for the rest of my life.

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Corona Revelations

LeAnne. Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  As someone who likes to research and plan just about everything I can, you can imagine my surprise when my semester abroad didn’t in any way go as I anticipated.

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My Study Abroad Experience Was Nothing Like I Expected

Alexa Jo, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m just going to say it…my study abroad experience was nothing like I expected. I’m sure every study abroad student has said some iteration of this upon returning home, but this semester was different. The first month was a whirlwind of new people, new foods, and new places.

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How Studying Abroad During a Pandemic Changed the Way I Think

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  I’m a control freak by nature. I’m most comfortable when I am able to exercise control over my surroundings, which means that I plan. And plan. Excessively. The label seems to invoke negative feelings from the vast majority, but I have come to view it as a double-edged sword.

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Dear Rome,

Ana, Spring 2020, Rome

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  When I first came to Rome I was full of excitement for the new journey I was about to start. I never thought my journey will end so soon, and how I will learn so much in such little time.

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In Good Times and Bad

Anneliese, Spring 2020, Florence

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad.  My time in Florence was unmatched. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay in Europe for around 40 days but I cherished every second of it. I was very excited because it was my first time leaving the country, and I am sad it had to end.

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Getting Lost in the Eternal City

Aditi, Spring 2020, Rome

Nineteen years of living in the same place has left me feeling rather claustrophobic. While I love my hometown, there is little to no diversity of thought, culture, and background. And sometimes, I can’t help feeling as if I have been living in a box for the last nineteen years–forced to conform to the ideals of other people.

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First Thoughts on Florence

Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence

When choosing to study abroad, the options seemed endless. I went to a study abroad fair at my university and it seemed like there were countless program I could study abroad with, I thought I would never be able to decide which program would be best for me. After doing much research, I decided to go to Florence, Italy with SAI.

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I’ve Met My Match in Rome

Alyssa, Spring 2020, Rome

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m restless. Nothing is ever quite enough to keep my attention for too long. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been beautiful places that I’ve loved wholeheartedly. But after a short while, I’m craving something new. I can always go back – but there is still so much I haven’t seen. Going abroad is something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.

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A Florence Fiasco

LeAnne, Florence, Spring 2020

When researching the location I should study, I read and heard from past study abroad students that Florence is the place to go to have a true life-altering study abroad experience. I wanted to expand my knowledge on art and culture, and I thought Florence would be the perfect place for that.

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Overwhelmed in the Best Way: My First Week in Firenze

Sophie, Florence, Spring 2020

  To be honest, I was dreading writing this post – how could I possibly have a reflection about my time in Florence if I’ve barely unpacked? But as I began to reflect on my short time here, I realize that Florence has already begun to make an impact on me. I go to my state university, only about an hour and a half from where I have lived my entire life.

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First few days in Florence!

Amelia, Florence, Spring 2020

I decided to study abroad with SAI because they offered many excursions and Florence seemed like a beautiful, wonderful city to study abroad in. Overall, I wasn’t very nervous about anything, besides the language barrier and being so far away from home. I have never learned the Italian language, so it will be all new to me.

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One Blink and A Week Flew By

Alexa Jo, Florence, Spring 2020

Less than a week ago, I hugged my parents, friends, and family goodbye and set off on my own adventure. I have always been independent, but never like this. I got through security, my plane had free movies, and the nine-hour flight seemed to fly by. That is until I set foot in the Paris airport for my layover.

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Me, Myself, and Milan

Raquel, Milan, Spring 2020

I always knew I wanted to study abroad from the moment I began college. Study abroad was an adventure I knew I wanted to experience during my time in college, as I thought it was an experience and a different approach in my education that could further my knowledge in design.

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Staying Mentally and Physically Healthy While Abroad

Katherine, Paris, Spring 2020

Mental and physical health should be a priority wherever you are. It can be beyond easy to lose sight of your overall health when you are living out your dream in a foreign country. Take it from someone who has been living in Paris for months, ensuring you are in good health is essential to having a successful semester abroad.

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Two Weeks Abroad

Jocelyn, Florence, Spring 2020

For as long as I can remember I have been waiting to travel the world. Before coming to Florence I had never been to another continent and felt as though I was greatly lacking cultural diversity and experience. From the moment I got to the airport, I was overcome with excitement to begin this next chapter in my life.

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Meet Our Spring 2020 Bloggers!

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media. Below is the list of our Spring 2020 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.

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A Singer in the SAI Office: Finding A Voice I Never Knew I Had

Cameron, SAI Intern, 2019

I am a musician with a bachelor’s degree in voice, so I always have to update two different resumés: My artistic resumé and my work experience resumé. My life would be a lot easier if I only needed one resumé, but I am pretty sure a restaurant manager is not going to care that I played Doralee Rhodes in a production of 9 to 5 when I was a freshman in college.

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Navigating the Rocky Terrain: Studying Abroad while in a Long-Distance Relationship

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

Before coming to Paris, my biggest anxiety wasn’t the language barrier I’d surely encounter with my mediocre french-speaking skills nor was it the fact that I was moving 6,000 miles away from my family and friends at my home university. Rather, my biggest apprehension surrounded my relationship– fearful that studying abroad and moving away from my partner inevitably meant breaking up.

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A Familiar Kind of Foreign

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

Last weekend I took a trip to Fes, Morocco. I had been looking forward to taking a weekend trip to Morocco since I arrived in Spain. Morocco is so close and I had always drawn inspiration from the ornate patterns in Moroccan design which are so full of color and texture. My excitement stemmed from the fact that I would be seeing something that I recognized on a screen firsthand.

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5 Amazing Views of Florence

Margaret, Florence, Fall 2019

Florence is one of the oldest and most incredible cities in Italy and every street is filled with history and beauty. Whether it’s a hike up out of the valley of Florence, a view from the most important cathedral in Florence, or a view from your local palace, Florence has the most incredible places to take in the beauty of the city.

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Leaving the Tourist Bubble in Search of Authenticity

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

I was fortunate enough to have been housed in an apartment near the Duomo and all of my classes during my semester in Florence, Italy. On rainy mornings I am grateful to be so close to my destinations! However, this convenience also allows me to get lazy. When so many food options and shops are so close to my apartment, why should I bother venturing out of my neighborhood?

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3 Must-See Attractions While in Rome

Dwight, Rome,Fall 2019

The Colosseum is one of the most well-known attractions in the world. It was built back in 72-80 A.D. by multiple emperors of the Ancient Roman Empire. The Colosseum was home to gladiatorial fights, reenactments of famous battles, and dramas of classical mythology. The massive oval-shaped amphitheatre could hold up to 70,000 people in it for its entertainment purposes.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Packing for Milan

Olivia, Milan, Fall 2019

The minute I decided to study abroad in the world’s fashion capital was the minute I started to stress about packing! It seems overwhelming to pack for four solid months, but now that I’ve been here for two I feel like I have a much clearer idea on what is useful and what is a waste of precious space! First of all, DON’T pack heels!

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Weekend Travel and Overdoing It

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

“You’re only young once.” “You’ll never be here again exactly as you are!” “Would you rather look back on this night as one with a wild memory or one with a lot sleep?” I’m sure you’ve heard a friend or a stranger, or even your own inner monologue, tell you these words as you uncertainly decide your next move during a weekend trip or your fall break.

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Spontaneous Excursions around Sorrento!

Kelsey, Sorrento, Fall 2019

Coming to Sorrento, I was not sure of the places I would want to travel to, but the idea of going to a different country every weekend excited me. I was surprised to find out the first week I was in Sorrento of all the trips that could be taken by bus, train, or ferry for a minimal price and travel time.

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Doumo: Morning, Noon, and Night

Lia, Milan, Fall 2019

While only being here a few weeks I have come to learn quickly about tourist spots in Milan. The most famous and fabulous by far is the Duomo. It is a large cathedral in the city center surrounded with many things to do at all times of the day. Whether its shopping, eating, getting that perfect Instagram picture, or simply enjoying the view I am sure you will find something you enjoy.

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My SAI Housing

Dwight, Rome, Fall 2019

I arrived in Rome, Italy back on August 27th for my semester studying abroad. I have never been to Europe before, so it is easy to imagine the nervousness that was built up in me. The first thing that came to my mind was how would my apartment be with some roommates I have never met before. Our apartment is about a 20-25 minute walk from John Cabot University.

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The first week in Barcelona: your guide to acclimating in a new country

I have been living in Barcelona, Spain for a week now. Honestly, it feels as though I’ve been here for months. Arriving in a new country for the first time can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you know you’ll be staying in this new country for an extended stay. Here are some tips for the first few days acclimating in a new country: Drink lots of fluids and get some rest!

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Adjusting to Life Abroad

Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019

A little over two weeks ago, I packed my bags, left my home, family, and friends to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I had no idea what to expect but I have always known that I wanted to study abroad. From the moment I stepped off the plane when we landed in Florence, I knew I was going to love it here. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t nervous.

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My Experience So Far

Nina, Barcelona, Fall 2019

On the day that I was supposed to have my flight to Barcelona, I had a six-hour delay due to a storm in New York. I was having extreme anxiety because of the delay and was afraid about what I should do since I am all by myself. Well, once I actually got on the plane, everything went well and I arrived in Barcelona safely with the help of Leticia, my SAI coordinator.

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A Beautiful City with Beautiful Views

Sarah, Siena, Fall 2019

Having been studying in Siena, Italy for not quite two weeks, I am certainly no expert on the local area. That being said, even after a few hours in this city, it is easy to tell that it is a place full of magical views; of the city, of the countryside, of the history of this region.

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A-Lot-O’ Gelato

Julia, Florence, Fall 2019

If you’re anything like me, you are going to try a lot of gelato during your time in Italy. I mean a lot. Or in my roommate’s case, sometimes even three times a day. With a different gelato shop on every corner, how could you not? It is simply too tempting to pull out a couple euros and buy a small snack-sized gelato for your walk home during the warmer days in Florence.

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Friends Are Made Over Dinner

Sophia, Florence, Fall 2019

“Abroad changed me.” A phrase that college students whine in good-natured mockery to tease their peers who studied in a foreign country for a semester and who return proclaiming the identity-altering, transformative effects of their experience. It’s been three weeks since I left the U.S. to come to Florence, Italy.

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Barcelona in the Rain

Charlotte, Barcelona, Fall 2019

Before coming to Barcelona for the semester I had envisioned the city as an ever-sunny haven. I had spent several days in Barcelona during August a few years before and thought that the weather would be the same as it had been on those summer days: warm and bright. My roommates had a similar image in their heads.

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My Top Five Tips for Florence

Ariana, Florence, Fall 2019

1. Plan your weekend trips as soon as possible. Before arriving in Florence, have a list of places that you want to go to. This will make it so much easier and less stressful to book trips if you have already picked out where you want to visit. If you are studying in the fall, take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts and go to the beach!

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Paris, is that You?

Maddie, Paris, Fall 2019

I’m sitting on the outdoor terrace of my 5th floor Parisian apartment overlooking the locals flow in and out of the Volontaires metro station entrance, an older woman hanging up fresh white-linen sheets over her balcony, a couple cuddling close together sipping their noisettes at the local boulangerie, and children playing in the courtyard of the daycare nextdoor.

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A Weekend in the Mountainous Beauty of Abruzzo

Warheal, Rome, Fall 2019

Abruzzo is a very mountainous region about 3 hours drive from Rome. There were many small towns and villages along the way. It was refreshing to be in the peace and quiet of the small mountainous town of Pacentro on the first day. Compared to Rome where you hear sirens and cars and a bunch of other sounds, it was almost like a ghost town here.

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There’s No Way I’ll Get Homesick, Right?

Taylor, Florence, Fall 2019

There has always been something intriguing to me about Europe, especially Italy, so when I found SAI’s Florence program, I was over the moon. Even waking up at 4 a.m. to head to the airport the morning of departure couldn’t kill my buzz. This was the first time I was traveling out of the country and I knew before I got here that I would love every second of my time here.

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A Tip or Two (or five!)

Josie, Rome, Fall 2019

I’ve been in Rome for nearly three weeks, and so far, they have been some of the best weeks of my life! I’m still pinching myself that I’m really here for the semester. In the weeks leading up to my flight to Italy, I was so nervous and trying to soak up every bit of information I could find.

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Breezy in Abruzzo

Karissa, Rome, Fall 2019

While only being in Rome for a few weeks now, I already feel like a local. Although, I love exploring new places and traveling elsewhere on the weekends, as I did with SAI this past weekend. Exploring Abruzzo was even more exciting and relaxing than I could have expected. The first day we embarked on our journey and arrived at Pacentro, where we walked around the town square and visited the Caldora Castle.

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How To: Survive Your First Week Abroad

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

Your first week studying abroad in a new country will look a little something like this: you hop off the plane exhausted but the adrenaline of it finally being the day you arrive in your host country keeps you going. You meet so many different people the first couple of days that you can only remember the names of your new roommates.

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A Girl’s Ultimate Clothing Packing List for a Summer in Sorrento, Italy

Megan, Sorrento, Summer 2019

I’ll be honest, when I first started thinking about how I was going to pack for a summer in Italy in one suitcase, I was intimidated. I was afraid of packing too much and then I was afraid of packing not enough. Now, halfway through my study abroad in Sorrento, I have a pretty good idea of what would have been the perfect way to pack my suitcase.

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First Day of Classes!

Marie, Florence, Summer 2019

Ciao!! Today was the first day of classes for students! I am taking a 9am class called ‘Health and Wellness in the Mediterranean’ which alternates different physical activities with food and wine tasting, how could I go wrong with this one?! After covering basic syllabus material, our professor took us to an Italian market. She showed us which fruits were in season in Italy (apricots and figs)

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A Guide To Exploring The Lush Bardini and Boboli Gardens in Florence

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

Spring has finally arrived in Florence. On a sunny day, you can venture into the city’s enchanting gardens that sit on the other side of the Arno river. The Bardini and Boboli gardens are not only a short walk from one another, but they are also the perfect place to bring friends or family that are visiting. Be prepared to witness breathtaking views (better than Piazzale Michelangelo, I may add)

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Eight Foods You Must Try in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

Food plays a heavy role in the Spanish culture in Catalonia. An important part of absorbing yourself into the culture is getting to know the local specialties. With the Catalan culture, there are plenty of different specialties to offer. Below I have listed eight of my personal favorite foods that I think everyone should try. Patatas Bravas These fried potatoes with a spicy sauce and creamy aioli are one of my favorite foods in Barcelona.

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My Experience on an SAI Excursion: Nice, France

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

For a weekend in early March, I went on an SAI excursion included in my SAI study abroad program. The location—Nice, in the South of France—was a wonderful change from the relatively gloomy and chilly Paris at this time of year! Since the hotel, meals, and a few activities were included, it was also a great break from necessary budgeting while studying abroad.

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My First Spain Experience!

Toyin, Barcelona, Spring 2019

¡Hola! My name is Toyin Jackson, I’m a sophomore at Mizzou, and I am currently participating in a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain. Last week, I started attending CETT – Campus de Turisme, Hoteleria, y Gastronomia (Campus of Tourism, Hospitality, and Gastronomy). The school is affiliated with the University of Barcelona. This semester, I am participating in the their gastronomy program studying a curriculum surrounding food and culture in the Mediterranean.

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3 Feelings for My First 3 Days

Kyra, Siena, Summer 2019

“Firsts are best because they are beginnings.” – Jenny Han When it comes to preparing for the first few days abroad, jetlag and culture shock often demand most of our attention.

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A Sunday in the Sinking City: Why You Should Visit Venice

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

During my study abroad trip to Milan, I realized I had a Sunday completely free. On a spontaneous inclination, I booked a tour to the legendary city of Venice. Although the tour began at seven in the morning, I enjoyed the bus ride through the rolling Italian hills, home to wineries and historic buildings. As we approached Venice, it was obvious why so many tourist are attracted to this gorgeous area.

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Studying Abroad as a First Generation Student

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

When I submitted my application to Colorado State University, I was unsure. Any uncertainty, you name it, I had it. Deciding to study abroad in Florence, Italy was no different. I was extremely unsure. Yes it sounds amazing—spoiler alert: it is, but I was worried about everything under the sun.

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Creating Unique Travel Photos

Sami, Florence, Summer 2019

Capturing images of well visited travel sites around Europe can seem repetitive and lack creativity very quickly. To learn how to capture unique travel photos that don’t match everyone else’s Instagram feed, I have come up with a few simple tips. 1.

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A Fashionista’s Guide to Milan: What to Pack

Dominique, Milan, Summer 2019

In a city like Milan, home to fashion houses such as Armani and Prada, it is very important to look the part; especially for a Fashion Merchandising major like me. In the fashion capital of the world, the natives have an upscale sense of style and sophistication. The people of Milan are little to never seen wearing common American comforts such as leggings, athletic wear, or even jean shorts.

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Top 4 Things to Do in Florence for FREE

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

As a college student, I love saving money. Studying abroad does not make it easy to save money because of all the traveling opportunities and activities within your city. However, among the many cities and countries to travel to, restaurants to eat, and stores and shopping centers to go to, there are fun and exciting things to do for free!

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Florence Exposed: 9 Images of Florence Through the Lens of a Study Abroad Student

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

Florence is a bustling city in the heart of Tuscany. Alive with visitors and locals alike, there is never a dull moment along its medieval streets. Around every corner there is something to be seen, from street art to all the little details that give Florence its identity. Below are some snapshots of daily sightings that I encounter every day as I navigate through the city on my way to and from class.

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Meet Our Summer 2019 Bloggers!

Each semester, SAI carefully selects a group of student bloggers.  These students are to write about their experiences abroad by producing blogs and contributing to our social media.   Below is the list of our Summer 2019 student bloggers.  You can check out their blog posts throughout their time abroad.   Marie Herzing, Florence Home school: University of Kentucky 1. I am going to be a senior at the university of Kentucky 2.

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Quick Getaways From Paris

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

Paris is in a great location for weekend trips or even day trip to other areas of France. Flights on budget airlines such as Easyjet or Ryanair can you around Europe for a cheap price. The key to finding these budget friendly options is booking in advance and not waiting until the last minute. The TGV is another great option for traveling throughout France or to neighboring countries.

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My Top 5 Restaurants in Florence

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

It’s hard to believe it has been over seventy days since I left everything and everyone I know for the adventure of a lifetime. It’s been a whirlwind from the start. I’ve had good days and bad days, just as I’ve had good food, and not so great food—at least to me. However, it is extremely difficult to find food you won’t like.

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A Nice Time in France

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

For spring break my roommates and I decided that we needed to travel to a destination full of nothing but, peace, quiet, and the beach; so to Nice, France we embarked. Our expectations for the week were surpassed, for never have I been to a place that soothed my soul in such a way. The vibe of relaxation was apparent from the start, when we boarded our flight to Nice from Rome.

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A Guide to Getting Where You Want to Go

Marissa, Florence, Spring 2019

So you’re abroad, and if you’re anything like me or other kindred spirits that flock to Europe for a semester, you want to see and do as much as you can. You have bucket lists to follow, goals to meet, and oh so little time! I get it. But if you’re anything like me–a planner, a like-to-knower, a maximizer–perhaps the whole abstract idea of “travel” can actually seem a bit daunting.

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My Photo Blog

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

SAI Paris student Giavanna provides some photos of her recent museum visit in Paris.

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Five Things You Never Knew About Milan

Giavanna, Paris, Spring 2019

Having visited much of Italy previously, I had some idea what to expect on my long weekend trip to Milan. Still, Milan managed to surprise me. 1. The way people dress may surprise you Like Paris, my host city, Milan has a reputation has a high-fashion capitol. However, also like Paris, this is not necessarily evident in the looks you will see on the street.

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Seven Must-Visit Locations in Barcelona

Kyle, Barcelona, Spring 2019

Barcelona is truly one of the most unbelievable cities in the world. Before I decided to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I knew very little about how much the city itself has so much to offer. As I have learned, the city itself offers a wide range of views from beaches to mountains to infamous churches to beautiful architecture.

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My Homestay Abroad: A Multicultural Experience

Carmen, Florence, Spring 2019

Living in a homestay abroad is the best way to experience cultural and linguistic nuances and to cultivate intimate friendships with the natives of the city! As an Italian minor, I knew I wanted to live in a homestay to practice Italian. However, I also wanted to feel connected with the people of Florence. I live in the city center of Florence, Italy about a ten minute walk from the Duomo.

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Overcoming the Homesick Blues

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2019

As my second week in Florence comes to an end, I would like to reflect on the moments in which I have not been kind to myself since my arrival.

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A Valentine Sunday in Verona

Bridgette, Florence, Spring 2019

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. . .”, William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. Looking to spend the most romantic weekend of the year in the perfect location? Well, then Verona is the place to go.

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My Favorite Class Project

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

I was very excited to take my first ever fashion design class as my major at school is more business geared and less creative design. I chose to take the Leather Technology class at FUA and it was by far one of the best decisions I have made.

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SAI Excursion: Exploring the Medieval City of San Gimignano and Soothing Thermal Baths

Monica, Florence, Spring 2019

One of my favorite excursions while studying abroad in Florence, Italy, has been exploring the historic, well-preserved medieval towns in Tuscany. It’s easy to get into the groove of using the weekends to travel outside the Florence area, but I encourage you to visit the enchanting towns that sit between the Tuscan hills and wide-spread vineyards. On my SAI excursion last weekend (the trip is included with SAI, so there are no extra costs)

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Lessons Learned

Bailey, Rome, Spring 2019

Lessons Learned: Avoid making mistakes that can cost you time and money while traveling: 1.) Always check to see where your hostel is located While booking a place to stay in Amsterdam, my friends and I found somewhere that was pretty cheap and what we thought was right near downtown Amsterdam, so of course, we booked it right on the spot. After we paid (and chose the non-refundable option to save €3)

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Four Mistakes I Made My First Week Abroad That You Don’t Have To

Samantha, Florence, Spring 2019

I have been living in Florence for a little over a week now. The whole time I have been here I have felt a rollercoaster of emotions; excitement, confusion, curiosity, and homesickness. All of these feelings are natural when moving to a new country and there is no advice I can tell you to avoid them.

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From Strange to Sweet

Margaret, Florence, Spring 2019

I have always been a homebody. I make a place for myself, and I become content staying in my zone for every activity. In order to gain personal growth, I thought it was time to do the complete opposite of my norm. I signed up to study abroad through SAI, and to live in Florence, Italy for a semester.

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Nine Tips for How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Katherine, Rome, Spring 2019

1. Come Prepared One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to come prepared. Make sure you call your bank as soon as you know you’re studying abroad and order euros! This is typically the most affordable way to change currency. The most expensive way is in the airport through a currency exchange office, but it’s also really convenient.

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How to Improve Weekend Traveling

Olivia, Paris, Spring 2019

You have arrived in your host city and are ready to plan some weekend travel; now what? Use these guidelines to experience trips you will never want to end! One of the most important parts of planning a trip, outside of booking a flight or a train ride, is finding a place to stay. Plenty of people immediately count out hostels as an option, but there are some important factors to consider.

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The Pigeon Chronicles

Jack, Florence, Spring 2019

Hello, Dear Reader. I understand you have come here for quality study abroad content. I am sure you have envisioned reading the grand tales of students exploring unfamiliar locations and experiencing unique cultures alien to your own. Well, Dear Reader you can look no further. Settle down and prepare your heart, for this tale you have stumbled across, this analysis of the Italian ecosystem is EXACTLY what you have been looking for.

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Why Go Abroad?

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2019

Ciao! I’m Sarah Hadley, and I go to the University of Alabama, but I’m currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. While I can’t wait to share my experiences in Florence so far, I feel like it’s so important to share why I chose to study abroad. For the past five months, I have had the somewhat monotonous (yet completely understandable)

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Falling in Love with Unconventionality

Olivia, Florence, Spring 2019

If I had to sum up the last 10 days in one word it would be this: unconventional. You may perhaps deem it odd for me to describe the cradle of the Renaissance with such a word whose synonym is unusual, irregular, and uncustomary. Let me explain. I find myself sitting in the Oblate Cafeteria when my favorite song of all time starts playing in my earbuds.

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The Declassified Florence Survival Guide: First Week Edition

Aileen, Florence, Spring 2019

Passport, Visa, ID, Credit Cards and other miscellaneous (but extremely important) documents? CHECK. Now it’s a matter of getting from Point A to Point B. To survive life in a brand-new country, you must learn to walk before you can run. That means surviving the first week before worrying about the next few months.

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Lights on Art

Salam, Paris, Spring 2019

The number of museums in Paris that pop up after doing a simple Google search can be overwhelming. Luckily as a student studying abroad I have ample time to see many of these museums, from the must see to the lesser known. The most infamous and popular museum in Paris, and perhaps the world, is the Louvre. The key to successfully and enjoyably visiting this extensive museum is going when tourists are low in numbers.

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The Part of Florence you May be Overlooking

Kristina, Florence, Spring 2019

My roommates and I were lucky enough to be able to call the “local” side of Florence our home for the semester. As everyone described it to us, it was a little less touristy and more peaceful which can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Florence. Walking back to a quiet neighborhood each day after class has truly been a blessing and I want more people to experience it.

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Eataly

Theresa, Rome, Spring 2019

If I were to describe myself, “foodie” would certainly be at the top of the list. I really enjoy good food. Growing up, my parents instilled in me a passion for cooking quality homemade meals and indulging in fine dining. My mom’s life motto which has resonated with me is, “While many people will eat to live, I live to eat.

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Planes, Trains, and Confusing Keys

Claire, Rome, Spring 2019

I followed directions from a lot of strangers, got in a van, and was dropped off with a key from the 1800’s. So, the adventure started with me boarding a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta and then on to Rome. All my flights went really well! My final flight was actually filled with students all going to Rome for the semester.

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My Internship Experience in Rome

Peter, Rome, Fall 2018

My name is Peter and I am currently completing an internship position at MedinAction. I secured this position through a connection via John Cabot University’s Center for Career Services. MedinAction is an on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers a qualified doctor to your home, office, or hotel.  The service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  You can book your licensed physician online, by phone, or the app.

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Fix Your Focus: Rome From a Distance

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

Upon first exploring Rome, I was very much a tourist with tunnel vision, having only a few key things I knew I “had” to see. Thankfully, time went by and I broadened my perspective, which taught me to look at the Eternal City from afar.

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In a Holi-Daze in Firenze

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

These past few weeks have been a total blur. Final papers, exams, and preparing to leave Florence after an incredible semester certainly got the best of me sometimes. However, I walked around in absolute wonder the entire time because of the incredible holiday displays around the city. How could you not smile with such beauty and cheer surrounding you? Here are some photos of the Firenze festivity this holiday season. Happiness to you and yours!

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A Glance Into Ancient Rome

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

Rome is known as the eternal city and for all the right reasons. It has some of the most amazingly preserved ruins around the world. It seems that along every street is another ruin. There’s so much to explore in Rome, I’m not sure if there’s ever truly a way to see it all.

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Trekking Through Montmartre

Ariana, Paris, Fall 2016

Montmartre is arguably one of my favorite places in Paris.  It’s almost like you’re not even in the city– it’s just that different from the rest of Paris.  So whether you are catching a show at the Moulin Rouge, or making your way to Sacre Coeur, take a moment to stop and see everything in between. YOU ARE HERE! So there are many places to start your walk through Montmartre.

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The Finish Line

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

It’s about that time! I know that my last few posts have kind of felt like some sort of countdown to the end of the semester, and I guess in some way, that’s right. I liked keeping a good awareness of how much time I had left in Italy, just to make sure that I wasn’t letting the time slip me by.

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Top Spots in Sorrento

Anna, Sorrento, Fall 2018

This is a list of some of my favorite spots in Sorrento and near Sorrento on the peninsula. Piazza della Vittoria – Since my first day in Sorrento this has been one of my favorite spots. This Piazza has, in my opinion, the best view in all of Sorrento: the entire bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius. The best part is that I pass through it every day on my way to class.

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Must-Sees in Siena

Karina, Siena, Fall 2014

Siena, a lesser-known Italian city among Americans, is the hidden gem of Italy. Siena does get a lot of foot traffic, but tourists are often stopping by on their way to a more popular city or only taking a day trip here. But, contrary to popular belief, Siena cannot truly be seen in a day. Heck, the Palio itself takes at least 24 solid hours to explain!

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What the Paris Metro Taught Me

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

Studying abroad has meant putting myself way outside of my comfort zone. I am quick to welcome challenges and believe that you grow the most when you choose to do something every day that scares you. I like to think I adapt to new situations with ease, but I have most definitely experienced my fair share of language and culture barriers.

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SAI Barcelona’s Day Trip to Montserrat

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

Last weekend the SAI Barcelona family traveled to Montserrat for the day. It is located west of Barcelona taking us an hour to arrive at the base of the mountain. The train to Montserrat leaves once every hour from Placa d’Espanya, therefore, it is important to be punctual! The sheer beauty of Montserrat left me wanting to come back and conquer the highest peak, Sant Jeroni (1,236 meters).

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The Best Places to Take Your Family When They Visit

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

Studying in Florence is a series of amazing events happening day after day, but nothing is as special as when friends or family come to visit! Of course with such limited time you might not be able to fit everything in. Here is a guide to five of the best places to take your friends and family when they visit.

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How to Deal with Homesickness while Studying Abroad

Camille, Florence, Fall 2018

Before I left for my semester abroad my home school warned me about the homesickness and culture shock, but to be honest I didn’t really believe them. I thought, “There’s no way this could happen to me.” Boy was I wrong.  It is something everyone goes through while abroad, which is a good and bad thing. The bad part is you too will experience it.

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Studying Abroad: Expectations vs Reality

Elise, Florence, Fall 2018

Ever since my senior year of high school, I knew that I absolutely, positively wanted to study abroad during college. Needless to say, my expectations were incredibly high coming into this. I think everyone sets their expectations high for a semester abroad because it’s a big idealized thing. Traveling the world, making new friends, experiencing life in a new country, and getting some fire Instagram pictures. It’s supposed to be absolutely perfect, right? Wrong.

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What My Study Abroad Experience Means to Me

Samantha, Florence, Fall 2018

I want to give a little precursor to this post by saying I, in no way, mean that I’m special or an exception to any rule when I talk about my study abroad experience. Although, as someone who struggles with mental illness, I feel like I can provide a different take that can help prepare others for this time.

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An Adventure in Abruzzo

Alyssa, Rome, Fall 2018

These photos highlight SAI’s excursion to Abruzzo from September 14th to the 16th. This was by far my favorite trip I’ve taken so far–who wouldn’t love horseback riding, eating on the ocean, and taking a self-guided tour through a castle in the mountains? The region of Abruzzo certainly is a hidden gem, with its gorgeous scenery, unforgettable food, and charming historical towns.

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Rome and Saying Sorry to Pigeons

Kaylyn, Rome, Summer 2018

It’s so god-like; the way the sun creeps through the details in the gates, the architecture, and the ceilings of various basilicas and cathedrals. The crows sincerely flock amongst the highest pillars, statues, and apartment complexes. Flowers cover terraces and rooftops, as if everyone had a garden. Everything created here seems inspiring enough. Romans cared, and still do, about glorious, gigantic creations.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Jordan, Paris, Fall 2018

We handed over our Instagram account for the day to SAI Paris student Jordan.  Jordan gives us a glimpse of a typical day in Paris.   Bonjour! Je m’appelle Jordan! (@heyyjdawg) I am from Colorado, but am currently a Junior at Baylor University studying marketing. This fall I am studying abroad at the American University of Paris! And what’s a trip to Paris without a visit to the Eiffel Tower?!

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Student Traveler’s Guide to Hostels

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

There are so many amazing opportunities that you encounter as a study abroad student: meeting a multitude of new people, learning firsthand about a different culture, maybe even learning another language. However, one of the coolest opportunities, and perhaps the most important to take advantage of, is the ability to travel.

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Cultural Expectations: Food, Family, Nightlife

Gabriel, Barcelona, Fall 2018

Food When talking to friends and family about my decision to fly across the pond and study in Spain, the Mediterranean diet continued to surface. “Lots of fish and even more olive oil!” I kept on hearing constantly. Nobody lied about the consumption of olive oil. To put it in perspective on average Americans consume 1.1 liters of olive oil every year but Spaniards, a voluminous 10 liters.

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Ballin’ On a Budget

Katie, Florence, Fall 2018

One of the best parts about studying abroad is the opportunity to travel to so many new countries around you. The time you spend in your host city for the semester is so special, and nothing can really beat living life in Florence for a few months, but the weekend trips sure come close.

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Positano: Where Dreams Become Reality

Nicole, Rome Fall 2018

On a spur of the moment decision, a roommate and I decided to go to the Amalfi Coast for a weekend getaway. We decided to go to Positano, and it was one of the best decisions we made. The views were absolutely breathtaking, the water was the clearest I’ve ever seen, and it became one of my favorite Italian trips. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t stop staring at my surroundings thinking, “I must be in a dream.

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Rocking Day Trip: Marble Quarries and A Stone Walled City

Allan, Florence, Fall 2018

One minute I was dozing off in the drone of Florentine traffic, and the next, I was awoken by gasps and awes. I slowly rose from my awkward slumped position of rest to join in with the group’s amazement. I looked out the window to see the thick woods of the mountain we were climbing, but in the breaks, there was a quick peek as to what was to come.

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The Top Five Places in Santo Spirito

Noelle, Florence, Fall 2018

1. La Cite – Borgo S. Frediano, 20, 50124 Firenze FI One of the best places in Santo Spirito to just sit down and enjoy a book or get some homework done is La Cite. This cute little cafe doubles as a library! During the day you can enjoy a sandwich or a brownie with a cappuccino, but if you come back later you’ll see that the place has been turned into a quiet bar!

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Becoming Culturally Introduced

Katherine, Florence, Fall 2018

Sometimes to really experience something fully, you just have to jump straight in. That was my thought process when I decided to sign up for the Cultural Introduction to Italy week-long intensive. This is a travel course through Florence University of the Arts that happens about one week before classes officially start in Florence. We arrived in Rome and travelled along the coast (for the most part) until we reached Florence on the final day.

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Jazz Speaks for Life

Piera, Florence, Fall 2018

The heat has passed, yet the bustling of a summer city continues. In fact, it is accentuated by the multi-locational jazz festival in the Oltrarno quarter. The Firenze Jazz Fringe Festival brought the best Italian and international jazz musicians to the city for four nights of incredible performances. The curators of this festival worked hard to emphasize the historical significance of the city as a stage.

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Frenzy in Firenze: Settling in Abroad

Daisy, Florence, Fall 2018

After seven months of preparation, it’s finally happening. I am here, abroad, in Florence, my now home away from home. It’s absolutely surreal, living around the corner from Piazza Santa Croce and walking to class past Il Duomo. Even constantly tripping on the uneven cobblestones and narrowly dodging speedy Vespas feels special. I’ve only been here for about two and a half weeks and I already feel at home.

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What I’ve Learned About Paris (So Far)

Jessica, Paris, Fall 2018

Paris, as you may know, is perhaps the perfect city for one of my favorite pastimes: People-watching. The (literal) thousands of cafes, with outdoor tables facing the city streets, make it all too easy to stare at strangers as they stroll to and fro. Within these first two weeks of my Paris adventure, I have invented a game to make people-watching all the more amusing, which I call: “Spot the Tourist.

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Weekend Excursion to Abruzzo

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2018

One of the many perks of going through SAI are their included excursions and trips, which you must take advantage of. So far, we’ve had a welcome day, which included wine tasting and a tour of Frascati, a food tour, and a weekend excursion to Abruzzo. The weekend excursion to Abruzzo is an absolute must.

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Barcelona Recommendations

Street Markets With Live Music (Cultural Events): Monumental Club

Check out SAI Barcelona’s new reporter’s introduction to his blog and his first recommendation: Street Markets With Live Music.   The Plaza de Toros Monumental de Barcelona, more commonly known as La Monumental is a fascinating bullfighting ring located in the Eixample district. Having a capacity of 19,582 this venue has been graced with concerts from the revolutionary Beatles and the legendary Rolling Stones.

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The Whirlwind of Emotions

Samantha, Fall 2018

I have decided I’m going to use this blog post as an opportunity to be very real and honest. I am beyond grateful to be here and have this opportunity in Florence, however, this has been the most difficult transition of my life. These past two weeks have been very hard on me mentally and physically and it’s something that I want to bring attention to.

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What You Don’t Know About Rome

Brayden, Rome, Summer 2018

The Eternal City and the Capital of the World, Rome boasts some of the greatest art and structures from the old world. You will find the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Vatican City, and countless other treasures. If you see any of these attractions, you are standing where ancient Romans once stood; through observation, you are experiencing the legacy of thousands of years that is Rome.

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Going Outside My Comfort Zone

Madeline, SAI Ambassador

What did you learn about yourself when you were abroad? How have you changed?I was very nervous about studying abroad. I found myself very comfortable at school and was hesitant to leave the college environment. I did not want to miss out on any school activities and leave my friends to go to a foreign country.

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From Home to Rome

Gigi, Rome, Summer 2018

Rome is the perfect European capital where art, history, and religion are ​significant and contribute to Rome’s uniqueness. ​As a fashion lover and someone who enjoys eating foods that are difficult to pronounce, Rome was the perfect place to gain valuable knowledge and experience new adventures. Here were some of the iconic landmarks I visited so far and the yummy food I got along the way.

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Semester Reflection

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

I really can’t believe it’s the end. What turned out to be one of the most rewarding and at the same time challenging four months is all behind and I’m finally going home. I’m so excited, in a few short days I will be able to hug my family and friends back home, something that I’ve missed so much. To write about my entire experience is simply impossible because every day was different.

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“Parli inglese? Me Too!”

Charlee, Sorrento, Summer 2018

The Adventures of Interning in a Foreign Country When you Don’t Speak the Language **Hint: the secret is patience, positivity, and a lot of hand signals** Ciao! My name is Charlee Wilkerson and I’m a rising senior at the University of South Carolina. I’m a Retailing major with an emphasis in Fashion Merchandising and I chose to spend the summer in Sorrento, Italy interning at a boutique called Acanfora.

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All the World’s a Stage

Brielle, Florence, Summer 2018

Before arriving in Italy, like any eager student who has never once stepped foot outside of the United States, I had brainstormed what exactly I wanted to get out of my study abroad experience: what I wanted to learn, what I wanted to see, what I wanted to eat!

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Sicily is Not New York

Deztiny, Sicily, Summer 2018

During my time here in Sicily, I’ve had my fair share of time to explore the city and experience new things. In deciding to come here, I believed that Italy would have many similarities to my home in New York, but over the past two weeks, one thing I have noticed is that there are actually quite a few differences between my tiny suburban town of Rhinebeck, NY and this condensed city of Siracusa.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Kristin for the day. This is her day in Florence.   Ciao everyone! My name is Kristin @kristinhiemstra and I am studying abroad in Florence, Italy at Florence University of the Arts! I am a student from @coloradostateuniversity studying Health and Exercise Science, but here in Florence I am studying History and Photography! Today I’m going to give you a glimpse into my life abroad…hope you enjoy!

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The Last Waltz with Florence

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

As our final days in Florence approached, my roommates and I couldn’t help but constantly reminisce on all the memories we shared and the crazy ups and downs we experienced in this beautiful country we can now call home. With the stress of finals and packing our lives up we had remembered our silly bucket list that we made in the beginning of the semester.

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Tidbits Gained from Being Abroad

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

My time is Florence has come to an end. It seems like just yesterday I was stepping off the plane to be greeted by the wonderful SAI staff. These past few months have flown by but they were filled with wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world you’re living in. You get put into situations you haven’t experienced before.

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Tuscan Farm Adventures: An SAI Excursion!

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

One of the many perks that come along with studying abroad through SAI are the opportunities for students to go on amazing day trips for free (after a 10€ deposit that you get back on the trip)! This semester I went on trips to thermal baths, a Fiorentina calcio (soccer) match, and historical cities surrounding Florence such as Lucca, San Gimangiano and Prato.

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Learning Something

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

I am not sure where I am going, so let’s get into this and hopefully, we can both come to the end having learned something. This mantra aforementioned is how I try to go about every new situation and I think this mindset can benefit many. Confidence is the ability to be sure of oneself or prospects and embrace the uncomfortable.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Lauren for the day. This is her day in Florence.  Ciao! My name is Lauren Roderigues and I am studying abroad in the Bella Firenze, Italy at Florence University of the Arts. I am a student from @emmanuelcollege in Boston studying Graphic Design. Here in Florence I am studying ceramics, photography, exhibition curating and illustration and book publishing.

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Volunteering in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

As one of this years scholarship recipients I was asked to complete ten hours of community service in Florence. This was a great opportunity for me to engage with locals and give back to the city that his given so much to me! Where I decided to dedicate my time volunteering came about in an interesting way.

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14 Things I Learned in 14 Weeks in Paris

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

While studying abroad in Paris this semester, I learned 14 things.  Here they are: 1) Be as much of a tourist as you can in whatever city you are in, abroad or at home. It is so important to soak up all that a city has to offer and to experience the “must-do’s”- they’re must do’s for a reason! 2) But, know when to live like a local.

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Study Abroad Is About The People, Not The Places

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

I have met some incredible individuals this semester. Europeans, short and tall, have welcomed me with open arms throughout my four months abroad and the kindness is truly contagious. The range of people has gone from playful children next to me on a canal cruise in Amsterdam, to a wise old woman helping me with the London tube.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Caroline for the day. This is her day in Florence!  Ciao! My name is Caroline, I am from Florida, I am a photography major at The University of Central Florida, studying at FUA in Florence, Italy this spring semester! I’ll be taking over the handle today to show you what a typical day is like for me in Florence!

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Favorite Places in My Neighborhood

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

My study abroad program is located in Florence Italy. I live in the city center but in a primarily residential area. Near me are markets, restaurants, and even a church. I have gone as far to explore the other side of the river which is the Arno river. Florence is a historic city. Various pushes in fashion began there and then there is the Duomo.

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My Last Few Days in Roma

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

As my program is sadly coming to an end, I have been reflecting on some of the ways I want to spend my last days in Rome. And I thought to myself, “What other way to spend my last few days in Rome than by eating the great-quality food than I cannot find at home!” Here are some of the ways I have been spending my last few days in Rome.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Sam, Rome, Spring 2018

We asked Sam, SAI Rome student, to show us what a day in her Roman life was like on our Instagram account. This is her day in Rome.  Ciao! I’m Sam, a junior at Penn State currently studying at John Cabot University in Rome. I’m taking over SAI’s account today to show you my typical day in the Eternal City.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Willa for the day. This is her day in Florence.  Ciao! My name is Willa, I’m from NYC and I’m a junior at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying at Florence University of the Arts this semester. Today, I’m taking over the SAI instagram to show you a typical day in Florence!

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A Thank You Letter to Those Who Made Florence Feel like Home

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

As I am coming in on a close to my study abroad experience I have been reflecting on all the things that have made this new part of my life so special – getting to experience my culture firsthand and learn what it truly means to be an Italian, traveling to new and amazing places I could have only ever dreamed of visiting (and figuring out how to get from point A to point B

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Cycling Through Annecy’s Alps

Alina, Paris, Spring 2018

Last week, I took a train with five other girls down to Annecy, a cozy town nestled in the south of France. It sits 22 kilometers south of Geneva, at the northern tip of Lake Annecy.  The area is known to be one of the oldest inhabited sites in the Northern Alps. Recent digs dated a lakeside village to 3,100 years before Christ.

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Contemporary Art Class Field Trip

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

I am going to be discussing the many exciting opportunities that I have been a part of while being in school at FUA. I am taking a Contemporary Art class with Lucia Giardino and it has been a fantastic experience so far. She has taken us to so many different museums and sites that it makes the course fees for the class so worth it.

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Small Towns in a Worldly Experience

Alexandra, Paris, Spring 2018

There is a common perception about studying abroad that views the semester as a prolonged vacation. People believe that students spend all of their weekends traveling to the major European capitals, such as Paris or London, but this only allows two days for scrambling around the city and fitting in only the most cliché of tourist sights.

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The Italian Coffee Experience

Coffee…a staple to the Italian diet and a habit that, when first arriving in Florence, I was unsure I would be able to manage. I have quite the sweet tooth and with a typical order at Dunkin Donuts including a high percentage of flavored syrup, I did not know if I would be able to enjoy the simple, heavy on espresso drinks made at Italian coffee bars.

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Why My First Week Abroad Is Still My Favorite

Kristin, Florence, Spring 2018

  I arrived abroad a week early in Rome for a class called “Cultural Introduction to Italy,” arranged through SAI and my school, Florence University of the Arts. It was a course that promised three credits in only one week, with a schedule listed on the syllabus from 8 am to 8 pm—a little daunting at first…I mean what could we possibly be doing ALL day long?

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Döner Kebab: The Pride of Europe

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

If you asked me before I went abroad what a kebab was, I would think of the skewer stacked with roasted meats and vegetables. In Europe, “kebab” has a completely different meaning. Döner kebab is an incredibly popular dish made up of seasoned meat that is shaved from a vertical rotisserie and topped with fresh vegetables and sauces. Döner is similar to the Arab shawarma and Greek gyro and is famous for its late-night accessibility.

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A ‘Nice’ Getaway

Lidia, Florence, Spring 2018

Living in Italy for the last few months has been surreal, but coming from a Florida beach town I’ve begun to miss the warmth and sun, as the last few weeks in Florence have been filled with rain. My roommate had been toying with the idea of visiting the south of France so I curiously looked up train tickets and was surprised at how affordable they were.

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The Town of Medieval Towers

Sarah, Florence, Spring 2018

I will be discussing a day excursion I went on through SAI to San Gimignano. It is a small hilltop city in Siena, Tuscany surrounded by ancient walls and known for its medieval towers. When I walked through on of the gates leading into the city, I could feel the history in the walls as our tour guide walked us down the street towards the Piazza della Cisterna.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

The last year of high school, I remember my government professor sat the entire class down and read to us, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”  Who would have thought that three years later, I would be traveling through Europe, discovering the different cultures and familiarizing myself with local traditions? Being able to explore other people’s customs has been a blessing that never seemed real until I found out about SAI and John Cabot University.

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Making the Most of Rainy Days in Florence

Erin, Florence, Spring 2018

Throughout my time in Florence thus far, I have experienced a little bit of every kind of weather including sunshine, rain, sleet, and even snow for the first time in years. Dealing with the amount of rain and strange weather we have had here lately can be frustrating if your plans include things like going to the beautiful Piazzale Michelangelo, walking along the river, or visiting the stunning Boboli Gardens.

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How I Prepared For My First Week Abroad

Love, Florence, Spring 2018

Making the transition from living in one country to another is probably one the biggest test of character a person can go through. It can bring a myriad of emotion, ranging from anxiety, confusion, curiosity, to excitement. Just remember, that with the right mindset, anything is achievable.  Once you have gotten through your first week, you have made it!

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You Had Me at Pizza

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

One of the unique things that SAI offers in Florence is the chance to learn how to cook like a true Italian, through free cooking classes. The first class I took was on Valentine’s Day and allowed me to spend the day with my first love, pizza.

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Cooking & Eating My Way Through Florence

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

Taking an Italian cooking class is probably on a lot of peoples’ bucket lists for when they visit Florence or other parts of Italy. It was certainly on mine, so I was eager when I saw that SAI offered them so frequently. At home and at my school in the U.S, I cook nearly all my meals and get excited about making new recipes with my roommates.

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Special Spots in Florence

Lauren, Florence, Spring 2018

Making my way through the past three weeks here in beautiful Florence has been a dream and stumbling upon some really cool places has made my experience even better. In hope that your experience studying abroad is amazing, here are my top four must-see and must-eat at places and spots around the city of Firenze. Number one would have to be this secret rose garden that is located halfway up the steps to Piazzale Michelangelo.

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Living Like a Local in Barcelona

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

It feels like just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to buy a metro pass, and now I know most of the subway lines throughout the city like the back of my hand. The fact that I am already halfway through the semester baffles me, and I know that the second half will go by even faster than the first.

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ROME-ing as a Local

Chantal, Rome, Spring 2018

A majority of Romans’ diets consist of pasta and wine. For those of you who enjoy these listed items, your day will consist of a never-ending food coma cycle in Rome, Italy. But there must be more to Italy that pizza, pasta, and wine, right? Of course! Today, we will be ROME-ing around Rome as a local.

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Prague: Making the Most of a Short Weekend Trip

Willa, Florence, Spring 2018

As amazing as it is to be able to effortlessly relocate to a new European city or country for the weekend, I’m sure many can relate to the stress that comes with having to fit all the excitement and activities of a city into one short weekend – especially when we only have one full day.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Alex, Paris, Spring 2018

We handed over our Instagram account to Alex for the day. This is her day in Paris.    Hi everyone! My name is Alex Lehnhard and I am a Junior at the University of Alabama, studying accounting and finance. This semester, I am studying abroad in Paris at the Paris School of Business. I’ll be taking over the SAI Instagram today to show you what it is like to be a student in the city of lights!

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How to Survive Your First Week Abroad

Mary Britt, Florence, Spring 2018

Leaving to study abroad was one of the scariest things I have ever done. Studying abroad in a new country seemed like a dream that would never become true. Reality did not begin to set in that I was leaving until my bags were packed and I said my goodbyes. Even in the airport I still did not feel like I was leaving America for a full semester.

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Five Best Places to Eat in Rome

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

This is my list of the five best places to eat at in Rome: Suppli In Rome, what you are looking for are diamonds in the rough. This place I tried on the Roman Food Tour, an event sponsored by SAI. We went around the neighborhood and tried different foods. This place named Suppli has become my favorite place to eat something quick in Rome.

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Abroad Alone? Abroad Alone.

Rachel, Florence, Spring 2018

Its been a little over 3 weeks since I made my journey across the Atlantic Ocean. While Florence is starting to feel a bit familiar, the last couple of weeks felt like a big roller coaster as I attempted to adjust to a city completely different than the ones I’ve lived in before.

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Off the Beaten Path: An SAI Excursion

Gabriella, Florence, Spring 2018

Traveling is something that many study abroad students chose to partake in. While country hopping every other weekend sounds enticing, the cost can add up quickly. From friends and acquaintances that have studied abroad in the past, I have found that many wished that they had spent more time in their host county rather than traveling to a new country at every possibility.

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Figuring out Florence

Caroline, Florence, Spring 2018

France, Germany, Switzerland, and all the other amazing countries in Europe are all closer than they have ever been before and seem more appealing than ever before knowing most are just a quick train or plane ride away!

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Lessons Learned My First Week Abroad

Alli, Florence, Spring 2018

My first week in Florence was one of the greatest weeks of my life but, it did not come without it’s challenges. Here are a few things that I learned. Every Day is Leg Day It was around one in the afternoon when I was dropped off at the front of my apartment with my two suitcases and large carry-on in hand.

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Make a Wish!

Peyton, Rome, Spring 2018

When people say, “time flies when you’re having fun,” they weren’t kidding.  I have been in Rome almost one month and it still feels like a brand-new place.  Everywhere I turn I “accidentally” stumble upon something incredible. Last week, we were walking to dinner one night and we turned the corner and oops, there was the Trevi Fountain. That’s so casual, right? Shoot took a wrong turn—wait that’s the Colosseum.

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Expectation vs. Reality

Krystal, Rome, Spring 2018

When coming to a new country, there are things that stick out to you right away. One of them happened to be the beautiful and historic buildings that surround me everywhere I go. I had imagined what Rome would be like, but I didn’t realize that wherever you go, there is a story of each old beauty you pass.

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How to Survive Your First Month Abroad

Angela, London, Spring 2018

Moving to a new place always holds a seed of terror. Even if it is only to the neighborhood next door, each place holds its own culture that you might not be sure if you fit into. While going abroad, this worry about fitting in and unpleasantly standing out is especially prominent. For my study abroad experience I decided to go to London, so I had no language barrier for all intents and purposes.

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Packing for Rome 101

Geraldine, Rome, Spring 2018

Do: Bring comfortable and casual sneakers. In Rome, all everyone does is walk so please be prepared to walk. Shoes such as Adidas, Vans, and Converse are best. All of the iconic monuments in Rome are all so close together so it is best to be comfortable and stylish at the same time in order to properly appreciate the history in front of you, instead of just thinking about how much your feet hurt.

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Exploring Barcelona Through Local Cuisine

Andrew, Barcelona, Spring 2018

I had never been to Spain before studying abroad and I wanted to immediately immerse myself in the unique culture. Within my first week in Barcelona, I took a Spanish cooking class! The class was organized through SAI and held at a modern kitchen just a few steps away from the Barcelona City Hall, in the Gothic Quarter.

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Week One – Check!

Peyton, SAI Rome, Spring 2018

Ciao!  Wow, is it nice to only have classes two days a week! This semester I only have classes on Monday and Wednesdays from 8:30-3:45 and it might be the greatest decision I’ve ever made. Yes, I have to wake up pretty early for my classes, but the feeling at 4pm on Wednesdays afternoon makes it all worth it. Imagine this—having a four-day weekend EVERY WEEK! Well guess what?

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Peeling Back The Layers: A Small Onion in a Big World

Cameron, Florence, Fall 2017

“Name one thing you wish you had known before studying abroad and one thing you’ve learned since you’ve been here.” My friend, Alec, proposed we all go around in a circle and share our responses to this question. As the only girl in a group of four traveling to Paris, Copenhagen, and Amsterdam for nine days, I thought I would be the sentimental one.

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Street Art in a Renaissance City

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Florence is known for all of its’ churches, museums, and all of the amazing Renaissance art. When we think of Florence, we think of Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia. We think of Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus inside of the Uffizi Gallery. Every tourist goes to see the Brunelleschi’s Duomo and Ghiberti’s Baptistry Door.

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The Highs and Lows of Traveling While Abroad!

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

One of the main things I’ve heard from others studying abroad is how easy and affordable it is to travel Europe. I think this is true to some extent but, as we’re approaching the end of the semester, my group has decided that it is okay to take a weekend off in-between trips! We’ve seen some truly, incredibly breathtaking places, but our bodies are constantly telling us to slow down.

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My Favorite Ways to Deal with Homesickness

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

1. Explore Your City When I feel homesick I often stay inside of my apartment and watch Netflix all day. It took me a couple of days to realize that in a way, doing this made me feel even more sad! I would force myself to leave and explore the city. I would walk down streets that I had not seen before to try to find new shops and restaurants.

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Best Class I Have Ever Taken

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

When I decided to study abroad in Rome, I knew I wanted to learn about the expansive history of the city and spend as much time as possible exploring ancient ruins. To my surprise I found exactly what I was looking for: a history of ancient Rome class offered by John Cabot University.

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Saying Goodbye, But Not to Siena

Tiffany, Siena, Fall 2015

Studying abroad in Siena has been an amazing experience so far. Everyone is now preparing to go home and they all have mixed emotions. Some cannot wait to be home again, some want to go home, but only for a week then come back, and some do not want to leave yet at all.

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The Disappointing Road Home

Abbey, Florence, Spring 2017

The study abroad blues are real and though an unforgettable experience, it is an experience for many that leaves you missing your second home. Study abroad alumni- there are many, but just like a snowflake, not a single experience can be replicated. Going into the adventure and roller coaster called studying abroad, you can never be fully prepared, in fact you are guaranteed to be unprepared.

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Ribollita, a Tuscan Tradition

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

One of Tuscany’s most traditional dishes is the Ribollita soup. This soup is very popular after the wine harvest is done and autumn is in full swing. Ribollita is made of bread, beans, and vegetables of course. Due to the fact that Tuscans do not have a rich culinary history in their pasta dishes, but they are known as “mangiafagioli” all over Italy. Mangiafagioli means “bean-eaters.

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Farewell Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

As my last few days in Florence came to an end, I found myself feeling two polar opposite emotions. Half of me felt more than ready to get home back to the United States where I would be reunited with my family and friends, no longer worry about not knowing how to speak the language and indulge in all the American food I had been missing. But the other half was very, very sad.

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Once in a Lifetime

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

As I sit here on my plane ride home across the Atlantic and reflect upon my time abroad, I think about all the great times, the adventures and the many new friends I have made from across the globe. It dawned upon me that the value I have gained by studying abroad isn’t encompassed by the country or city I chose, but rather the people and experiences I have encountered along the way.

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Best Coffee in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

If you’re like me, you know getting work done at home can be quite challenging. Personally, I find I need to have designated “work” areas, and a separate area to relax. If I start trying to write an essay in my bed, I’ll either want to go to sleep while I’m writing, or else I’ll feel the stress from the essay again later while I’m trying to sleep.

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Goodbye Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Today was my last day in Florence; this entire experience seems almost unreal to me. It feels like I was struggling to drag my luggage up the stairs to my apartment just yesterday. This city has come to feel like home to me. Of course it does not replace the city where my family lives, but Florence will definitely always have a piece of my heart.

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Celebrating a Holiday Abroad

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Celebrating a holiday abroad has been one of my favorite parts of my abroad experience. It is difficult because I miss celebrating with my family and friends from home, but getting my new friends from school to celebrate with me really helps. I celebrated Halloween and my twenty-first birthday while abroad so far and plan on having Friendsgiving with my group of friends from SAI.

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Not Lost, Just off Adventuring!

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

Traveling on the SAI trips with entire groups of other study abroad students and people who actually know their way around the places we are visiting is great. I have been on amazing trips with SAI, however, my favorite experiences have been when I have traveled on my own or with a few of my friends. Planning trips on my own or with my roommates has been an interesting experience.

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The Last Chapter: A Florence Guide

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

Thinking back on the first day I arrived in Florence feels like it could have been yesterday. The eagerness to arrive, the overwhelming excitement, the jet-lag and excruciating heat all come flooding back. At that point, it felt like I had endless amounts of time in the city of my dreams.

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Giving a Helping Hand in the Roma Community

Andres, Rome, Fall 2017

This fall was my first time visiting Rome and I’ve had the privilege to be able to study a whole semester here at John Cabot University. Coming here, I didn’t know any Italian. The best decision I made to immerse myself into the Italian culture and becoming more familiar with the language was signing up for community service through JCU’s program.

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Tips: Sneaking in to Milan Fashion Week

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

My absolute favorite part of my experience abroad was attending Milan Fashion Week 2017. Fashion Week was within the first few weeks of being in Milan and I had sent emails to probably every designer that was having a show. I got back a few rejection emails, which was still surprising that they even emailed me back. I received one invitation to a showroom from COMEFORBREAKFAST.

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Eight Useful Tips While Studying Abroad

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

1. Learn the language before you come. You don’t have to be a pro! However learning phrases or words just to get by is really nice to know. It comes in handy when you’re trying to meet locals, or ordering at a restaurant. Mostly everyone in Florence knows English, but there are those few that don’t, so just learn some words! 2. You don’t need to pack your whole closet!

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A Change of Pace on Cobblestone Streets

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

For a long time I have tied success and passion to speed and persistence. The bustling city streets I’ve walked in my youth reinforced my value for unyielding movement—of my feet, my eyes, and my mind. “Walk with a purpose” is a common, a likely overused, motto of mine. From Point A to Point B, from one class to the next, from one event to another, move with the fire and light of the city.

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What I’ll Miss Most in Milan

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

As the days remaining in my semester abroad continue to dwindle and I now have only about a month left in Milan, I’ve found myself reflecting upon my time spent here. I feel that my time in Italy has been transformative to my world perspective, and I know this experience will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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The Davids of Florence, Ranked

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Florence is a city which prides itself on its rich cultural history, particularly that of the Renaissance. Art flourished in Florence, yielding countless iconic works which draw crowds of visitors every year. Among these great works are several versions of the Biblical hero David, who came to represent Florence because of his ability to overcome seemingly impossible enemies through faith, dedication, and cleverness. Even now, Davids appear in piazzas, courtyards, and postcards across the city.

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The Privilege of Volunteering: Improving Lives Around Us

Rafa, Rome, Fall 2017

Hi! My name is Rafa Reyes, a student from Saint Mary’s College of California and currently studying in John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. This blog post is about my volunteering experience in Rome, Italy working together with John Cabot University to serve unprivileged people around the city with our heartwarming smiles and unwavering kindness.

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Top 10 Items to Pack

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

Hello!! For this month’s blog post, I have decided to tackle the all-consuming question that most study abroad students have when packing for their adventures in a new country… What, exactly, to PACK! Based on my own personal experiences while studying abroad in Rome, I’d say the top ten items to ensure make it into your luggage are: 1. More than one winter coat!

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Talen for the day. This is his day in Paris. Hello everyone!  Today I have taken over SAI’s Instagram to bring you a day in the life of an SAI student studying in Paris.  My name is Talen and I originally study International Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Here in Paris, I am studying at the American University of Paris.

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Ten Ways to Discover Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

10 Ways to Discover Rome See the sites at night. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Colosseum are close to each other. During the day, these monuments are swarmed by tourists. But at night, when the streets are quiet, there is nothing to do but be in awe. Visit the Vatican at night or dusk when St. Peters is lit up – also beautiful. Get lost.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Diane for the day. This is her day in Paris. Bonjour, my name is Diane Calderon. I am a junior at the University of Texas at Arlington studying abroad this fall semester at the American University of Paris. Let me show you what it is like to study abroad in Paris. Sometimes when you are running late or have a really short break between classes, a chicken baguette will save your life.

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The Honeymoon Phase in Florence

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

Upon getting the approval from both my parents and SAI that I was admitted into Florence University of the Arts, I spent the rest of the semester at home fantasizing about what it would actually be like, walking down the cobble stone paths to class with views of the Duomo.

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My Personal Top 10 Things to Do/See in Rome!

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

Rome, Italy has so many amazing things to do! However, I am here to tell you my personal top ten things to do and to see: FIRST! My all-time favorite place to go in Rome is the Tiber River. I like to walk alongside the river and think about all the places it’s been. Did you know that the Tiber River is the third-longest river in Italy?

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The Cultural Experience

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

I believe that one of the most enriching experiences that I have had abroad thus far has been in my Italian Food, Culture, and Society class. I encourage anyone who goes abroad to see what classes the university offers in order to really learn about the culture in which you are living. My class has been about the way Italians interact, eat, and their history.

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Top Ten Things to do in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

London is modern, magical, and massive. A traveler could spend a year in the city and still not see everything. However, there are a few things that you MUST do upon your first visit here. 1. Take a morning walk past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. The city architects were very gracious to tourists when they designed these beautiful structures in close proximity to each other! 2.

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When Going to Class Becomes an Experience

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

I am halfway into the semester and I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. No week is ever the same because classes have new activities, new challenges and trips that turn a typical class into a new learning experience. The classes that I have enjoyed the most this semester have been sculpture, photography and Paris history through architecture. Sculpture: I was scared for this class because I have never done sculpture before.

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The Italian Way of Learning

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

One of the most significant differences between my home university and NABA Milano is the learning style. Back in the U.S, we tend to employ a lecture style of learning, so the majority of our classes take place in the classroom, learning predominately from our professor’s knowledge and textbook examples.

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5 Ways to Make Homesickness Productive

Adelle, Florence, Fall 2017

I grew up on the west coast, moving from California to Idaho, then back, then back again, and for the past two years I have been attending university all the way across the country in Washington, D.C. I’m no stranger to homesickness, to missing old haunts and familiar faces.

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SAI Excursion: Nice & Cote d’Azur

Talen, Paris, Fall 2017

Growing up, I remember making trips down to Florida with my family and enviously thinking to myself “Wow! This place is so wonderful. People live here and I am just here to visit.”  The sights and the sounds of all the amusement parks and beaches captivated my young mind. How could there be any place on Earth more beautiful than Florida? Well, there is and I experienced it this semester on an excursion with SAI.

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Top 10 Must-See’s When Traveling Abroad

Siobhan, Florence, Fall 2017

My Top 10 List While Studying Abroad 1. Visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy Whether it is just for the day or for a weekend get-away, the Amalfi Coast is a sight worth seeing. The coast is lined with stunning Italian homes that reach the tops of the mountains. Not to mention the seafood is fresh from the ocean and tastes amazing.

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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.