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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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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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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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What I Found in London

Kara, London, Summer 2017

My name is Kara Emig and over the summer I studied abroad in London through SAI at Central Saint Martins. As a fashion student from Pratt Institute, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to study at one of the best fashion schools in the world while exploring London and discovering the city I had always wanted to visit.

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Ten Ways to Prevent Becoming Hangry in London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

In a city as expansive as London, good eats are at every corner. Here are ten places that will keep you from ever getting hangry! 1. The Cheese Bar. Tucked inside the eclectic Camden Market, The Cheese Bar makes grilled cheeses and mozzarella sticks sophisticated and delicious. 2. Leggero. Not only does this eatery have incredible Italian food, but it is also completely gluten-free. Gluten-free pasta has never tasted so good! 3. Cutter & Squidge.

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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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Moving to London

Emma, London, Fall 2017

Moving to London was like jumping into an ice-cold swimming pool: shocking, exhilarating, and terrifying. For me, it has been the experience of a lifetime, filled with exciting new cultures and humbling lessons. Here is a bit of advice that I wish I had been given before I stepped off of that airplane in August. 1. Bring your best pair of tennis shoes. Europeans walk everywhere!

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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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Balling on a Budget

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

While studying in Florence, it is so important to travel every where you possibly can! There are cheap airlines such as Air Dolomiti, RyanAir, and Air France. Honestly, what I have found to be the best ways to travel is by train. The trains in Europe are much different than the ones in the United States. They are super comfortable and clean. Looking at Italo, Trainline, Eurail, and ItaliaRail are great trains to travel on.

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Sick of Italian Food?

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

Everyone chooses their location to study abroad for their own reasons.  Some choose a location based on its culture, the nightlife or maybe even their genealogy. However, I picked Rome for a much different reason than most.  Sure, I knew I was going to grow as a person and explore parts of the world I have never seen, but that can be done from any city abroad.

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Why Classes Abroad are Worth Every Penny…

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

The classes I am taking in Florence are similar yet completely different from the classes I was taking back home in Virginia. The biggest difference that has caused me to enjoy my classes abroad is how hands-on the work is. The information I have learned thus far is relevant to my major and applicable in real life situations.

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Birthdays in Roma

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

Two weekends ago I took a train to Marino, Italy for the 93rd Sagra dell‘Uva (Grape Festival). This train held passengers beyond the, ‘impatiently waiting to get from point A to point B’ mindset. My friend and I sat next to a group of young Italians who were fully feasting on the train. By feast I mean wine, sandwiches, chips, and beer.

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Loving How to Learn Again: The Renaissance of my Education

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

Confessions from a professional student: I’ve been feeling stuck. Wedged between the standards of a collegiate education and personal expectations for the pursuit of knowledge, I haven’t been able to get out of my own way. Bury me in books, lock me in a room with a pen, shake me with science, and break my preconceptions with art—that’s what I would say.

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A Joyous Day of Kayaking

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

In Sorrento, you can walk out the back door of the school and end up at the beach within five minutes. The only reason it takes so long is due to the picturesque winding path you must take to get to the bottom of the hill! After class on a weekday, a few of us decided to go kayaking and it was so easy!

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Beautiful Places

Frances, Sorrento, Fall 2017

Leading up to my semester in Sorrento, I was so curious about what was to come. This was my first time in Europe, and I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I couldn’t wait to get here! There is not that much information about this place online, just the occasional beautiful picture. But I can tell you there is so much to this little town than you would ever expect!

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All the World has to Offer

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

As I am reflecting on my “fairy-tale” semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy it is challenging for me to pinpoint my favorite moment or experience. There are just too many to choose from! I guess that isn’t a bad thing right? But, if I had to pick my most special moment from my semester abroad, it would definitely be the opportunity I had to see the world.

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Roots and Wings: A Remedy for Homesickness

Isabel, Florence, Fall 2017

From the moment I entered this world, I let my parents know that their daughter had been graced with a very large appetite. Like a baby bird, my eyes stayed wide and my mouth open, hungry for food of the brain and the stomach. My appetite for life remains and the nickname “Bird” stuck around too.

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Culture Shock: Edible Edition

Jocelyn, Milan, Fall 2017

This semester in Milano is my first trip to Europe.  So, needless to say, I’ve been experiencing my fair share of culture shock. I expected to be taken aback by the differences in language, the adjustment to going to a school where almost everyone had a different cultural background than mine, and of course, the infamous stereotype that Italians are habitually late.

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Thriving in Rome

Lucy, Rome, Fall 2017

About a month before I boarded the plane to BELLA ROMA I went through major denial that I was actually leaving the country. The last three days I spent in Colorado were uneventful as I treated each like any ordinary day – like a crazy person I even worked the day before I boarded my plane! How I had time to pack I’m not sure.

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Embracing Individuality

Emma, London, Fall 2017

Before arriving in London, my amateur life assessment was that humanity’s natural instinct is to blend in. I had observed this behavior in others and had adopted it as my personal strategy. From candy chokers in middle school, to oversized t-shirts in high school, to Adidas tennis shoes in college, I sought the latest trends with a fiery passion, hoping to remain current and relevant yet homogenous.

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A Gluten-Free Guide to the World’s Carbiest Country

Alexa, Florence, Fall 2017

If you think being gluten-free in Italy is impossible, you are wrong; if you think it is a struggle, you are wrong; & if you think you will starve for four months, you are wrong!  Due to health reasons, I am gluten free.  So coming to Italy to study abroad raised some concerns of what I would be able to eat.

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The Amazing Foods of Rome

Laura, Rome, Fall 2017

As soon as I arrived in Rome, Italy, I was amazed by the thrum of life pulsing all around me. People from all walks of life, coming from drastically different countries, who spoke different languages—all of us were here, living in the same ancient city like so many people before us. Thriving together, existing alongside so many variations of humans. And all of us were… EATING!

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My Story in the Streets of Paris

Diane, Paris, Fall 2017

The whole idea of just coming to Paris has been a challenge itself. But now sitting down in a café in Rue (street) de la Convention, I can say that I finally made it; my dream has come true. My first week in Paris was full of adventure and learning experiences with my family. It totally gave me a boost of confidence being able to explore the streets of my new city with them.

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Stepping Out of my Comfort Zone

Jamie, Florence, Spring 2017

About a year ago from today marked the start of my study abroad adventure. This time last year, I officially decided to study abroad at SAI Florence University of Arts. I was filled with mixed emotions such as excitement and apprehension. I heard endless amount of times from family and friends that studying abroad was going to be “the semester of a lifetime.

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Oh the places you’ll go… and eat!

Hailey, Florence, Fall 2017

Here is a list of some of my favorite places to eat in Florence: Caffe Firenze — This place has the best croissants in Firenze! I get a caffé latte and the croissant and it is only about 3 euro. The people who work there offer great customer service, too.

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Travel Pass

Drew, Rome, Fall 2017

Traveling alone or through an agency, possibly the most important question we have in our lives today. Here is my story of traveling through an agency. A friend of mine was offered the chance for a full-package trip to Split, Croatia at a discount price, approximately 80 euro less. Seems like a no brainer to just take the deal and run which my four friends and I did.

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Two Weeks Down in Florence

Detranelle, Florence, Fall 2017

Deciding to spend the first semester of my junior year in Florence, Italy was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although I have been here barely more than two weeks, I can tell that I am already learning and maturing immensely. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the challenges and difficulties I have faced thus far. This semester abroad is my very first time traveling outside of the United States.

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Acclimating to Italia

Sarah, Florence, Fall 2017

Studying abroad in a foreign country didn’t really seem like a big deal to me. I’ve moved plenty of places on my own for summer internships like New York City and Milwaukee – I came to Europe on a school trip in the 10th grade.

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Finding Yourself in Another Country

Cassandra, London, Summer 2017

Since I returned from study abroad, I’ve become acutely aware of the number of others also heading out of the country for the first time. It may have only been three weeks, but I remember the excitement and the anxiety. Most importantly, I realized that there was no way to prepare for everything, but I think that is to everyone’s advantage.

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Meet our Fall 2017 Bloggers

Since our beginning, SAI has provided more than $2 million in financial assistance to students. We are pleased to offer scholarships to deserving students each academic year, generously funded by the International Education Foundation, host universities, and by SAI itself. Many SAI scholarships are paired with volunteering, interning, or professional experience, granting students more opportunities to become involved in the local or study abroad community.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog #2

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

Hi guys, Shemaia again! Fashion Image & Styling II at NABA in Milan was the second class I took abroad. My class project was to style looks that featured design as well as creating a micro Instagram video (which is featured at the end of the vlog). My group and I used geometric shapes and graffiti art as our inspiration.

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My Fashion Photoshoot Vlog

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

My name is Shemaia and I am currently studying Fashion Image & Styling at NABA in Milan with SAI. My class project was to style looks inspired by food. My group and I used fruit as our inspiration being that the colors are fun, vibrant, trendy, and perfect for the summer. With the looks we created, we collaborated with a photographer, live model, and makeup artist to bring it all to life.

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A Syrian in Qatar, US, and Italy

Huda, Rome, Summer 2017

Since December 2016, I have been lucky to experience studying abroad in different places. My first experience was through a student exchange program at my university’s home campus in Evanston, IL for six months. I started my second study abroad experience to Rome, Italy with SAI to study Italian.

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3 Places You Need to Visit in Milan!

Shemaia, Milan, Summer 2017

Ciao bella! This week I traveled to beautiful Milano and have enjoyed a lot of time sightseeing. In the four days I’ve been here I have seen and learned a lot. This is the first country I have been to outside of the states so each experience has been new and exciting for me! Here are my three favorite places I have visited so far!

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Riflessioni di Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti! This is Elise Walsh checking in one last time at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. This is my final week in Sorrento and I have had such an incredible experience. I can’t believe how quickly the past five weeks have gone! Today, I’d like to focus on some advice for those interested in studying abroad. Let me begin by saying I couldn’t be happier with my choice to go to Sorrento.

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European Adventures Video

Ana, SAI Barcelona Alumna

My name is Ana Harrison, I’m a rising senior at the University of South Carolina and I’m going to be an SAI ambassador this year! This past spring I had the time of my life studying abroad in Barcelona, and this is a little video I pieced together of the six countries I visited when I went abroad.

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Home Away From Home

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

The past few weeks have been busy to say the least. My friends and I decided to do some traveling around Europe. We went to Rome, Florence, Pompeii, Amsterdam, Budapest and Barcelona. Each of these cities offered something new and exciting; every place was unlike any other place we had been. Although we got a bit lost along the way, we always made it safely to each destination.

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Ten Things I Learned While Studying Abroad

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

I would like to share ten things that I learned while studying abroad: 1) Plan ahead – this is for the clothing of what to wear in a foreign country with cultural meaning, weather etc. Also, this can be for when traveling around and checking times of monuments, how much money to bring, etc. 2) Get some familiarity with the language of the host country before arriving.

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Il Giorno Perfetto

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti! Elise Walsh checking in again at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. So far, I’ve been in Italy for just over two weeks and I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs of my host city. Today, I’m going to focus on a unique experience that I’ve had abroad. Since Sorrento has a hotter climate than my hometown, I want to spend a lot more time outdoors than I normally would.

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How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Florence

Alexis, Summer 2017, Florence

The perfect summer day in Florence would definitely be to start your morning, before it gets too hot, on a walk around the Duomo. To just sit with a cappuccino and croissant and watch the tourists and locals interact around such an amazing building. Then, I would go to All’Antico Vinaio for an amazing, well-spent 5 Euro panini!

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A Vegan Abroad

Anna, Florence, Summer 2017

As a young person trying to find his or her way in the world, it can be hard to stick to your values while also making the most of what life has to offer. I think this is something that we can all relate to in one way or another. In my case, my choice to be a vegan for both health and ethical reasons has posed problems (especially in the eyes of others)

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Benvenuti a Sorrento

Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Ciao a tutti!  My name is Elise Walsh and I’m a biotechnology student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently I’m studying at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy and I’ll be writing this blog about my experiences! Today, I’m going to focus on traveling to Italy and my first classes. I’d been to Italy before in high school, but I had only been there for about a week.

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You’re not in Wisconsin Anymore

Mariah, Sorrento, Summer 2017

Well I have officially made it a week in Italy! It was both an exhilarating and scary experience with it being my first time out of the country, with people I had just met. As soon as I arrived in the Naples airport, I knew I was going to make life-long friends, as we all instantly clicked on the bus ride to our apartment.

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Survival Guide for your First week in Firenze

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

Before leaving for Florence, every single one of my friends who went abroad told me that I was about to embark on the most exciting and eye-opening experience of my life and naturally I came in with very high expectations.

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Three Things I’ve Learned About Firenze Culture

Ellie, Florence, Spring 2017

My first week in Florence has already been one of the most eventful and life-changing weeks of my life. I find it so hard to believe I have only been here for a week! It seems like it’s been much longer because there are always so many different things to do during the day and at night.

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I Love my Apartment!

Alexis, Florence, Summer 2017

When I arrived in Florence and seen where I lived, I was blown away. I couldn’t believe how nice and spacious the apartment was. There are three bedrooms and I have my own room. There is also a full kitchen, dining room and living room. I was expecting us all to be crammed into a tiny apartment!

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Seafood Diet!

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

I decided to use Spring Break as the perfect opportunity to pig out and try new foods from each destination that I traveled to in Portugal and Spain. The first restaurant that we dined at during our travels was located in Lisbon. If you didn’t already know these countries are somewhat known for their seafood and aquatic dishes, so my friends and I came here with the intention of grabbing some at every destination.

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Bon Voyage

Sarah, Paris, Spring 2017

Let me start by saying that studying abroad has been one of the most terrifying, wonderful, indulgent, adventurous, stressful and rewarding experiences of my life. Yes, it is possible for your semester abroad to be all of the above in the best of ways.

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Growing Pains and Catching Trains

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

If you asked me a year ago from now if I ever saw myself living in a foreign country for an entire semester, away from everything I know and that is comfortable to me, I may have looked at you as if you were crazy. Little did I know that when I took the leap of faith to study abroad in Florence, Italy, that I was making the best decision of my entire life.

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10 Tips for Future Study Abroad Students

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

Before leaving to study abroad in Rome, I remember talking to my friend who had studied abroad a year before me. She told me that it would be, without a doubt, the best time of my life. I am so excited for anyone that has made the choice to study abroad. Here are some tips to make your experience the best it can be. 1. Learn a little about your new city before getting there.

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Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

Being abroad has been the experience of a lifetime, but nothing has been better than the friends I have met along the way and the friendships I will now hold for a lifetime.

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Milano Design Week

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

As a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology, I attended a presentation about my Industrial Design (ID) department chair’s annual trip to Milano for Design Week. The pictures of the enormous fairgrounds, the product displays that seemed to go on for miles, and the stories he told convinced me that I needed to find a way to get there.

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What I Will Miss Most

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

It’s official. I am leaving Milan in exactly fifteen days. Being in Milan has opened my eyes to a whole new world of opportunities, given me lifelong friends, and changed me for the best. I am more than excited to get back and share my experience with family and friends, but there are a few things I will miss once I get back to the states.

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FLY: BeGiuls, Be You Springtime Launch Party

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

Fashion Loves You (FLY) is a boutique inside the school of Fashion and Accessory Studies and Technology (FAST) at FUA. It is a vintage store that also sells emerging designers’ work as well as students’ work. The latest FLY Event featured BeGiuls, an emerging fashion designer located in Florence, a live photo shoot, a gourmet aperitivo and a special exhibition of the garments created in Florence University of the Arts’ Apparel Design class.

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Tips to a Successful Night Life

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

It’s inevitable, while studying abroad you are going to find yourself going out at night! Going out at night can be an awesome time to meet locals and to make fun memories but there are a few things to keep in mind when hitting the bars, clubs, etc. These are my tips to staying safe and having a great time specifically in Italy! 1. Stick together and look out for each other!

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European Food Tour

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

Over the course of 10 weeks I have taken eight trips, four of them to different countries. I love being able to explore different places, but one of my favorite things to do in a different country is try the traditional food from that region. Now I will take you on a what I like to call my own personal European Food Tour. First stop is Brussels, Belgium.

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Must Do Things In and Around Florence

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

After living in Florence for a little over 2 months I’ve come to really appreciate everything that it has to offer, especially the small not well known secrets of the city. To begin with, we will start with the panino topic. After traveling to other Italian cities I’ve noticed that no other place has panini like Florence, it’s one of their specialties!

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10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

These are my 10 Reasons why Florence is the Best Place to Study Abroad: Best gelato It’s no surprise that Florence has the best gelato in Italy (and in Europe), considering the fact that it was invented in Florence! I think that this is on the top three things of what I’m going to miss the most about Florence.

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Cultural Differences

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

Because you’re traveling to western Europe, you have probably heard more similarities between the United States and Italy than differences. I understand. It can get a little frustrating when you’re trying to prepare yourself for what to expect when you have literally no idea what to expect. Before I studied abroad I barely thought about any of the differences because all of my relatives said there was little to no difference.

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Spring Break, the Study Abroad Way!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

Since I am currently in the Eastern Hemisphere, I had greater access to a wide variety of awesome countries to choose from for my spring break trip. I have never been on an actual spring break trip so that was a first too. I chose to go up North and visit London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. I was so excited to visit two very historical cities, being that I am a history buff.

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Back Home

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

My last blog post talked about some of the ins and outs of my overall study abroad experience, since my time to go home was quickly approaching. Fast-forward, I have been home for just over a week now, and personally, it is crazy to think that I spent the last three months living in Europe. In all honesty, it almost feels like it didn’t happen!

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12 Best Things About Studying Abroad in Sorrento

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

These are the 12 best things about studying abroad in Sorrento. 1. The people in southern Italy are the most friendly people you will ever meet! Nobody does hospitality like they do. 2. The birthplace of pizza was in this region of Italy. The best pizza in the world can be found here. 3. Sorrento is the original home of limoncello, a delicious lemon liquor that is served all over the south of Italy. 4.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Ami, Spring 2017, Rome

We handed over our Instagram account to Ami for the day. This is her day in Rome. CIAO CIAO FROM ROME! My name is Ami(Girl) and I’m studying abroad at John Cabot University in Rome this semester! I’m an education major with a minor in history so basically I’ve been in heaven the past four months!

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Interning at FLY

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

For the spring semester in Florence, I was given the opportunity to intern at FLY. FLY, which stands for fashion loves you, is a non-profit clothing store ran an operated by the students and faculty in the Fashion and Accessories Studies and Technology programs at Florence University of the Arts.

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Florence Food Bucket List for Abroad Students

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

As I become more and more familiar with my surroundings around Florence, I have found some amazing cafés, restaurants, and gelaterias that I feel are an absolute must for abroad students to try in their time here. Of course there are still so many hidden places I need to hunt down, but so far here are 10 of my favorite go-to places I have found in my time here! 1.

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Navigate Rome like a Pro

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

So after my four months in Rome, naturally, I’ve found my favorite grocery store, favorite study spot, cafe, restaurant, etc. It’s insanely easy to gravitate towards the more tourist-y attractions that are scattered all around Rome. But that’s the total opposite of what you want to do! You’re studying abroad to delve into the culture full-force and to NOT do what the average person would do. You’re beyond that.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Siena

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Coco for the day. This is her day in Siena. Hello and good morning Instagram! My name is Coco. I’m currently studying abroad in Siena, Italy at @sienasis. I can’t wait to show you all what #adayinthelife of me looks like. Today is going to be quite a busy day, we’ve got places to go and people to see– are you ready?

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Lily, Florence, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Lily for the day. This is her day in Florence. Hey peeps it’s Lily Herring from Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy comin’ at you today with an Instagram takeover of SAIprograms for an inside look into the day to day life of a study abroad student.

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Positano and Capri

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Amalfi coast and explore the towns of Positano, Capri, Anacapri, and Pompeii. I have to say I was not too excited to begin with because my good friend could no longer make the trip with me so I had to venture solo.

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An Amazing Experience!

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

The Nice trip, organized by SAI, was one of my favorite trips during my study abroad experience. We were a group of eight students and our SAI coordinator, and I really enjoyed spending time getting to know each one of them. It is a great opportunity for all the SAI students in your program to socialize and talk about your study abroad experience so far. It’s also a great opportunity to make new friendships!

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Thanksgiving in Portugal

Maria, Rome, Fall 2016

In the United States, I usually celebrate Thanksgiving by eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and so forth with my family. This year, Thanksgiving was very different. First, this was my first thanksgiving away from home.  So you can imagine the feelings of missing being with your loved ones, especially since now it has been about three months since not seeing all of them. However, there were also feelings of gratefulness, of course, and happiness too.

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How to Dress Like a Local in Rome

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

After living in Rome for three months, I realized Italian women always look put together. Even on quick runs to the nearby grocery store, Italians always look their best. The “athleisure” trend that we all love in the US – leggings, tennis shoes, and athletic tops or t-shirts – has not made its way to Italy. Here are some ways to dress like a local in Rome: 1. When in doubt, wear black.

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One Love Cultura

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

Aside from being a student in Siena, I am also an English teacher. I work at an elementary school inside the city walls and teach English to a class of 4th graders as a part of my weekly service work for Siena Italian Studies. I began my teaching experience with a little apprehension.

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Presento i Miei Amici Fiore e Alessio!

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

The very first night in Florence, my roommate Emma and I decided to go out and experience the exciting nightlife the city has to offer. Little did we know we were going to meet a few locals who are now two of our really good friends. At one of the more well known clubs, Space, my roommate, Emma, and I were approached on the dance floor by two gentlemen who began speaking Italiano to us.

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Things I’ve Learned So Far from a Semester Abroad

Jessica, Florence, Spring 2017

While by no means exhaustive, the following list is a compilation of lessons learned and tips I would give for a semester abroad: 1. (And therefore the most important) You can never have too much gelato. Stressful test? Get some gelato. You walked a long way and are hot and tired? Get some gelato. Meeting up with friends? Get some gelato. Just passed a good-looking gelateria? Get some gelato.

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My Favorite Excursion Yet: Le Cinque Terre

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

This past weekend, I went to Le Cinque Terre. It is a collection of five small villages along the west coast of Italy, next to the Ligurian Sea. This weekend was full of nature adventures and local foods. There are no huge mountains in Kansas, so I was so excited to get to go hiking once again, as that is a rare activity for me.

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A Fresh Perspective

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

My time abroad in Florence has been incredible thus far and I have loved documenting my travels, but for this blog post, I decided to interview someone else to hear their perspective on being abroad. With that being said, I interviewed my roommate, and also fellow SAI student, Shelby S. about her experiences. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

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Nearing the End

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

Being a “quarter” student for SAI, my student abroad time ends mid-April, instead of mid-May, like many other students doing the full term. I remember looking back at my Delta Airlines app on my phone, out of curiosity, to see how many days it said until I could check in for my return flight…it said 80 some days. Now, it says 15, and I know those are going to absolutely fly by.

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1 Train, 3 Terrifyingly Twisty Bus Rides: Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii

Elizabeth, Spring 2017, Milan

The month of March was a big travel month. I visited the Colosseum in Rome (through an SAI excursion); wandered through the maze-like streets of Venice; soaked in the coastal views in Sorrento, and saw the sparkling lit-up Eiffel Tower in Paris. One of the most memorable trips this month was staying in Sorrento with my family. I took a train (lasting about 4 hours) from Milan to Naples.

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Living in London: My Flat

Mia, SAI Ambassador

Studying abroad to me meant so many things, it meant that for the first time in my life I was going to be going out of the United States and at the same time it was the first time in my life I would be living away from home. When I applied to study in London I didn’t have any expectations especially with where I would be actually living.

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Discover Italy

Nancy, Spring 2017, Florence

Weekend trips! Stressful am I right? Not one week had passed when I started hearing my classmates talk about how they had every single weekend booked until May. I was in shock. I hadn’t even thought what I was going to eat for dinner that night much less what cities/countries I wanted to visit. It was sad to see how eager students were to leave Italy.

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A Few “Most-Dos”

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

After being in Florence for about a month now, there are definitely a few things I would put on a “must-do” list. First and foremost, take a cooking class. SAI has cooking classes offered throughout the semester, and they’re great, especially because you just have to put a small deposit down, and you get that back when you show up! Basically free – we all know college kids can’t pass up free.

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Brunch in Paris

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

I love brunch, it’s my favorite meal of the day and my mandatory Sunday activity (along with church of course). Well if you love brunch as much as I do, I have good news – Paris is the place to be! After a Saturday night out with friends, my roommate and I decided we wanted to find a brunch place that would serve a “good breakfast” for a good price.

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Quick and Easy Travel Tips

Chloe, Florence, Spring 2017

When applying for a study abroad program, I made sure to pick my dream destination, Florence, Italy. I knew coming to Florence would be an adventure in itself, and that the city would have a lot to offer. Luckily, Florence is in a great location and is surrounded by many other beautiful cities and countries.

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My Absolute Favorite Class Right Now

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

One of my favorite classes so far this semester has to hands down be my Introduction to Fashion Photography class. It’s only been a month and I’ve already learned so much that it makes me really excited to see what the rest of the semester has in store! I remember saving for months so that I could finally buy this beautiful Nikon DSLR camera with an LCD swivel screen.

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Per Come La Vedo

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

I have been living in Siena for one month and I am already calculating how many months, weeks, days, hours and seconds I have left so that I can savor every single moment.  I’ve always been one to feel homesick. I vividly remember crying myself to sleep every night at sleep-away camp in middle school.

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Food Tours Galore!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

One of my absolute favorite things about being abroad is, of course, the food! I love eating local food wherever I go, whether I am in Italy or another country. First off, some of my favorite things to pick up at the grocery store here in Milan are patate gnocchi, Italian sausage, and ravioli. I have always loved pasta and the amount that is available to me here is almost dangerous.

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Ten Things to do in Rome

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

Some friends from home are visiting me in Rome for a few days, and they asked me to make a list of things to do in Rome over a weekend. With so much to do in Rome, it is so hard to make a short list! However, after spending almost two months in Rome now, there are definitely a few things that have stood out.

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Travels Gone Wrong

Eleanor, Florence, Spring 2017

Traveling around Europe is something I was extremely nervous about coming into this semester. I have a terrible sense of direction, don’t speak other languages very well, and have a tendency to break down in stressful situations. It turns out those three things really don’t mix well when something goes wrong during traveling.

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Endless Opportunities

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

February has been filled with experience after experience. First let’s start with classes. Classes in Milan are very different, just as I expected.  But I had no idea I was going to have the chance to have so many hands-on activities and projects. Since January, I have been on 7 class trips, some including the Mipel Handbag Show, Manolo Blahnik Museum, and the Fashion Hub Market.

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Traveling While Abroad: My Top 5 Tips

Margarette-Ruth, Florence, Spring 2017

Studying abroad and becoming engulfed in another culture is such an amazing experience. On top of that, it provides an opportunity to get to see more than just your host country. Traveling while abroad can be so excited but also so stressful! I’ve compiled a list of my best tips for seamless travel abroad. 1.

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Tips to Tasteful Travel

Brigitte, Florence, Spring 2017

If you ever find yourself in Florence, you’ll see that there are thousands of places to get food. So many people make the mistake of spending their money on the tourist spots and miss out on the tastiest hidden treasures of Florence. Here are some of the tips and tricks to finding the perfect hole in the wall and authentic Florentine food—organized by category of course!

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Visit My Favorite Places With Me!

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

Now that I have been in Milan for two months, I have made my way around the city and discovered some of my favorite spots. Most of these spots, I frequent, but some are little shops, go on walks to, or just visit on a nice afternoon. The first of my favorite spots is the city center where the Duomo is.

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Parli Inglese? Do you speak English?

Alaysha, Florence, Spring 2017

My first week in Florence consisted of basically three things: getting lost, getting gelato and getting a lot of Italian pronunciations wrong! I started my travels on January 23, 2017. I said goodbye to my family and boarded the first of 3 connecting flights to Florence, Italy! I had been saving my whole college career for this opportunity and I couldn’t wait to just get there already.  The plane ride went surprisingly well.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Sorrento

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Tristan for the day. This is his day in Sorrento. Ciao! My name is Tristan and I am studying in Sorrento, Italy! I am from California where I go to school at Point Loma Nazerene University. I study Business Management and Pre-Law and love to surf in my free time. I chose Sorrento because I love the ocean, Italian food, and because my family came from Southern Italy.

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Pompeii

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

Last weekend, I took a trip to Napoli (Naples) with my roommates. I was very excited to go because everybody I talked to about my weekend plans got very excited for me as well! And, because Napoli is the birthplace of pizza, we received plenty of pizzeria recommendations. It was also my first time to the ocean! What I first noticed about Naples is the vibrant and youthful atmosphere.

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Gucci: Nine Shoes, Three Bags

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

One of my favorite classes at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti) is Fashion Accessory Design. Last semester, I learned about textiles and designed and constructed a gym bag through a studio course at R.I.T. This course opened my eyes to the world of soft goods and is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue this interest at NABA.

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My Ten Favorite Things to do in Florence

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

I have lived in Florence, Italy, for just about a month now, and I have fallen in love with all the incredible sights and activities this city has to offer. Although I cannot say I have experienced everything yet, here is a list of my 10 favorite things to do in Florence thus far. 1. Visiting Piazzale Michelangelo. Fortunately for my roommates and I, we live a very short distance from Piazzale Michelangelo.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Kordai, Rome, Spring 2017

We handed over our Instagram account to Kordai for the day. This is her day in Rome (February 16, 2017). 🌞 Buon giorno! My name is Kordai and I’m a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College of California @stmarysca in Moraga, CA studying abroad at JCU Rome. Today I’ll be sharing my normal Thursday with you. I usually have to take public transportation to get to my classes.

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Roma

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

My study abroad experience as a whole was unexpected and definitely one I will cherish the rest of my life. What I mean by unexpected is that I never really thought about studying abroad when I started college. It wasn’t until one of my friends encouraged me to consider it, that it seemed to be a possibility for me.

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Not Your Typical Tourist: London Must-Sees

Madison, London, Spring 2016

When most people visit London, they typically steer towards the classic attractions we all know and love, such as Big Ben, The London Eye, or Buckingham Palace. But limiting yourself to just the most common sights restricts you from truly experiencing all that this wonderful, quirky city has to offer. I have compiled a list of my top three “not-so-typical” destinations for anyone who wants to truly experience London.

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Peaking in Switzerland

Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017

Wow, I learned a lot about myself in the short time I was able to explore the Swiss Alps. I have never felt so light and free. I am in Switzerland and peaking in life. This is the most visceral connection I have ever had to a land. If there is a god out there, please let this be my eternal resting place.

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Florentine Sorpresa!

Luz, Florence, Spring 2017

The first impression I had of Florence occurred to me as I was leaving the airport upon my arrival. Right away, I noticed the similarities between the suburbs of Florence and my home country, Mexico, which I was recently in. The city’s infrastructure, streets, driving style, and buildings were very similar. Even the language, Italian, printed on murals and advertisements was almost identical to Spanish. It gave me an advantage and a feeling of comfort.

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Sorrento, Italy, A Small Slice of Heaven

Tristan, Sorrento, Spring 2017

I have been in Sorrento for one and a half weeks and I am overwhelmed every single day by the amount of beauty that this place has to offer. Sorrento is on the golden coast of Italy and it sure reflects that title.

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The Art of Food and Drink in Florence

Bonnie, Florence, Summer 2016

Italians take pride in their food and fine wines. Whether you stumble upon tiny cafes or street restaurants, Italy is full of extraordinary and unique places to dine. While my summer abroad in Florence, I had the chance to discover some of these treasures for myself. It did not take me long to discover that the Italians truly have a way with how they choose to display food and drink.

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10 Tips for A Successful First Week Abroad

Ami, Rome, Spring 2017

After exploring the city that will be my “home away from home” for the next four months, I have realized a few things that really helped or would have helped make my packing, arrival, and first week a lot easier.  While some of these things may seem like common sense, it’s important to stress how helpful they may be!

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Buon Appetito: the Edible Language of Southern Italy

Lydia, Sorrento, Spring 2017

When I arrived in Sorrento two weeks ago, I have to admit that I had average expectations for the food of southern Italy. I thought that, of course the pizza, pasta, and seafood would be exquisite but outside of these preconceived “specialities” I did not expect the plethora of fresh ingredients that became presented to me daily, being as ingrained in the small coastal town as the Italian language itself.

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Sweet Beginnings

Nancy, Florence, Spring 2017

I have never worked harder for anything in my life like I did for this study abroad trip. I spent a year doing scholarship applications, working at my work-study job everyday, and helping my siblings with anything for a couple bucks. I had several departure meetings at school and interviews to prepare for this amazing trip.

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4,069 miles: Seven days, One adventure

Elizabeth, Milan, Spring 2017

It’s been exactly a week since my plane touched down at the Milan Linate Airport and I walked out of baggage claim to a sea of people. After a few minutes of scanning the crowd, I spotted the program’s driver with “SAI PROGRAMS” scrolling across his phone. My classmate and fellow SAI student, Hannah, and I got into the car, and headed off to our apartment, our home for the next four months.

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Preparing & Adjusting: Welcome to Florence

Kara, Florence, Spring 2017

Preparing to go abroad is one of the most exciting times in the process, but can also be stressful and overwhelming. No matter how many blogs you read, or people you talk to, it is difficult to know just how prepared you are, and how you will adjust to your new home. I will admit, I had my fair share of meltdowns in the weeks before departing for Florence.

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Breaking Down “The Barrier”

Coco, Siena, Spring 2017

I feared the “language barrier” as I prepared to embark on my study abroad journey in Siena, Italy. I practically screamed from the rooftops, “I am going to be studying abroad in Italy for four months!! All my classes are taught in Italian and I am living with a host family!! I am so excited!” And, without fail, whoever happened to be listening would ask, “How long have you been speaking Italian?

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{Rome}ing Around My New Home

Hannah, Rome, Spring 2017

After months of preparing to study abroad, I finally arrived in Rome! The flight getting here was a bit stressful. Of course, with my luck, my suitcase weighed more than fifty pounds and I got to the airport later than I had hoped. By the time I arrived in Rome, I was ready to get to my apartment, unpack, and take a shower.

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It’s a Learning Process

Haylee, Milan, Spring 2017

Ten days down. Ten days full of adventure, shopping, and of course, endless amounts of carbs. I came to Milano knowing very little about the culture and the city itself, but in these last ten days, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. My apartment is where it all began.

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Fun in Firenze

Madison, Florence, Spring 2017

I have lived in a small town in Washington State my whole life. It is a quaint little town that even people born and raised in Washington have never heard of before. I love where I am from more than anything, but being that I’ve hardly traveled outside of the United States and away from my hometown, I knew I had to go out and see the world.

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Jumping in to Barcelona

Casey, Barcelona, Spring 2017

After weeks of brainstorming what to bring, packing, figuring out flights, and racing the clock, the time finally came for us to head abroad to Barcelona. As I sat on a seven hour flight to Paris, and a little over an hour flight to Barcelona, I never could have imagined what I was about to experience.

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A Brief Introduction to Milano

Kolbyn, Milan, Spring 2017

“A brief introduction to Milano” was a phrase that I heard a lot these first two weeks of my stay in the city. All of the locals kept saying how small the city is, although I could not imagine we were getting a complete look into Milan in such a short amount of time. Being from a small town in Kansas, every other city naturally looks giant to me.

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Learning Barcelona

Carter, Student Ambassador

Moving from The United States to Barcelona for almost 5 months sounded pretty terrifying at first. And trust me, I did not want to go the day before I left. I was crying and holding my mom saying to myself, “Why did I decide to do this?!” And then I remembered why, it was because I wanted to experience something different and wanted to be somewhere completely different on my own.

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A Thank You Letter to Florence

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

A Letter to Florence, Thank you.  Thank you for being my home away from home. You were my little bubble of safe haven in Europe. Every weekend I traveled to another country, I would always get really excited to return to you. Thank you for never disappointing me. You provided me with so much . There was so much art, history, and culture right at my fingertips every single day.

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Abroad Reflection

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

After the dozens of weekend trips, studying for finals, and packing away everything from the past four months, it’s finally time to go back to the United States. It’s difficult to summarize all the amazing experiences, memories, and friends that I have made while abroad.  During these past four months, I’ve experienced some of the most beautiful places and have gotten to live in a European culture.

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High Fives Around Europe / Video

Erin, Florence, Fall 2016

We can’t get enough of Erin Pachter’s creative video of her semester abroad. She studied with SAI in Florence Fall 2016, and visited so many beautiful places! I had previously seen a video like this on YouTube and I really enjoyed it. I knew going into my trip that I wanted to make a video like this because it would show and remind me of all the adventures I had traveling.

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What To Do When You Leave The Classroom

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

“There’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this” – Unknown The best thing about studying in Florence Italy this fall is that not only am I baking my dreams come true in the kitchen but also my horizon is expanding and nothing but a growing curiosity for adventure and knowledge is left. There is so much more to experience than just classes when studying abroad!

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Top 10 Things to do in Florence!

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

1. Get Gelato My favorite thing about Italy is the amazing gelato. There are so many different little gelato shops, and they all have different flavors! Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any choice of gelato shops. There is a gelato shop where they serve you gelato and decorate it as a flower; the shop is called Amorino. 2. Eat at a local restaurant There are so many options for yummy restaurants in town!

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Love To Be Lost

Heather, Florence, Fall 2015

In the normal world, being lost is not a good thing; it is to be avoided at all costs. However, during your abroad experience, I would suggest you do get lost in your new city. (Of course make sure you have the right tools to find your way back home if you get really lost; I would suggest CityMaps).

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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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Discovering Paris

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

My first week in Paris consisted of good food, interesting adventures, and GREAT people. I met the rest of the SAI students participating in the AUP program as soon as I got to the airport. Endless to say we were all very tired after our long flights, but soon I realize that they were a group of lovely people. Afterwards, my roommates and I made our way to our new (and tiny) apartment.

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Thanksgiving

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving was a week away that I realized I probably wasn’t going to enjoy the usual Thanksgiving dinner. A lot of my classmates were taking advantage of the long weekend to travel, however, I was staying in town. So, instead of waiting around and watching my mom make the turkey and mashed potatoes I had to actually look up some recipes and make some type of big dinner.

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Making the Most Out of Studying Abroad

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2016

Being in Europe is absolutely incredible. You get to experience cultures different than your own, eat AMAZING food, and travel to places that you’ve only ever imagined (or seen on Pinterest). Living over here is wonderful, but they don’t call it “Studying Abroad” for nothing. As much as you don’t want to believe it, you will have to take classes abroad. You will have homework to do, essays to write, and tests to take.

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Fall in Firenze

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

So it’s officially fall in Firenze! Yes that means it is COLD, oh and rainy! Okay so it’s not really that bad……. But if you plan on traveling to Florence (which I completely support), bring a good jacket and umbrella. Remember to carry your umbrella with you. If you are like me, you won’t think about your umbrella until you are soaking wet walking through Florence.

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Day in the Life of SAI Rome

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2016

We handed over our Instagram account to Nicole for the day. This is her day in Rome (December 1, 2016). Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Pexa and I will be taking over SAI’s Instagram account today to show you what a #dayinthelife looks like in Rome! I am a senior Mathematics major and Computer Science minor from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, but am currently studying at John Cabot University in Rome.

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Amplifying the Significance of Your Study Abroad Experience

Maria, Rome, Fall 2016

Doing good for the world is something I have always thought was important and is an obligation. In fact, after I graduate I would love to pursue a career in social justice by working at a non-profit. I believe we must continuously act against oppressive structures in our society, especially my generation.

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Day in the Life of SAI Barcelona

Solomon, Barcelona, Fall 2016

We handed over our Instagram account to Solomon for the day. This is his day in Barcelona (October 27, 2016). Hello SAI Programs! Fall has arrived in Barcelona, and so have I! I’m @SolomonsPost, but you can call me Sollie. I’m a 3rd year student from the Rochester Institute of Technology (@rittigers) studying abroad at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (@uniautonomabarcelona) this fall.

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A Walk in Milan Through Pictures

Clair, Milan, Fall 2016

Milan is a city that has many hidden treasures. Despite not being a city where there are a lot of tourist sights and attractions there is not a shortage of things to happen upon. This post will be a collection of photos that I have taken while wandering around Milan.

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Tips For Traveling While Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

Do your research! Always do your research before your trips. Look into what airport or train station you are arriving in and how far that is from where you are staying. Research the area that you are going. Research transportation from the train station to your hotel or where ever you are staying. (Some places have Uber).

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Top 10 Things to do in Firenze

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

Now that I have been in Florence for about a month and a half, I have definitely picked out some of my favorite things to see, places to go, and things to do. I did my best to compile a list of just 10 of these to share with all of you. The following are in no specific order: 1.

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The Château de Chantilly

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

This was our first excursion outside of Paris. We went to the town of Chantilly to see the beautiful Château de Chantilly. Since we don’t have classes Mondays, we decided to leave Paris for the day in order to explore a little more of France.

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Time is Money

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

Time is Money. This is an expression I have heard back home way too often. The U.S is a country dedicated to time efficiency and productivity. I don’t think I ever thought I would come to use this phrase other than to express how it is we Americans perceive time.

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The Street that Never Sleeps

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

When I pictured the apartment I would be living in before I arrived in Rome I imagined it to be small and outside of the city. To my surprise, it is the complete opposite and I love it. I’ve never lived in a big city so it has been quite the experience. I live on Via di Francesco a Ripa, the street that never sleeps.

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The Green Heart of Italy

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2016

I can’t believe it’s already October. When I first got to Rome it was 95 degrees and I was sweating constantly. Now I am able to wear a sweater and jeans comfortably. I love fall! Since my last blog post, I have gone to 12 more cities in Italy, 8 of which were visited this past weekend with SAI.

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Top 10 Things to do in Florence

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

1. Enjoy wine and watch the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo. It is very touristy so my recommendation is to get there early (before the sun sets) to get a good seat. 2. Shop and watch local street entertainment at the Piazza della Repubblica. Enjoy shops from fast fashion stores like Zara to luxury shops like Gucci. There are some of the best places to enjoy dinner with an amazing view.

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A Day in the Life of SAI Florence

Hannah, Florence, Fall 2016

We handed over our Instagram account to Hannah for the day. This is her day in Florence (October 12, 2016). Hello! My name is Hannah Latham and I will be taking over this account for the day to show you my typical day in Florence! I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan and am currently a junior attending Florence University of the Arts but back home I go to Carthage College in Wisconsin and study Neuroscience.

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SAI Excursion Vlog

Jessica, Florence, Fall 2016

Jessica takes us along as she tastes wine in Bolgheri, swims in the warm waters of the Isola del Giglio and hikes around archaeological sites on the SAI program inclusive weekend excursion to Maremma and the Tuscan Islands. ___ Jessica is a current student at Georgia State University studying at the Florence University of the Arts, Italy during the Fall 2016 term.

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Walk Walk Fashion

Clair, Milan, Fall 2016

One of the coolest experiences that I have had in Milan thus far is attending the Luisa Baccaria fashion show, Milan Fashion Week 2016. The fashion show took place at the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, a gorgeous and unique venue. The crowd was incredible; women in glamorous outfits, men in suits. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to mingle among these individuals.

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Surviving My First Week Abroad

Emily, Florence, Fall 2016

From the moment I left the airport, I knew that the next four months were going to be full of many first foreign adventures for me. Going to Europe was the first foreign step I was taking. There were so many emotions that I was feeling as I stepped on the plane from Boston to Zurich, Switzerland and then to Florence, Italy.

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My Class at the Louvre

Carolina, Paris, Fall 2016

I am studying at the American University of Paris this semester. The campus is right in the middle of Paris. Surrounded my iconic landmarks and cafes. I truly like my classes and my professors. I am taking some interesting classes this semester including Human Right Law and Comparative Politics, but I think the most interesting class I am taking is called “Introduction to Art through Paris museums”.

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So Much Prettier

Esperanza, Florence, Fall 2016

My first impression of Italy was OH MY GOODNESS! EVERYTHING IS SO PRETTY!! That was literally my thoughts about every building as the shuttle drove me to my apartment. Everything is so big and different, and so much prettier compared to my hometown.

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Another Casual Day in Italy

Nicole, Rome, Fall 2016

Living in Rome for the past three weeks has been one of the best experiences of my life, and two Sundays ago made it even better because I was able to witness the canonization of Mother Teresa. I had never been to the Vatican before, but it was always a place I wanted to visit. Now living in Rome it’s only a 30-minute walk from me!

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The Start of Everything New!

Brooke, Florence, Fall 2016

You never truly know what to expect when you leave everything you know to study in a different country. A couple of weeks ago I made that leap of faith and came to Florence, Italy for a semester abroad! I have only been here for a short time but, besides the fact that I still find myself lost a majority of the time, it is starting to feel like I have been here for months!

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Ending Orientation Week With A Feeling of Home

Maria, Rome, Fall 2016

A lot will happen during your first week here in Rome, especially if it’s barely your second time ever leaving your home country. The flight will be very long. In fact, you might get a cold because of the flight, like I did. Orientation week will be draining because there are so many things going on to better prepare you for the semester.

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Sweat.

Jazmine, Rome, Fall 2016

I’ve never been to Europe. So when I started packing and then repacking another five times before actually deciding which clothes I would be bringing, the thought of packing for yet another summer didn’t come to mind. I was leaving the California heat expecting anything but an Italian summer. Needless to say, sweatshirts, long sleeves, and pants would be the cause of my overweight bag.

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My Class Does Not Meet in a Classroom

Natalie, Rome, Summer 2016

Studying abroad at an Italian school, there are many similarities and differences within my academics and classes. First off, a major similarity is the fact all of my teachers and other students speak English. Though almost everyone that goes to school at John Cabot University speaks Italian as their first language, they also fluently speak English. This makes it much easier to learn. Another major similarity is the grading policies.

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From Clemson to Roma

Natalie, Rome, Summer 2016

Choosing a few things I like about my host country is definitely a challenge, considering I love so many things. One of my absolute favorite things about living in Italy is the food culture. Italian food is one of my favorite types of food, even before coming to Italy. The Italian food here is so much more authentic and has unbelievable flavors. I also like the different courses in an Italian meal.

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Seeing Art through a New Lens

Cole, Florence, Summer 2016

Despite my rather small sampling size of classes in Florence, I am going to break down the major differences and similarities in my experience at an art school in Florence versus an art school in America. Here in Italy I have completed Watercolor and Sketchbooking Florence, and am currently in Street Photography. First and foremost is the art of course.

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Hello From the Other Side … of the Pond

Emily, Sorrento, Summer 2016

My summer in Italy is off to a great start! I began my trip in Verona where I got to go to the Adele concert in the Arena there. It was such a beautiful concert and I’m so happy that I was able to go. Also, the timing of the concert couldn’t have been better, since I left Verona early the next morning to arrive in Napoli for the shuttle ride to Sorrento.

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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.