Top 10 Tips: SAI Enrollment & Beyond
Micaela, Vice President of Enrollment Services
January 20, 2023

1 – Phone calls
Your first interaction with us will happen within the first week of applying to the program. Your Admissions Counselor will personally call you to welcome you to the program. We will chat about the application process and go over any initial questions you may have about the program. This is a time for us to introduce ourselves, get to know you, talk about the next steps, and ensure that you are on the right track.


2 – Make sure you talk to your home school AND SAI.
We work in tandem. You first need to talk to your home school as you might need to gain approval for studying abroad. You might have a deadline by which you need to fulfill certain requirements and you will probably have an application to fill out. Once you have gotten the big thumbs up from your home school, we will get this party started! Sometimes getting approval from your home school’s study abroad office can take a while, so make sure you complete the SAI application while you wait for this process to be finalized. This allows us to immediately accept you once we get the green light from your university.

3 – Ask questions!
No question is silly – truly! You are embarking on a HUGE experience and you should have questions.  We want you to feel 100% confident in the program and there is no better way to achieve that than by asking all the questions. Questions range from packing tips to the courses you should take, to what to eat while abroad. You can reach us in lots of different ways (text, email, phone, zoom, livechat, WhatsApp).

4 – Paperwork: it does not all have to come in at the same time.
Do not fret, we try to keep paperwork to a minimum (we love trees after all).



The application is online (phew!), but you will also have to submit some supplemental documents. Don’t worry about sending everything in at the same time – we will match everything as it comes in. You will receive a confirmation email every time we receive something from you.

Summer in Sicily with friends, my sister and my now husband. At our favorite panino shop with the owner.

5 – Research and read; set your expectations.
By “set expectations” I actually mean “erase any and all expectations you have ever thought of setting. The end.” Study abroad is different for every student. What your friend experienced, found frustrating, and loved, will not be the same for you. I recommend placing greater focus and effort on learning about the cultural differences and how to best set expectations (or solutions) for “dealing” with those differences. Think positive. Make it a game – everything can be turned into something positive if you look hard enough (sometimes you have to dig real deep).

Let’s try it…

Cultural difference: there will more than likely be lots of stairs to your apartment and no elevator.
Solution: I should only bring/pack what I can comfortably carry.
Expectation: My legs and buns will look phenomenal by the end of the term.

Cultural difference: there are no  screens and AC is limited.
Expectation: I will be hot and will become mosquito bait.
Solution: I will research ways to stay cool (keep the house closed up during the day) and will invest in some mosquito repellent (Vape is great).

Visa Director’s desk is lined with these!

6 – Talk to the Student Visa Director – stat!
Rose Maier, SAI Student Visa Director, has by far the most difficult job in all of SAI. The visa process can be tedious. Rose’s patience, expertise and problem solving abilities are unmatched, but don’t wait till the last minute to touch base with her. The visa process takes time and she is a very popular lady. Problems arise when you have not given yourself (or Rose) ample time to sort through everything.

7 – Organize: print, save, file, set dates, repeat.
You will receive A L O T of information. All of it is important (I promise!) but I know that it can be very overwhelming. The best thing to do is to stay organized. You might choose to print everything and make a nice folder to refer to or you could create a folder in your email account that you stick all of your SAI correspondence into. There will be a lot of deadlines. Stay on top of these by setting reminders in your calendar on your phone. We will help you by sending out reminders (and a complete calendar listing all deadlines), but running around at the last minute trying to get things together is stressful, so try to avoid that by staying on top of your own deadlines.

I met Lindsay Arentz (SAI Admissions Counselor) while studying abroad and we became the best of friends. We now get to work together! Life long friendships are made abroad!

8 – Join the WhatsApp group for your city & term
Do this as soon as you get the invite. Getting to know your peers who will be experiencing this program with you will certainly help to ease any concerns. You are probably not the only person with that question, so ask it! It will probably help someone else out (and who doesn’t love being helpful?). Engage! We post polls, blogs, tips, and reminders and we love seeing you interact with each other. It will also make arrivals that much more fun because you will feel like you are reuniting with old friends!

9 – SAI Ready-Set-Go Pack! of study abroad love!
This digital pack (sent upon enrolling in the program) is your Bible for your study abroad experience. Open it, read it, love it. Every question you have about the program can pretty much be answered by scrolling through the folders in this packet.

10 – Keep in touch!
I think the hardest part of our work in the Admissions Department is letting go. We have typically spent the last 6+ months working with you. Even if we have not talked often, we feel like we know you. We read your personal statement giving us a glimpse into your life, we have made sure that your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed with your home school and host school. We have enjoyed your posts and pics on social media, we have made sure that you registered for classes, that you are happy with your housing, that you have made all of your payments, that you have secured airfare, etc… and we have sent you off! You are now in the great hands of our on-site staff but we will be thinking of you and wondering how your term is going. We love getting emails with updates from you letting us know how you are doing. We especially like to hear from you once you are an SAI alum. Let us know how study abroad has affected your career/academic path, and how you have changed.

Happy enrolling!

Know Someone Who Would Be Interested?


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.