Whirlwind Semester
Lauren, SAI Ambassador
August 15, 2018

SAI caught up with SAI Ambassador Lauren, who answered a short Q&A about her time abroad! 

What is your favorite memory from studying abroad?

Before a hike through the five towns of Cinque Terre

I completely fell in love with the city of Florence and cannot wait to go back. One of my all time favorite memories from studying abroad was one of the smaller moments there. As it was getting closer to Christmas, Piazza Santa Croce set up the best Christmas markets I have ever seen. Even though I was getting homesick for California, walking through the little market and buying gifts for my family back home will stick with me forever.

Walking through the streets of Mykonos

What felt the most “foreign” to you when you came back to the US?

Driving! It was the strangest feeling to go from walking absolutely everywhere, to getting in a car for a place that now seemed so accessible by foot. It almost felt as if it was a waste to be driving, when walking a couple miles was now my new norm. Walking everywhere while abroad made me appreciate the cities more; I would see every nook and cranny of Florence or other cities that I visited instead of driving right past them.

Christmas market in front of Santa Croce

How has studying abroad impacted your life goals?

Studying abroad has helped me realize that I want to be able to send myself back to Italy. To be able to go back and revisit my favorite places from when I lived there and explore all the places I haven’t yet been. I was blessed to be able to go once, but I cannot wait until I go back.

On an SAI trip to the island of Giglio!

What was your favorite class abroad and why?

I am a romantic. It is just in my nature to view the world through rose colored glasses. It just so happens that I am also an English major. So I was lucky enough to take a Love Letters course while studying in Florence. I’ve read Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio before, and though they were not all Italian writers or Florentines, it was amazing to read these letters and walk through such a romantic city.

Quick trip to Rome

Lauren was a fall 2018 SAI Florence from St. Mary’s College of California.

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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.