SAI Programs
98% Rating
(132 Reviews)

SAI Programs

With headquarters located just north of San Francisco, SAI Programs was founded in 1995 to serve as the US admissions office for an Italian art institute in Florence. Since that time, SAI has expanded into a full-service international education organization, working with partner schools throughout Italy and beyond. SAI currently works in close collaboration with partner institutions in Milan, Florence, Siena, Rome, Sorrento, Sicily, London, Paris, and Barcelona.

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences for students abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. SAI's international partner schools offer a wide range of academic disciplines, with special emphasis on providing cutting-edge Fine Art and Design education. SAI also specializes in offering genuine cultural access to its host cities; opportunities include excursions, volunteer opportunities, and language exchanges.

Most Recent Program Reviews

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Emily
Female
20 years old
Mississippi
University of Mississippi

Study abroad is the best experience ever!

10/10

Choosing to study abroad was the best decision I have ever made. It is an experience unlike any other and I would recommend it to anyone. It was amazing to fully immerse myself in a country that I had never been before. Rome was a beautiful city with so much history and culture to learn about. I was able to become so familiar with all the places around me and really started to feel like a local. It was also so much fun being able to travel on the weekends. I studied abroad for 5 weeks and then stayed an additional 3 weeks afterwards. During my program I never once felt like I was there for too long, if anything I was not there long enough! I had the time of my life studying abroad and cannot wait to go back!

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Kolbyn
Female
21 years old
Manhattan, KS
Kansas State University

Education in the Design City

9/10

I chose to go to Milan because I am an Apparel and Textiles major and I wanted to be surrounded by fashion. I was able to attend Milan Fashion Week official shows and after-parties which was the main highlight of my time abroad (besides traveling to 11 other countries). Not only were the exploring parts of my trip awesome, but meeting my roommates and living in an apartment building where other locals lived really made me feel at home in this new city. We were located in a really friendly neighborhood with local grocery stores close by and school only being a 5-minute walk away. The city center was about a 20-minute walk, but I love people watching, so that was fine with me. The metro and public transportation was easy to use, much easier than Chicago or New York, even. The on-site staff was unbelievably skilled, always being available to answer questions. We went on a number of excursions both in Milan and in Italy. Once of my favorite things to do in Milan was to take a book and go sit inside the walls of Sforza Castle and spend hours there.

How can this program be improved?

I cannot think of anything dire that needs to be changed about this program.

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Antonia
Female
21 years old
United States
Suffolk University

R(home) Sick

10/10

My study abroad experience was very unique because I was able to learn more about myself, my family heritage, and different cultures. I am so glad I chose SAI Programs and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. If it wasn't for SAI Programs, I probably wouldn't have met the people who have become my life-long friends. SAI Programs were extremely helpful in my transition from the United States to Italy. I enjoyed orientation and the excursion trip that was included in our program. My favorite memory is my trip to the Amalfi Coast. Not only did I fall in love with the view, but I overcame a fear. I pushed myself to take the ski lift to the top of Anacapri. It was the most breathtaking view that I will never forget. I felt like I was on top of the world and could handle anything. My life has changed tremendously since coming back home. I am in love with traveling and learning more about different cultures. I recommend SAI Programs to every student who is considering studying abroad because it will be the best experience of your life.

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jessica
Female
20 years old
Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University

Interested in studying art? Choose this program in Florence!

10/10

The classes were really awesome! They were entry level so most art classes took you back to the basics. The homework load was managable, and if a teacher realized it was becoming too much they would cut back. The school was open for great hours and were responsive to emails. My two favorite classes were Chemistry in the Arts and Intro to Art History. I love the chem class because it was so fascinating. It was all about the science behind art, mostly painting. The AH class was great because we went on a lot of field trips to the museums so I got to see all the art museums in florence with my teacher as a tour guide and didn't have to pay insane prices.

SAI was very helpful. They really wanted you to have a healthy, positive, and enriching experience. They were always on top of apartment issues and available to help with mental support. My favorite part about their offerings was their included trips and excursions. I got to take cooking classes, go on a bike tour in tuscany, and go on a weekend trip to islands off the coast of Italy.

I really loved my location and apartment. I was close to Santa Croce which was just a 3 minute walk to class and 2 minute walk to the SAI office. We have some issues with water while we were there. The water heater rarely worked, but you're lucky to get hot water at all in Italy.

My roommate and I were always on a search for new and great food places around town! We found some amazing places. There are a TON of tourist traps and bad places around, but SAI will give you some tips and tricks to determine the difference.

I did not have any health issues while in Italy, but one of my roommates did. She had to go to the hospital several times and SAI was always there to help.

I probably spent about $80 or less every week. GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. I would spend about 20 -30 euro on groceries a week. Coffee was a must every morning for 2.50 euro. I would go out a few nights to eat with my roommate, and of course, I would splurge on some souvenirs every so often. I also kept all of my receipts and documented my spending every month. Know your credit card charges and ATM fees before you go.

Get duo lingo. Talk to italians in italian. They are willing to be patient for you. Its my biggest regret, not learning the language.

The experience was worthwhile. I learned how to live on my own for the first time. I studied abroad as a sophomore and my freshman year I lived at home. I loved the culture of living. Hang drying clothes, hand washing dishes, walking everywhere!

I am an Art major, and Italy was the perfect place to study abroad for the arts. They are one of the only programs that offer these classes and they even offer scholarships. (one of which I received)

Default avatar
Anne
Female
21 years old
United States
University of Mississippi

Can I go back yet?

10/10

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't say, at least once, Can I go back to Italy? Every day I was in Florence, I fell in love a little bit more. Between the culture I became very familiar with, and the amazing cuisine, I miss Italy so much. With all of my classes being food and wine based, I learned so much and enjoyed my time abroad.
SAI was also great in the aspect of availability, whether it was by email or stopping by the office, they were there to help.

How can this program be improved?

More community excursions to get to know more locals. Also the offered excursions at different times. I missed a few things because of class conflicts.

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