SAI Study Abroad - Inspiring Creativity

SAI Programs


Since 1995, SAI has provided students with exceptional cultural and educational experiences abroad, offering the opportunity to enroll in some of the finest schools available to English speaking students in Europe. SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. By encouraging students to explore the complex intersections between self, community, and creativity, SAI aims to provide an inspiring and transformative experience. All of SAI’s services, in the U.S. and overseas, are geared toward ensuring student safety and maximizing the student experience; both in terms of providing a framework for academic inquiry, and offering each student opportunities for personal growth and development.


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Yes, I recommend this program

Best Summer in Barcelona!

I think my experience was unique because of the class I took. I took a film and documentary class. The first half was just learning the basics of documentary however we got to choose a topic to film ourselves. My group picked a local festival in Barcelona, Festiva Major del Poble- Sec. This festival had everything from Opra performances to Fire Dancers. It was a great way to get immersed in the local culture and meet so many people. I think this made my experience so different from others and gave me the oppurtuity to really explore local areas of Barcelona!

  • The welcoming and supportive administration
  • Great university and classes!
  • Activities provided were a great way to meet others and explore nearing towns
  • Univerisity is a little further than I expected from living quarters
  • The class was a bit late, so traveling alone may be scary. I had a roommate in the same class which I am thankful for.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I spent spring 2022 in Rome and had the best semester of my life. My housing was a cute little apartment and under ten minutes from campus and my assigned roommates ended up being my best friends. I tried to go to almost all of the SAI excursions and they were always so much fun and the on-site staff was great. Even when not on SAI travel, they always had awesome recommendations for where to go and where to stay. I also ended up having to see a doctor while I was there which was super nerve-racking, but they were amazing at helping me find an English-speaking doctor and helping me organize everything. If you have a chance to study abroad with them, you won't regret it.

  • Included Excursions
  • Nice Housing
  • Partial University Meal Plan Included
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Incredible Semester

Studying Abroad with SAI Programs was an absolute blast! They were very easy to work with, handling all of the logistics of my trip before I even arrived. They were able to answer any questions I had about the program before and during my experience. SAI planned multiple fun trips and activities for the students to do spread out over the semester. Additionally, they went above and beyond by introducing us to some extracurricular programs around the city for us to be involved in that they felt fit our interests. Overall, an absolutely wonderful experience!

  • Fantastic City
  • Great on-site staff
  • Plenty of fun things to do
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

-Met a lot of new friends in the program
-The SAI staff was really helpful and nice, tons of nice trips hosted by them as well including well planned day trips!
-The Housing was amazing, better than what I had back home.
-SAI classes are decent comparing with home school classes (Parsons), the professors are generally helpful and nice as well.
-The city itself is amazing and enjoyable.
-Would 100% recommend.

  • friends
  • seeing design works from local students
  • trips around the city and in europe
  • language class at school isn't super helpful
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Yes, I recommend this program

Worthwhile Experience

SAI was an amazing provider. They guided me through every step of the abroad process and provided me the resources I needed to succeed abroad. From picking us up from the airport to providing us with amazing apartments throughout Florence, SAI was AMAZING. Without them, study abroad wouldn't have been as impactful. They also set up experiences such as wine tastings and cooking classes for us to get more involved in the Italian Culture. I'm so grateful for the program and this experience. I could have never done it without SAI


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Brianna Carter

Brianna Carter is a junior at Appalachian State University studying public relations and criminal justice. She enjoys traveling, photography, poetry, and anything and all things outdoorsy.

Why did you choose this program?

After my first trip abroad once I graduated high school, I knew I definitely wanted to study abroad. I love traveling and how it allows you to open your mind and experience new people and cultures. I get very restless in routines and for me, traveling is a way to escape the mundane and renew my mind, body, and soul. I chose SAI Programs because of all the extra services they provide.

It gave me great comfort, and also to my parents, knowing that there would be people in my host city to help me if I needed it, and to provide me with support. SAI also has excursions included in the program that allow you to experience more of the culture of your host city or country, that you may not be able to experience otherwise. The SAI staff is extremely helpful, kind, and caring, and they really do a great job making sure each student feels welcome and cared for.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My home university advisor was absolutely wonderful. He was willing to walk me through the entire process from filling out my applications, payment deadlines, acquiring my visa, and so on. I must have been in his office over 20 times, and probably e-mailed him more than that. He never acted frustrated with me and my hundreds of questions. He was always very understanding, patient, and always reassured my parents or myself of any concerns.

SAI Programs, as well, was very helpful. I also emailed them many times and talked to them on the phone, and they were very reassuring and willing to assist me with anything I needed. They frequently sent out emails of all of the information I needed to know, and kept me up to date with deadlines. I am forever grateful to my home university advisor and SAI Programs for helping make the study abroad process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Before going abroad, I wish that someone had clued me in on how much traveling I was going to be doing. I wasn't expecting to be going to a different country every weekend prior to departure, and I was definitely not prepared financially. Even though traveling within Europe is a lot cheaper and easier than traveling in the US, it will still add up over time.

My advice would be that, if you are planning to study abroad, especially in Europe, set aside at least $3,000 for traveling expenses. Of course, traveling to different countries isn't something you have to do while abroad, but it is a great opportunity to take advantage of, and to make the most of your time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average day for me in Barcelona was taking the metro to go to class (which I grew to love: the public transportation system). After class, maybe going out with friends to explore the city; checking out the local markets, hanging out at the beach, or going for tapas or a cafe. Sometimes at night, we would go out to a local bar or club, and have a blast dancing and meeting new people.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I was going to be super homesick. Fortunately for me, I found that I am more adaptable than I originally thought, which I believe the SAI staff and the friends I made while abroad helped me discover. Of course I did miss my family and friends back home, but I found that you just have to keep yourself busy and also make sure to check with your family regularly. The good thing about Barcelona however, is there is always something to do and you will never be bored!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Anna Smith

Job Title
Admissions Counselor
Anna grew up in wine country, California. During her studies at UC Davis, she interned abroad in Nicaragua and Malaysia, then studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Anna found her home at SAI about a year ago and has been working in Admissions ever since.
Anna Smith

What is your favorite travel memory?

I was traveling solo through Spain, Malta, and Italy after I completed a semester abroad in Denmark. While in Bergamo, Italy, I became aware that I had forgotten to print my final plane ticket. Since I was traveling with a budget airline, I had to have it printed before arriving at the airport, or else I’d be, charged 50 euro (which I definitely did not have!).

I spent an entire day on the hunt for a public printer, armed with sheer determination and nearly non-existent language skills. Each person I encountered got me a little closer to my goal and I eventually end up at a public university in Citta Alta. I technically wasn’t allowed to print there without a school ID, but a kind student overheard my troubles and offered to use their ID to get me onto a computer.

The experience was nerve-wracking and frustrating while it was happening, but the end result and my later reflection have reinforced one of the key lessons from my travels: that humans are inherently good and most will help each other, given the opportunity.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

SAI has allowed me to sharpen my skills across so many disciplines! From communication to data analysis, I’ve had the great pleasure of interacting with many facets of the company.

I’ve also learned a great deal about the study abroad industry. Coming from a “volunteer abroad” background, I really didn’t know much about study abroad outside of my personal experience. I feel so privileged to be learning from my fabulous colleagues at SAI in an environment that fosters growth.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I’ve heard this story a couple of times and I feel so excited each time I do: students that feel so connected to their host city, and loved their academic experiences so much that they decide to return to their host school for their masters.

It’s not for everyone, but it feels wonderful to have been a part of that student’s journey in finding their place in the world. If they had never studied abroad, they wouldn’t have known!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

That’s so difficult – I want to do them all!

If I had to choose one, it would be our program at Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento. The town itself is gorgeous and the historic campus building has been recently renovated, giving students a mix of traditional and modern.

The courses at Sant’Anna Institute are filled with field learning – what other marine bio class takes you snorkeling in the Mediterranean? They firmly believe in learning by doing, which sounds much better than sitting in the lecture hall!

The other draw to Sorrento, for me, is their credit-bearing internship program. When I was in school, I was constantly looking for internship opportunities to gain real, professional experience, and I would have loved to find one that also offers academic credit. It’s a really great way to accomplish two goals at once!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our team is unique in that we are small but mighty! Each person goes above and beyond in their role to make sure we are able to deliver the best possible experiences to our students. It makes our jobs so much easier knowing that everyone is working towards the good of the whole.

The genuine care from our staff easily translates into our interactions with students – they know that we are here for them and their families every step of the way! I feel especially proud anytime we receive positive feedback, whether it is flowers, a card, or just a kind email.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe SAI is successful because we are intentional in our programs. We carefully select our locations and partner schools, allowing us to become fluent in all aspects of our programs.

Each program has a specific Admissions Counselor that intimately understands the ins and outs of their program. This helps so much when speaking with students and parents, as we are all “experts” in our own areas.

Professional Associations

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