SAI Programs

Program Reviews

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Ryan
10/10
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!

Pros
  • Fantastic City
  • Great on-site staff
  • Plenty of fun things to do
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Qiuhong
10/10
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.
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Pros
  • friends
  • seeing design works from local students
  • trips around the city and in europe
Cons
  • language class at school isn't super helpful
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Vittoria
10/10
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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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Florence Italy - Summer A 2021

The 6 weeks I spent in Italy may have been the most enriching experience of my life. Whether it was the friendships, memories, beauty, culture, history, or the food. I left Italy with a big fat smile on my face. I would recommend going abroad through SAI to anyone and call me biased but I would suggest going abroad anywhere in Italy. I resided in Florence which was a great place to stay because it was close to most places you would want to travel to in Italy and the food rarely disappointed. Not to mention the nightlife never got old.

What was your funniest moment?
Being referred to as Harry Potter and the tourists by locals.
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Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A once in a lifetime experience!!

I normally don’t write reviews but my experience with SAI in Florence was so unbelievable I felt like I had to. I decided to sign up knowing I was going by myself and with only a little over a month till the start date. Between the sign ups, paperwork, etc. SAI made sure we had everything we needed to make the process smooth and the second I stepped out of the airport I was greeted by the program directors and other students in the program. My apartment was beautiful, in an amazing location, and I always felt extremely safe. Within the first few days I made the friends that I will probably have for the rest of my life. Daniela and the team make it known from the beginning that you can go to them for absolutely anything and it was so comforting to know that I had program mentors there for me. My course was so much fun and going to FUA was one of the highlights of my whole trip. I was there when covid restrictions were still in place and it couldn’t have been more perfect. If you’re second guessing signing up, here’s your sign to 100% go for it because it will be an experience you will never forget.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Travel anywhere you can!!! Some of my favorite memories with my friends were not only in Florence, but we’re in all the cities we visited in Italy. There were many instances where we felt stretched thin for time and funds to travel somewhere but ultimately decided to go and it was the most fun we had. Even the train rides were something I always looked forward to with everyone. I can promise you that you will regret down the road not going somewhere because of a 30 euro train ticket or a short time span.
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Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad in a pandemic!

Many people wouldn't choose to go abroad in a pandemic, but SAI makes it all worth it. I have no regrets about my choice and I wish I could do it all over again. This was my second time studying abroad with SAI and they never fail to make you feel comfortable, prepared, and excited. I was happy with my classes, living amenities, and location. It was truly an experience of a lifetime that wouldn't be possible without the amazing staff at SAI. I would highly recommend studying abroad and most importantly, studying abroad with SAI.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I ate my first oyster and spit it right back out! Yuck!
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Stephanie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study abroad through SAI!

I was very satisfied with my decision to study abroad through SAI. They were always available and prompt in helping out or answering questions. Because of covid, my experience was very unique in that some experiences were limited or not offered, but even still, SAI did a fine job at offering fun activities. I wouldn't change my experience for the world. SAI also hosts a variety of students from different universities and countries which is awesome in providing full cultural exposure. Daniela, Luca, and Elizabeth were all very kind and friendly as well.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The weirdest food I ate while abroad was beef tartare which is raw beef that was included in my aperitivo... definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone being that I'm usually a well-done type of meat eater haha.
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Sabrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If I could go back, I wouldn't change anything!!

This program was the perfect fit for me in every way. First, SAI. I loved SAI so much, I ended up becoming a student ambassador for their program after I came home! SAI provides students with every resource they need to be successful abroad. I had access to real people right in Florence who were always ready to help me at any moment. More than that, the classes, trips, and experiences offered by SAI were perfect opportunities to explore our city. This program was with me from start to finish and I'll never forget all that SAI did for me!

Secondly, Florence. This city is one of the most popular study abroad locations for a reason! Florence has history, art, food, culture, night life, and really everything you could want in a study abroad. The City is small enough to be walkable, but large enough to feel excited by. The train station provides easy access to anywhere in Italy (or Europe for that matter) and the Florence airport makes it easy to fly out of country too! Florentines are friendly and willing to lend a hand if you get lost, don't speak Italian, or just need some advice about where to eat dinner. When I talk about my study abroad with students who studied in other cities, Florence always reign supreme. This city is vibrant, rich in history, teeming with energy, and waiting for you to discover it. I truly believe that every person should experience Florence at least once in their lifetime!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Branch outside of the tourist areas!! I cannot stress this enough! Florence is a beautiful City with so much history, and there are many incredible sites to see. Unfortunately, many travelers get caught up in the tourist highlights. If you're just passing through, of course it makes sense to spend your entire trip in the Piazza del Duomo. But for those of you staying a few weeks or a few months, please please please branch out. There's plenty more beyond the Ponte Vecchio. Visit the Sunday market at Santo Spirito. Take the tram to Parco delle Cascine or visit the studio of Florentine street artist, Clet. There's so much more to see in this incredible City than just the tourist traps. I know too many people in my program who ended the semester not really knowing the truth of Florence. They spent every weekend traveling. They worried so much about "hitting the highlights," that they missed all of the incredible discoveries right on the streets of their own city. So, please, put down your guide book, forget about the tourist map, and just go get lost in Florence. I swear to you, it will be the best thing you've ever done!
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Brianna
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wishing I could do it again!

Florence, unknowingly, was the perfect place for me-- the art, the city size, the feeling, the atmosphere. I dream daily about the food (particularly gluten-free pastries), the peaceful river at night, happening upon street musicians, and my big, beautiful apartment windows.SAI was also very helpful and provided a great program. They set up our housing, health insurance, different events and excursions (book-making workshop, cooking class, day trips to Siena, Lucca, etc.). Even in the chaos and unknowns of the beginning of the pandemic, the on-site staff was sweet, competent, and as helpful as they could be. They made the arrival process easy and made sure we were introduced to our new city through an orientation and a magnificent dinner in a palace on our first night. Having gotten cut short because of corona, I sometimes think about going abroad again and I think I would want to experience the full thing, because it seems like it would've been fantastic beyond my wildest imagination (even more than it already was).

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't try to be Italian, you're not going to pass as a local no matter what. Now don't take this to mean you should be obnoxious Americans or not try to learn and respect the local culture. I say this because I tried way too hard to pack clothing that I thought would look Italian and I ended up with a bunch of clothing I didn't wear because it was too fancy and not something I wanted to put on everyday. You'll save yourself stress/time/money if you are realistic about what you'll wear. Definitely do bring a couple of nicer outfits though, because while you won't look Italian, you might feel weird just wearing leggings everyday (it is not something people there do). If you go in the Spring, be aware that the first month or two is actually pretty cold and you will want more than one sweater/sweatpants to wear around your apartment.
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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best two weeks abroad!

Although my semester got cut short to two weeks, I had the best time in Milan! From the beginning, SAI and the onsite staff in Milan were supportive, welcoming, and knowledgeable on topics of visas to best pizza restaurants. Within the short time I was abroad, I met and made friendships with many other students in my program and locals that attended my University. SAI and Cattolica were supportive throughout the semester of online courses and provided resources to immerse ourselves in Italian culture virtually. The courses I took at UCSC were relevant to my major and were unique compared to traditional lectures since each week we toured a business or museum relating to the topic.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I encourage all students to take the Italian language course. I had very little prior experience with Italian, however, I was able to communicate at the grocery store and cafes with locals in Italian!