SAI Programs

Program Reviews

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Bella
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved studying abroad with SAI! They always had staff available to help in whatever you needed and understood how overwhelming studying abroad can be. SAI planned awesome trips and immersion activities that made me feel like Florence was my home. The three day trip we took was to Commachio, Padova, and Ravena, three places I would never have normally gone but it ended up being a great trip that allowed me to see smaller cities in Europe, unlike some of the other programs which just take you to Rome or Venice (places you would easily go yourself).

What would you improve about this program?
I would love it if they included the meal plan like some of the other providers did
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Theresa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I studied abroad for an entire semester in Rome through SAI and it was undoubtedly the best experience I've had in my life. I ate some incredible food, witnessed incredible places, met and connected with people who have changed my life, and learned much about myself. It was a semester of self-exploration and global-exploration! I have come back to the States as a culturally competent and well-rounded person who is able to adapt to situations. I became close friends with Alessandra and Jordan, the coordinators from SAI, and I truly enjoyed their company and learning from them. During my time abroad, I pursued the Global Leadership Certificate SAI offers which has supplemented my resume.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I wish I learned the language more before I traveled to my host country! For me, I find joy in adapting to new cultures and connecting with others of different personalities and backgrounds. With that being said, I recommend learning the basics of the language of whatever country you are studying in/traveling to! Saying basic phrases such as “hello,” “how are you,” and “thank you,” in the local language allows you to dip your toes in the country’s culture and is often appreciated by the locals and workers. As a tourist and visitor, rather than trying to expect the locals to accommodate to you by speaking English, I encourage you to respect their culture and make an effort to interact with people such as waiters, cashiers, and taxi drivers in the local language!
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Arianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned a lot about myself as a person, which I was not expecting because I thought I was pretty in touch with who I was. I also feel like I gained a lot of cultural capital as well because I've visited, seen, and learned about all these amazing things, like art and culture, that I had only ever dreamed of. Traveling while I was abroad was one of the biggest highlights and something that I would recommend for all study abroad students. It gives you he chance to see things that you had only ever hoped of seeing and doing. But don't forget to get to know your own host country, especially Italy where there so much to do and see just in the country. Because the professor and school were understanding that study abroad students were there to do more than just school, the workload was lighter, giving everyone the opportunity to be pursue and do things beyond school, like traveling. I can't advocate for study abroad enough, especially SAI who made the experience even better by being such a resource in a new place where I didn't know a lot of things.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I planned a trip with my friends to Prague for our last weekend before finals. However, once I got there, I realized I forgot my passport at my apartment and ended not being able to go to Prague. Long story short, always double check you have your passport when traveling!
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Alayna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved studying abroad in Barcelona with SAI. I was able to travel every weekend and learned about the local culture of Barcelona through the help of my SAI program advisors. I made great friends who live around the US and around the world that I am able to keep in contact with to this day. Studying abroad gave me the confidence and independence I needed to improve myself. Money is always difficult to manage but it is manageable if you plan out how you want to spend your money. SAI helped me explore the local culture and go out of my comfort zone to immerse myself and really get the lay of the land. By the end of the program I felt extremely confident in my ability to travel around the world. I would go back again tomorrow if I could! Loved SAI

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would bring more clothes for cooler weather! Other than that I wouldn't change anything.
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Abbey
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a very memorable and enjoyable experience abroad, studying abroad was something I've wanted to do my whole life so it was very fulfilling to me. I was able to form friendships and explore Europe just as I had hoped. Being this far away from home for so long was understandably nerve wracking at first, but it is an experience I would not trade. Due to living in Paris, there was always something to do, it was particularly helpful having the SAI newsletter that was informative on events and holidays to take part it. My school also had several events throughout the year for its students, this is a good way for international students to meet people. Overall, I had a great study abroad experience, and it allowed me to gained a sense of independence.

What would you improve about this program?
More assistance regarding obtaining a visa prior to departure
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Erica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most amazing semester studying in Barcelona, Spain. The SAI program I did organized many activities and trips for the students in my program. We did a cooking class, many dinners, trips to Monseratt, Girona, Sevilla, and many more. When I wasn't doing things with the SAI program I was traveling on the weekends with other students in my program. I loved living in walking distance from so many amazing restaurants and ancient cathedrals. Getting to use the metro for transportation was very convenient and saved me a lot of money from taxis. The metro made exploring the city a breeze whether it was exploring the mountains or the beach; the city of Barcelona has so much to offer. Overall, I would not change anything about my semester abroad and recommend everyone study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
having most activities on the weekdays instead of some on the weekends so people traveling could still attend
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Brianna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned so much during my time abroad. I had the ability to travel a LOT which was incredible, I learned so much about other countries and was able to do it with amazing friends. I had so much fun with everyone I met and being in a program helped me significantly when it came to simple questions to questions about visas and passports. An awesome thing about SAI is we had so many awesome excursions we were able to do including cooking classes, tours, etc. I loved my experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. There were a bunch of very funny experiences as well, relating to traveling and friends. One piece of advice is to check twice, buy once. We had so many mess-ups with traveling which at the time sucked but looking back is pretty funny. I would say if I have any recommendation, say yes, say yes to exploring the city, take the time to really get to know your home city and know that once you get home you'll want to be back.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would learn the language before I went. It was hard to make connections with locals because I didn't speak Italian and I really wish I would have.
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Kate
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Choosing to Study Abroad was the best decision I have made, and I am so happy I chose to do it through SAI. Everyone that works for SAI programs goes above and beyond for their students and makes sure that we have all the resources we need to make our experience amazing. From day one, before we even leave the country, they are there to help with any kind of problem we may have. The SAI program is a great little community that I loved being a part of. The program works only to enhance your experience, and it did just that for me. Although they are always there to help, they encourage us to have a lot of independence which gives students the courage to travel and discover new things on our own. They hope for us to not only succeed academically, but to succeed in growing as person and gaining the best cultural experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of the free trips the program offers
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Marissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience in Florence with SAI Programs was truly priceless. The program gave me the perfect blend of independence and support that I was looking for. I had plenty of opportunities to immerse in the local culture, and to travel often. The academic life was unique in that it was based on experiential learning and hands-on activities. My classes were academically enriching, but not necessarily rigorous, so I had plenty of time outside of my course work to do what I went abroad to do: explore and experience.

The SAI on-site staff were an invaluable asset to my time abroad, and my experience would not have been half as seamless without them helping handle logistics all along the way.

I would go back to Italy and this program in a heartbeat!

What was your funniest moment?
One day I learned firsthand about the importance of the Italian leather tradition. I was wearing these cheap rubber rain boots (like really cheap) and I walked into one of the many leather shoe stores in Florence, just to look around on my way home. The older gentleman running the storefront picks up a shoe from the display to show me. Then takes one glance at my feet and immediately swats me with the leather loafer that he’s been holding, while scolding me for what I'm wearing.
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Mariana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

SAI made it very easy for me to transition to life in Rome. They relieved so much of the stress of applying for housing, getting health insurance, and getting a meal plan. I was able to focus on school and adjusting to a new culture. They had cooking classes for us to participate in. A native Roman taught us how to prepare local dishes and we were able to take home what we made! We also went on excursions as a group. This was a great way to meet other students that were also studying abroad. We visited places that were not easily accessible compared to major cities. I was able to visit the beautiful region of Umbria and tour Assisi. Overall, I had an amazing time and met so many new people abroad! Rome was a very safe city and had so much culture. I would definitely do it all over again!