Planning to Study Abroad? A Guide to SAI Programs


Mar 31, 2023
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Following steep declines in international study during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 523% increase in the number of students in the United States studying abroad in the summer of 2021. For the 2022-23 academic year, U.S. colleges and universities reported an 83% increase from the previous year, with many pursuing SAI programs in Europe.

The data suggests that students are again enthusiastic about studying abroad. Those who travel overseas for school gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences, new skills, global perspectives, language immersion, and new friendships. 

If you plan to study abroad in the coming year, your school may have opportunities available through various SAI programs, or you can search for one of their offerings on the website.

Exceptional Learning Experience With SAI

Students have traveled abroad with SAI for decades — those who enroll in its programs study at the best European universities for English-speaking students. With safety its top priority, SAI programs encourage exploration and personal growth.

Depending on the type of study you’re after — for instance, an undergraduate semester abroad or career study — you’ll have access to different SAI services. 

The SAI 360° services include but are not limited to the following:

  • U.S. academic credit
  • Student housing
  • Transportation on arrival day.
  • Welcome reception and orientation
  • Regular activities and trips around the host city and other places
  • Student health insurance
  • 24-hour support for emergencies
  • Program departure and re-entry assistance, such as the student visa application

Students and their families can rest assured that they can easily navigate SAI programs and enjoy their cultural and educational experiences fully without concern.

Where to Study: SAI Destinations

Choosing the perfect place to study abroad is never easy — students should always consider whether they are in it for a new cultural experience or prestigious learning at a European university.

SAI offers academic programs in major cities in France, Italy, and Spain, including Paris, Barcelona, Milan, and Rome, among others. Students may also opt for a multi-city program, where they study abroad in two SAI locations.

The benefit of traveling abroad to multiple international cities is exposure to two distinct cultures, cuisines, historical landmarks and architecture. 

Types of SAI Programs

Those interested in SAI programs discover several options beyond the traditional semester or year-long undergraduate education. SAI offers the following programs to students at various degree levels and academic pursuits:

  • Semester and quarter
  • Internships
  • Summer semester
  • January and May sessions
  • Short semester
  • Graduate-level studies
  • High school gap year
  • Career certificate 

Additionally, SAI is appropriate for students studying art history, fashion design, engineering, natural sciences, business and economics, and hospitality and tourism. However, there are plenty of other subject areas available for different majors. 

Admissions Process  

Before anything else, make sure you have an updated passport. Receiving your passport in the mail could take about 10–13 weeks. You won’t want to cancel or prolong your trip because of poor timing for processing.

Once your passport is underway, researching SAI programs and speaking with a representative at SAI or your school’s study abroad office is essential to determine if SAI fits your educational goals. You must also ensure you can transfer whatever credits you earn toward your degree. 

Some schools are affiliated with SAI — if yours is one of them, you can speak to your advisor to learn more about receiving credits abroad. An advisor will also be able to go over the program costs, what SAI covers, and your budget.

Filling out an application is the next step, which you can do on the SAI website or through your college or university. The first part of the application will require you to list your intended destination, semester type, and degree subject. You will also need to pay an application fee for processing.

An admissions counselor will review your application and notify you of your acceptance. Once accepted, you’ll receive instructions on the next steps, including payment information. 

You can expect communication with your admissions advisor to increase closer to your departure date. Some students will need to get a Student Visa. Otherwise, your advisor will walk you through setting up classes, signing up for housing and getting a plane ticket. 

The Costs of SAI Programs

The program costs vary from location to location, the length of the program, and the number of credits you hope to earn. If you encounter problems with your application, have questions, or want to learn more about the host country, speak to your school’s study abroad coordinator or one of SAI’s admissions representatives can assist.

The 2022–2023 program fees for an entire semester range from about $10,000 to $26,000 — the most expensive schools are in Rome and Paris.

You’ll also get to apply financial aid and discounts to your program fees at this time. SAI offers several program discounts for eligible students, such as the following:

  • Military Service Recognition — a $300 discount for a semester or quarter or $100 for a summer program
  • Application fee waiver for families enrolling two or more students
  • Multiple-term application waiver — students only pay one application fee for multiple terms
  • Gap-year discount — $1,000 off for high school graduates enrolled in two consecutive SAI programs
  • SAI alumni — various discounts for prior SAI students and graduate-level students

Scholarships are also available to help students offset the costs of studying abroad with SAI. To be considered, scholarship applicants must be enrolled in a U.S. college or university, have been accepted to and enrolled in an SAI program, and submit the necessary documentation — application, resume, personal statement, and a letter of recommendation from a teacher or other academic professional. 

Students may receive between $300 and $3,000 in scholarship awards depending on the school, financial need, and academic merit.

Why Study Abroad?

International study provides ample opportunities for personal growth and development. Students in study abroad programs tend to be more engaged in school work, resulting in higher grade point averages.

Graduation is also higher for study abroad students at a rate of 88.7% — other full-time students only have a 50% chance of culminating their degrees in six years.

Including a study abroad program on your resume also appeals to employers upon graduation. Companies seek applicants with experience in culturally-diverse environments and transferable skills, such as interpersonal communication, bilingualism, and problem-solving.

Studying Abroad With SAI

You might consider enrolling in an SAI program if you’re interested in an exciting European study abroad experience. The application process doesn’t get more straightforward, and students will reap the benefits of pursuing part of their degree overseas.

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