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Testimonials from our SAA Alumni

Accepted students can request to speak with a past participant through the form below

Join the SAA Network!

Student-Athletes Abroad alumni form part of a diverse group of student-athletes from across the U.S. who have created deep bonds through their transformative experience together abroad. 

After your program ends, we continue to support students' professional development through resume guides, letters of recommendation, and career guidance. Alumni also receive exclusive alerts on job openings and fellowship opportunities. 

In addition, alumni from all our brands -- Student-Athletes Abroad (SAA), Beyond Sports Tours (BST), and GLASS -- have access to discounts on future programs across our organization. 

See what SAA alumni are saying about our programs below or fill out the form to get connected and speak to one yourself! 

Molly D.
Sydney, Australia 2019

Student-Athletes Abroad introduced me to a new culture and way of life in Australia. This program and internship experience helped me develop professional skills that I will carry into my future. Student-Athletes Abroad allowed me make international business connections and life-long friends.


This was truly a life-changing experience; I learned so much! Be open to all of the opportunities this program provides because you never know what can happen. Have no expectations!

Maddy M.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

In my three weeks in Costa Rica, I gained friendships from the other interns, relationships with the children and teachers at La Casa de Los Ninos, and a better understanding of how a third world country is. My site director, Silvia, said the first day to not have any expectations while we were there, but of course I had some. I underestimated life as a Tico because of the term "third world country," but I actually learned that life is not much different at all. Before this trip I believed that people are people and we are more alike than different; this internship reiterated that concept very solidly.


I would share that no matter what sport you play, there will people in the program that have no idea about something that comes so naturally to you, and you will have no idea about some sports that others play. I would encourage you to learn everything you can about those sports, and that will help build relationships with the other interns as well. I would also encourage you to step out of your comfort example. For example, our entire group of interns went roller skating the last night, and though we are all student-athletes, most of us were terrible!

Nagina A.
Valencia, Spain 2019

This experience has empowered me to take hold of my future. As an intern in Valencia Spain I took every opportunity to learn. I learned about the culture, people, and language of Spain. I learned about job opportunities in a foreign country and I learned to network and make wonderful relationships with locals.


In doing so, I feel equipped with the knowledge and connections to do well upon graduating from college and enthusiastically enter with workforce!

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Brian P.
Valencia, Spain 2019

Living and working in Valencia for a month opened my eyes as to how great and safe of a country Spain really is. Valencia is an amazing city easy to get around the people are super friendly and the city is just so much fun. If I had to describe Valencia to someone I would say Valencia is a really big small city it's the 3rd largest city in Spain but it still has that relaxing small city vibe.

The internship program absolutely changed my life. I met some of the best people ever and now they're great life long friends.

Emily V.
Valencia, Spain 2019

This program will be the best month of your life and you will make lifelong friends. There is no other program like it.


I met a great group of people and got to travel a beautiful country with them, while also gaining experience in my hopeful course of education!

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Ali W.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

This truly was a trip of a lifetime. I created so many new friendships all over the U.S. and Costa Rica. Learning about something you are passionate about and working with people who are also passionate about that, but from a different culture, is indescribable. You get to experience their culture by diving into it instead of just watching from the outside.

Due to the healthcare system being shaped differently there, I was able to have a lot of hands on work, instead of just observation. Going into the internship I had had no previous clinical hours, but was able to jump right into learning alongside other students at the university.


What truly was unique to my experience is my extensive history studying Spanish (Kinesiology & Spanish majors), which enabled me to communicate some with patients and doctors. My vocabulary grew so much and I was able to apply both of my majors at the clinic.

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Divya S.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2022

The Student-Athletes Abroad program was an amazing experience where I was able to immerse myself in the Costa Rican culture and venture beyond my comfort zone.


During my time with my host family, at my internship, and at Special Olympics, I was able to learn so much about myself and the world around me. Not only was Costa Rica a beautiful place, but there were many genuine people I was lucky to meet along the way.

Maura O.
Valencia, Spain 2023

Having a hands on physical therapy internship, I didn't really know what to expect at first. After this month however I learned so much including the different equipment used for certain patients and the methods used when rehabbing different parts of the body. My supervisor made it very clear to me to reach out at any time if I have any questions later on down the line in the future, which I found super special and something that is a once and a life time opportunity.

Maddie H.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

SAA gave me the incredible opportunity to gain hands-on medical experience through the healthcare internship, while also pushing me out of my comfort zone in many respects. My host family enriched my Spanish-speaking experience and welcomed me wholeheartedly; I will be forever grateful for their kindness and generosity. SAA allowed me to immerse myself in the Tico culture in a way that I could have never achieved as a tourist. I enjoyed every moment of this journey and cannot wait to return to San Jose in the future!

This program provides the perfect opportunity to gain internship experience in a variety of fields while having the chance to meet other student-athletes from all over the country. With the combination of internship work, volunteer opportunities, sports training, and interaction with other athletes, there's no other program quite like SAA.

Rachel S.
Sydney, Australia 2019

My entire SAA experience was larger than life. I gained valuable professional experience through my internship, created life-long friendships and relationships with the people I met along the way, and I explored the uniqueness of a beautiful, foreign country.


When in Australia, network as much as possible. You will meet a lot of friendly and outgoing people... even when you are out and about in the city!

Sadie Y.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

I gained a better understanding for the Costa Rican culture and how they value school systems as well as sport opportunities for kids with disabilities. 


Take the leap! It's a great experience and you really turn into a family, and then you have friends all over the country.

Jeff W.
Valencia, Spain 2019

I would recommend this program to student-athletes because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel the world and study at the same time. The program is run beautifully and it's a really special time meeting different people around the country that play sports.


My advice? Have an open mind going into your internship and try to soak up as much knowledge you can, make connections and open doors for yourself. Also try to practice your Spanish so communication is not as hard!

Kendall T.
Cape Town, South Africa 2019

I gained a lot of professional knowledge and experience while having the opportunity to explore a brand new part of the world.

The internship programs allow you the opportunity to gain valuable experience in professional settings while still enabling you to fully embrace a new culture. You get the benefits of studying abroad in a shorter amount of time while developing professional skills.

Maya C.
Valencia, Spain 2021

The best words that I can use to describe my time in Spain through the SAA program are truly life changing.  To be in a whole different culture with some people that I had never met before I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I made the best of it.


Being an athlete I have been pushed my whole life to step out of my comfort zone and get better in my sport, this trip took me out of my comfort zone and taught me more about life.

Stephanie M.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2022

I took a class this summer and it was an unforgetable experience. I met people from all over the United States and made friends I will never forget. I got to live like a local, meet "ticos," and try amazing food. The excursions felt like mini vacations and were always so much fun. Service was probably my favorite part as I got to meet some really special kids, and practice my Spanish! 

Sarah D.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2023

Going abroad -- and especially doing an internship -- is a good opportunity to challenge yourself and grow in ways you can't even imagine. This program specifically includes a variety of experiences (ziplining, surfing, waterfall hike, living with host family, internship, etc.) for a reasonable price and timeline. This program gives you the ability to not only learn a whole lot about this beautiful country, but really live it as well.

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Brianna M.
Cape Town, South Africa 2019

This program gives athletes the chance to experience being abroad apart from your family. Traveling by yourself, or with 10 strangers, makes you more independent and allows you to make decisions on your own. I have traveled a lot with my family, but going abroad alone was a completely different experience. Along with being in a different country, you also get to help those in need and make relationships with people that you never would have met.

I learned a lot about many different cultures within South Africa. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and teach children that spoke English as their second language. I gained a lot of self confidence working at Project Playground - Gugulethu site alone due to the independence and having to figure out ways to teach children about finance.

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Nicole C.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

Student Athlete Abroad is San Jose, Costa Rica was the best three weeks of my life. I learned so much about the power of humanity. I learned that it is possible to see beyond differences in language, culture, or background.


By immersing myself in the "tico" culture with other student-athletes, I was able to gain an appreciation for their relaxed, family-oriented culture. I learned to appreciate strong relationships by connecting to my host family, peers, staff, and the athletes and parents at Escuelas Deportivas. SAA was a great way for me to connect and make lasting friendships. At SAA, all care about each other and want to make a difference in people's lives. SAA is a family.

I would recommend this program because of the relationships you can create. My relationships and connections with the athletes at Escuelas Deportivas, Beyond Sports, friends, host family, and locals will stay with me forever. There is no better way to make lifelong friends, and gain lifelong memories than with Student Athlete Abroad!

Megan F.
Cape Town, South Africa 2019

Working with Project Playground in the townships of South Africa gave me a different perspective on life and people. It was such a fulfilling experience to be able to work with the children and learn about their culture. Everyone was so kind and welcoming and truly wanted me to learn and experience every aspect of their culture. Cape Town and South Africa will always hold a special place in my heart.

I would recommend this program because South Africa is somewhere that is uncommon to travel to in comparison to some of the other options. I learned so much about the South African culture and lifestyle, and I learned so much about myself, as well. 


If you want to get out of your comfort zone and work with children in poverty in a completely different culture, while also having fun while doing it, then this program is for you.

Jane B.
San Jose, Costa Rica 2019

This was an amazing experience where I not only learned a lot about what I want to do in my career but also about myself and I had some major personal growth!

It's really fun, you'll meet so many friends, you'll get better at spanish, and you'll have an educational and personal experience of a lifetime.

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Lui F.
Valencia, Spain 2021

SAA provided me with an opportunity to practice my Spanish and fully understand a new culture – to the extent that when I asked my manager back home when we are going for a siesta he laughed.


The internship experience that SAA provides is incredible as we get hands-on experience with people in the industry. Overall, it's an unmissable program due to the opportunities and enjoyment that it provides – a month in Valencia who could say no? 

Jenna G.
Valencia, Spain 2021

Being a part of the SAA internship program gave me a unique opportunity to accomplish many of the goals that I had as a college student. As an international business major I knew It would be very important to travel to a different country and work for a period of time so that I could obtain a deeper understanding of the differences in business operations from country to country.


My internship allowed me to experience that, along with the culture and many other amazing experiences. I enjoyed visiting Barcelona and Madrid and being able to get a deeper understanding of the Spanish culture and history. This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am forever grateful for the memories, friends, and knowledge that It gave me! 

Seth K.
Valencia, Spain 2022

Spain was so much fun! It was an experience of a lifetime and I am so happy I made the decision to go. I met so many friends and people that I'll remember. It was a blast being able to work with a company and practice my Spanish skills. I would recommend this program to all my friends.

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Testimonials from our SAA Alumni

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