“Sant’Anna gave me the opportunity to see where he was raised, meet my family on his side, and immerse myself into a completely emotional, yet fulfilling experience walking through the streets of Rutigliano.”

Steve's GraduationSant’Anna Institute is blessed to have so many Italian-American students seek out their past and experience where their famiy lived generations ago.  Steve, a student last Spring 2014, wrote this wonderful reflection on Italian-American experience.  He traveled from Sorrento to the Eastern Coast to visit Rutigliano, Bari.  We love to hear from our past students, Enjoy!

While at SUNY Alfred State College during the Fall 2013 semester, my Strategic Marketing professor, Dr. Lisa McCool, thought up a new idea. The idea consisted of, creating and using a Marketing Plan as a source for a final project in place of traditional final exams. This would allow students to make a difference in a new and emerging opportunity for a study abroad program offered by Alfred State. After being approved for the program, that’s when my perspective on everything changed.

I began to inquire on the program, learning about its features, benefits, and offerings. As I learned more about the program, I decided that this opportunity would truly benefit me, but being that I was scheduled to graduate in December of 2013, the opportunity seemed unfeasible for me. Diane Tuzzolino, a business professor at Alfred, recommended that I take on the Global Studies minor in Sorrento, but I did not feel it was smart to delay my graduation, and incur more debt in loans just for a minor, thus I declined the offer. However, about two weeks later, with the help of Ms. Tuzzolino, Sant’Anna created a new internship, and scholarship opportunity, for marketing and communications for their organization. By delaying my graduation one semester, I would be able to add a minor to my degree and have the chance to put an international internship on my resume. When I heard and considered this opportunity, I considered it an offer I could not refuse.

Eight months ago, I had the privilege of arriving in Sorrento, taking in the beautiful scenery, great food, amazing people, and much more. By taking part in the internship opportunity, I was able to partake in something I never thought I would be able to experience. I had the opportunity to present the program to prospective students, University leaders, and members of the community, serve as a leader and ambassador for Sant’Anna among faculty, staff, and students, and represent the institute at the largest study abroad conference in the world, the annual NAFSA Conference which was held in San Diego, CA in May. Not only that, but on a more personal level, I have had the chance to meet family that I have never met before.

Steve visiting his Italian family!My grandfather was born on the Eastern coast of Italy, with roots in a small town called Rutigliano, located outside of the major port city, Bari. Although, he is not my biological grandfather, he raised me and served as a father figure throughout all my life. Sant’Anna gave me the opportunity to see where he was raised, meet my family on his side, and immerse myself into a completely emotional, yet fulfilling experience walking through the streets of Rutigliano.

Upon leaving Sant’Anna, I was more than satisfied with the experiences I took part in, the impacts I made, and the opportunities that were made available to me as a result of my work for the organization. I took with me a collection of life long memories, images, thoughts, and much more that I will never be able to forget. I have made life-long friends who grew to become brothers whom I hope to visit at some point in the upcoming year. Again, I never would have thought that I would travel while in college, let alone to Europe, and more so, to see family in Italy that I have never met. Sant’Anna has certainly gave me the opportunity to truly take part in “the experience of a lifetime.”

  • Steve Pinell, SUNY Alfred State College, Spring 2014 Sant’Anna Intern

Spring Semester 2015 and internships for credit at Sant’Anna Institute (Sorrento, Italy)

Enrollments open! 

Sant’Anna Institute, in Sorrento, Italy, offers the unique

experience of interning (for Academic Credit) in your

field of study while being abroad!

An internship is a learning opportunity that supports

professional and personal growth.

Internships can be paired with 1-3 other academic courses

(including Italian Language) and are available for:

  • 3 credits (150 hours)
  • 6 credits (236 hours)
  • 9 credits (380 hours)

For information:


Our wide range of partnerships can accommodate

almost any type of major, including:

- Business

- Education

- Culinary arts

- Natural sciences

- Education

- Art

- Tourism

Typical internship placements:

-VIP Resorts/Hotels

-Travel Agencies


-Import/export companies

-Architecture firms


-Schools (Both public and private)





For information, please contact info@santannainstitute.com



get $2,000 off your tuition if you enroll by September 7th.

Promotion code: STN888

Don’t miss this chance!


“I felt a sense of home while I was around the Sorrento people”

Bianca Lenski, from Colorado State University and student at Sant’Anna during the Summer I 2014, interviewed about her stay in Sorrento. Thank you for sharing with us your experience!


1) If you could have brought one part of Italian culture back to the States, what would it have been and why?

I would bring back the island of Capri. Capri was hands down the most beautiful part of my time in Italy. I took a boat ride around the island and was in awe of the turquoise blue waters, unique boats, and yacht lifestyle.


2) How was life living by the sea different from life in your hometown?

Life by the sea was different because everyday was beautiful. You could go hike down to Capo di Sorrento, or you could lay at Marina Grande all day, and the day was just as beautiful. The sea in Sorrento is different than the sea in other beach towns. With the city built up on the cliffs, the colorful boats, and the trattorias lining the water- the sea of Sorrento was genuinely unique.

3) Which three adjectives would you say best summarize your study abroad experience in Sorrento?

Undaunted, life-changing, and spontaneous.

4) What was the most unexpected treasure of Sorrento that you discovered by living here?

The people. I have gone into detail about how beautiful the beaches are, but the people are the most beautiful part of Sorrento. In my six weeks in Sorrento, I never met an unwelcoming person in Sorrento. Every gelato shop owner, fruit stand owner, and local Italian walking on the streets mustered all the kindness they had and gave it away. The people of Sorrento are what made my trip so amazing. I had multiple “Italian families” by the time I left, and felt a sense of home while I was around the Sorrento people. As I rode the bus to the Naples airport to return home to Colorado, I had tears of joy and gratitude streaming down my face because of the amazing hospitality that I had received in Sorrento


“I was able to use what I have learned and actually apply it to a real business”

Justin Tangen, student at Upper Iowa University, is enrolled to Sant’Anna Institute Summer II program. He is interning at “Palazzo Marziale Boutique Hotel” ( http://www.palazzomarziale.com/ ) and we have interviewed him today! Thanks for sharing with us your experience!


  1. If you could have brought one part of Italian culture back to the States, what would it have been and why?
    I would take the passion of the Italian people with me.  Just hearing the passion in the voices when speaking is a very wonderful thing to hear.  There is an attitude when certain words are pronounced.
  2. How was life living by the sea different from life in your hometown?
    Life by the sea is different than where I am from.  There is no sea but we do have rivers for outdoor activities but life by the sea is so calming and relaxing.  The breeze coming off the sea, the sound of the waves,  and the sand between your toes does wonders to bring you to a relaxing state of mind.
  3.  Which three adjectives would you say best summarize your study abroad experience in Sorrento?
    Adjectives that I would use to describe my time in Sorrento are Beautiful, calming, and happy.
  4. What was the most unexpected treasure of Sorrento that you discovered by living here?
    An unexpected treasure that I discovered here is the Vallone Dei Mulini.
  5. Did you ever experience a real-life example of something that you had studied in a class (for example, recognizing an Italian phrase on the streets that you learned in Italian class or seeing ancient ruins that you learned about in Archeology)? If so, what was it and how did it make you feel to experience it firsthand?
    Since I am here for an internship, I was able to use what I have learned studying my degrees and actually apply it to a real business. Growing up and hearing about Rome, Pompeii, and Capri, I was able to visit all three places. To be able to see the Coliseum, the Pantheon in Rome took me back in time.

DSC_1752 (2)

Hiking the “Sentiero degli Dei”: the most beautiful hike of my life

The adventuring group reunites for another AWESOME day! Kelsey, Bianca, and I took the SITA bus to Amalfi and then another SITA bus up to Agerola for a hike! If only it was that easy… THe bus was absolutely packed, and we did not get to sit together. We decided that I should sit in the front so I would be able to ask the bus drive where we were supposed to get off because the Internet was not totally clear. As soon as I sat down, the bus drive got into an argument with another man and then shut the bus door on someone trying to get on the bus. He was a bit scary. So instead, I just asked the father of the family sitting around me if he knew anything about Sentiero degli dei. He and his wife tried to help me, but they really did not know much about it. Plus, they eventually realized that my knowledge of the Italian language was very limited and our conversation eventually died. When the bus reached Positano (about halfway to Amalfi) I hear, “SARAH, WE NEED TO GET OFF THE BUS” coming from the back where Bianca and Kelsey were sitting. I got off at the next stop and found them both extremely motion sick from the curvy road and high density of people aboard the bus. We stepped inside a bakery/bar/restaurant and they were able to eat some food and calm their nauseous stomachs. I cannot sympathize with how they felt… I have never been carsick and I am now realizing that I am very lucky to not have that problem. We boarded the next bus that stopped by and continued on our way to Amalfi. Turns out the busses end their route in Amalfi, so we got off amidst a hoard of other tourists. We took a few pictures and then found help. 10411403_714159935309464_5908363432801732660_n

We entered a tourist office to ask where to go from there. She told us about another bus that went from Amalfi to Agerola that was leaving soon. We hurried back to the bus area, asked for some more help, and ran aboard the bus seconds before it shut its doors to leave. The bus ride was another windy one, straight up one of the mountains of the Amalfi coast. Again, we did not know where to get off. But with the help of a friendly Canadian couple who had completed the hike that morning, we found the place. They showed us where to get off and walked us to the trailhead. THe temperature was much cooler, and there was a lot of cloud coverage overhead (except for sometimes we were in the middle of the clouds because of the elevation). We stopped in a restroom at a restaurant where there was an outdoor deck with a bunch of old men playing cards and yelling at each other in Italian over small tables. It was a very Italian scene. And so we began the hike. Here are a few highlights:
  • I decided to be a hardcore tourist… I wore a fanny pack all day.
  • Bianca slipped and fell on a rock, and I got to watch it all happen from behind. 
  • We found a waterfall and explored ruins.
  • I had the biggest snot rocket of my life thanks to my allergies/not bringing a pack of tissues.
  • I don’t think that I will ever complete a more beautiful hike.

We finished the entire hike in 10370983_714159895309468_7188502948976908998_nabout two and a half hours. Upon reaching Nocelle, there was a stand with fresh squeezed orange juice. We all bought some. THere was another couple at the orange stand from San Diego! AFter drinking our wonderfully refreshing orange juice we headed down the 1,000 steps to Positano. Once we hit the main road, we walked a while until we found the bus stop for the SITA back to Sorrento. When the bus finally came, it was too full, and we were not able to board We waited 30 minutes for the next bus. I was worried because I was trying to make it back in time for Donatella’s dance exhibition that night!

Eventually, I made it back home. But it was just in time to walk through the door to hear, “Sarah! You made it! Eat quick and then we will leave”. I consumed eggplant parmesan at the speed of light and then changed into a dress in about 3 minutes. I was still freshly covered in sweat and dirt. We hopped in the family car and headed to Colline di Sorrento for the show! We arrived around 8:30 so that the father could take pictures of the dancers (he is a photographer). The show lasted until about 11:15. Dona is an amazing dancer, and I enjoyed the show very much. I wish I had recorded at least one of her dances. After the show, the family dropped me off at my friend’s apartment. We had all decided to go out to watch Italy vs. England in the World Cup at midnight at the English Inn! This was a good choice because we were in Italy watching the game at an English bar. So both teams were represented there in excess. When any team would score, the whole place would go crazy. It was absolutely packed. There were vuvuzelas, flags, and just way too many people. At the end of the game, when Italy won, fireworks started above the English Inn (it is an outdoor establishment), and the streets were FULL of people. There was screaming, dancing, and chanting, and cars could not pass through because of the crowd of people. There were full-sized Italian flags draped over cars and people without shirts. The atmosphere was just too much fun! Sorrento was awake until the sun started to rise.  10416591_714159581976166_1785301220963285986_n 10426601_714295131962611_1479547858355222603_n 10453364_714159615309496_6524614753534054087_n 10463005_714295148629276_6704853583396210249_n

My Summer Internship in a 5-star luxury hotel in Sorrento

Duringfoto-300x300 the summer of 2013, I joined the summer program of Sant’Anna Institute in the beautiful city of Sorrento. I opted on a 3-credit course, Modern Italian Literature, and a 3-credit internship, which turned out to be both fun and productive. My internship was in the Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, which is a 5-star luxury hotel, and also a member of the Leading Hotels of the World chain. I was situated in the marketing office, and interned on event management. The hotel is one of the most popular venues of the Peninsola Sorrentina, especially for weddings. I had the pleasure to witness around thirty weddings, and the whole process of preparations behind them. All throughout the process I learned a lot about the hospitality and tourism sector, as well as public relations and crisis management. It was like having a full-time job; six days a week, seven hours a day, that were programmed according to the scheduled events. Even though the internship program requests a minimum of 150 hours of work, I ended up interning for 3 months to maximise the experience and to get a deeper understanding.

The8_d.20130130110053 best part of my internship was that I was actually involved in the work done, rather than the “observer” role that an intern usually has. I had my part of responsibilities, made my mistakes, and learned how to fix them. I had my up and down moments like in a real job and realised that I actually loved working in this sector, which is surprising for an IR major. So much so that I’m actually considering the possibility of another internship this summer, always with the guidance of the Sant’Anna Institute. Overall, as someone that spends an important part of her year in Sorrento, I can say that Sant’Anna’s summer program is a great opportunity to get a life time experience. The internships are organised in important structures of different sectors and provide a lot of real-world practice, while spending the summer in Sorrento opens a new window to the Italian culture. All together, it was a memorable summer.