Giving Thanks

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This week, America celebrates Thanksgiving. A holiday about reflecting on how grateful we are for our friends, our families, and the experiences we are fortunate enough to have had in our lives. In 2014, I am grateful for so much. This year, I have had the opportunity to travel, to see beautiful places, and to meet people who have impacted my life for the better.

            In January, I moved to Sorrento, Italy. In a short period of time, this place became my home. It wasn’t just the cobble-stone streets, the clichés of vespas driving by my window every morning, or the pizza and pasta, so delicious I still crave it almost every day. It wasn’t the view of Mt. Vesuvius outside of my classroom window, the ocean just minutes from me at any given moment, or the sunshine of January. This foreign city     was wonderful to me because of the people who I connected with almost instantly, and who I will cherish throughout my life.

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I went on this trip not knowing a soul, though a majority of the students already had the benefit of knowing each other back in the States at either Alfred State or Plymouth University. They had the advantage of seeing familiar faces in a foreign city, but I believe I was the luckiest in the situation.  I was free to be a whole new person, and to make my own, unique experiences. And trust me, I certainly did.

At Sant’Anna Institute, I took an archaeology class, an Italian class and international business. They were practical, but also relevant and incredibly interesting! On top of that, I held two internship positions: one as a consultant for a local businessman, and I also managed a free civic engagement class for the community to learn English through conversation with the study abroad students. When I look back, it’s amazing how much I accomplished. Something I was attracted to with this program was the close-knit community that the University offered. It reminded me of Susquehanna University, my campus in Pennsylvania.10309064_10152875940611102_1831783040650526808_n

I miss Sorrento all of the time.  Social Media, with its attempt to connect the globe, mostly just brings out my nostalgia more. I see posts from the local friends I made in Sorrento – they’re at my favorite restaurants, they’re laying on the beach, they’re simply speaking in a language that I want to hear every day again. Social Media has also allowed relationships to foster – especially with the American friends I made. We have a Facebook group where someone posts an inside joke between us, or reminisces on our time abroad almost daily. Having people who understand how amazing Sorrento is, how life-changing our time was there, is exactly the support system I needed after this trip.

When I returned back to the United States, I didn’t struggle with culture re-entry, as some may have. Of course I missed Sorrento the moment my plane took off, but I also had missed my home in New York. So now, I have two homes. I know that at any given time, I could catch a flight to Napoli, ride the airport bus back to Sorrento, and be welcomed by familiar faces. The thought of Sorrento brings forth the feeling of comfort, of familiarity, and most importantly, sheer happiness.  So this week, when my family and I go around the Thanksgiving Dinner table to give our thanks, I will be thinking of my gratitude towards the city that stole my heart: sweet Sorrento.1017024_10152746699131102_3486530173436221889_n1536444_10152496294146102_1256726259_n

Ciao Y’all: Southern Hospitality in Italia

When I told my friend, Tony, that I’d be studying in Sorrento he looked right at me and said “Ohhh that’s the best part goomba!”. I knew it must’ve been true, because this was coming from a guy who lived in the
country for 10 years, and who eats, sleeps, and breathes all things Italian; therefore I appointed him as my “consigliere of travels”.

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Study Abroad Programs at Sant’Anna Institute can become the best experience of one’s life, Grazie Andrew!!

Ciao! My name is Andrew Lee, and I am a student at Sant’Anna Institute Sorrento Lingue for the Fall 2014 study abroad program. Let me start off by saying that I love Sorrento! It is so beautiful here, and I couldn’t have dreamed of a better place to spend four months of my life. In fact, I wish I could apply for the Spring 2015 program and stay here for another semester. The food is delicious and the people of Sorrento are so friendly, especially once they know that you are a study abroad student at Sant’Anna.

imageimageThe school itself is in an amazing location overlooking the sea, and on the other side of the Bay of Naples you can see Mt . Vesuvius in all its volcanic glory. Fortunately, it hasn’t erupted since I’ve been here so I’m not buried underneath tons of volcanic ash like the Pompeiians were back in 79 AD. Speaking of those poor Pompeiians, a couple weeks ago my archeology class went to check out the ancient ruins of which was amazing! They were such an advanced culture for their time. Did you know they were the inventors of fast food? Watch out McDonalds! The field trip to Pompeii and other trips we will be taking for class are just an example of why Sant’Anna is such a rewarding place to study abroad. It is such a unique opportunity to be able to visit and actually experience exactly what you are learning about in school. What better way to understand the ancient city of Pompeii than to see it with your own eyes? It’s unbeatable! Another thing I really like about Sant’Anna and the study abroad program here is that the classes are very interesting and the professors are all very passionate about their subjects but none of the classes are too demanding. The professors understand that as study abroad students, it is important for us to have the imageopportunity to travel around Italy and even around Europe. So they don’t bombard us with hours of busy work like a lot of my professors do back home. Last week Sant’Anna gave us a week off for Fall Break and many of us were able to travel around a little bit. Three of my wonderful friends (all of whom I met here in Sorrento) and I were able to go to Oktoberfest in Munich (which I highly recommend if you’re a fan of having fun) and also travel around Italy. We visited cities such as Florence, Siena, Bologna, and Verona and we all had a blast eating delicious pizza and pasta and taking in the beauty of Italy. By the end of the week we were all super duper exhausted, and we were so relieved to return to our home sweet home in Sorrento. All in all, studying abroad here with Sant’Anna has been the best experience of my life, and I never want to leave.

image I want this to last forever!! Yippee!!

 

 

Intern In Italy

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Hello my name is Courtney Moe I am currently a student at Sant’Anna Institute studying Italian and doing an internship in Italy. If you think about it almost all of us can say that we have at one time or another worked in the field that I devote my time to studying, hospitality, it is practically impossible to avoid it. Before coming to Sorrento to begin my internship in Italy I thought I understood what working in the hospitality industry entailed, but now I can comfortably say that I had no idea.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that there always seems to be one common thing that people say when they leave America and immerse themselves into another culture, “Everything is so rushed in America, no one looks up to see what is happening around them.” I myself am just as guilty of this as anyone else. I have always looked at working in the hospitality field as a chore: dealing with rude customers, having to do everything they ask of you no matter how obnoxious it might be, smiling even when you are screaming at them on the inside, sometimes doing the same things over and over every day, working long hours, always staying after work to finish whatever you couldn’t complete because the guests needed all of your attention and the list could continue on and on. I think that if we are all being honest we could say all of these things about any job we have ever held that dealt with people.
But when I started my internship in Italy I realized a difference. I noticed that here they have not allowed all of those negative thoughts or “chore like mentalities” to get in the way of them actually exceeding the guests expectations and giving the guests the attention they desire and quite frankly need. At my internship in Italy I work at a quaint bed and breakfast called Palazzo Marziale. At Palazzo Marziale they understand what it looks like to really run a business the way it was intended to be run in the hospitality industry. Am I saying that they don’t ever mess up? No. Am I saying that every guest has the perfect experience? No. But am I saying that every guest has a voice and is treated: genuinely, fairly, and with the upmost respect? Yes.

At my internship in Italy I have put into practice all of things that I learn about in my classes and I have learned many usefully skills that I will most definitely be bringing back with me when I go home in December. Now I confidently feel that I can work in the hospitality industry unbiasedly, in a whole other way that I would not have even know about had I not come to do an internship in Italy.
And so I send a huge thank you to all of the staff at Sant’Anna for all that you have done for me, it would not have been possible without you.

Apply here for Spring 2015:

Www.santannainstitute.com 

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“It is important to take classes that will teach you more than a traditional U.S. academic course would.”

Creative Writing: Travel and Experience is not only the best class I’ve taken here at Sant’ Anna but throughout my college experience. This academic course has been the most eye-opening and rewarding course I have taken since starting college in the fall of 2012. As someone who believes that writing is the best outlet for my emotions, this course has helped give me something on which to focus the day to day challenges that sometimes seem so much larger when far from home and living in another country. The course encourages freedom of expression through writing a short novel. With few guidelines I am able to write about something that interests me. It’s something that I am glad to sit down and work on and am glad to get constructive criticism on from my professor, Marco.

Blog post author, Shannon, during a night on the town with fellow classmates in Sorrento.

Blog post author, Shannon, during a night on the town with fellow classmates in Sorrento.

Also included in this academic course is a short history of famous authors such as Walt Whitman. Being able to learn about and read the works of authors such as Whitman helps improve my own writing and gives me a new prospective on styles of writing.

While this isn’t the only class that Sant’ Anna offers that is interactive with students, I feel that it is the most rewarding academic course because of the attentiveness of the professor as well as the gratification that comes with reading and editing my own writing. Though personal opinion is important when selecting academic courses it is also important to take classes that will teach you more than a traditional U.S. academic course would. For me, creative writing is that course, maybe for you it is something else, either way Sant’ Anna has college classes that will give you an experience that will change the way you look at the education system in the U.S. and change your way of thinking when you head home to school at the end of the semester.

- Shannon Devaney, Fitchburg State University Class of 2016 & Fall semester 2014 student at Sant’Anna Institute

You Know You’re a Student in Sorrento When…


1. Your Keurig has been replaced by your new, little Italian friend.

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2. You give up peanut butter because it’s too expensive.

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3. Taking a dip among Roman ruins is just another Wednesday afternoon.

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4. If you don’t stop for gelato on your way home from class, you’re doing something wrong.

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5. Dinner isn’t complete without limoncello, which you bought in the cliché shape of a boot.

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6. Breaks in between classes are devoted to trying out every single Italian snack in the vending machine.

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7. The white line on the highway is more of a general guideline.

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8. There is no day without smiles!

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9. You can learn about Mt. Vesuvius volcano in class and look out the window and see it at the same time!

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10. You do NOT study in a library.

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“Stop Wishing and Start Doing!”

Apply today for Spring 2014! 

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