ARRIVEDERCI SORRENTO!

There is so much to love in Sorrento, but I think it’s the small things I will miss the most: the vibrantly painted harbor homes, the countless Gelateria, the alleyways that are far too narrow for cars to use but somehow manage, the olive/lemon/orange trees, the espresso and cornetto breakfasts…. Sorrento is a small town with so much to love.
Over the course of four months I have made this place my second home. I will see you again in 2018. Arrivederci Sorrento!

11258210_10200572323426410_3425001060588099831_n

My experience of a lifetime is almost to the end

I have learned so many things that I do not even know where to begin. I was an intern in Italy, which is an opportunity most students do not gain when they study abroad. My school offered me an internship in the town of Sorrento, but I happened to become an intern at the school. There, I got to work closely with the faculty, speak with the president of the school, and really feel al part of the family that my school obtains. Being an intern in Italy allowed me to compare and contrast my experiences working in American with my experiences and an intern in Italy.

I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in expanding their resume and learning to work in a different country. This is a once and a lifetime experience and it is preparing me for years of my professional and interning life ahead.

Living in Sorrento, I learned how to time manage and work in a small space with a lot of people in a different environment. I learned how to recycle Italian style and cook without an oven,

I learned manage my spending more closely, and it was 100% worthwhile!

I just wish I could go back in time and live it all again!

11109442_809824655733513_8138246416147277722_n

Andrew Siess: Youngest Man to Circle the Globe on Foot

Sant’Anna Institute Guest Speaker Series presents: Andrew Siess: Youngest Man to Circle the Globe on Foot

Before his record-breaking walk around the circumference of the Earth, Andrew first (at the age of 19) biked from his home in Minnesota (northern U.S.) to the tip of South America. After that, he also canoed down the Mississippi River. Then he embarked on the journey of a lifetime, and Sant’Anna Institute invited him to share his incredible story. IMG_0541

THE JOURNEY WALKING AROUND THE WORLD

– Lasted 1,020 days

– Crossed 24 countries (check out path on website http://andrewsgreatadventure.com/)

– Started sailing from Virginia, United States but his boat hit a whale. His crew was rescued by cargo ship.

– Bought clothes and backpack and started walking

– The start of the walk was frustrating as he walked from from Sorrento to Napoli all day and he could look back and see where he had left from.

– Averaged 33 miles per day. Mostly 62 miles per day.

– Ended in Sorrento, just before his 25th birthday

SURVIVAL ON THE GO

– Overall budget of $4000, of which less than $100 spent on accommodations. Mainly tented, used sites like couchsurfer.com, and relied on friends he met on the road to help him out.

– Taught tennis and English to earn money; also played the violin in  the streets and in restaurants.

-In Croatia he passed out in a grocery store due to dehydration… with limited funds he was concerned about the cost of the ambulance but was thankful for free healthcare.

IMG_0537

A SMALL WORLD

  • Described Kazakhstan as having one road. Was on the news there and people who drove by would frequently help him out, even got to be a guest of honor in a wedding of people he didn’t know.
  • In china had a conversation and 2 hour lunch with a man using only google translate.
  • Would often think of friends and family, but mostly the next place he was either scheduled to stay or where he was meeting up with someone he knew- This motivated him while walking alone.
  • Last month was the most fun because it was like a reunion with all the friends he had made from the whole trip since they kept in contact. In the last month he traveled the remaining portion of the trip with 8-12 friends, hanging out, walking together, and having a good time.

Andrew’s biggest fear along the trip was not finishing; however, he with great determination (and the kindness of many people along the way), he succeeded in finishing what he started. Now there is a movie in the making and also the potential for a book. Andrew says, “Airplanes now feel like time travel.”

IMG_0521IMG_0520

Arrival in Sorrento – Spring Study Abroad 2015

Brooke H - Sorrento - Spring 15

Brooke H - Sorrento - Spring 15

My arrival and first moments in Italy were a bit bittersweet. I was extremely excited to be in Italy for the firs time, wanting to head to Sorrento, to meet the other people on my trip, and to take in as much of Sorrento I could in the first day. When first landing in Naples, to the passengers and my dismay, it was pouring down rain. Only moments later, after going to baggage claim, I realized that my luggage had not taken the same journey that I just did. Of course, as the famous phrase goes, nothing could “rain on my parade”.

Brooke H - Sorrento - Spring 15

We continued on to Sorrento and even through the rain, I could tell that this place was extraordinarily beautiful. I was incredibly excited to call this place my home for the next four and a half months. My roommate Katelyn and I arrived at our apartment after dropping off a few other girls and Monica, our other roommate, greeted us. Monica, who is from a neighboring town, is Italian, but speaks good English and is working at the school we are attending. Monica is very sweet, and shortly after welcoming us went out to get our other roommate, Caitlin. Caitlin is an Australian post grad who is staying with us for two weeks, on “holiday”, for one class at Sant’Anna. I could tell from the start that my roommates were great people, and I am very sad that Caitlin is leaving us after only a short time.

Brooke H - Sorrento - Spring 15

On the first day of orientation Caitlin, Katelyn, and I (yes, they have the same name and it can be incredibly confusing) walked to school together and actually got lost. Usually, getting lost has a negative connotation, but when you get lost and end up on the beach, it makes you want to get lost more often. The first day was filled with amazing food, wine, and awesomely unique people. Also, thankfully, a few days later, I received my luggage. This made being here much more comfortable.

Brooke H - Sorrento - Spring 15

Just being in Sorrento for a couple of days, I can tell that this place has so much character and hidden beauty. The coast is where I feel most at home, so, I am incredibly happy with my choice of studying abroad here. Every part of this small town has so much charm and I am learning more about it everyday.

Make the right choice, choose to study in Sorrento!

Today we interview Shannon Devaney, Fall 2014 student from Fitchburg State University, that tells us about her study abroad experience in Sorrento. Thank you for sharing this with us, Shannon! We miss you!

10592967_10204631158121905_6232758428770595103_n

1. The first question is the most direct one: Why study abroad?

I studied abroad because I wanted to see another part of the world and gain independence. When I first went off to college in 2012, I went 18 hours from home then transferred to a university only two hours away. I’m from a small town and always had an itch to travel. By living on my own in a European country for 4 months I was able to see the most beautiful part of the world (in my opinion) and live a life in which I was the most independent I’ve ever been. It changed my whole life and me as a person; I wish I could go back and have the same experience again because of the benefits and opportunities it has given me, including some great things I have now added to my resume.10177400_10204928010383026_5145346622290734386_n

2. Pros and Cons….: Why Sorrento?

Sorrento is beautiful. It is safe, the locals and small business owners are kind and instantly made me feel at home in a city where I didn’t speak the language. However, it is highly congested in the summer and early fall months with tourists. Also, most things close in early fall for the season and do not reopen until the spring. While this can sometimes be frustrating, it forces you to get creative with how you spend your time and to be honest, some of my best memories of the semester happened after popular places had closed for the season and the tourists were gone.10734225_10205219043698677_4987128340461742276_n

3. Your story: Benefits of studying abroad

The benefits of studying abroad are endless. Studying abroad teaches open-mindedness; adventure, patience, self-reliance and many other things that I’m sure differ depending on where and when you study.10849961_10205485391957217_3498814732002315215_n

Nothing like sharing my walk to school with Mt. Vesuvius

10521190_10203611234260511_9000569934899893119_n

I wasn’t too sure why I chose to study abroad at Sant’ Anna Institute in Sorrento, but now that I am here, I see why. The food is amazing at every restaurant I go to, the downtown has so much culture, history, and life, and the view from my classrooms are amazing. Each day when I make that short walk to school, I get to look at one of the largest volcanoes in the world along with the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Giving Thanks

  1012390_10152550470031102_853151104_n

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.

10329206_10152875942576102_6171918642604184443_n

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