Life Abroad: Do’s and Don’ts

By Jenny Everett, Fall 2016 in Sorrento


  • Have at least one copy of your passport. You never know if you’ll lose it while running on the beach. Plus, you don’t have to carry it around with you this way. It’s probably a good idea to photocopy all other important documents too.
  • Listen to your instincts. Just because some blog says it’s totally safe to walk down a specific side street alone at night, doesn’t mean that it actually is. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
  • Sign up for a homestay, if it’s an option. It immerses you in the culture and really lets you know where the “hidden treasures” are. It is nice to have an apartment to go back to, and to hang out with other students around you, but chances are, you probably won’t have an opportunity to live with another family from a different culture again.


  • Look like a tourist. This includes those dumb neck-passport bags and looking at your map a lot in the middle of the street with a confused expression on your face. Go to a restroom and look at your map, and get a security belt instead of the lanyards. Flip flops are worn around the house, not in public (at least in mainland Europe). It shows you aren’t from the area. Every city has pickpockets, don’t make it easy for them and make yourself a target.
  • Just talk to anyone. It’s all fine to get to know locals and others (especially in hostels) but if someone approaches you in a manner that is too friendly and touchy, they’re probably not safe for you (or your wallet).


3 S’s of Sorrento

By Jennifer Everett, Fall 2016

Studying abroad, in general, is a great idea. Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento is a great fit for any student who likes small, safe, and spectactular cities. Though the closest public Italian college is in Naples, the Sant’Anna Institute teaches English, Italian, and other languages to local and international students in a specific branch of the school called Sorrento Lingue.


Sorrento has a population of about 15,000 people year-round. It is a bustling tourist destination in the summer and fall. The locals can speak some English, due to the tourism of the town. For me, there’s a local café that I go to every day and get an espresso at. The barista knows my order and what time I will probably be coming to pick it up. Other students have spoken about similar experiences.


Sorrento is a small town, and not really a risk for anything bad happening. Naples is the nearest major city, and as long as a person uses common sense, they will be fine in the city! Everyone knows everyone, so a person can walk alone at night and be perfectly safe, which is unlike how I grew up (and I grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota).


Sant’Anna overlooks the Bay of Naples, which is in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Naples is a train ride away, as well as Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Amalfi Coast is a bus ride away, and the beautiful towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello are along that trip. A person can also go to Naples or Capri by ferry. The city itself is lovely and lined with small side-streets filled with vendors and quaint little shops that a student at Sant’Anna will learn within a week.IMG_8065.JPG

It’s a great idea to study abroad. It’s an even better idea to study abroad in Sorrento. A student learns how to navigate the real world and earn college credits while staying in a small, safe, and spectacular city.

Capri Day Trip

By Jenny Everett

This past weekend, the entire Sant’Anna girl squad went to the magnificent island of Capri. We met “at the flags” at 8AM on a Sunday, and most of the group was a little upset about this. However, the trip was worth the early wake up time. We got onto the ferry at the Port, and a half hour into the trip, the island of Capri rose out of the fog and we all suddenly forgot how tired we were.


We booked a private tour of the island with our lovely guide, Julia. We were able to go around the entire island, and we even swam twice, once through the Green Grotto, and another time at the swimming area near a marina.


Once we got off the boat, we took a bus up to Anacapri, where we all got to eat and then the group split in two: some girls went with Julia around Anacapri, and the others took a chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro. I was in the group that took the chairlifts up, and it’s like a single person ski-lift. The view at the top was phenomenal.


Afterwards, we met up and went to the Piazzetta, where celebrities are often sighted. We didn’t see any, but the Kardashians were apparently on the island the same weekend as us (according to various Snapchats).  Some girls went shopping, others got gelato, but we all met and took another bus ride to the marina, where we boarded the ferry back to Sorrento.


All in all, the trip was a successful first outing for the students. The water is the most beautiful water I’ve ever been in, and I’m from the land of 10,000 lakes.

Adjusting to Life Abroad: Do’s and Don’ts

By Jennifer Everett, Fall 2016



  • Remember to take time for yourself. The way that adjusting works is the “W curve”. Basically, the lines that form a W are how happy a person is. A person is super happy to be abroad, and then the culture shock hits, and they hate where they are for a bit. Then it gets better, and then homesickness hits. And then a person levels out and has adjusted. How I got over my homesickness was listening to my favorite songs in English and just reflecting on life while I was in a garden in the middle of my new town. It brought together my past and my present.
  • Embrace that you are going to feel homesick. It doesn’t matter how ‘tough’ you are. Culture shock is real and it hits you like a train. For me, mine was in the shower at a hostel in Naples because I hadn’t spoken English in 3 days.
  • Learn the language. It looks great on resumes and will allow you to show that you really are trying to embrace the culture you’re living in.


  • Stay in your room. It isolates you, and allows you to dwell on home. You’re only here for a little while, might as well enjoy it as much as possible!
  • Only hang out with the others from your country. Do get to know them and become friends with them, but spend time by yourself or with locals.
  • Just “wing it”. Looking at maps, memorizing important phrases, and just reading some blogs about the area from past students or travelers will help you not get so overwhelmed when you get there.
  • Only eat foods you know. Try all the new foods, even if you think you’ll hate them. This gets you out of your comfort zone, as well as shows you the culture. You’re abroad; don’t just eat American food.


Summer 2016 Internship Reviews



Zach Phelps, Hotel Mediterraneo Summer 2


What a work view!

“Working with the staff at HM has been an incredible experience… I wanted to study abroad in Italy to complete my minor in Italian and in my previous trips to Italy. Once I figured out I wanted to study here… knowing I would be graduating next year I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a lifetime to work in a foreign country and build my resume for future job opportunities.

It’s taken a little getting used to with the language barrier, but my Italian is improving slowly but surely and the employer has welcomed me to the family with open arms. Best day on the job is any day on the job.”



Bronwyn Casillan, Ristorante Tasso, ACC Faculty-Led Program


Chef in the kitchen


Most rewarding aspect of placement: “Getting to work with some whole Earth Italian chefs who were VERY patient with us and more than willing to teach us their ways and methods.”


Biggest challenges of placement: “Besides the language barrier, learning to step up and get my hands dirty, because I was nervous that I wasn’t up to their standards.”




Amanda Wilhelm, Kontatto Café, ACC Faculty-Led Program


Meeting Kontatto staff

Most rewarding aspect of placement: “Building relationships with the employees and seeing English speaking tourists look of relief when they realized I spoke English.”


Biggest challenge of placement: “Not having knowledge of the Italian language. Trying to do something other than greeting was a struggle.”



Chelsea Lanier, Sorrento Lingue, Summer 2


Making Italian friends

“Feeling the change in my students from watching what I was teaching click in their heads. The ‘lightbulb’ moment is the most amazing thing for me to observe! I love knowing that they understand me!

“The children didn’t speak to me a lot at first and when they did, they weren’t comfortable with their English. So they spoke to me in Italian. This was very hard because I don’t speak Italian.”


“Try to learn (at least some) of the language. Don’t be afraid to communicate with the local people even if you can’t speak the language. The people are AMAZING and they make the experience worthwhile. Challenge yourself! Many people and places will touch your heart. This is truly an amazing and unforgettable experience.



Summer Beach Clean-Up


Compiled By Jordyn Johnson, Summer 2016

This summer, students from Sant’Anna met with one of the leaders of the Protected Marine Area, Domenico Sgambati, for a litter pick up at Tordigliano beach.


Students left early in the morning from Sorrento towards Positano and disembarked on the cliff above Tordigliano, where they met Domenico. He spoke about the importance of the project and his organization’s part in the health of the local area.

“Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our ocean which covers about 40% of the ocean surface. 80% of the pollution enters the ocean from the land.” (Internet Source)


Students enjoyed a hike along a scenic route down to the beach where the clean up began, covering three different parts of Tordigliano beach. All work and no play can make for a dull day, so time was made for lunch, swimming and sunbathing too.


“The ocean is earth’s most precious resource. It is really important to make sure that people are educated enough to know not to throw trash on the ground because it eventually gets into the water. Being able to clean some of the beaches in Italy was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had here so far. I feel this coastline is too beautiful to be polluted with trash.” -Jena Lo Duca, Sant’Anna student and beach-cleanup volunteer.

As the sun began to make its descent, the Sant’Anna group hopped into a boat to Positano beach and were served a delicious homemade Italian meal courtesy of the marine organization. Stomachs full, but lighter in the knowledge that they had helped the environment that day, the students returned to Sorrento.


Results as reported by Domenico:

 “We took trash that bathers leave on the beach or on the path down as well as scraps from fisherman and from those who live on the site. It’s a very important job. It’s good for us to be present for a day to help take away some of the trash and scraps… We took away 2 boats of trash, equal to a few hundred kilograms, including around 30 bags plus some bulky material.”

“Picking up trash on the beach is a very humbling and selfless task and I think it can benefit the person just as much as it benefits the environment if you know how to take advantage of it.” -Josh Lines, Marketing intern for Sant’Anna.


Beach clean up efforts begin during the spring semester, a popular time of the year as the beaches open for the season in late-March and these projects continue throughout the summer.

“In the past 25 years, over 144,606,491 pounds of trash has been collected from beaches world-wide from Alaska to New Zealand.” (Internet Source)


However, marine litter still reaches our oceans. Animals mistake it for food and may lead to death. It’s a devastating fact and if we don’t take action, trash will continue pollute our beautiful waters. The ocean sustains us with the basic elements of life: it produces half of the oxygen in the air we breathe, and it is an essential part of the water cycle, helping to provide the water we drink.

By taking part in these beach clean-ups, Sant’Anna students set a great example of how to have a great time and give back to our world by reducing marine debris in the seas.

So you want to study in Sorrento?


So you’ve decided to study in Italy and think that Sorrento is the place for you? You’ve read the articles that say that Sorrento is the best place to stay near the Amalfi Coast and you think it would be a great place to study abroad.

Consider the following 10 pieces of advice when deciding if you want to study abroad in Sorrento, Italy:

  1. The Amalfi Coast is 30 minutes away. It’s just 50-km of some of the most breathtaking scenery, beaches, and hiking.julie.jpg
  2. You live in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, right across in the Bay of Naples. If you like living across from one of the most famous volcanoes and the largest in continental Europe.9
  3. The ruins of Pompeii are a hop  on the local train away. Plus it’s not the only set of famous ruins in the area. If you’re into that sort of thing you could check out Herculaneum, Opolontis, or take the Archaeology course…IMG_1743
  4. The pizza was invented in Naples, so to say that the food is good here…IMG_0005
  5. A popular spot with students is the “baths” of Regina Giovanna. It’s pretty nice if you like secluded Roman ruins to swim in, cliff-jump, and sun bathe.
  6. There are buses from the Sorrento train station that go straight to Naples (10 euros) and Rome (19 euros) if you want to explore the cities or need a big city getaway.
  7. So many festivals, processions, activities to get involved in, and new places to explore.Experience 3
  8. Lemon everything. When life gives you lemons, make limoncello.13072918_223020664733342_1756321605268873409_o.jpg
  9. Because Southern Italy is less touristy, less populated, living costs tend to be lower than those in the central and northern cities popular for study abroad. I guess that means you could have more money for travel and other expenses?13680703_10206620108082098_2924263963173317854_n
  10. You study and intern with this view every day. Not to mention the classes that have countless field trips so you’re not even in a classroom.



So think carefully about studying abroad in Sorrento. It might jsut be the best decision you make.