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!

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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

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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

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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!!