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, #4, or take the Archaeology course…IMG_1743
  4. The pizza was invented in Naples, to 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 coast 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.

Everything to Write Home About

By: Alicia Szostak

Western New England University

I have always wondered if there was a place on Earth where the views are so breathtaking that people actually stop talking for a moment to appreciate what nature has created, a place where the people are relaxed and welcoming, a place where laughter fills the air instead of the sound of ringing cellphones, and a place where it is encouraged to stop and take a moment to soak up the surroundings instead of rushing to the next event. This summer, I have discovered that the answer is yes, there is such a place, and that place is Sorrento, Italy.


My first time taking in the view by the beaches of Sorrento. It never got old. 

While studying abroad for these past three weeks, not only have I learned a lot about the culture of Southern Italy, but I have learned even more about myself. Throughout our trips to Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Capri, and Rome and during our classroom activities, I have been able to develop myself as a traveler and improve my communication skills as a writer and a speaker, which is one of the General Education Requirements at Western New England University.


Just a few of the friends I made while on the trip.

Our first two excursions were the RAI TV Studio and Il Mattino Newspaper Company in Naples, Italy. These site visits were extremely pertinent to our ILP topic of communication. At the RAI TV studio, when we watched a scene from a TV show being filmed, I was amazed at how many times they had to redo the scene, even though it looked perfect to me almost every time. This goes to show that every little detail about how someone speaks, dresses, and expresses their emotions does not go unnoticed.


At RAI TV studio in Naples on set for a game show

While visiting Il Mattino, I noticed myself paying more attention to and giving more importance to the people that were well-dressed and who had the most confidence. Although I do not plan on working in the field of communications, I have realized that these skills are still crucial for any career. For example, if I work as a Physician Assistant in a hospital, almost every healthcare provider will be dressed in similar scrubs. In order to make myself stand out as a professional, I must pay attention to my posture and how I speak to coworkers and patients. If I do not carry myself as a confident and competent Physician Assistant, patients will not trust me as one of their healthcare providers. Just like in some of the ILP classroom activities we did, I will not always have a script in front of me. Patients will ask me questions on the spot that I will have to answer correctly and professionally, without sounding hesitant.


My favorite spot of the entire trip: Anacapri, Capri

Initially, coming to Italy, I was most excited for the views, food, and quaint shops. Of course, Sorrento did not disappoint. Upon arrival, I was overwhelmed by the number of family-owned stores, gelato shops, and restaurants. The views, conversation, and menus, all reminded me of poetry. Everywhere I looked, I could picture that scene being put in a frame or on a post card. Even the rows of gelato mounds with sprinkled candies and fruits on the top were picture perfect. One restaurant, Acqua e Sale, has a pizza menu that says, “The water invited the four to dance and together with the salt, they have never stopped.” Throughout the entire trip, this was one of the favorite pieces of writing that I read because it captured both the art and the history of pizza-making.

At the same time, while I was enjoying the environment of Sorrento, I was hesitant about the technology. The Wi-Fi didn’t work well, there was no dryer for our clothes, and unless on an excursion, we had to get everywhere by walking. However, these same worries I had ended up being what made my Italian experience so unique and enlightening. By not always having Wi-Fi, I have become more social and have heard some fascinating life stories along the way. Instead of worrying about laundry and having a new outfit every day, I have spent more time exploring the town and learning about the culture. The details of Sorrento that would have become a blur if whizzing by in a car or vespa have stood out to me as I have walked each and every street. I have come to appreciate the people and rich history of Sorrento and the surrounding area, which is something I was not expecting. Seeing the magnificent churches, ancient monuments, and impressive architecture in Naples, Amalfi, Pompeii, and Rome, I have realized just how innovative people centuries before us had to be to get the results they did.


Feeling free and wonderful on the beach in Positano

By immersing myself within the culture for three weeks, I became more of a resident than a tourist. Throughout this trip, my communication skills were challenged as I tried to get directions (many times), ask about products in shops, order food off of a menu, or get help in a pharmacy. The language barrier forced me to think twice about what I was saying and to get my point across is the simplest terms possible. I thought that this was good practice because often times, Americans complicate their writing and sentences just to sound fancier or more important. However, this method is not as effective in communications.


Exploring the Roman Forum during our trip to Rome

Each day here in Southern Italy was full of adventures and valuable lessons that I could not have gotten anywhere else in the world. Sorrento taught me to not focus on status or money, but to just do what you are most passionate about. I can only hope that one day, millions of tourists will look back on the lands of my time and be just as impressed by what we have created as I was with the ruins of Rome and Pompeii. Capri taught me to take the time to stop and enjoy the moment, laugh with friends, and appreciate the views, for these opportunities only come once in a lifetime. Just like the drive down Amalfi Drive, life can be scary at times. It can be hard to see exactly where you are headed, but it is important to enjoy the ride and not focus solely on the final destination point. As we depart from Sorrento, I will try to remember one of my favorite quotes: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Forever I will have fond memories of Southern Italy because this trip was truly something to write home about.


Enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean Sea on a day off!

Why Study Abroad?

A personal reflection of a student

By: Jordyn Johnson, Sant’Anna Summer 2016 Student
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

In the fall of my sophomore year, I decided to make the commitment of studying abroad. I’ve always known that I wanted to study abroad and after doing my investigations, I decided the summer before my junior year was the perfect time. People used to ask me why it was worth spending so much money and time in another country just for school. It made me question myself: Why should I study abroad? At the time, the reasons I thought it was worth it were to challenge myself, indulge myself in another culture, make friends, get some extra credits for school and work experience all at the same time. I always knew I wanted to study abroad, so it wasn’t hard to actually make the decision.


As I am writing this on my final days in Sorrento, I’ve realized there is so much more that I’ve learned and benefited from through this experience at Sant’Anna Institute and my internship. My confidence has increased significantly, I have gained the ability to adapt to different work environments, and my communication skills have improved. I may be a little bias and bold, but this was one of the best internships abroad. Especially for beginners like me! Not having any background experience in internships or marketing, this internship was a perfect fit. The view from office alone was all worthwhile. Most days I got to go to the beach right before having to work, even places like Regina Giovanna! The most rewarding part of my internship was knowing that I was helping the school to complete weekly tasks and knowing that I was making a difference even if it was small. I wrote newsletters for the school and volunteered to do a beach clean-up. This experience has been incredibly life changing and is one that I will never forget.


5 Tips To Get Ahead For Your Semester Abroad

By: Joshua Lines

University of Akron
Sant’Anna Summer 2016 Student

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a primed 5th year senior, a semester studying abroad can be very beneficial… with the right preparation! That is why we have come up with 5 tips to get ahead of the game to help you prepare for a semester abroad. These tips came straight from students in Sorrento who either properly planned ahead or had to learn the hard way… regardless, if you want to be prepared you should get ahead and start preparing now!






This one is pretty obvious but you’d be surprised how many people go to a country and don’t know any of the language! Speaking the local language has many benefits and reflects on the respect you have for the country. You might be telling yourself, “Oh, I’ll just use google translate when I need it…” but learning a few common phrases before you arrive is going to give you a head start on something that you’re most likely going to start doing while you’re here anyway! And locals really appreciate when you try to speak their language!

Students recommend downloading DuoLingo or Babbel on your smartphone to get started!



            Another pretty obvious one, but also one of the most important! Having a budget and sticking to it can be hard for a lot of people, which is why it is best to over budget. Research the cost of living and also consider your own personal spending habits.

Many students report that they spent more than they do at home because their are so many opportunities to take! But careful budgeting can keep you on track.




            If you’re studying abroad for a semester you’ll be taking classes or interning so set a few goals you want to accomplish by the end of your semester! Do you want to get all A’s? Do you want to develop an international network? Do you want to develop a certain skill or just learn what your skills really are? Whatever your goals are, write them down and develop a plan to accomplish them!




     Do you know the common laws of the country you’re visiting? (Look them up and check with your school too. Sant’Anna provides helpful info in the pre-departure guide on this.) Is it appropriate for you to dress a certain way in specific places? (Italians are conservative in churches, so come prepared.) Are you supposed to leave a tip at restaurants? (Just 1-2 euros is very polite in Italy.)

These and many more are questions you should learn the answers to before you arrive! One student suggests finding a few blogs from others who have studied in your country about their first experiences with the foreign culture to discover some of things you might not even realize! (One student offers that she was surprised how dogs go everywhere in Italy!) Don’t take for granted that things will be the same as your home country!



steph boat.jpg

            This one is a mix between budgeting and setting goals. When you visit a new country you are going to want to go out and explore anything and everything you can! Of course, not everything is free and there is only so much time to do things! Planning out all the things you want to do, when you can do them, and how much it will cost will take a lot of stress out of your semester! Would you want to rent a boat for a day? Do you want visit a neighboring city or country? Are there sights you want to see and can you buy tickets ahead of time? Make a list of your activity goals and prioritize them so you can better budget for them!


Where’s the WIFI?

You never notice how relevant internet is in your life until you don’t have it. Traveling and living in a foreign country can often make for a disconnect to the online community. While disconnecting is great, having WIFI abroad can be important for communicating with your friends & family, getting your work done, and saving your data so you don’t get charged a ridiculous amount of money from AT&T or Verizon.

Here is an insight into the internet culture in Sorrento and a guide of places all of which have free WIFI :

When you’re walking to or from class on Via Luigi de Maio:

Puro Café


The French aesthetic makes this modern chic café the perfect place to stop for breakfast or lunch on class days. Puro serves great coffee and even better toast sandwiches with an option for gelato. If you want a good and cool “Italian coffee, sunglasses” Instagram post, definitely go with Puro. “We love Puro” and so do I.



When you want a home cooked family meal: 



Star Beer

If you’re not staying in a home-stay this is a great place to be fed like you are. By now you’ve probably had De’Franco’s pizza (not on the list, but very well-known in town). Two doors down is a family run restaurant that serves some of the best cuisines in town. Go for the specials when ordering food. Call your parents after you eat. The owners encourage being connected with your family.

When you’re in between Sorrento and Sant’Agnello:



Banana Split

Open all day, Banana Split is a place to be and often. The owner, Luigi, and his family truly take care of their customers. This is also where to go if you miss your pet. The family dog, Split, is an old, lazy, overweight golden labrador retriever who walks around the bar in a security guard vest and rides home with his mom on a vespa. Befriend this family, they’re great people.

When you want to have a long gourmet lunch close to Sant’Anna:

Inn Buffalito



Inn Buffalito isn’t the obvious first choice for lunch, but it should be. Their menu is unique and special. The above picture is of an avocado salad in a parmesian encrusted bowl. Insert heart eye emoji. Every meal is perfectly crafted and the aesthetic looks very hip barn-yard with classic mellow Italian music. Inn Buffalito is a little on the pricey side, but worth every penny if you want a good meal.

If you want to “get your tan on” while simultaneously doing work:


Leonelli’s Beach Club.

While it’s nice to lay on the public beaches for free, some days it’s worth a couple of euros to lounge privately at one of Sorrento’s beach clubs. Sant’Anna students get a discount at Leonelli’s. 6 euro for a chair on the beach with an umbrella and 8 euro for a sun bed on the boardwalk out on the rocks above the water (which is actually where I am writing this post.) The staff is very friendly and the views of Sorrento’s cliffs and the Sorrento coast waters remind you that life is great.


While these opportunities are all wonderful, WIFI culture isn’t the same in southern Italy as it is in our home countries. People aren’t consistently on their phones, snapchatting or posting a picture of every meal. Italians enjoy simplicity and seizing the moment as is with nothing to document their lives except memory and pure joy. These hotspots are great, not because they have wifi, but for the people you meet when you’re hanging out in them.

Remember, you’re in Italy.

Get off your phone and simply be in life’s moment.


Tailor-Made Immersion in Sorrento

A glimpse of our Experiential Learning opportunities in 2016 May and June Faculty-Led Programs

Summer is the most inspiring season here at Sant’Anna Institute (Sorrento, Italy).

We are welcoming Faculty-Led groups from many different American universities in a variety of academic fields and giving all of them the opportunity to combine traditional in-class learning with practical experiences, guest lectures, and unique visits.


Here are a few examples of the tailored elements of our 2016 May and June FLPs:

Anthropology program –  

Indiana University Bloomington

 : immersion in the local ancient culture and civilizations through focused field trips in Pompeii, Ville Stabiae and Naples.


Business program – University of Northern Iowa: visits and interviews with managers of a variety of businesses: five-star hotels, beach resorts, travel agencies, olive oil and mozzarella factories.


Communication program – Colorado State University: on-the-field observation of non-verbal communication in public places: square, churches, restaurants, etc.


Culinary Arts program – Delaware Technical Community College: visit to a two Michelin-starred restaurant with the occasion to talk to the chefs. Cooking classes in local farms and bakeries.


Education program – Bowling Green State University: assistance to our English language teachers in local middle and elementary school classes.


Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary program – Johnson & Wales University: Daily experiences with Italian professionals in their field of studies through visiting Michelin-starred and renowned restaurants, five-star hotels, meeting venues, pasta and other local product factories, holiday farmhouses.


Italian Cinema program – Wake Forest University: cultural immersion through language activities, historical trips and visits to locations that have been movie sets in the past.


Italian Cultural Studies program – University of Connecticut program: full-immersion in the Italian culture through daily life and field trips.


Law program –  Sturm College of Law – University of Denver: guest lectures by Carabinieri (local police force) and local lawyers. Visit to local courthouses.


Having a local partner like Sant’Anna Institute opens a wide range of possibilities for students to learn directly from the field, meet professionals, and have the experience of a lifetime. 


Please contact us for more information, references, or to request a custom Faculty-Led Program. We look forward to hearing from you!