After a long semester in Sorrento, the students of Sant’Anna Institute gathered for one final moment of immersion with a rousing game of football or soccer as we refer to it in the United States. The most popular sport in Italy, the study abroad students became very familiar with passion and fandom for football throughout their stay abroad.
It is never unusual to see a café or local pub transform into a sports bar in honor of an ongoing match. Packed from wall to wall with local Italian males and females of all ages, the chants and uproars of the onlookers would almost make you feel as though you were actually at the game.
For this reason, students and faculty at Sant’Anna organized a spirited game between themselves at a local sports club during the final weeks of their stay in Sorrento.
As the game went underway, the staff (Marco Spiezia and Danielle Celentano) were split onto two separate teams of eight students. The group, consisting of both beginner and experienced soccer players, got a crash course on the Italian football experience.
The game consisted of two 45 minute halves and was a tight match that allowed the students to compete among their peers. The friendly game ended at a score of 6 to 7 and a teasing quip of receiving lowered grades for not winning.
One of their final bonding experiences of the semester, the teams formed lines to pass their opposing teammates and offer congratulatory high fives. An unfamiliar act, it was an ultimate lesson for the Italian staff and a sign of good sportsmanship to finalize a game among the new friends that, over the course of the spring semester, had become a family.