It is not often easy for college upperclassmen to study abroad, because by point in one’s college career, it is time to buckle down and accomplish very specific courses to earn a degree. The Sant’Anna Institute really turns the tables with the opportunity for students to intern abroad in Sorrento. This opens doors for students who are finished with their general education courses, but would still like to study abroad to earn credits that will count towards their major.

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Mikayla Burrell, a senior at Indiana University, came to visit the Sant’Anna Institute for a three week internship at a Marine Protected Park in Massa Lubrense, located on the extreme tip of the Sorrento Peninsula. Mikayla is studying biology and neuro science, and hopes to be a doctor.

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The first week that Mikayla worked in Sorrento, she helped to measure sea grass growth in different “zones” of the bays in Sorrento. A Naples University student is heading the research project to see how sea grass is affected by boats and anchors. In the “green zone” of the water, boats are allowed to send their anchors down to the sea floor. In the “yellow zone”, boats are allowed, but cannot anchor. In the “red zone”, neither boats nor anchors are allowed. Mikayla helped the college student from Naples measure the sea grass to observe if growth was shorter or longer in different zones because of the boats and anchors.

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The second week, Mikayla sat in on a class about food, tourism, and heritage offered by the faculty lead program at Sant’Anna Institute. This class discussed how tourism effects families, businesses, and everyday life.  Because Sorrento is such a bustling tourist area in the summer, it is definitely the perfect place for a class like this!

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The final week Mikayla was in Sorrento, she hiked with her supervisor, Mimi, to different bays in the marine protected areas. Sometimes, they kayaked to reach different sections of the bay. Of course, this was a very beautiful ride seeing all the natural beauty Sorrento has to offer away from the city area. When she reached different parts of the bay, Mikayla was able to meet people who worked in the marine preserve, learn about what they do, and ask questions about the area.

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Mikayla knows that Sorrento is special, which is why this is her second time studying at the Sant’Anna institute! Mikayla only stayed for a short time, but her experience will be remembered throughout her life. We wish Mikayla good luck with her future endeavors, and will always welcome her back to the Sant’Anna Institute. When you come to Sorrento as a tourist or even a student, you leave as family!


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