I studied abroad in Sorrento, Italy through Study Abroad Italy for the Spring 2013 term, which was my last semester of my undergraduate studies. I was extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity, something I never imagined possible due to expenses, and I am thankful to have had the help of my scholarship from SAI to help me pursue this semester in Italy.
My dad was born in Italy and we were raised with his heritage: Italian traditions, using Italian words around the house, and always hearing stories about his family in Italy. It has always been a dream of mine to get to go to Italy and see the country for myself, learn the language, and get a clear understanding of their culture. My semester in Sorrento allowed me to do all of these, and so much more.
In Sorrento, I stayed with a host family who I can think of now as a second family and a home away from home. They were extremely caring and friendly towards me and we grew a true family bond. In addition, I learned more Italian than I expected, for which I am so happy, and I knew this was particularly due to living with a family.
My studies were also, of course, an important part of my semester abroad, where I was able to take a combination of business courses (my major back home) as well as interesting courses that seemed necessary while abroad (International Tourism).
I was also glad SAI and the school in Sorrento were able to create a special program for my Italian course, allowing me to take two language courses in one semester, Italian 102 and 103.
Lastly, Sorrento is such an incredible place to be for someone from a foreign country. It was a small town where I knew I would have more of an opportunity to absorb the culture (again, the host family helped greatly with this, as well) and speak the language. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to understand a foreign place, to truly feel that for those four months that Sorrento was my home, and I look forward to returning many times in the future.
– Olivia, Columbia College Chicago