Riflessioni di Sorrento
Elise, Sorrento, Summer 2017
July 5, 2017

Ciao a tutti!

A typical Sorrento street

This is Elise Walsh checking in one last time at the Sant’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy. This is my final week in Sorrento and I have had such an incredible experience. I can’t believe how quickly the past five weeks have gone! Today, I’d like to focus on some advice for those interested in studying abroad.

Try new food!

Let me begin by saying I couldn’t be happier with my choice to go to Sorrento. I knew that I wanted to study abroad in Italy, but I didn’t know where. I was initially looking at going to Rome, but after talking with people at SAI, I was convinced to check out Sorrento. Because Sorrento is a smaller city, it’s easier to learn your way around. There’s a beauty here that I have never experienced anywhere else. After traveling to Rome, Pompeii, Naples, and Venice, I felt that Sorrento was the most down-to-earth Italian city that I’ve been to. I felt that I was able to more fully immerse myself in the culture here than I would’ve been elsewhere. That being said, make sure to take advantage of side trips on the weekend! It’s very cheap and easy to travel around Europe by train or plane.

Piazza Tasso: Sorrento’s Main Square

Some other advice that I have is for anyone studying abroad anywhere in the world. First, do research on the culture of your host country and learn to appreciate it. Don’t get offended by how the people who live in your host country act. Also, people really appreciate when you try to speak the language, no matter how much you mess it up.

My favorite gelateria

Secondly, find a balance between class and fun. Enjoy your host country and all it has to offer, but remember that you are first and foremost a student. Furthermore, pack smart. There is a 50 pound weight limit for flying and most airlines only allow one bag. I recommend keeping the amount of clothes to a minimum because you probably won’t actually wear half the things you pack. Be prepared to not have a clothes drier and to need to share a single clothes washer between 2-4 people.

Meet with locals and learn about the culture

Additionally, leave any non-essential appliances behind. Other countries have different types of power outlets and dealing with converters and adapters can be a challenge. Lastly, try to get to know your roommates beforehand. The last thing you need is an argument in the middle of classes and culture shock.

Got to live out my dream and go to Venice!

I cannot thank the people at SAI, Sant’Anna, and RIT enough for this opportunity. I feel that by traveling to Europe, I learned so much more about myself and other people than I ever could have by staying home. I’m glad that I got over my fear of flying and did this trip. It was absolutely worth every penny! Thanks for reading!


– Elise is a Summer 2017 SAI Sorrento student from Rochester Institute of Technology

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.