With a little over three weeks left in my summer term, my experience here in Sorrento has been nothing short of life-changing. Through this experience, I have gained knowledge and friends that will last me for a lifetime and still have many more memories to make in the coming weeks ahead. An important note that I had to take into account for the first week or so was to not get too sidetracked on everything going on in the city and activities around me and forget about my physical and mental health. In order to make the most out of your time abroad, staying both physically and mentally healthy is very important and there are many ways to make that happen.
Various Outdoor Activities
Sorrento has a landscape that is truly breathtaking in more ways than one. At first sight, the surrounding hills and mountains leave you speechless while you stand on the 4th-floor terrace in utter amazement. Then when a few friends decide to try and hike up a mountain in the heat of the day, you truly cannot turn that opportunity down. Hiking is a very popular way of getting around while in Sorrento and my roommate topped out at around 8 miles in the course of the 4th day while abroad. A moment that I will keep with me for the rest of my life was the 40-odd minute hike to Regina Giovanna which is a local landmark in which you can swim. This hike, while tiring was very beneficial and you gained a new perspective of the surrounding area and the masterpiece which is Sorrento. If hiking isn’t your thing, simply walking throughout the city and exploring the various landmarks is a great way to stay physically healthy while still having a great time. The main thing that helped me in the first weeks of my term was signing up for a membership at the local gym which is about half a mile from the school. Being able to wake up around 7 am and either walk or run to the gym and get a good workout has been very helpful in maintaining a healthy routine and remaining physically fit at the same time.
In the early stages of being abroad, it can be quite easy to forget the studious parts of your trip. Through the help and determination of campus faculty and staff, you have every opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom. During free time or late at night when you just don’t feel like going out on the town, the student lounge and student library can be a great place to either study for upcoming classes or just hang out and unwind with friends. On the topic of mental health, being social from the start of the term is very helpful and helped me feel at home from the second I arrived at the school. My professor for History of the Mafia has been very open and honest to me and my classmate and understands that we are not familiar with certain aspects and he is more than willing to help us succeed in his class. Being able to succeed in the classroom and around town on a mental level has made my experience very easy going especially when you come to terms with the fact that you will make mistakes and the occasional “no parlo Italiano” can really kick start a conversation with the locals to where they can help you in any way possible.
My overall experience has been something that I will never forget. The people I have met here in Sorrento will go on to do great things in life while cherishing the moments which we all have shared while on this trip. With a little over three weeks to go, I look forward to the challenges and memories ahead which will continue to make this trip nothing short of remarkable.
Bradley is a Summer 2021 Sorrento student from Averett University.