Sorrento felt like Home. July 28, 2017

By (Alfred State College - SUNY College of Technology) - abroad from 01/22/2017 to 05/13/2017 with

Alfred State: Architecture Studies in Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Absolutely worthwhile! I learned that you should always be willing to try new things, that people are rarely what they seem when you first meet them (in a good way!!) and architecture is a universal interest. Oh and I love living in a place where I can walk to everything!!! In the gorgeous Italian sun!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because there were so many people I knew from home in the program I didn't feel the need to get to know many locals so I didn't meet many Italians or speak Italian that much.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Had to bring my friend to the ER. There was no clear system to the facility. Had no idea where to go or who to speak to (if we could). After standing around for a while and being ushered out of rooms we apparently weren't supposed to be in someone helped us. But it was right down the road so at least it was accessible and our program administrators had told us where it was the very first week. No vaccines needed. Pharmacies are also around every other corner in Italy. Stocked with essentials.

* Safety:

So safe. It isn't smart to walk home alone after around 10pm (a few students, including myself, got followed or cornered at night a handful of times, but never if we were with a friend) but other than that I felt safe there. Train is a little sketchy, watch out for pick pockets during tourist season, and never set your back pack down unattended.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Sorrento is small enough to get to know within the time we had there but big enough that there was always something new to explore. The people there are welcoming, the school faculty are enthusiastic and very willing to help improve your experience in any way possible.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 euros, if not travelling
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try cooking at home some nights. And book trips in advance.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 5 years of spanish class
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Say anything to anyone (within reason). Most people will help you. Just try. Just ordering at a restaurant with wait staff who understand english? Try Italian anyway.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Faculty are fabuous
  • Sorrento is beautiful and full of culture
  • It was 4 months long
* What could be improved?
  • Shorten it by two weeks so we don't have to worry about visas
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That if I didn't force myself to practice Italian and talk to people that I wouldn't get to know any locals or learn the language very well.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'