Sorrento is home away from home! May 02, 2023

By (Environmental Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/15/2023 to 05/06/2023 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Sorrento - Semester on the Italian Coast

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I grew a lot as a person while I have been abroad and I really like who I have become. I have also met so many people of different backgrounds at Sant’Anna, in Sorrento, and also in all the countries I’ve visited. This allowed me to learn about so many different cultures, other parts of the world, and make unforgettable connections!

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.

The schooling at Sant’Anna is unorganized, the communication is severely lacking, and the professors do not make expectations clear

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very unorganized. The younger staff is very pleasant, but upper level administration is not very kind and seems to only want us for our money

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I live in the dorms, with a balcony on the garden side. I love my living arrangements, except for the kitchen. The kitchen was a daily issue, it’s disgusting and honestly I was afraid I’d get sick from how unsanitary it was. And there is a certain group of students that I know are the root of this issue.

* Food:

Sant’Anna does not provide any food, no dining halls/plans. Again the kitchen was horrendous when everyone is cooking.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

At the beginning of the semester, it was very immersive because it was during the low season. I feel like I did get to know some locals well and also understand Italian lifestyle deeply. But that dwindled a bit when tourist populations increased.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The school expects that 1 doctor, who comes in for 1 hours only twice a week is enough for the whole school. A lot of the time students wait in line and can’t make it into the doctors office before he has to leave. He also accuses us a lot for faking illness.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Sorrento

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Sorrento the city is beautiful! I love that it is so cozy, it’s more immersive than other programs, and that it is on the coast but also has mountains nearby. However, the schooling is not good at Sant’Anna, so if I were to do it over again I would chose a place with a better and more organized school.


* 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)

Sorrento is pretty affordable

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $45-$50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy groceries that are versatile and can be meal prepped to avoid the temptation of buying a meal out of convenience


* 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

Some engagement because I took Italian class

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? 6 years of Spanish
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • the people i’ve met
  • Frankie for being the best program coordinator ever!
  • the events that the program has held
* What could be improved?
  • The schooling at Sant’Anna Institute
  • The organization of the school
  • The dorm kitchen situation
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Sorrento has a low season where there are barely any tourists and very little of the businesses are open for most of the semester. I also wish I knew that the nightlife is almost nonexistent in Sorrento.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:


Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The expectations are never clear and she gets upset when we don’t understand what she wants. She barely speaks English which makes it difficult to learn and even harder to communicate, this was the main issue. We also didn’t learn much, we only had class about 2/3 of the time, and when we did have class a lot of the time we would watch movies that are not technically educational, mostly fictional movies. Also there were way too many field trips for this class at inconvenient times.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Marine Biology

Course Department:
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was unnecessarily difficult for a 100 level class. He expected way too much without communicating his expectations. The lectures are 2.5 hours 2 times a week which was way too long for anyone’s attention span, and a lot of the time the lectures were not engaging. The one thing I did like about this class was the hands-on experience during our labs once in a while.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Italian 101

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: This class was my favorite at Sant’Anna. I learned the most in this class, the class was perfectly organized, and she is overall a great teacher who wants the best for her students.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Drawing on Location

Course Department:
Instruction Language:
Comments: I love the instructor as a person but I did not like this class much. This is an intro drawing class but we did not learn any drawing techniques, the class was trial and error. She would tell me that she didn’t like something in my drawings but not explain how I could do better, even when I asked. The workload for this class was also insane, less than a week to draw and paint 12 pages, with little creative freedom.
Credit Transfer Issues: