I have several reasons that I chose Sant’Anna for my study abroad school. My only credit that I had left to complete for college was my internship, so I figured, why not do that in Italy? I started searching for internships through my school, and Sant’Anna was the number one school recommended to me. I’m not the kind of person to just accept that because it was #1, means I should go there. I researched it and found that Sant’Anna has personalized internships, locational-relevant classes, and is very near a UNESCO World Heritage site (Amalfi Coast) and Pompeii. All of these, plus the helpful and friendly nature of the staff I interacted with, made me choose Sant’Anna.
I wanted an internship where I actually accomplish something. I didn’t want to have on my resume an internship that was just me getting coffee and donuts for an office. That doesn’t help me in the real world. My internship at Sant’Anna was customized specifically for me. I am an English major, so I write articles and proofread documents, I help with paperwork and run the social media for the school.
Sant’Anna offered very specific classes that interact with the area that it is situated in. My classes this semester include many courses specifically focused on Italy, Naples, and towns including and surrounding Sorrento. Anthropology of Europe is taught from a European standpoint, which is something that I cannot easily access in the United States. Just having a professor who lives in Europe and has worked for the EU has given me perspectives on how Europe works on cultural, social, and governmental levels that is impossible to get from a textbook.
Mediterranean Culture and History covers 5000 years of history in 15 weeks. It does talk about European history in general, but focuses on the Mediterranean and all of the empires that ruled in and around it. In one class, History of the Mafia, we discuss how the Mafia came into being in Southern Italy and why it is still a problem in the area.
Archeology: Cities of Fire is focused on the eruptions of Vesuvius, specifically the one in 79AD. We discuss and visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, and some smaller villas. The unique part of the class is visiting the sites with the professor and having class at the sites and seeing what we have read about. I took Archeology at my college, but actually being able to visit and explore the sites in real life adds an entirely new dimension to the class.
Another reason I chose Sant’Anna is because it offered a homestay option. I decided that if I am going to study abroad, why not live with a local family as well? It has helped me have a better understanding of everyday life in Southern Italy and given me opportunities I could never have had in an apartment. My host mother helps me with my Italian homework, my host father makes his own wine, and I can have a family setting while 4,986 miles away from my home (but who’s counting).
Sant’Anna Institute is located directly overlooking Marina Grande in Sorrento. Sorrento is right by the Amalfi Coast, and is usually used for a great place to explore south to the Amalfi Coast or north to Pompeii and Naples. Sorrento isn’t a major city, and I personally am drawn to smaller cities where I can get to know the locals easily and feel safe all the time. It has quaint family shops and beautiful parks and is on the Bay of Naples, with Vesuvius overlooking the town.
Sant’Anna was the right school for me to go to. It helped me immerse myself in Italian culture while also making me realize what my core values truly were. It gave me classes that fascinated me and professors that actually taught me not only about the subjects, but also myself and what I want to do with my life. It gave me a family to come visit the next time I am in Europe. It gave me friends who I know will last a lifetime. So thank you, Sant’Anna, and specifically thank you to the staff at the school.