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Santa'Anna Institute | Department of Study Abroad

Sant'Anna Institute

Service Learning

Sant’Anna Institute holds service learning as a pillar of academic excellence. Service learning is a branch of Sant'Anna's Experiential Learning model.

Through service learning students work in tandem with the community through various project types thaty relate to their coursework of a particular class in order to immerse themselves within the framework of the course material and pull from real life examples to learn. The community and the projects students complete become active texts of information for the course subject.

Students’ courses are intimately connected to the needs and current designs of various aspects of the community. They work in tandem with the community to create new ideas and new visions for future improvement.

These projects allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom in a professional manner, which develops their skills and gives back to their host community.

Sant'Anna is partnered with Piano Sociale di Zona dell'Ambito Territoriale Napoli 33, a social cooperative that manages an intergrated system of social services for the communities of the Sorrento Peninsula. Opportunities include: retirement homes, diverse-ability centers, student/youth centers, environmental/agricultural organizations, abuse shelters, and others. 


Please check our Architecture Studio Sorrento Service Learning page HERE.

Recent Service Projects

Beach Clean Up

Beach Clean Up

Students and volunteers took to the Tordigliano Beach to learn about the environmental and impact of tourism and population polution. Students spent the day cleaning the beach with the marine agency and learning about marine life.

Disability Engagement

Disability Engagement

Working together with local organization Oltre i Sogni, students met and engaged with variously-abled members of the local community. By participating in crafts, music and dance lessons, recreational activities, cooking and other activities with participants several times a week, students immersed themselves not only within the Italian community, but also within the lives of the individuals while giving back to the organization.

"Heritage Interpretation" with the Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella

"Heritage Interpretation" with the Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella

It’s about digging into the history and culture of the local environment and informing the public of its hidden values. This project focuses on zones that are a part of the Protected Marine Area of Punta Campanella and is done in tandem with professionals that research and monitor the area.
Departments involved: Marine Biology, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences

"Battle of the Bands" with various Sorrento locations

"Battle of the Bands" with various Sorrento locations

This competition among local high school musicians is organized and promoted by students with the goal of raising money for a study abroad scholarship to be awarded to local high school student programs. Students seek local business sponsors, design the advertising and other event details to put on an enjoyable night for everyone. The organization is coordinated with representatives of the local high schools. The winning band wins a prize from the sponsors, and those who donated toward the cause by voting are eligible for donated raffle prizes as well.

Departments involved: Music, Business

“English Teaching” with local public schools K-12

“English Teaching” with local public schools K-12

Accompanied by ESL teachers, students assist in lessons to teach local students about the English language. Lessons will be prompted by the ESL teacher in accordance to the curriculum, and student volunteers may propose, prepare, and present activities to support the lessons while sharing their culture with these local kids.

Departments involved: Social Sciences

 “Meta Wayfinding” Project

“Meta Wayfinding” Project

Meta is a small town close to Sorrento, the students wanted to do something to improve the tourist experience. In order to that, there was a need for a clear graphic description or “wayfinding” path that would lead visitors to all of the interesting sites in town and culminate at the waterfront. The project includes more than just a signage system but also elements such as sculptures, murals, benches for stopping and historical markers along the way.

Departments involved: Architecture, Social Sciences

“A Students Secrets of Sorrento” with the Surrentum, a local magazine

“A Students Secrets of Sorrento” with the Surrentum, a local magazine

The study abroad experience in Sorrento offers a deeper perspective of the town for students that have the opportunity to discover the treasures this community and area have to offer beyond the usual tourist experiences. The Surrentum offers column space to Sant’Anna students to share these insights with the Surrentum audience: both local community members, visiting tourists, and other students.

Departments involved: English, Communications

Find other past service learning projects below:

Marina Piccola revitalization

by Anthony Principe


In this project, architecture students were split into groups of six and tasked with creating a master plan for redesigning the port, Marina Piccola of Sorrento, Italy. The city is currently building an underground walking tunnel from the parking garage in the city down to the port as a way to revitalize and make travel to and from the port easier. By doing this and redesigning parts of the port they hope to encourage more people to the port. As part of the master plan, our student Anthony Principe from Alfred State College, NY, designed a new piazza called Piazza Sant'Antonino above the existing ferry ticketing office.

This video is a portion of overall new port design.

Sorrento Timelapse

by Jake Haggmark and Brennans Drakes

We want to thank our Spring 2009 students Jake Haggmark and Brennans Drakes who realized this video for their photography final while studying abroad in Sorrento with Alfred State College.



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