"It hurts my heart to have to leave a place I now call home behind in less than 24 hours. Arrivederci to my new family, you will all be missed and so will the beautiful city of Sorrento. I can honestly say I had the time of my life, and I am sure a lot of you can say the same as well.” - Taryn Sonoda - Western New England, Summer 2017
“I do not know where to start when thinking about my favorite memory from this trip. I could say it was the amazing views of the coast from the boat ride in Amalfi, or from the chairlift in Capri. I could mention the incredible ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii, or the mouthwatering pizza in Naples. I could spend an entire day talking about visiting Rome, but choosing one favorite moment on this trip is difficult.
My trip was filled with many new experiences with many new friends. I did not think I would become so close with people I barely knew in such a short time. This study abroad trip really makes you appreciate different cultures and the beauty of another country. No words or pictures can fully describe the experience and joy of this trip. If you really want to know how my trip was - you will have to live it yourself." – Joe Strid,Western New England, Summer 2017 "It’s finally starting to hit me just how little time we have left here. Although I keep saying I never want to go home, I am looking forward to sharing the hundreds of photos and memories with my family and friends when I get back." -Caitlyn Marchand Blog #17 ,Western New England, Summer 2017
"As the last day came, going to class was bittersweet. Saying goodbye to the staff of Sant'Anna hurt more than I expected. Sant'Anna has become a part of me. No language barrier could make the experience that I have received here at this Institute any less than how spectacular it was. Classroom views of the beautiful sea, staff that was willing to make all ends met, and a room full of 18 students and two professors who I now consider important people in my life made this Institute the most welcoming one I have ever attended. The connections that we have made here in Sorrento, inside and outside the classroom, is all thanks to Sorrento. As I walked down the pathway leading away from Sant'Anna one final time, I came to tears realizing that without this experience, let alone this wonderful place, that none of this would be possible." –Breauna Allore , Western New England, Summer 2017 “Before this trip I knew about study abroad programs, but I never knew how important one could really be. I can honestly say that it has changed my life, and perspective on everything, and I am a changed person because of this trip. I am so happy I was able to be apart of this trip, with so many great people, and professors who made this dream a reality." -
Ashton Bourbonnais,Western New England, Summer 2017
"...I am speechless when trying to think of catchy lines to sum up this trip. The tears dripping onto my keyboard are just a tiny glimpse of the impact this study abroad journey has had on me. These eighteen students have become my brothers and sisters, and the professors have become my parents. The native here have become my neighbors, and the Bay of Naples has become my back yard." - Donna Montgomery, Western New England, Summer 2017 “The day that everyone has been dreading since the beginning of the trip has finally come: our last day in Sorrento, Italy. For the past three weeks this city has went from being a foreign land to my home. From hitting up nearly every gelato shop to eating plenty of pizzas to swimming in the Bay of Naples for countless hours, I feel as though I am starting to become a "pro" of Sorrento. I will still remember the way the sun looked as it was setting over the water and how the nights seemed to come alive on the streets once everyone was full and happy from their large Italian meals. I know that I am going to miss this place forever: but it will not be my last time visiting. As I told everyone at dinner tonight, I will be returning here for my wedding and everyone on the trip will get an invite!"-Rachel Bauer, Western New England, Summer 2017
When we began our trip back in our WNE classroom, I did not know a single person. I was apprehensive, defensive, and sometimes on the offensive, of meeting these 18 other strangers. I was afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone and experiencing new "obstacles". However, as soon as our plane took off to Italy, that all changed. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Without stepping out of my comfort zone, I would not have 20 new friends today (Yes, Professor Garton and Mesiti are in that group!). Without stepping out of my comfort zone, I would still be sitting at home this summer, building upon the same daily routine that I had experienced for the last 20 years of my life. And without stepping out of my comfort zone, I would not be the person that I am today, writing this blog for the last time. Some may think "how can three weeks change you as a person?", I say, you have to experience it to answer that question... “All good things must come to an end and although I am sad I am leaving, I am happy about the amazing memories we created here. This group of 19 students will share a bond that no one else can truly understand. We have been to beautiful places and seen so much in these last few weeks. I could have never imagined back in February that I would be where I am right now, sad to leave these people that I did not even know only a few weeks ago. Overall, this experience is one of the most unforgettable events that has happened in my life and I could not be more grateful for the incredible professors that brought us here and made it possible. Thank you guys so much!” – Sarah Shiels Blog, Western New England, Summer 2017
"From this study abroad experience I learned that one can forge strong friendships with people in a short amount of time and embrace new experiences and expand one's comfort zone. These three weeks spent in Italy did if fact change me on an intellectual, cultural, and personal level. Learning about the history behind the sites I was seeing - I grew. Immersed inside a culture that was different and unfamiliar to me I grew to be more culturally aware. Lastly, through my experiences over these past three weeks I have learned many things about myself. I have learned to enjoy the taste of different foods, to appreciate a new genre of music, and to not live life behind the screen of a cell phone. This is a once in a lifetime experience that has taught me many things and changed me in many ways." -Joe Strid , Western New England, Summer 2017