Between Sant’Anna Institute, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast, you will have an array of extra-curricular activities to participate in. Sorrento is wedged between the sea and the mountains which provides ample opportunity for swimming and hiking.
Every week, Sant’Anna organizes optional activities for all of its students including:
- gelato-making and cooking classes
- Italian films
- language exchange partners
- Italian conversation or phonetics lessons
- weekly lunches with SASL Faculty
- buffalo, wine, olive, and limoncello factory tours
Sant’Anna study abroad students enjoy excursions as a part of their program (3 for semester students and 1 for summer students). Students can also participate in additional optional excursions.
These might include:
- Amalfi Coast
- Mount Vesuvius
Students also have the opportunity to engage themselves in community service activities (i.e. cleaning up the local marina area).
Please inquire about this opportunity before your arrival.
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Health and safetyFAQs
No, one of the many benefits of Sorrento is that it is a small town and it is easily walkable from most areas to the center of town in less than 30 minutes.
Compared to many larger Italian cities, Sorrento is a safe place to live. Students generally don’t have to worry as much about crime and theft. As long as a student adopts responsible travel habits, usually they will have a smooth and safe experience. While the threat of crime is much lower than in larger cities, Sorrento is a tourist town and criminals can target tourists and non-Italians as “easy” targets, therefore we suggest students to be responsible and always safeguard their belongings. Furthermore, although it is safe to walk around Sorrento, we highly recommend students to walk home together late at night.
Sant’Anna onsite staff will be able to assist students on how to reach public clinics/hospitals, embassies, consulates or the police station.
During orientation you will receive general information about health, safety and wellbeing, useful numbers and directions to Sant’Anna’s English speaking doctor and pharmacy, as well as the Sant’Anna staff 24-hour emergency cell phone contact information.
Moreover, Sant’Anna provides the onsite healthcare service: a medical doctor is on campus 1 day a week for primary care at no extra charge. Other special visits and psychological/psychiatric may be provided upon request with an extra charge.
As a country, the Italian military police force, the Carabinieri, has made nation-wide adjustments to protect and prevent the occurrence of terrorism. Military presence is growing along boarder lines, in airports, and in high traffic areas. Even with Sorrento being smaller, there are currently 50 officers stationed in the area to ensure safety and work with the local police force.
Sant’Anna Institute itself has emergency policies set in place to keep track of their students and confirm their safety. A staff member contacts each student immediately after the news of any European incident. Safety can’t be promised to anyone at any geographical location, but each student should have a plan of action.
We suggest you to take an extra STEP towards safety and register with the US State department in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) on the US State Department Website, you notify the nearest US Embassy (The Embassy in Naples serves Sorrento)to your travels of your status abroad. STEP allows you to receive updates about health and safety conditions in your destinations, and get in contact with you in case of emergency in country or at home.
From Sorrento, it is easy and fairly inexpensive to travel in Italy and across Europe, particularly if you plan and book in advance.
The fastest way is by plane: the airport of Naples – Capodichino is approx. at an hour and half distance from Sorrento by car/bus.
Find info on the bus to the Naples airport and other ways to reach Naples on our Maps and Directions Page.
Sorrento is connected directly to Capodichino also by a local private bus, find more info at https://www.curreriviaggi.it/en/.
From Capodichino, you can fly to all major destinations in Italy, Europe and all over the world! You can also find low cost companies that fly to major destinations in Europe, but we suggest you always to pay attention to hidden costs for extra luggage, overweight luggage, itinerary changes, etc.
If you would like to travel in Italy you can also opt for the often cheaper and as simple solution, and take the train.
The railway station Naples Centrale -Piazza Garibaldi is connected to the other cities in Italy by regional trains and high speed trains, such as Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com) and Italo (http://www.italotreno.it/).
From Sorrento you can reach directly the railway station Naples Centrale by Circumvesuviana train (approx. 1h10 ride), running approx. every 30 minutes from the early morning until the evening.
Phones and internet accessFAQs
Free Wi-fi access is guaranteed at school and in the Residence Hall/Shared apartments.
We suggest you put your smartphone on airplane mode and use it only on WiFi. WiFi is not as reliable as it is in the US, England, and Australia, but it is the most cost effective option. It also is more accessible than in the United States.
Check with your provider if you have free international roaming because some providers, such as TMobile, do offer it.
To ensure better communication and safety while studying in Sorrento, we strongly recommend obtaining a local italian SIM Card, which will give you an italian phone number. At the same time you can still have your american number as well.
We remind you that it is extremely important to be able to make a phone call to an Italian number in case of need.
In Sorrento you can easily find italian phone companies stores, where to purchase a sim card at approx. 10,00 -15,00 Euros for your phone for Italian, multi-country, or International plans. Most monthly plans vary between 15-20,00 Euro for a combination of minutes, SMS and data. Please be aware that you will need to show your original passport while purchasing a new local SIM Card.
If you plan to use your personal phone abroad make sure your phone is “unlocked” before you leave, as it will not work if it is not.
Yes, most international debit and credit cards are accepted in Italy, but some smaller shops may not accept them for transactions under 10,00 Euros.
Keep in mind that while using your American accounts:
- Debit cards almost always have foreign transaction fees on them which can be anywhere from $3-8 per transaction, so use them sparingly or only to withdraw from ATMs.
- Most ATMs (bancomats in Italian) will charge you a fee for using an ATM out of your system, but this is usually less than transaction fees that your card will charge for swiping in the stores, so consider taking out the cash. Also, there are still many places that will/can not take card in Italy.
- There are credit cards that do not have foreign transaction fees so you will only be paying the conversion rate. Consider opening a card and paying off the balance.
Although electronic payment methods are widely accepted in Italy, cash transactions are still commonplace.
Therefore, we recommend you to have always a small amount of Euros with you for small daily transactions. We strongly suggest that you do not carry large amounts of cash with you in Sorrento, elsewhere in Italy or abroad. Make a plan for the daily expenses and take with you only what you need, make sure the rest of your cash is kept somewhere safe.
You can either exchange currency at any bank or in the exchange offices spread around Sorrento, the exchange rates and fees may vary. If you need to have money wired the best way to do this is through services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. You will need to use your full legal name as it appears on your passport.
Weather and packing tipsFAQs
Sorrento has a sunny and warm Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry with an average maximum temperature of 29 degrees Celsius (84° Fahrenheit) in the warmest months. The winters are mild with an average temperature of around 13 ° C (55° F). It can often rain in winter. On average, the warmest month(s) are July and August and the coolest month is January.
Pack Light! Just bring the essentials; you can usually buy anything you need once in Sorrento. Remember that your will probably want to take home souvenirs as well!
Students with existing medical conditions should ensure, prior to departure, that any medical supplies they may need while abroad can either carried from home in their checked luggage or prescribed and purchased in Italy directly.
It is not advisable for students to have any medicine shipped via postal service from their home country as the package will require documentation forms of imports into Italy and will likely stuck at Customs. Please also be aware that certain prescription drugs that are used in your country may be illegal in Italy and will not be allowed to pass through customs.
Foreign prescriptions are not accepted in Italian pharmacies and, unless the medication the student needs can be sold over the counter in Italy, it will be necessary to have it prescribed by a doctor in Sorrento (you will receive our English speaking doctor and pharmacy referrals during Orientation).
Even if Sorrento is a small town it is very international! As millions of tourist come every year, even if you do not speak Italian in the city center one can usually find someone that can speak at some English.
Sorrentine people are kind and open and it is easy to make friends with locals and learn some italian. Moreover, Sant’Anna promotes the multicultural exchange through tandem programs, where you have the chance to meet people and students of a different nationality to practice and improve your foreign language skills!
The ability to step out of your comfort zone and branch out to the local community highly depends on your willingness and attitude. Sant’Anna encourages students’ cultural immersion and offers a variety of cultural activities: internships, service learning, community engagement projects and volunteering opportunities!
The best tip is to be confident and to have a great experience! Do as the locals do. Adopt and adapt to the local cultures. Don’t be afraid to talk to locals and make friends, but keep your wits about you. When travelling, know what’s going on around you, don’t bury yourself in technology and have a Plan B. Be flexible but make decisions wisely.
Life in Sorrento / ShoppingFAQs
There are plenty of activities that you can practice in Sorrento and surroundings.
If you love having fun you can find a bowling centre in Sorrento and amusement and water parks in the surround?ngs. If you love sports and want to stay fit during your stay abroad you can either use Sant’Anna’s gym or find several gyms and outdoor facilities where you can practise a huge variety of outdoor sports, such as tennis, football, riding, swimming and more!
During the summer time you have also the opportunity to go snorkelling and discover the local marine area. If you love the nature you will find a lot of hiking trails with breathtaking views upon the hills of the Sorrentine Peninsula. Ask us to receive more detailed information!
Whether you’re looking for a quiet and intimate evening with that special someone, or want to dance the night away with a group of friends, Sorrento and nearby Sant’Agnello have plenty of nightlife options.
The narrow streets of Sorrento’s centro storico are alive with cafes, clubs, and restaurants, which become positively crowded during the sweet nights of summer.
The historical centre of Sorrento is the ideal place for shopping, from the seafront to the narrow streets, leading to the main street area, you can find thousands of souvenirs shops selling local products, such as Typical hand-craft marquetry, hand-stitched tablecloths, coloured handmade sandals, distilleries and local gastronomic products.
Along the main street, Corso Italia, many shops offer the most famous “Made in Italy” brands for your clothing and accessories. Sorrentines love strolling on Corso Italia eating gelato and doing shopping.