Study Abroad in Sorrento, Italy

Quick Facts | Why Sorrento? | City Description | Host Institution | Internship OpportunitiesService Learning and Community Engagement

Housing | Excursions | Course Offerings | Costs & Dates | What’s Included | Program Itinerary | FAQs

Quick Facts

Host Institutions: Sant’Anna Institute – Semester/Academic Year and Summer program
Eligibility Rules: click here
Language/Academic Focus: Elective classes are taught in English; Italian language classes are in Italian.  Electives available in a wide variety of subject areas. (Click here for Course Offerings)
Housing: Homestay with an Italian host family or an on-campus dorm/off-campus shared student apartments. Homestay accommodations include daily breakfast and dinner.  Meals are not included with the dorm/apartment option. Internet is included in all housing. For further details about these housing options, please click here!
Sample Excursions: Naples, PompeiiCapri, Positano, Paestum, Herculaneum, Rome

Why Sorrento?

  • Live and study in paradise! Southern Italy has a very mild climate, extended summer
  • Very few Americans in Sorrento
  • Classrooms are right on the water, overlooking the Bay of Naples
  • Small in size, yet international and cosmopolitan
  • Internship opportunities
  • Beaches, hiking, boating, and swimming
  • Southern Italian food!

City Description – Small city of 16,500

A small city of 16,500 in southern Italy, Sorrento is an enchanting beach town, right on the water. Imagine looking out your classroom window onto the Mediterranean Sea with Mount Vesuvius and the Isle of Capri in the distance!

Because very few Americans live and study here, you can experience Italian culture in depth. Enjoy the best of both worlds – a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city with an approachable, small-town feel and a history that is several millennia old. With origins dating back to the Roman Republic, Sorrento is steeped in history both figuratively and literally, as the town is built into cliffs of ancient compacted volcanic ash, rising up from the sea. Amidst the modern shops and restaurants, a stroll around town will encounter narrow alleyways, ancient ruins, and tranquil churches.

Located 1 hour from Naples and a half hour from Pompeii, and with bus, train, and ferry transportation nearby, you can easily explore southern Europe and everything it has to offer.

Sant’Anna Institute

Sant’Anna Institute’s mission is to provide a learning experience that engages students through total immersion of local language, community, and culture. Sant’Anna Institute was founded in 1998 and works closely with SUNY Alfred State College, their regionally accredited U.S. partner, to offer students a range of academic courses.

Sant’Anna Institute is a community of cultural exchange, attracting students from all over the world, who come here to learn Italian and experience life in southern Italy. The Institute is housed in a historical building, perched on one of Sorrento’s cliffs of ancient volcanic ash. Classrooms overlook the school’s lush gardens and the Marina Grande, Sorrento’s main fishing port. With views of the Mediterranean Sea, Mount Vesuvius, and the Isle of Capri, it is a picturesque and inspiring place to study.

Field trips are part of many courses at Sant’Anna Institute. Sorrento’s proximity to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius creates the perfect backdrop for Volcanology and Archaeology classes. The International Tourism course includes excursions where students learn about southern Italy’s tourist industry first hand.

All course credit is transferable through Alfred State College (SUNY).

Internship Opportunities

Credit bearing internship opportunities are available during Fall, Spring, and Summer sessions. Semester students must take academic courses, including Italian language, in tandem with their internship.

Internships are available in Architecture, Business Administration, Civic Engagement Communications, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Education, English, Environmental Studies, Hospitality and Tourism, Fitness Management, Italian Studies, Journalism, Music and Music Technology, Nutrition, Pharmaceutical Science, Social Work, Veterinary Science, and Visual Arts. Pass/fail credit is earned with the completion of the internship requirements and factor into the total number of credits a student is allowed to take during their academic term.  For full details about Semester and Summer Internships in Sorrento, Italy, as well as examples of past placements, please click here!

Service Learning and Community Engagement

Community Engagement projects are voluntary and independent from the courses that students attend, while Service Learning projects are designed specifically for certain courses to allow students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, and at the same time, provide a service to the city hosting them.  Sorrento is a small city, and Sant’Anna Institute is very involved with the local community.  They have ties to dozens of local businesses and organizations, through which they are able to offer ASA students a range of meaningful projects. In fact, due to the reputation of these projects within the town, oftentimes businesses and organizations in the community reach out to Sant’Anna looking to collaborate.

From an academic point of view, these projects are a form of experiential learning, allowing students to learn in partnership with the community and develop competencies that promote the advancement of socially responsible citizenry. Time spent working with a community-based organization becomes part of the students’ homework. In the case of Service Learning projects, the community serves as a “living text” for the class – another powerful source of information to complement course readings, lectures, and discussions. Service Learning and Community Engagement Programs at SASL engage both students and the broader community in reciprocal partnerships to create educational projects, promote leadership through service, foster and support inclusive environments, and advance social justice and civic engagement.  For full details about service learning and community engagement opportunities, please click here!


Students can choose to live with an Italian host family or in an on-campus dorm/off-campus shared student apartment.  (Once the dorm is full, students will be placed in off-campus apartments.)  All ASA housing includes Internet access and is located in safe neighborhoods, within a reasonable distance from school.

Homestay accommodation includes daily breakfast and dinner. Meals are not included with the dorm/apartment option, but students will have kitchen access.  Rooms are double or triple occupancy.

Full details about ASA housing, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on our Housing page.


Semester programs include 3 day excursions, and summer programs include 1 day excursion. Destinations vary by term. Past terms have included trips to Naples, the Amalfi Coast, as well as the following:

  • Capri (day excursion) – A short ferry ride from Sorrento, the Isle of Capri has been a vacation resort since the Roman Republic. See the famous Blue Grotto, the town of Anacapri and its Imperial Roman Villas, the Piazzetta, and the breathtaking Gardens of Augustus.
  • Pompeii (day excursion) – The ancient city of Pompeii and its ruins are a must-see. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD decimated Pompeii, but the objects buried beneath the city were incredibly well preserved by the volcanic ash and provide fascinating insight into the lives of ancient Pompeiians.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

What’s Included – Sorrento

  • HOUSING: Double room in a shared student apartment or shared homestay.  Homestay accommodations include daily breakfast and dinner.  Meals are not included with the shared student apartment option.  (For further details about these housing options, please click here!)
  • EXCURSIONS, semester programs: 3 day excursions.
  • EXCURSIONS, summer programs: 1 day excursion.
  • TUITION at Sant’Anna Institute
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution. Possible number of credits:  12-15 (semester programs) or 3-6 (summer programs).
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from SUNY Alfred will be sent to your home institution.
  • INTERNSHIP: Students may participate in an unpaid internship during their time in Sorrento.
  • INTERNET ACCESS at Sant’Anna Institute and in your program housing.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP at Naples (NAP) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: for a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: on-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING: While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to “Student Visa Information” to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Damage Deposit ($250), paid to ASA one month prior to departure; refundable upon return
  • Books & materials (Please note: some classes have lab fees to cover special materials or academic field trips)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Meals on excursions
  • Student Visa
  • Permit to Stay & mandated Italian medical insurance (if required)
  • All meals if living in a shared student apartment; some meals if living with a host family
  • Laundry
  • Return transport to airport on last day of program

Click here for Billing Information & Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a “Costs of Attendance” budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email chelsea(at) 

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed program itineraries.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as:

  • ASA Guide to Study Abroad
  • Student Visa info
  • Medical Insurance info
  • Booking your flight
  • Financial Aid info