CIS Abroad - Semester on the Italian Coast - Sant'Anna Institute

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There’s something a little mystical about Sorrento, Italy, a beautiful town hugging the cliffs that overlook a fishing port and Mt Vesuvius. Located just 20 miles south of Naples, Sorrento is known as the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. You’ll wake up every morning in this paradise by the sea, and you’ll study at the immensely popular Sant’Anna Institute. The Institute’s experiential learning model means classes will be fun and engaging. Dabble in learning Italian so you can chat with fellow travelers as you catch the train to Rome or the ferry to the Islands of Capri and Ischia.

  • Southern Italian culture, unique to the country
  • Small class sizes give you one-on-one attention
  • Trips to Pompeii, Capri and Mt. Vesuvius
  • Markets selling art famous to the region, including ceramics, lacework and intarsio
  • Italian language classes in a supportive, friendly community


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CISabroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships, grants, or discounts to study abroad. We're unapologetically committed to increasing access to international education for all students.

$250 - $500

Questions & Answers


9.44 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Academics 7.2
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 9
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Yes, I recommend this program

You won't get an experience like this again

This experience was unique because of the location. Sorrento is a small town unlike any other with the breathtaking views, and the community is supportive. I could walk to the beach every day before or after class and easily walk to the grocery store. It was my best pick to have the easiest transition from home to abroad. I felt safe as a woman even walking alone at night. The professors loved the classes they taught, and I got to take an Elementary Italian course which really helped me learn more of the language. One of the best moments of the semester was finally learning enough Italian to be able to order at a restaurant. I could tell the locals were happy that I was trying to fit into their culture. It was AWESOME! This program is great because it checked off all of my boxes. It is very easy to get around and had all the benefits of a big school with a small town authentic Italian feel.

What would you improve about this program?
More (diverse) students attending the school. There were only Americans at the Sant'Anna Institute and I wish there were more international students. In addition, there were only 28 students at the school in total. I wish there were more people from different cultures and more students in general. This would lead to a greater sense of community and allowing for different cultural perspectives. There were few people and this created a sense of loneliness at times.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Sorrento Experience

Sorrento was one of the most beautiful and amazing places I have ever been. I am so happy that I decided to go there because it was a small, immersive town, where we knew all the locals, could practice Italian comfortably and got treated like family there. Sorrento was unique because a lot of people don't know it exist! A lot of my friends who studied abroad picked big cities like Rome or Florence but I think Sorrento was perfect for me because it made me feel safe and comfortable. The view outside your window is a million dollar view and makes you never want to leave. CISabroad was a very good partner program that provided me with a lot of support, especially being someone who has never left the country before and who has a lot of traveling anxiety. They were a great support system and guided me through my journey in Sorrento without being overbearing.

What would you improve about this program?
To improve the program, I suggest better communication about all processes involved in order to actually physically get abroad. The visa process was a pain and we had no warning going into this that it would be that much of a struggle just to get one.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Semester on the Italian Coast - Sorrento (Spring 2019)

In the fall of 2018, I realized I wanted to study abroad. So, after researching a few programs, I decided to study on the Amalfi Coast in Italy! I went through a program called CIS Abroad, who helped me to plan everything - from a basic packing list, to information about the student Visa process, to financial planning!
I loved Sorrento, where Sant'Anna Institute (the abroad school) was located, as it was a very authentic Italian experience; bigger cities such as Rome or Florence tend to be more high-density tourist attractions, which hinder traditional Italian culture. For the semester, I lived in a dorm located in the same building as my classrooms. Sant'Anna provided very safe and clean housing as well as access to kitchen spaces and balconies. The staff helped with any travel questions we had, and the teachers cared deeply about our success as students as well as young travelers.

What would you improve about this program?
I personally found dorm life to be tricky sometimes because certain students would create difficulties for the rest of us, and I wish the Sant'Anna staff had dealt more directly with those students so that arguments could be resolved efficiently rather than lasting the entirety of the semester.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Sorrento: Would 10/10 recommend

My experience in Sorrento was incredible. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad in Italy. You get a true flavor of local Italians because you aren't in a huge city like Rome or Florence, but the transportation makes it very easy to go visit those places. The landscape in Sorrento is also breathtaking; it is on the Amalfi coast and I had fresh mussels every week right on the Tyrrhenian Sea with a view of Mt. Vesuvius. I made lifelong friends, both Italian and American and am so thankful for the relationships I was able to have while abroad. Going abroad can be scary and overwhelming, especially when it is for four months, but CIS and Sant'Anna both had amazing support teams to help us adjust and thrive. I did an internship while I was there and that is how I got plugged in with the locals. I learned how to cook real Italian food, got to help plant vegetables, learned how to make olive oil, and even learned basic Italian in only four months because I spent so much time there. I am so thankful for the amazing experience Italy gave me and the supportive and incredible people I get to call my friends because of this trip.

What would you improve about this program?
It can't; it's amazing.
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Yes, I recommend this program

More Than What I Dreamed Of

I never expected to be so impacted by this experience, it is one you will never regret. I took a Marine Biology class and I genuinely feel that is where some of my most memorable moments come from, snorkeling in clear blue water and studying different species in the water is not an experience I get to have here in New York City. The program itself makes you feel welcomed and very safe which was one of my biggest concerns; giving you tips the first orientation on the dos and donts of the city. The biggest impact on my life was not only the culture that is experienced but the different individuals you meet along the way. You take a bit of each one with you, you learn from them because everyone shares a different story. My favorite memory would be going to Capri (free trip, courtesy of the program).
Tip: once in Europe you can go anywhere for a great deal! I got the opportunity to go to Prague and Croatia!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Sorrento...a second home

With the guidance of CISAbroad, I couldn't have asked for a better study abroad experience. The memories I made in southern Italy I will remember forever and hope to tell to my children and grandchildren of. CISAbroad walked me through all the steps of obtaining my study visa. They put up with my constant questions and worrying. Even while in Italy, I was able to meet up with an Italian adviser that took me to dinner and informed me of many Italian cultures and traditions. I couldn't have felt more comfortable being in a foreign environment with the staff of CISAbroad by my side. Sorrento was an amazing environment to thrive, meet new people, and try new things. I would recommended this experience to anyone and everyone.

What would you improve about this program?
More easily accessible communication.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

Maiah semester abroad: the up’s & down’s

When I pictured myself studying abroad, from the flight to Italy to the flight home, I was filled with so much excitement & wonderlust. I was picturing all the amazing countries & cultures I would be able to immerse myself in and I could not have been more thrilled. What I didn’t realize before my trip was that the people I met would have such an influence on my time in Sorrento. Leaving and saying our goodbyes was one of the hardest parts. The life long friendships I made during my time abroad is something I hold so close to my heart. Looking bad, I would not have had it any other way. The town of Sorrento was so cute & quaint. During all of the amazing trips we took, from Ireland to Germany, to Croatia, to Greece, getting back to Sorrento felt so nice. It truly felt like home.
My friends & I were able to feel like locals. We fit in with our daily routines, going into town to grab a coffee or a gelato, seeing familiar faces that would smile & greet you so nicely.
I would recommend studying abroad to anyone. I was able to see so much growth and change not only within myself but within so many others around me. You create a bond with the people you travel with for so many reasons but I have found that the changes & growth you go through hold you together the most. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to discover who you are, how you adapt to change, and to focus on yourself & what makes you happy. It may be hard at some points, but it is so worth it in the end. I wouldn’t give up my study abroad experience for anything. CIS abroad has helped me through it all and I could not be more thankful.

What would you improve about this program?
The institute of Sant’Anna is new at the study abroad program for the amount of students they are now receiving & living in the building itself.
When living there, most students felt like there were many growing pains that needed to be kinked out.
These were a such as:
Major lack in communication between the staff & students. Things such as, when visitors would be staying in the dorms, that were complete strangers to the students. When there would be fire alarms at 9:00am. When class times were moved. They were all minor things, but when you’re living there you should have the right to know them because it allows you to adjust and feel a lot more comfortable just knowing what is going on.

The kitchen is the only area for students to truly hangout and play cards or talk. If they had more of a space for activities, it would keep the boredom level down, especially if you’re there during the off season of Sorrento, it’s hard finding much to do.
A suggestion: there is a court in the garden area of Sant’Anna that would be perfect for kickball games & other activities. (We used to play when we could) but it is only open when the school is open. So our evenings & weekends we weren’t allowed to go out there.
The space was another issue. There was around 35/40 students that shared only 2 refrigerators. It would be a huge help if there was at least third fridge.
This also goes for the laundry machines. We only had 1 washer/ dryer for 35/40 people.
Overall, it was an amazing program but a lot of little things added up that could have made a difference if they were improved.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester of my Life

My program was incredible. The staff at the partner university exceeded expectations in every way. I was the first student to go abroad with an Emotional Support Animal, my dog Nala. We had the time of our lives and are so happy we took advantage of the opportunities provided by CIS Abroad. Their staff was also very hands-on and present which was nice, they even planned special events for us! I would recommend this experience to anybody.

What would you improve about this program?