University News

WNE Students/Staff Experience Life-Changing Journey in Sorrento, Italy

Published: August 07, 2023 | Categories: All News, Arts and Sciences

A Transformative Study Abroad Program

Study Abroad students in Pompeii

Students and staff from Western New England University (WNE) embarked on an enriching journey to Sorrento, Italy this summer immersing themselves in the study of Italian culture through the very popular Sorrento Study Abroad program.

The program offered students a unique opportunity to enroll in two courses: Business Communication, taught by Professor Garton-Sjoberg, and Italian Culture, guided by a professor from the esteemed Sant'Anna Institute, WNE's international partner school.

With tours, guest lectures, and site visits, participants enjoyed a well-rounded experience that extended beyond the classroom, providing insights into Italian culture and global business practices.

"Being able to study abroad this summer was truly a life-changing experience. I will always be so grateful that I got this opportunity," said Emma Karamian, a junior General Business major in the WNE College of Business. "I will cherish the memories I made forever. I'm walking away from this trip with such a new insight on life and 17 new best friends."

The itinerary was carefully curated to offer students a comprehensive understanding of Italian culture. Activities included making their own gelato, cooking authentic Italian dinners, and touring the world-famous Amalfi Coast. Additionally, the group visited Naples, Pompeii Ruins, Villa Rufolo, Capri Island, Positano, Ravello, Amalfi, and the Royal Palace of Caserta. Engaging lectures from experts at olive oil and lemon farms, a mozzarella cheese factory, and a specialty coffee business further enriched their experience.

Program Director and Professor of Communication, Brenda Garton-Sjoberg expressed her enthusiasm for the transformative nature of the trip, saying, "It is extremely rewarding to take students on this study abroad trip every summer. These three weeks provide transformative educational experiences that allow students to grow and learn more about themselves as they discover a different culture in another country. These life-changing lessons in world-famous site visits provide instruction that could never be taught from a textbook or in a classroom. The entire region becomes their campus, and the cultural immersion is invaluable."

The success of the Sorrento Study Abroad Program can be attributed to the longstanding partnership between Western New England University and the Sant'Anna Institute. This year's trip marked the 6th visit to Sorrento, Italy, solidifying the commitment to fostering global perspectives and educational excellence.