REFERENZE DALLE UNIVERSITA' PARTNER
Our student Lizzy Kirchhoff (from Alfred State College) who participated to SASL Spring 2012 Study Abroad Program created this wonderful video about their amazing experience in Sorrento!! GRAZIE!!! We miss you all so much!!
. . Architecture Faculty (Suny) Business Faculty (Suny) Political Science Faculty (Hofstra)
Prof. Dennis Turner Dr. Linda Longmire
University of Dayton School of Law Professore Associato di Scienze Politiche
(programma 2010) Hofstra University (NY)
Hofstra University (NY)
Sorrento Lingue provided the ideal learning environment for our European Odyssey program. The entire range of services, personalities, and programs made us feel at home and, at the same time, expanded our horizons and opened our eyes to the beauty of Sorrento and Italian culture
Prof. Edmond Dale Verlingieri
Greenwich Academy, Connecticut, USA (giugno 2010)
... The Sorrento Lingue Director has an exciting vision for the school and makes it her business to get feedback from her students. People are so kind and dedicated to the school and the students: they will do anything to make your stay more comfortable or more enjoyable. It’s hard for me to imagine the hours they put in to create a suitable program for my own high school students. Teachers are masterful at preparing lessons that provide many activities during the class to keep it moving along; they are skilled at creating an atmosphere where you are not afraid to speak. The program continues after classes and will provide a student who is willing with an afternoon of activities from writing contests to Italian movies to a lesson in how to make a good cup of Italian coffee.... Sorrento Lingue is truly an international community where you can befriend someone from Australia or Japan over lunch or dinner or at a social event the school organizes Yes, for me it’s the people of Sorrento Lingue who have
over these years become my little Italian family.
Semester Program at Sorrento Lingue in partnership with Alfred State College (http://www.alfredstate.edu/), an important college in New York State belonging to the SUNY network (http://www.suny.edu/).
Writing is not something that comes easily for me. I’m an architect by training, so give me pencil and paper and I will draw a reasonable facsimile of a building; with a camera in hand I might capture even better the essence of a place or the character behind a face. To describe a place with words however - tapping a letter at a time on a keyboard - is an art form that I feel someone inept with. Despite that limitation, I will attempt to provide the readers of this blog with my impressions of Sorrento, and of the marvelous little language institute known as Sorrento Lingue.
My students and I have been in Sorrento for three weeks now; long enough to settle in and to begin feeling at home in our new surroundings. We are from Alfred State College in upstate New York and we find ourselves in Italy for our spring semester to study historic architecture, traditional town planning, Roman archaeology, and of course, the Italian language.
Let me first explain how we came to be here in Sorrento. I apologize in advance for the length of this introduction, but it will help the reader to know the source of my enthusiasm. The story begins in 1969, my senior year of architecture school at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Francesco Montana, the dean of the School of Architecture and a native of Sicily, had fashioned a new study abroad opportunity for students in the architecture curriculum, and I was one of 44 very fortunate participants in that first year of the UND Rome Studies program. For me it was truly a transformational experience. At 22 years of age I had barely traveled outside of NY, Indiana, and the narrow strip of interstate highway that connects the two. As a teenager I once visited Canada for an afternoon. It did not seem very much different from home.
Rome, I quickly discovered, was very different indeed. It was much more than the tiny black and white images from my architecture history texts. It was a city whose history telescoped 2,500 years further back through time than the places I was accustomed to seeing in central New York State. In Rome there were deep secrets and hidden surprises at every turn of its worn cobblestone streets. The dome of the Pantheon boggled my mind; the seductive works of Bernini and Borromini boggled it further; the Piazza Navona became my new living room. History, which had always been a tedious subject for me, now became an obsession. I was thoroughly infatuated with the Roman way of life.
Eventually my fellow students and I explored beyond Rome to the hills and lakes that surround it; then to fabulous places like Florence (where I had the most harrowing experience of my life), and Venice (where I would meet my future wife). We journeyed to lovely Portofino, and to the proud hilltowns of Tuscany and Umbria; we puzzled together at the tower in Pisa and walked silently through the mute ruins of Pompeii. We climbed Vesuvio to watch a sunset unlike any other I had ever witnessed. I can recall clearly the November moon hovering over that other-worldly landscape, as our eyes gazed on the Golfo di Napoli from the summit, and the overwhelming sense of wonder that, at the very same moment in time, there were two, far more adventurous Americans standing on that distant stone, engaged in their own exploration of an even more unearthly landscape.
After visiting Sorrento and Capri, our group then ranged further south; to the mind-numbing vistas and white-knuckle curves of the Amalfi Coast highway. We traveled on, still further back in time, to the rugged temples of the Greeks at Paestum, and from there across the strait to Taormina, Etna, Cefalu, Monreale and to more ancient stones in Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte. How curious we thought it was to find, in the hills of Sicily, a Roman mosaic depicting bikini-clad women playing with what appeared to be a beach ball!
Later in that same year I visited many other wondrous places; Paris, Versailles, Chartres, and the beaches of Normandy where my father had visited twenty-five years earlier, under very different circumstances. I saw Athens and Delphi, Innsbruck and Munich, Heidelburg and Luxembourg, Amsterdam and Brussels, Stonehenge and London.
All of these places left an indelible impression on my young mind, and unquenchable fire in my young heart. I had fallen hopelessly in love with travel, and particularly with Italy!
Five years later I began teaching architecture at Alfred State. I married, settled into mid-life, helped raised a child, renovated an old farmhouse, and went about living a quiet life in the lovely hills of western NY. Italy remained a smoldering fire though, and finally, several years ago, I began taking groups of my students on short, holiday tours of Italy. I suppose that this is what rekindled the desire to once again be able to spend an extended length of time in the country where I had learned so much, so very long ago.
I often imagined what it would be like to bring my own group of students to Italy - to experience the same walled cities and soaring vaults that had so fascinated me when I was their age. With the sketchy idea of creating our own foreign studies offering, I began using the convenience of the internet to look around Italy for a suitable place to bring students for a semester of study. Most American schools of architecture locate their study abroad programs in predictable places like Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Venice,etc, and that is where I imagined our program might find a home. After many months of fruitless searching, and through an incredible piece of luck, I received an email one day from a colleague who was forwarding to me an email that she had received; one which included a link to Sorrento Lingue’s website.
The American architect Louis Kahn once commented in one of his legendary lectures:
"How accidental our existences are, really, and how full of influence by circumstance"
If I had not clicked on that link, if a student had walked in my office at that moment and distracted me, or perhaps if my computer had beeped with an urgent email to respond to, or if I had thought to myself, “Sorrento? No... too far from the center of things... too small of a town.” Or if, or if, or if... How accidental our existences are, indeed!
At first glance Sorrento Lingue appeared able to provide the setting I was looking for; one in which we might plant ourselves for a semester to take advantage of SL’s language instruction, and one that might possibly provide the space to set up an architectural studio class. I remembered Sorrento, from short visits in 1970 and 1974, as a very pretty town with the best pizza I had ever tasted, but little else stuck in my memory after 35 years. I remembered it mostly as a departure point for Capri. But I thought it would be worth my time to at least inquire by email with the contact name that was provided. This would be the first of countless email exchanges with Olga Stinga over the next several months.
I’m not certain what effect that first email had at SL, but Olga passed me off immediately to Cristiana Panicco, the Director of Sorrento Lingue. “This is a good sign” I thought to myself at the time, “I’ve been sent right to the top”!
After Cristiana and I traded several emails, it soon became obvious to me that I had stumbled onto something in Sorrento that was almost too good to be true. For every problem or question that I had, Cristiana answered it beyond my satisfaction. And as I peered out my office window in Alfred, at a bleak and colorless winter landscape, the pictures I was finding on the internet of a sun-drenched Sorrento appealed to me more and more.
At a certain point, my rambling emails must have become a minor daily annoyance to poor Cristiana, so I was handed back to Olga to begin working out the logistics of our stay in Sorrento. At the same time, it was necessary to take the idea beyond the talking stage at Alfred State. The college’s administration had to be persuaded into supporting the program, my colleagues in architecture had to be brought on board the idea that I was now referring to as Studio Sorrento, and most importantly, we needed to find enough willing students to participate in the venture. Sparing a lot of detail here, things gradually fell into place thanks to the early approval of my department chair, the help and advice of several teaching colleagues at the college, the support of the dean of our engineering school, and especially through the enthusiastic backing of Vice President Val Nixon, whose efforts on my behalf were enormous, and without whom the program never would have happened.
As autumn passed and Alfred’s long winter season loomed, each day that passed seemed to present another problem to solve or another hurdle to leap. Through it all, the administrative staffs of Sorrento Lingue and Alfred State College worked together smoothly to make Studio Sorrento a reality. Cristiana and Olga continually went out of their way to iron out all the wrinkles and answer our concerns. No amount of praise can do justice to how helpful they were in the last few weeks before we departed for Italy. Most notable of their efforts was the miracle Cristiana worked, at the last-minute, for our students who were applying for, and being denied, their visas at the Italian Consulate in New York.
Finally, the day had arrived for our flight to Italy. (And finally I am getting to the end of this introduction). On January 15th our group met at JFK in NY, bound for London and then on to Napoli where we arrived at 10:00 Friday evening. Sorrento Lingue had arranged for two mini-buses to meet us and transfer us to our various apartments in Sorrento. Although we were all weary after nearly two days of travel, no one was asleep as we rounded a turn in the road high above Meta di Sorrento and saw the lights of the Sorrento Peninsula glimmering below us. We were about to begin our sixteen week adventure in Italy. But first, a good night’s sleep was in order.
For further details please the Alfred State College page
Dr. Maria Grazia De Angelis
Dipartimento di Lingue Moderne
St Marys College (CA)
In the summer of 2006, I took 12 students to Sorrento, Italy for a four-week Study Abroad program. The program was designed to combine cultural study and language acquisition. I chose Sorrento for this program because it’s safe, easily walkable, and famous for its beauty and culture.The program was a wonderful success. Students had a great time, met clear learning objectives, gained significant language skills, produced some excellent presentations and papers, and made a strong connection with the culture and community
Harpeth Hall College - (2011, January)
Dayton University - School of Law (maggio - giugno 2010)
Nashville - High School (gennaio 2009)
Dayton University - School of Law (estate 2008)
UCSD - San Diego University (estate 2008)