Meet Ella - SYA Italy SEMESTER 2021


An SYA student stands smiling and facing the camera with her host family, a mother, father and two children.
How did you come to the decision to attend SYA? 
It was somewhat spontaneous; just looked for the first high school study abroad opportunity and applied!

What did you learn in your semester abroad that surprised you? 
I learned how close you can grow with people in such a short amount of time..

Do you have a particularly special host family moment? 
On the day I met my host family (our first day there), they asked me who my favorite singer was, and I said Harry Styles. They played the first song by Harry Styles that popped up on YouTube on the ride home, which was Sign of the Times. Anytime they would play music, they would always play Sign of the Times. It was funny because the song is so sad and they would play it anytime, even at birthday parties.

At SYA, the curriculum lives in and outside the classroom, what memorable educational experience did you have outside the classroom? 
One day we got to go to a vineyard and harvest grapes and begin the process of making wine!

How was your education at SYA different than at your high school? 
There were a lot more opportunities to get outside your comfort zone. Also, you could go to famous landmarks, museums, etc. and learn about them outside of the classroom.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering SYA? 
Even if you are on the fence about going, apply! It's a great opportunity and even if you are hesitant, it is always worth it in the end.

How did your semester abroad change you? 
I'm more independent now and capable of navigating my way through experiences.

What life skills do you feel like you learned while at SYA?
I learned different perspectives of people from around the world and how to navigate new and different experiences.
Co-Curriculars Abroad:  Cooking classes

Favorite SYA Class: Local Global Perspectives

Favorite Food in Italy: My host family's orecchiette pasts


Three high school SYA students stand wearing masks and posing in front a mirror in a shop.


A girl stands smiling in a coat in front of a green railing overlooking a mountain range and a body of water. It is dusk.

To learn more about SYA Italy, check out the Italy Campus page.