Nestled in the Tuscan countryside, Siena is a beautiful medieval city located 35 miles southwest of Florence. Immerse yourself in Italian society, cuisine, and culture, while enjoying easy access to the Tuscan capital, the sea, and the renowned Tuscan landscape.
In July, enjoy the rare chance to witness the Palio, Siena’s famous horse race, in one of the most recognized piazzas in the world, Piazza del Campo. Study the economic, socio-historical, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.
Enroll in a course on local history and tradition or study Tuscan architecture, art, and sculpture. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you experience the rich cultural heritage of Tuscany.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
You enroll in one required 3-credit Italian language course and one 3-credit area studies course, for a total of 6 credits. Past disciplines have included:
This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your MyIESabroad account.
IES Abroad Siena organizes field study trips that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Italian culture and society.
Field study opportunities may include:
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Siena, it will feel like home.
Apartments – Live with other IES Abroad students, as well as local Italian students, in the historic center of town. Furnished apartments are single-sex and include fully-equipped kitchens. Meals are not included.
Homestays – Homestays generally house one or two students. Accommodations vary, and hosts provide students with light breakfasts and one additional meal daily, usually dinner.
Part of making you feel at home in Siena is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
From authentic Italian meals to unique guided tours of the city, the first two days of the program give you a ‘taste’ of the city and help prepare you for your summer.
IES Abroad faculty and staff conduct orientation sessions introducing you to the following topics:
Several one-to three-day field trips are organized in the summer. You pay a portion of your expenses, and IES Abroad subsidizes a majority of the cost. Possible sites include:
Located in a beautiful liberty-style villa in the San Prospero area of the city on a quiet tree-lined street, IES Abroad Siena overlooks the historic town center. You will enjoy Siena’s large open market and several parks that are just steps away.
IES Abroad Siena Interim Center Director
Alice Friscelli studied at the Università per Stranieri di Siena, where in 2003, she earned a degree in Italian Language and Culture – Teaching Italian to Foreign Students, and in 2008 she obtained her PhD in Italian Philology, Literature and History. She also studied at the Università degli Studi di Siena, and earned a Masters in The Art of Writing – Models of Creative Writing in 2004. Her research focus has been on contemporary Italian poetry, especially on Vittorio Sereni’s work. In 2004 she published an article on Alda Merini’s poetry (e.g. Allegoria, 47, 2004). In 1999 Alice Friscelli worked for the Facoltà di Medicina – Dipartimento di Medicina Legale of the Università degli Studi di Siena, translating books and articles from English into Italian and vice versa. From 1999 to 2000 she worked in the Registrar’s office of the Università per Stranieri di Siena, while in 2003 she created the database of the professors’ publications at the same University. Alice Friscelli was in the administrative committee of the first International Meeting on Italian Studies in Latin America (Siena, 25-27 november 2004), organized by the Università per Stranieri di Siena. From 2008 to 2010 she worked as an Italian Language teacher at CE. FO. ART. in Siena (a centre for the education of artisans, financed by the Regione Toscana). In 2009 she started up the project “Museo della lingua Italiana” for the Università per Stranieri di Siena: in particular she promoted the participation of local institutions and companies in the project. Alice Friscelli has been teaching Italian Language at IES Abroad Siena since the program opened in 2006.
IES Abroad Siena Center Director
Veronica Semeraro has worked at our IES Abroad Siena Center since the founding of the program in 2006 when she was hired as Student Affairs Coordinator. Since that time, she has been actively involved in all aspects of the program, including housing, customized programs, arrival and orientation, field trips, and academic coordination. Veronica was promoted to Center Director of IES Abroad Siena in 2012.
Prior to working with IES Abroad, Veronica graduated with honors in Archaeology from the University of Siena. Her thesis addressed the GIS platform of the newly discovered and frescoed rooms beneath the Cathedral of Siena. She contributed, with vectorial maps and archeological drawings, to the publication Sotto il Duomo di Siena (2003). Upon winning a research grant following graduation, Veronica spent six years working in the University of Siena archeology laboratory in Computer Science. She also spent several years drawing dig maps while working on site in various important archeological digs in Tuscany (rooms beneath the Siena Cathedral; castle of Miranduolo, Podium Bonizio village) specializing in GIS technology. Veronica is an avid traveler and a member of an all-female Brazilian drum group in Siena.
IES Abroad Staff
Chia JorentoStudent Services Coordinator
Alfonso CasellaInternship seminarMaster in European Studies in Strasbourg
Marco Gaetani,Philosophy/Political Science
Ph.D. in Semiotics and Psychology of Symbolic Communication, Università degli Studi di Siena
Silvia Giorgi,Art History
Ph.D. in Classics, Università degli Studi di Siena
Daniele Lo Cascio,Literature/Religious Studies
Ph.D. in Italianistica, Università degli Studi di Siena
Ph.D. in Economics, Università di Verona
Francesco Marangoni,Political SciencePhD in Politics, Università degli Studi di Siena
Giovanni MazziniHistoryPhD in Medieval History, Università degli Studi di Siena
Sara Pizziconi,Art History
Masters in Art History, Università degli Studi di Siena
Ph.D. in Classics, Università degli Studi di Siena