Siena study abroad students walk through vineyard
Study Abroad
Siena Summer - Tradition & Cuisine in Tuscany Add to favorites
  • Siena, Italy
Why Siena?

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.

What You'll Study

Enroll in a course on the history and tradition of the Palio and Contrade of Siena or study Tuscan culture and cuisine. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you will experience the rich cultural heritage of Tuscany.

This program offers you an opportunity to get an insider’s view of the Palio—a famous horse race which occurs every summer in one of the most recognized piazzas in the world, Piazza del Campo. Each race horse represents one of the 17 historic neighborhoods, or contrade, of Siena, to which Sienese identity is fundamentally tied.

As a student on this program, you discover how the Palio is not simply a horse race, but a combination of rituals, rules, and traditions that have roots in the Middle Ages. Study the economic, socio-historic, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.

You'll also study the economic, socio-historic, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.

You are here

Why Siena?

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.

What You'll Study

Enroll in a course on the history and tradition of the Palio and Contrade of Siena or study Tuscan culture and cuisine. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you will experience the rich cultural heritage of Tuscany.

This program offers you an opportunity to get an insider’s view of the Palio—a famous horse race which occurs every summer in one of the most recognized piazzas in the world, Piazza del Campo. Each race horse represents one of the 17 historic neighborhoods, or contrade, of Siena, to which Sienese identity is fundamentally tied.

As a student on this program, you discover how the Palio is not simply a horse race, but a combination of rituals, rules, and traditions that have roots in the Middle Ages. Study the economic, socio-historic, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.

You'll also study the economic, socio-historic, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.

$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more than $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.

Academics

Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.

You are required to enroll 2 courses, for a total of 6 credits. You can take 2 area studies courses or 1 language course plus 1 area studies course.

Past disciplines have included:

  • Culture & Cuisine
  • History
  • Italian Language (beginning and intermediate)
  • Sociology

Courses

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.

Cultural Studies
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU/HS 250 - History and Culture of Food in Italy and Tuscany Summer English 3
History
Course Name Term Language Credits
HS 255 - The Palio and the Contrade of Siena Summer English 3
SO/CU/HS 250 - History and Culture of Food in Italy and Tuscany Summer English 3
Italian
Course Name Term Language Credits
IT 101 - Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad I Summer Italian 3
IT 201 - Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad III Summer Italian 3
IT 301 - Italian Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Summer Italian 3
IT 401 - Italian Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad I Summer Italian 3
Sociology
Course Name Term Language Credits
SO/CU/HS 250 - History and Culture of Food in Italy and Tuscany Summer English 3

Field Trips & Events

Several one-to three-day field trips are organized each summer. You pay a portion of the cost, and IES Abroad subsidizes a majority of the trip. Possible sites include:

  • Naples
  • Pompeii
  • Populonia

Course-Related Excursions

IES Abroad Siena organizes course-related excursions that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Italian culture and society.

Course-related excursion opportunities may include:

  • A visit to an organic farm
  • Attendance at Palio events
  • Private cooking lessons
  • Tours of Florence, San Gimignano, and other nearby sites

Daily Life

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.

Orientation

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 Sienese summer.

IES Abroad faculty and staff conduct orientation sessions introducing you to the following topics:

  • Personal safety
  • Italian home life
  • Practical aspects of life in Siena (transportation, banking, and shopping)

Housing

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.

Get to Know Your New City

Explore the Region

Discover the Tuscany countryside surrounding Siena through field trips, personal travel, and more.

Wander Through the 17 Contrade

The 17 neighborhoods of Siena date back to the Middle Ages and still define life today.

Taste Traditional Tuscan Dishes

From world-famous olive oil to bistecca fiorentina, there’s plenty to taste throughout Tuscany. Our tip: try the pasta e fagioli!

Join the Film Club

Get together with classmates and friends to watch movies filmed in Siena and then explore their filming locations.

People Watch in the Piazza Del Campo

Grab a snack, a book, or some friends and head over to the Piazza to spend an afternoon lounging in the sun.

Program Cost

Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Term: Summer 2018
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2018 $5,525 $1,615 $135 $7,275


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$4 Million in Financial Aid

We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit more than $4 million each year to our financial aid programs.