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

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.

$5 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 $5 million 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.

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/Baratti

Course-Related Trips

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

Course-related trips may include:

  • A visit to an organic farm
  • Attendance at Palio events
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Tours of San Gimignano

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 a guided tour 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.

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 2019
Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Summer 2019 $5,700 $1,665 $135 $7,500


Use our budget worksheet to calculate your costs

$5 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 $5 million to our financial aid programs.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Siena Center is located in a palace on the famous Piazza del Campo – a large, sunny plaza which is center of social life in Siena. The palace, called Palazzo Chigi Zondadari, was built in the 18th century and served as a home to the prominent Chigi family whose lineage includes many intellectuals, artists, businessmen, and even a pope!

Features include:

  • Multimedia classrooms
  • Student lounge and library
  • Computer lab
  • Wireless Internet access throughout the Center

Our Staff

Veronica Semeraro

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 archaeological 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 archaeology laboratory in Computer Science. She also spent several years drawing dig maps while working on site in various important archaeological 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

IES Abroad Siena Staff

Vittoria Moggi
Student Services Coordinator