Siena Italian Studies
Fall Semester Language/Elective 2018
15 - 18 credits

Semester students can go from absolute beginner Italian speakers to advanced, all while taking language and subject coursework. During the first weeks of semester courses, lessons are conducted in a mix of English and Italian and students are given English language readings and supporting materials to ensure that the content is not compromised. As students’ linguistic competencies improve, more and more Italian is used and by the end, not only are lessons held in Italian, but also final papers are written in Italian. The program is a combination of 9 credits of language courses and 6 - 9 credits of electives.

Application Deadline
June 15, 2018
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Official transcript
Academic letter of recommendation
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form


  • Complete multiple levels of Italian language in a single semester
  • Volunteer within the community each week
  • Includes an international excursion to Brussels!

Program Dates
September 2, 2018 – December 16, 2018

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic Year: Freshman (1st year) or above

Cumulative GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

* contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Coming soon

Coming soon

0.0 Credits
TBA | Course #: TBA | Open
Courses are coming soon. In the meantime, please check previous terms for information on courses generally offered at this school.
Contact Hours: 0

Service Learning & Volunteer
Students in all SIS programs perform service in the community through the IC partner Ulisse Cultural Association. This service can range from 1-5 hours a week, with opportunities in a variety of service sites. Students might set tables at the city soup kitchen, visit with the elderly at a nursing home, teach English to local elementary school children or volunteer on the city ambulance. Volunteering in the community is an important way to improve language skills, get involved in the local social fabric and make a genuine contribution to the host community. For more information on volunteering see SIS Service Learning & Volunteer.

Courses & Schedule
SIS courses run Monday – Friday. SAI students enroll in a 3 week intensive language course (3 credits) that takes place at the beginning of the semester. After the intensive language course students take one Italian Language course (6 credits) along with 2 or 3 elective courses for a total of 15 – 18 credits. A typical schedule includes Italian Language in the mornings Monday through Friday and elective courses in the afternoons three days a week.

Course Registration
Students complete their course registration during the SAI application process by selecting their primary course choices as well as required alternate courses. Course schedules are confirmed in Siena after students have been given an introduction to the courses and finalized which courses they will take.

Pre-Departure Calendar
June 15 2018
Application Deadline
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
May 1 2018
50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
June 1 2018
SAI Scholarship Application Deadline
Students wishing to apply for an SAI scholarship must have all application items submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on this date.
July 1 2018
Balance of Total Program Fee Due
July 1 2018
SAI Financial Aid Verification Deadline
Students wishing to defer payment until financial aid disbursement must submit the financial aid verification forms to SAI by this date.
August 1 2018
SAI Pre-Departure Form Due

On-site Calendar
September 2 2018
Arrival & Housing Check-in
Students arrive into Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei (PSA). Students must arrive by 2:30pm for the group shuttle to Siena where students are transferred to family housing.
September 3 – 7 2018
SIS Academic Orientation
SIS holds week-long orientation activities and events including walking tours and group social events.
September 10 2018
3 Week Intensive Language Classes Begin
Coming Soon
4 Day Group Excursion
Coming Soon
Regular Semester Courses Begin
These courses include semester language and electives.
Coming soon
Fall Break (no class)
Students must vacate their host family’s home for this time period unless other arrangements are made directly with the family.
December 10 – 14 2018
Final Exams
December 16 2018
Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel.
SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $100
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
Program Fee
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI Signature Services (see What's Included).
Optional / Additional Fees:
International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Note: certain SAI-affiliated US universities require specific payment arrangements. These may require that some fees are paid by the student directly to SAI, and other fees are paid to SAI by the affiliated university on behalf of the student. If you attend an SAI-affiliated university please contact your study abroad office or speak with your SAI Admissions Counselor for details.

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Pisa
$900 $1,700
$50 $75
Books, Supplies & Course Fees
$25 / course $50 / course
Majority of meals are included in cost.
$100 / month $150 / month
Personal Expenses $250 / month $350 / month
Transportation within Siena
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$100 / month $150 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is an SAI Signature Services Program; it includes our full services!

  • Program tuition and U.S. academic credit
  • Accommodation in carefully selected student housing
  • Airport pickup and transportation on arrival day
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • Cell phone rental with free incoming calls and texts while in host country
  • Staff on-site dedicated to providing personal assistance
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • 4 day international weekend excursion
  • 3 meals/day provided by host family
  • Weekly cultural activities and day trips
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance throughout your study abroad experience
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Online student groups to acquaint you with other SAI students
  • Assistance with student visa application
  • Assistance with financial aid and loan processing
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI Ambassador Program for SAI alumni, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI offers activities, at no extra cost, for students to get to know their community, city and country. Following is a sample of the activities included in this program. Please note that actual activities may differ.

Welcome Reception
Upon arrival, new students, host families and SIS faculty and staff unite at a welcome reception to kick off the semester.

Natural Hot Springs Spa
Students visit the San Giovanni Terme Spa in the town of Rapolano Terme and relax in the therapeutic waters. The spa features a series of large pools fed by the nearby natural springs and overlooks the rolling Tuscan hills.

International Excursion to Brussels
In order for students to get a better sense of Italy within the European Union, SAI students participate in a four-day trip to the diplomatic and organizational capital of the European Union, Brussels, Belgium. During the trip, students attend a guided tour of the European Parliament headquarters and visit museums as well as other EU organizations, NGOs, and cultural attractions. This all-inclusive trip is both fun and informative, and offers students time to explore the city and get to know another location.

Hiking: Tuscan Coast
Students explore the breathtaking Tuscan coast by hiking to a secluded cove or relaxing on the dunes along the Mediterranean Sea. After beach time, the group heads to the breathtaking medieval town of Castiglione della Pescaia to explore and sample the best gelato around.

I Bottini: Siena’s Underground Aqueducts
Students tour the Bottini with a local guide, exploring a portion of the miles of galleries that run underneath the city of Siena. Carved during medieval times, the Bottini were used to gather Siena’s drinking water for centuries, feeding the many fountains scattered throughout the city.

Wine Tasting: Montalcino/Montepulciano
Students visit a winery, learn about the wine-making process, and enjoy various tastings.

Assisi and Perugia: Nestle’s Perugina Chocolate Factory
Students visit the city of Assisi, the home of St. Francis of Assisi. The group learns about his life and works and tours the famous Basilica di San Francesco. Following Assisi, students take a tour of the Perugina Chocolate Factory in Perugia that produces the delicious Baci (kiss) chocolates.

Day Trip to Florence
SIS Art History professor accompanies students on a day trip to Florence to visit the Uffizi Gallery and explore the city.

Typical Products: Cinta Senese Prosciutto & Pecorino Cheese Tastings
Students visit a nearby farm that raises the Cinta Senese – a local breed of pig unique to the Siena region that has survived since medieval times. After the farm, students take a tour of a pecorino cheese-making farm followed by an abundant tasting of a variety of cheeses and local meats.

Opera Performance
Students dress up and attend an Italian opera performance in Florence or in Rome.

Tuscan Cooking Lessons
Students learn the art of Italian cooking in two complete, hands-on, Italian cooking lessons, including appetizers, main courses and dessert. Lessons conclude with a tasting of all that is prepared!

Visits to Tuscan Hilltowns
Students explore the Italian countryside, visiting one or more of the quaint towns tucked in the Tuscan hills, such as San Gimignano, Pienza, Montepulciano or Cortona.

Museum Visits in Siena
Students visit various museums in Siena as part of Italian class and other content courses. These include the Duomo, OPA Museum, the Museo Civico, the Santa Maria della Scala, as well as others.

Farewell Dinner
After the exams are completed and final papers handed in, the students, faculty and staff share in a celebratory final meal to reflect upon the program experience and to say final goodbyes before departure.

Standard Housing: Family homestay
All participants are accommodated with local host families. Homestay accommodations include breakfast and dinner 7 days a week. Students are also provided with a meal plan for weekday lunches at a local restaurant near the school each day. Depending on the particular family placement students could be in a shared or private room. Homestays are an integral and indispensable part of all SIS programs, offering students the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons and to experience modern Italian culture from “the inside.” SIS’s carefully selected families, whether a single mother, a young married couple with children or an elderly widow, are all experienced in hosting American students. The host families view this experience as a form of cultural exchange and are eager to share their version of Italian culture with program participants.

Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 90 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.

About SAI

SAI Programs is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.