Siena Italian Studies
January Term Language/Elective 2021
2 weeks / 3 credits

The January term at SIS offers a mixture of academics and cultural engagement in a two-week period. Students can choose from one of two tracks for their Jan Term: either an Intensive Italian language course for 3 credits, or the Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global Citizenship course for 3 credits. The program will also include museum visits, cooking lessons and wine tasting activities. Students will live with local Italian families for the duration of the program, affording them the opportunity to improve their language skills and create life-long relationships.

Application: closed

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

NOTE: We will not be offering this program in Spring 2021. Please reach out to SAI Admissions to discuss your options.

Program Dates
January 3, 2021 – January 17, 2021

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

Italian Language
Literature & Linguistics

Italian Language

3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 150j | Open
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 200j | Open
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 250j | Open
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 300j | Open
Contact Hours: 45

Literature & Linguistics

3.0 Credits
Reflective Writing | Course #: RW SL 250j | Open
This course combines structured and guided reflection with fundamental issues that characterize today's world both in a global and a local perspective. Students are invited and led to reflect on the ever-changing challenges that await them as future global citizens.

The course opens with a historical and philosophical discussion about the paradigm of hospitality and its corollaries guiding students to reflect and ponder on how this paradigm has been changing in recent times. It leads students through the understanding of the concept of otherness and includes a brief overview on human rights. It goes on with discussing the history of European institutions and Europe's efforts to spread the concept of intercultural dialogue and deeply analyzes the most recent European outcomes in terms of democracy protection and democratic competences development.

Reflection in the course is carried out thanks to the discussion of cultural topics that reveal their inner meanings and deepness when put in the right perspective.

The aim of this course is to empower engaged global citizens with the necessary knowledge and a reflective attitude that will allow them to open to the world without getting lost, to discover the confines of their own culture, to see reality from different perspectives and to feel common ties of humanity under the flow of apparent differences.
Contact Hours: 15

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

Pre-Departure Calendar
November 1 2020
Application Closes
Applications accepted after closing as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
October 15 2020
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.
November 4 2020
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.
November 4 2020
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-site Calendar
January 3 2021
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.
January 4 2021
SIS Academic Orientation
SIS holds several days of orientation activities and events including walking tours and group social events.
January 5 2021
Classes Start
January 14 – 15 2021
Final Exams
January 17 2021
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 $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
Program Fee
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Optional / Additional Fees:
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students 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 $1,800
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 360° 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
  • Welcome reception and events
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • Staff on-site dedicated to providing personal assistance
  • 3 meals/day provided by host family and local café
  • SAI Viva Experience: frequent cultural activities and day trips
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • Access to and assistance with international cell phone plans
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support
  • Farewell event with all students

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • US-based admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance
  • 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 processing
  • Need-based SAI scholarships
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI Ambassador Program for SAI alumni, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI offers all students the Viva Experience: frequent cultural activities, at no extra cost, for participants 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 term.

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

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.

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!

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 U.S. students studying in Italy for 90 days or less are not required to obtain a student visa. Therefore all U.S. students do not require a student visa for this program. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

About SAI

SAI 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.