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SAI offers students the opportunity to study Italian language and culture in a condensed timeframe during a Maymester term. Students in the 3 week Maymester program can choose from three different 3 credit elective courses, each paired with a 1 credit Italian language course. Students choose from: International Business: Tuscan Agriculture and Craftsmanship (taught in English), Tuscan History through Art and Literature (taught in Italian), and A Green Renaissance: Sustainable Development in Siena and Tuscany (taught in English). Students live in family homestays and are able to have a truly authentic Italian experience while immersing themselves in a relevant course subject.
Application: now open
Closes: February 25, 2021
Apps accepted after closing as space permits
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Academic letter of recommendation
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form
May 9, 2021 – May 30, 2021
Academic Year: Freshman (1st year) or above
Cumulative GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements
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 per 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. A typical schedule includes Italian Language in the mornings Monday through Friday and elective courses in the afternoons three days a week.
Students complete their course registration during the SAI application process by selecting their requested courses. Course schedules are confirmed in Siena after students have been given an introduction to the courses and finalized which courses they will take.
|February 25 2021
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)
|February 8 2021
||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.
|March 10 2021
||Balance of Total Program Fee Due|
|March 10 2021
||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.
|May 9 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.
|May 10 2021
||SIS Academic Orientation
SIS holds several days of orientation activities and events including walking tours and group social events.
|May 30 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|
Refundable at the end of the term.
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
|Books, Supplies & Course Fees
Course fees are sometimes imposed to cover field trips.
|$25 / course||$50 / course|
Host family supplies all meals except eating out.
|Included||$100 / month|
|Personal Expenses||$250 / month||$350 / month|
|Transportation within Siena
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
|$100 / month||$150 / month|
Cost varies greatly by student.
|$300 / month||$1,000 / month|
This is an SAI 360° Services Program; it includes our full services!
Pre-departure and Re-entry services
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.
Upon arrival, new students, host families and SIS faculty and staff unite at a welcome reception to kick off the program.
Overnight Excursion: Tuscan Coast
The group travels to the Tuscan coast for an overnight excursion. The weekend includes relaxing on the beach, exploring the medieval town of Castiglione della Pescaia and the town of Massa Marittima.
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.
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.
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.
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 3 meals a day 7 days a week. 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.
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.
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.