Siena Italian Studies
Spring Semester Language/Elective 2021
15 - 18 credits

SAI students enrolled in a semester at SIS 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 semester program is a combination of 9 credits of language courses and 6 - 9 credits of electives.


Application: now open
Closes: November 15, 2020
Apps accepted on a rolling basis, and after closing 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

Highlights

  • See our revised cancellation policies due to Coronavirus here.
  • Complete multiple levels of Italian language in a single semester
  • Volunteer within the community each week

Program Dates
January 17, 2021 – May 2, 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



Business Studies
Humanities & Social Sciences
Italian Language
Literature & Linguistics
Natural and Environmental Sciences

Business Studies

3.0 Credits
Business | Course #: BU IB 400 | Open
The general part of the course is concentrated on the issues related to the globalization and its development over human history, and how the concept of time and space have been changing through the centuries our economic perception of Goods Capital and People. Without such a radical change (either cultural or technological) the Market Economy network would not reach such a global extension. Besides the relationship between cyberspace and virtual economy will be explored, the peculiarity between the Internet and the global financialization of stock market will be analyzed.


The special part of the course is devoted to the European integration, with a strong focus on economic and business developments. The European Union with almost 500 million citizens faces serious challenges in its role as a major player in the global economy. After a brief historical overview, students will be introduced to several core issues on European institutional asset, economic politics, and decision-making processes.

Contact Hours: 45

Humanities & Social Sciences

3.0 Credits
Anthropology | Course #: HS GPA 300 | Open
This course examines the economic, cultural and artistic mechanisms that brought on the Renaissance culture in Tuscany. Students will study the rhetoric of power and politics in the economy during the Renaissance period, and how the arts were influenced by the economic climate, providing ties and reflections on those of today.
The part dedicated to Politics (Power) and Greed will analyse the distribution and the concentration of power and economic resources from the late Middle Ages and the early Modern Era, when the Renaissance flourished in Italy, and more specifically in Tuscany. We will concentrate on the evolution of the Italian peninsula from the City-States of the Middle Ages to the regional states of modern Italy, examining civil and religious power, as well as the crucial role of the city in political, social, economic and cultural
transformations. A specific focus will be given to the political and economic relationship between Siena and Florence, from the birth of their rivalry as independent city-states to the creation of the Granduchy of Toscana. Visits will be organised to important economic and political centres of the time, such as the headquarters of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank and Siena’s State Archives. The part of this course that is dedicated to the arts intends to analyze the social and cultural situation of Renaissance Italy with a specific attention to Florence, the birthplace of Humanism and the Renaissance: lessons will be dedicates to the geography of Humanism, the birth of the Academies, the description of the Renaissance courts and the role of the arts (literature, painting, sculpting and music) within the courtesan society.
Visits will be organised to places that were an important part of Renaissance culture: Medici Palace, Palazzo Pitti or Uffizi Museum in Florence; in Siena, the Duomo and the Chigiana Academy.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Art History | Course #: HS AR 310 | Open
This course explores Medieval art and culture, offering students the critical
tools with which to analyze, understand and appreciate more fully the works of art produced in Western Europe from the Fall of the Roman Empire (V century) to the Birth of the Renaissance (XV century). We will explore the development of Medieval Art form Early Christian Art, to Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic Art; Architecture, Sculpture and Painting will be examined, by considering them in their proper historical and cultural context. We will look closely at the way in which changing styles in art reflected contemporary history and cultural attitudes. With power point presentations and also visits to museums, churches and other places of historical or artistic interest in and around Siena and Florence, this course give the students every opportunity to place their studies from the classroom in context and to see works by the great masters in the original.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian History | Course #: HS HC 200 | Open
The course aims at presenting the history of Italian Cuisine through its main ingredients and most important products, closely related to the history and geography of the Italian peninsula and dating back to the origins of Italian culture at the end of the Roman Empire.
Classes will recount the history of Mediterranean products (olive oil, wine, grains), foreign and imported foods (tomatoes, cocoa, some kinds of fruit and vegetables), the dichotomy between meat and fish in the religious perspective, the variety of regional gastronomic traditions, the cultural and anthropological meaning of food and conviviality in Italy.
Students will be led to reflect about the stereotypes and cliches surrounding the myth of Italian food and cuisine around the world.
Theoretical in-class lessons will be accompanied by food and wine tastings and excursions to places of interest.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian History | Course #: HS RC 300 | Open
The objective of this course is to contribute to the students cultural foundation while encouraging them to reflect upon the contribution that Christianity, as a phenomenon, has given to the cultural development of Italy. In order to allow for a clear comprehension of how the events of Christianity have affected the cultural aspects of Italian history, we will accompany the student on a brief but complete voyage through the centuries until today, with the influence of religion from an art historical point of view (religious iconography like the Biblia pauperum), a literary point of view (a synthetic profile of Italian Christian literature), as well as a popular point of view (the sacred element that ancient festivals and local traditions held until modern secularization).
Contact Hours: 45

Italian Language

6.0 Credits
Italian Language | Course #: IT SM 150 | Open
Following the Three Week Intensive Italian Course, students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian language 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for the duration of the semester. Classes include a variety activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.
Contact Hours: 90
6.0 Credits
Italian Language | Course #: IT SM 200 | Open
Following the Three Week Intensive Italian Course, students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian language 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for the duration of the semester. Classes include a variety activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.
Contact Hours: 90
6.0 Credits
Italian Language | Course #: IT SM 250 | Open
Following the Three Week Intensive Italian Course, students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian language 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for the duration of the semester. Classes include a variety activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.
Contact Hours: 90
6.0 Credits
Italian Language | Course #: IT SM 300 | Open
Following the Three Week Intensive Italian Course, students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian language 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for the duration of the semester. Classes include a variety activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.
Contact Hours: 90
6.0 Credits
Italian Language | Course #: IT SM 350 | Open
Following the Three Week Intensive Italian Course, students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian language 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for the duration of the semester. Classes include a variety activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.
Contact Hours: 90
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 150 | Open
All students, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, begin their Siena Italian Studies experience with our Three Week Intensive Italian Language Course. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, transcodification).

A wide variety of teaching materials is used, including the Program's own textbook, Dimmi Tutto!, to allow each student to best identify and develop his or her abilities. Students also interact with the city environment and help to create their own Italian language study materials. Once a week, students and teachers discuss the dynamics of language learning and the teaching methods used.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 200 | Open
All students, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, begin their Siena Italian Studies experience with our Three Week Intensive Italian Language Course. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, transcodification).

A wide variety of teaching materials is used, including the Program's own textbook, Dimmi Tutto!, to allow each student to best identify and develop his or her abilities. Students also interact with the city environment and help to create their own Italian language study materials. Once a week, students and teachers discuss the dynamics of language learning and the teaching methods used.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 250 | Open
All students, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, begin their Siena Italian Studies experience with our Three Week Intensive Italian Language Course. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, transcodification).

A wide variety of teaching materials is used, including the Program's own textbook, Dimmi Tutto!, to allow each student to best identify and develop his or her abilities. Students also interact with the city environment and help to create their own Italian language study materials. Once a week, students and teachers discuss the dynamics of language learning and the teaching methods used.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 300 | Open
All students, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, begin their Siena Italian Studies experience with our Three Week Intensive Italian Language Course. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, transcodification).

A wide variety of teaching materials is used, including the Program's own textbook, Dimmi Tutto!, to allow each student to best identify and develop his or her abilities. Students also interact with the city environment and help to create their own Italian language study materials. Once a week, students and teachers discuss the dynamics of language learning and the teaching methods used.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Italian Language Intensive | Course #: IT IN 350 | Open
All students, whether beginners, intermediate or advanced, begin their Siena Italian Studies experience with our Three Week Intensive Italian Language Course. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, transcodification).

A wide variety of teaching materials is used, including the Program's own textbook, Dimmi Tutto!, to allow each student to best identify and develop his or her abilities. Students also interact with the city environment and help to create their own Italian language study materials. Once a week, students and teachers discuss the dynamics of language learning and the teaching methods used.
Contact Hours: 45

Literature & Linguistics

1.0 Credits
Reflective Writing | Course #: RW SL 150 | Closed
All SIS students participate in this course. Meeting one hour a week, Reflective Writing allows and encourages students to reflect upon all aspects of their experience abroad and, in particular, link observations from their community service work, interactions with host families and language exchange partners to in-class projects and papers. Students will be invited to document their observations and reflections made during the week in their journals and then discuss them in this informal setting with the instructor and their fellow students. This is an essential opportunity to process and make sense of students varied experiences during the semester.
The goal is to develop a reflective consciousness that is the path for the development of intercultural competence. In Reflective Writing sessions students are at the center of the acquisition process. Knowledge is built through the constant sharing and discussion of the entries with peers. The teachers role will be to guide and supervise the sharing of the entries. The teacher will also have to identify appropriate input at the right time in an effort to constantly make the discussion relevant and pertinent to what is taught/learned in the Institutions in Society course.
Contact Hours: 15
1.0 Credits
Reflective Writing | Course #: RW SL 250 | 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

Natural and Environmental Sciences

3.0 Credits
Biology | Course #: SC FF 300 | Open
Within the region of Tuscany one can find all of the three main climates and
environments most common of the Italian peninsula: the typical Mediterranean coastline, grasslands and valleys of a more continental character and the Apennine peaks with a mountain climate. Numerous and diverse are the animal and plant species that are found in these areas. Within the city of Siena there are academic institutions and museums that represent a true “window” which opens onto the Tuscany territory. The frontal lessons of this class will serve to give the student a general picture of the common flora and fauna of Italy, which will then be further illustrated through
practical activities included in the course. In these practical sessions the student will be introduced in the activities of a research center or a
museum, actively participating in the consultation and even the preparation and management of the naturalistic collections.
Contact Hours: 45
3.0 Credits
Sustainability | Course #: SC GR 250 | Open
This course will analyze the main issues related to Sustainable
Development, based on the idea that no growth process can be considered authentically sustainable without considering the interactions between the evolution of the economic system and the evolution of the natural environment. Only after a careful analysis of traditional economic theory, of
ethical issues and of the contributions of ecology and thermodynamics, will it be possible to define the importance of safeguarding the stock of natural capital and the need for a transition from the traditional approach linked to the concept of growth to the new approach oriented towards
sustainable development. We will also briefly present the international debate, both in official institutions, such as the UN (with UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals) and the European Union, and in civil society. Everything will be seen in a positive light, thanks also to the
presentation of the case studies of Siena and Tuscany, taken as a feasible and exportable example of a virtuous relationship between community and territory. In this analysis we will try to clearly highlight the three economic functions of the environment: that of a supplier of resources, that of a
receiver of waste and that of a direct source of utility. An important sustainability indicator, the Ecological Footprint, will also be presented with the aim of measuring the sustainability of our
economy on the basis of the study of the impacts it causes on the environment. The course will be completed by excursions, service-learning activities, visits and meetings with important local
organizations that will present us with studies, projects and good practices present in our territory.
Contact Hours: 45

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
November 15 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)
November 1 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 15 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.
December 1 2020
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-site Calendar
January 17 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 18 – 19 2021
SIS Academic Orientation
SIS holds several days of orientation activities and events including walking tours and group social events.
January 22 2021
Spring 3 Week Intensive Language Classes Begin
February 12 2021
Regular Semester Courses Begin
These courses include semester language and electives.
March 6 – 14 2021
Spring Break (no class)
Students must vacate their host family’s home for this time period unless other arrangements are made directly with the family.
April 26 – 30 2021
Final Exams
May 2 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.
$300
Program Fee
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
$17,465
Optional / Additional Fees:  
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$90

*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
Visa
$50 $75
Books, Supplies & Course Fees
$25 / course $50 / course
Meals
Majority fo meals 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!

  • 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
  • 4 day international weekend excursion
  • 3 meals/day provided by host family
  • Weekly 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 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.

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

Trip to Assisi
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..

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.

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. As a health and safety measure, students will be ensured a private room in the household. 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
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 91 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 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.