Service-learning and Language in Siena with SIS Gap Year

Video and Photos

Close up of three students on a trip to Abruzzo
Close up of three students on a trip to Abruzzo
Students enjoying Gelato on excursion in Pisa
Students enjoying Gelato on excursion in Pisa
Student with host family and red vespa
Student with host family and red vespa
Students playing soccer with locals
Students playing soccer with locals
Student helping to teach English to preschoolers
Student helping to teach English to preschoolers

About

Expand your horizons and earn optional college credit studying abroad with this semester gap opportunity in the heart of Tuscany. During the SIS Gap program, students will have the opportunity to enjoy life in Siena with a local Sienese host family, learn the Italian Language, and get to know themselves and this fascinating city through service-learning in the community. Unlike other SIS programs, this program was specifically designed for the gap year experience, allowing students to spend a bit less time in the classroom and more time out in the community or participating in cultural activities. The only courses you are required to take are Italian language (both the Intensive 3 week course, and the semester course) as well as our Intercultural Dialogue, Democracy and Global Citizenship course, which guides the students in Intercultural Reflection linked to their service activities. You also have the option of taking another SIS content course.

Highlights
  • Service-learning in a wide variety of service sites: from teaching English and assisting refugees to caring for the city walls.
  • Take 1 year's worth of language in 1 semester with SIS (and earn up to 15 semester credits to take home)!
  • All inclusive *competitively priced* program fee -- meals included!
  • Gain perspective-changing experience and create lifelong relationships.
  • Use Siena as a home-base for exploring Italy and Europe.

Questions & Answers

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Spencer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-Changing Program!

Siena Italian Studies is nothing short of amazing. I attended SIS for a semester during my gap year and it was the best experience of my life. I was able to learn Italian extremely quickly through the community service programs they organize, through my loving host family and through the social events organized with Italian students. Siena is extremely safe and still a place I can call home. After SIS, I majored in Italian at my university in the US. After my degree in the US, I even decided to go back to Italy and pursue my Masters for two years in Milan. SIS is a major reason why I was able to get that opportunity. Without the advanced intercultural skills I gained through SIS, living in Milan would have been much more difficult. I cannot stress enough that SIS is an incredible program that runs so smoothly by an incredible staff and faculty of amazing professors!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and speak Italian! It is an incredible language that has taken me further than I ever imagined.