First, if you're deciding between CET's Florence and Siena programs, I highly recommend Siena for a more "Italian" and less chaotic experience. I had done study abroad three times prior to CET Siena program and can honestly say that this was the most immersive, authentic semester for me. I stayed with a host family (Luigina & Giorgio) and my Italian improved remarkably thanks to them. We had our routine - every evening we had dinner around 7:30 and watched our usual TV programs, and when the weather was nice we would eat on the terrasse. There is less temptation to spend money and fly to another country every weekend on the Siena program than on the Florence program because there is no airport in Siena. On the weekends instead I did a lot of train travel to other towns in Italy and I could not recommend that enough. I am terribly sad the semester is over and already planning when to return. I don't feel that I did an American study abroad program in Siena for a semester, I feel that I actually lived in Siena for four months. I have friends and family and a life there, and that to me is the whole point. Go to Siena and learn about their charming and unique and profound culture. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, I promise.
About CET specifically -
The school is right in the center of the city, a short and beautiful walk from no matter where you live. The professors and director, Vicky, as well as the Italian student staff, are all wonderful. They become your friends. The classes are serious and interesting (with a lot of trips to see things in person), and you actually learn more information in a more wholesome way than you would on campus for a semester. It doesn't feel like school though, it feels like "how did I get so lucky!" everyday. The Italian language, art history, and inter-cultural communications classes are splendid. Teachers teach with passion and students are engaged. There is also a trip to Palermo and Catania, Sicily. We did walking tours of the cities and their markets, a mafia tour, a food tour, went to the beach, had dinner with Sicilian students, and stayed in lovely hotels. I truly cannot think of one thing I would change about the CET Siena program... I already wish I could go back.