• Italy
    • Siena
Subject Areas
Cultural Studies History Sociology

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/siena
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Activities Some Meals Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
Sep 10, 2021
Sep 19, 2018

About Program

Nestled in the Tuscan countryside, Siena is a beautiful medieval city located 35 miles southwest of Florence. Immerse yourself in Italian society, cuisine, and culture, while enjoying easy access to the Tuscan capital, the sea and the renowned Tuscan landscape.

Enroll in a course on the history and tradition of the Palio and Contrade of Siena or study Tuscan culture and cuisine. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you will experience the rich cultural heritage of Tuscany.

As a student on this program, you discover how the Palio is not simply a horse race, but a combination of rituals, rules and traditions that have roots in the Middle Ages. Study the economic, socio-historic, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies and vineyards.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from IES Abroad.

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As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

9.75 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

Education for Food Lovers

This program allowed me to study and get credit for what I loved in my favorite country. I always have been very interested in Italian food, so to be able to learn more about it through lectures, lessons from a chef, and visits to gelato laboratories, cheese factories, bakeries and wine shops was all that I could ask for. I have come back to the United States as a much more knowledgeable foodie, and appreciate food culture so much more.

4 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing summer in Siena

IES Siena was amazing - the program coordinators were great, available often and always very helpful. I lived in an apartment with one US roommate and one IES Resident Assistant (we were the only apartment with a live-in RA). The RA was amazing and gave great advice - from the best restaurants in the city to fun day trips away from Siena. The program itself is the perfect combination between classes/schoolwork and culture. You’re in class for a couple hours each day, but have no class on Fridays, so you have time to explore Siena and visit different cities in Italy. The program really seemed to understand that while you were obviously in Italy to take classes, part of being there was also to learn a new language and culture, so they gave you plenty of time outside of class to do so. The profs were also wonderful. They were all Italians who were fluent in English, and genuinely enjoyed teaching us not only about classwork, but also about their culture. The profs were a great resource for language/culture questions, and even helped us to find odd things within the city - such as bug bite ointment for mosquito bites, and vanilla and brown sugar to bake cookies. Something to keep in mind is that the number of students in the actual program was fairly small - there were only about 12 of us during summer term. Regarding the city of Siena, the city is relatively small compared to Rome or Florence, but the plus side is that it is incredibly safe and the people are some of the most friendly and open I have met during my travels. Siena also has a very unique history and culture, which is amazing to learn about and get to be a part of. As a whole, I can’t say enough good things about IES Siena, and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of studying abroad there!

5 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Loved my time 'Under the Tuscan Sun'

I had the experience of a lifetime with the IES Siena Summer program! The staff was incredibly attentive and truly cared about their students. I really appreciated that our teachers were native Italians who spoke excellent English, so they provided us with an authentic education about Italian food, language, and culture. The optional field trips were so informative, and the food was amazing-the staff did a great job of picking good restaurants and it was great to have a translator with us. We only had class 4 days a week, giving us time to travel on our own Friday through Sunday, so even though I was only abroad for a month and a half, I got to travel all over Italy. Siena was much beautiful, and the locals speak Italian unlike in Florence, so I learned more Italian than I would have in a bigger city. I stayed in a homestay organized through IES, and had such a positive experience-my host family was so welcoming and cooked an incredible dinner every night, and taught me so much Italian-io imparato Italiano molto subito! I don't have enough good things to say about my study abroad experience!

What would you improve about this program?
There were only 9 students in my program, and I would have liked it to be a little bit larger, but we got plenty of individual instruction since we were such a small group, so this wasn't too much of a downside.
4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Siena

Living in Siena was everything I wanted studying abroad to be about and more! Since Siena is a smaller city than others in Italy, it created a quaint, home-like feeling to it. By the time I left, I felt comfortable in the city and felt like one of the locals, and I always felt safe, even walking at night. I found it very fascinating to learn about the 17 contradas in Siena and how passionate each person is about their own contrada. Living in Siena was able to give me a more in-depth look at this. I also loved the apartment I lived in and how close it was to the Piazza del Campo- only a few steps away! The size of the program was only 9 students, so that created a very close, personal group. Most of the time, we all took additional trips with each other that were a blast!
Overall, I am extremely happy I chose Siena as the city to study in through IES!

What would you improve about this program?
There could have been more trips within the program. However, the trips taken to Populonia/Baratti coast and Naples/Pompeii were run very smoothly and efficiently.
5 people found this review helpful.

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