IES Abroad: Tradition & Cuisine in Tuscany

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In July, enjoy the rare chance to witness the Palio, Siena’s famous horse race, in one of the most recognized piazzas in the world, Piazza del Campo. Study the economic, socio-historical, and cultural aspects of Tuscan food by participating in cooking classes and visiting restaurants, gelato laboratories, dairies, and vineyards.

Enroll in a course on local history and tradition or study Tuscan architecture, art, and sculpture. By combining coursework with study outside the classroom, you experience the rich cultural heritage of Tuscany.

Questions & Answers


based on 4 reviews
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 4 of 4

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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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!

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program

About IES Abroad

IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...