Welcome to Siena Italian Studies, a unique study abroad program designed for students that want to live Italy to the fullest.  Since 2004 the program has been an innovator among full immersion programs in Italy. Come experience Siena, Italy!

Are you a professor or a study abroad professional? Learn more about Experience Immersion, a short program designed for professors and study abroad advisors to experience the program just as students do. Click for details!

NEW IN 2020: SIS Online Courses

SIS invites you to consider a virtual and stimulating study abroad experience through its new online course offerings. SIS has readapted its unique instructional approach EUFICCS to convey the most important aspects of our study abroad program in Siena, Italy to those that have not yet been able to experience the city in person.

Why Consider a Study Abroad in Siena, Italy?

The city of Siena may be the perfect place to study Italian language and culture. While it is a small city, Siena is constantly ranked among Italy’s safest, cleanest and most livable cities. Students that choose Siena will be rewarded by a city that isn’t overrun by hoards of tourists and they will be welcomed as participants in local culture, rather than remaining on the outside looking in. Siena lies on the southern edge of Tuscany’s famous Chianti region and is only a short trip away from cities like Florence and Rome, providing an ideal home base for exploring both the North and South of Italy.

Siena Italian Studies Program

Siena Italian Studies- Intercultural Education and Research Center began as a “gentle” full immersion program for motivated and curious students. Since 2004 the Center has been 100% independent and the staff and founders are extremely proud of the experiences that they create for students. The Center is located in the heart of Tuscany, in one of Italy’s most unique cities. Students can experience Siena Italian Studies for a semester, a full year, or for shorter periods of time during the summer, as well as our new multi-destination offerings. Additionally, Universities from around the world can use our location(s), faculty and services to create a custom program that best fits their institution’s needs.


SIS programs employ a unique approach called the EUFICCS Method. EUFICCS, European Use of Full-Immersion: Culture, Content, Service is a method that unites the guided input in the classroom with spontaneous input from outside the classroom from host families, and language exchange partners to community service placements and daily interactions with locals. To learn more, click here!

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View Google's walkthrough of Siena, the heart of Tuscany.

  • I had an incredible experience in Siena thanks to Siena Italian Studies volunteering through IPSL was probably the best decision I could have made, in terms of getting the most of my experience abroad.

    - Melissa

  • My learning took place inside and outside the classroom. When my academic day came to end, my real day and learning too place at home with my host family. What I learned is that successfully assimilating yourself to another culture is hard work but all my efforts paid daily constant dividends through my Italian.

    - Patrick

  • My host family became my second family. They opened their home to me and allowed me to make it my own. In three months we formed a bond that will last much longer than that and that is something that you can't find everywhere at home or abroad.

    - Monserrat

  • This is by far the most amazing experience I have ever had. I have learned so much about myself, my culture, the Italian culture and, of course, the Italian Language.

    - Halli

  • I learned more about myself and the world in 4 months than I did in 18 years. Siena will always be the place I remember discovering who I really am.

    - Quinn

  • We believe that life is about first-person experiences. It’s possible to experience life through a smartphone, but we at Siena Italian Studies prefer to see things with our own eyes.

    - Antonio

Service Learning

The citizens of Siena have been dedicated to volunteering and to cooperating for a common good for hundreds of years.  Service is in the local DNA! Siena Italian Studies works with local organizations in order to provide opportunities for students to work alongside locals to improve the local community. The program goes beyond simple volunteering by being committed to Service Learning.  Students of Siena Italian Studies bring what they learn in the field back to the classroom and vice versa for a more meaningful and educational experience.

Host family

Is there a better way to experience local culture than to live with locals? No!  And that’s why all students of Siena Italian Studies live with our carefully selected host families.  Each student will have the unique opportunity to experience Italy as a local.  Before you know it, you’ll be living the Tuscan lifestyle!

Italian language

Obviously the Italian language is central to every students’ experience, thanks to our courses and particular Sienese history. The Italian spoken today has it’s original roots in Tuscany, and some argue that the “Sienese” Italian is the purest form of the language.  Students are exposed to the local language in many different ways and interact in Italian on a daily basis in host families, service placements and in classes.  Our Italian language professors are passionate and use a wide range of techniques in order to make the language accessible and useful for all of our students.


Sienese culture dates back to the early medieval period.  Through the ages, the Sienese community has preserved traditions and a way of life better than any other city in Italy.  While keeping up with current trends, locals have a profound understanding of their history and many aspects of their culture are still practiced today as they were 800 years ago.  Nothing exemplifies this better than the culture surrounding the Palio.  Come experience the city of the Palio for yourself!