About Siena Italian Studies

Philosophy

Siena Italian Studies’ Mission: To promote intercultural awareness, exchange, and competence through high-quality, rigorous, and engaging academic and cultural experiences.

Language and culture make up an inseparable binomial, who can really say whether it’s culture that generates language, or language that generates culture? This is the basis of Siena Italian Studies’ version of Full-Immersion: Culture, Content and Service (FICCS).

For us, full-immersion is not a form of ‘torture’ or trial-by-fire in which only those who can quickly overcome language barriers survive; on the contrary, it’s a gradual and unforced process of
discovering a new culture through continuous and constant exchanges with locals, a coming to awareness of the multiple linguistic and cultural capacities around us and within us. The overall objective of full-immersion at SIS is for each of our students to begin to recognize and activate these capacities, and to develop a reflective intercultural competence, which will allow him or her to function as a global citizen capable of facing and interacting with different cultures throughout the course of his/her lifetime with awareness and sensitivity.

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