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  • SIS Fall 2014 Newsletter

    Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by admin

      Fall Semester Arrives SIS Staff returns from around the world. Our staff has been all over the world this summer, from the Alps to Argentina, Thailand and the US.  Though now it is time for the real fun, the start of a new semester.  This semester is busier than most.  We have two conferences. One […]

  • SIS Reunion 2014

    Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 by Mike Manchester

    The reunion will take place on the 27th and 28th of June 2014.   At this point a sure schedule has not been decided.  However for sure there will be a dinner on the evening of the 28th, which everyone is invited too, including host families and friends.  Click Here to see the schedule of events. Palio […]

  • From the blog of Kale Hartman

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    Service At SIS, we are required to do service in the Siena community. I have done service at “Il Laboratorio,” the soup kitchen, the highschool, and Misericordia (the ambulance place). I love doing service, mostly just to be able to interact with other Italians. At the Misericordia, it is usually slow in the afternoons and […]

  • In October… by Sarah Pascuzzi

    Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    In October, we traveled to two different farms, where one produced pecorino cheese, the other “Cinta senese”. While visiting the pecorino farm, the group learned about the process of making cheese, from the birth of animals to the shipping and packing of the product. The group toured the family-operated factory and learned that the factory […]

  • From the blog of Victoria Lipuma

    Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    Contrada Fountains Siena is known for many things, the Piazza del Campo, the Duomo, the beautiful landscapes and the ancient architecture but most importantly the Palio. The Palio is a horse race that comes around two times a year and the local people all dress up to represent their horse/contrada in the race. The citizens […]

  • Your creativity could bring you back to Europe! EUFICCS logo contest.

    Posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    Listen up current and former students of SIS – there’s an awesome opportunity available to you right now. To Former SIS Students: Do you miss Siena? Wish you could have your lunch packed by your host mom each day? Miss Gianca, Mike, Antonella, and the entire staff? Wish you could sit in the Campo and […]

  • Principianti, intermedi, and avanzati…

    Posted on Friday, April 13th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    I’m in the advanced Italian class here (this semester there are three levels: principianti, intermedi, and avanzati). For the students who came to Siena with no knowledge of the Italian language aside from Ciao, Spaghetti, and Pizza, the beginner course was the place for them. The rest of us were then divided based on a […]

  • Guest blogger: Whitney Holmes!

    Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    As promised, this week we have a guest blogger, Whitney Holmes, to describe her trip to Barcelona! March has come and along with it SIS’s first long-weekend. Now, apparently when you are studying abroad long-weekends are not to be wasted by little trips to Firenze. Oh no, when you have three days off you have […]

  • Introducing Sally Wade. Our newest blogger!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a Tutti! The semester is well underway and it’s time to get the blog up and running. My name is Sally Wade and I’m a sophomore from The College of William and Mary, majoring in government with a focus in international politics. I’m back in Italy as an SIS student after spending my summer […]

  • Una Pausa Rilassante Dieci Giorni!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a Tutti! Siena Italian Studies has just ended their ten- day break and its back to studying and hitting the books! There is great talk about the many places the group traveled to. While some students decided to stay and explore Italy, others traveled great distances, to places such as: Spain, Greece, London, Ireland, […]

  • SIS Visite Perugia e Assisi!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao Visitatori SIS! This past weekend was perfect to travel to the beautiful Assisi and Perugia. The weather only added to the effect. The temperature has finally dropped! The first stop was Assisi, where the group was able to explore The Papal Basilica of St. Francis. We were given the opportunity to walk around and […]

  • New Student Blogger

    Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a tutti!  We have a new student blogger this semester.  I present Alexandra Vigliarolo from Siena College.

  • La Festa Della Repubblica

    Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a tutti!  Today is the Festa Della Repubblica here in Italy.  After World War II, the Italian people were faced with a choice:  To vote to keep a monarchy, or to vote for a republic.  I think that given the name of the holiday, the outcome of that vote is obvious. Before I get […]


    Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao di nuovo a tutti! Spring is upon us and this year we can actually tell.  Last year at this time of year we had a freak snowstorm.  I won’t go as far as to say that the sun is the actual property of Tuscany (like one particular American author) however I can say that […]

  • Centocinquanta

    Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 by Mike Manchester

    It has been a while since I last posted anything on the SIS blog.  My excuses could be numerous, but in the end there’s always time that could have been used in a more productive way.  The important thing is to actually do productive things rather than just talk about them.  So, here’s the latest […]

  • Due Blog In Uno!

    Posted on Friday, December 17th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    My plan for the final blog entry for the Fall 2010 semester wast to simply post a bunch of student’s pictures.  To tell you the truth, that’s still my plan.  What better way to sum up the semester that through the eyes of the students who lived it? I think, however that before I get […]

  • FICCS (Il Libro!)

    Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    There’s quite a lot to recount and I’ll admit that this is partially due to the fact that I’ve fallen a bit behind on the blog updates.  Before I make any more excuses, let’s just get down to business. First on the bill are congratulations to be awarded to Lavinia, Antonella, and generally all of […]

  • Tradizioni

    Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    It’s been a little while since last I blogged. I’m sure that all of you who studied here and are eagerly awaiting the latest news can sympathize with the fact that the ever-expanding world of SIS keeps us tremendously busy.

  • Pausa

    Posted on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    It’s hard to believe that we’re halfway through the semester. It’s also equally amazing how fast weeks and months seem to breeze by in a place like Italy….

  • Raccogliamo

    Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    Our participation in local schools is now at full speed. More students went into the elementary schools this week and we started our 6-week long project with a local high school…

  • Andiamo a scuola (elementare!)

    Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    This week it’s been all business. Aside from classes one of the major developments to the semester is that this week elementary school and kindergarten teaching started.

  • Pisa, Le Cinque Terre, Lucca e il Mare

    Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao! A lot has happened since the last update. Not more than two weeks have past but we already went on our 4-day excursion and took a trip to the Tuscan coast this past weekend.

  • The “Three Weeks” Are Almost Over!

    Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    The three-week intensive Italian course is almost over. The key word here is intense.

  • Ragazzi, A Tavola!

    Posted on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    The second week is one of the most challenging during our semester for both staff and students.

  • Lost in Bafalandia and Siena

    Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    Week one here is already coming to a close as fast as it started. This semester we added a few new activities to our orientation.

  • Back From Vacation

    Posted on Friday, September 3rd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    The fall 2010 semester is about to begin.    For me, this is one of the most exciting moments of the year.   We’ve done all the preparation work and now it’s time to put ourselves to the test.  The same goes for the students who arrive in just a couple of days.  Once they’re here, there’s […]

  • Grazie a tutti, e ci vediamo presto!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    This is the last blog entry for the summer before we all head off in our own directions for much-needed respite. The summer session has flown by as it was packed with classes, excursions, food, and of course the Palio festivities.

  • Tutti In Piazza

    Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    It’s officially Palio time, here in Siena. Explaining the Palio in all of its entirety is too tall of an order in this humble, weekly blog so here are a few links to some sites that can more profoundly widen your knowledge on Siena’s, and maybe the world’s, most famous horse race. http://www.ilpaliodisiena.com/ http://www.ilpalio.org/ http://www.ilpalio.siena.it/ […]

  • Pienza, Montepulciano, and The Rain

    Posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a tutti from underneath the Tuscan clouds!  It has been unseasonably cool and rainy this past week, but looking at things from the positive side, at least it’s not boiling hot like June and July tend to be.  Another good thing is that all of this moisture is seeping into the ground where our […]

  • To The Beach, and Back

    Posted on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    It’s a sunny Wednesday morning here and our Ohio State students along with one student from Geneseo and another from The U. of Gerogia arrived yesterday. As for everyone else they are still looking well-rested and tanned after this weekend’s trip to the coast. Our trip started with a tour of ancient mines originally excavated […]

  • 1..2..3..ESTATE!

    Posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010 by Mike Manchester

    Our summer session is underway! We have 13 students right now and there are 13 more from The Ohio State University scheduled to arrive on June 15th. As always, there is plenty to keep all of us very busy. Our elementary school project is coming to its yearly end and that means I’ve been filming […]

  • Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2009 by Mike Manchester

    Ormai da quattro anni gestisco un progetto in alcune scuole elementari di Siena. Il focus del progetto è l’insegnamento della lingua inglese nelle classi. La competenza di questa lingua sta infatti diventando sempre più importante per la comunicazione e gli scambi in Italia e all’estero. Siena in particolare attrae una quantità di turisti inimmaginabile, collocandosi […]

  • Emigration Museum

    Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 by Mike Manchester

    Ciao a tutti! This past weekend we went to Pisa and Lucca for a quick day trip. In Lucca at the Paolo Cresci Emigration Museum one of our students from Lewis and Clark College was interviewed. She just started learning Italian this year, but she pulled it off great despite the added stress of being […]

  • Carnevale!

    Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 by Mike Manchester

    After a long pause here on the SIS blog, we’re back. Our Spring semester is going well, and with real signs of spring, things can only get better. Just a few weeks ago we went up to the mountains to ski and otherwise play in the snow in the Alps and now we’re putting on […]

  • Almost….

    Posted on Saturday, December 6th, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    Almost there The christmas lights are up in the streets of Siena!  With less that three weeks to go, everyone is looking foreward to the holiday vacation, but we’ll all be a little sad to say goodbye.  There still a lot to be done though as classes are still in session and everyone has papers […]

  • Istrice!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    I briefly mentioned Siena’s famous “Palio” horse race week that takes place twice a year on July 2nd and August 16th. It is one of the world’s most unique events as its origins date back 800 years. For those of you who don’t know about “Il Palio” here’s a VERY abbreviated synopsis: The city of […]

  • Hiking

    Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    This past weekend we went on a hike through the unique and picturesque “Crete Senese” farmland just south of Siena. The sun was out and after completing at least 7 km., we earned our “snack” of cheeses, prosciutto, melon, and ice cream in the small hill town of Chiusure. Our IPSL Session I came to […]

  • Arugula!

    Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    As it is, semesters here in Siena seem to pass in the blink of an eye. It’s no surprise that as we near the end of our first of two summer Service-Learning programs that it’s as if I was in Rome merely hours ago picking up our students and explaining as best I could what […]

  • Summer Rain

    Posted on Monday, June 2nd, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    Our summer session has begun! We had a few weeks off between spring 2008 and our first summer session. For better or worse we always figure out ways to keep busy during the “down time.” Our trifecta of Italian superprofessors, Antonella, Fiora, and Marianna held the SIS name high at the AATI/AAIS (The American Association […]

  • Goodbye, Hello

    Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 by Mike Manchester

    It’s a beautiful day in Siena.  We’re right in between spring and summer.  The countryside is in full bloom, I’m only wearing a t-shirt, but it’s not too hot yet.  The weather was just as wonderful on Sunday for our final lunch at Campriano (www.campriano.it) with our spring 2008 group. For me after seven years of working with […]