Experience Immersion with Siena Italian Studies

Experience Immersion with Siena Italian Studies

A unique opportunity for language instructors, faculty, and study abroad professionals. 

Come see for yourselves what students at Siena Italian Studies really experience during their semester abroad! This showcase provides a comprehensive and experiential site visit during which you’ll meet key figures– including our host-families, gain insight into our innovative curriculum, learn about SIS’s varied program options and see and experience for yourselves both the day-to-day and the extraordinary aspects of a semester with SIS.  The experience will be organized in English, however Siena Italian Studies is an immersion program so participants will be exposed to plenty of Italian.

The experience can be tailored to individuals or groups.  The following is a basic package that can be altered depending on numbers of participants as well as specific requests.  To inquire about an Experience Immersion visit, contact info@sienaitalianstudies.com and write “Experience Immersion” in the subject.

Price 4 days – 570 USD per participant


    • * Host family (Breakfast, 4 dinners) 
    • 1 group dinner
    • 4 lunches
    • Museum entry
  • Guided tours

* This price is based on estimates for participants that stay with host families.  While we recommend staying with our host families in order to fully experience our program, we understand that some of you may prefer your own accommodations.   For details on alternative accommodations, please inquire to the following email address: info@sienaitalianstudies.com


  • Transportation to/from Siena
  • Accommodation in Siena before or after showcase

Experience Siena Italian Studies Itinerary for 2018:

Take a look at the experience immersion schedule 2019 PDF

Host Families

We believe that there is no better way to experience local culture than living with locals.  While navigating through relationships with host families can be challenging, we are confident that the rewards far outweigh any potential negatives. SIS staff has more than 15 years of experience working with host families in Siena and we are so confident in the quality of our selected families that we are offering the host family experience to all participants.


Siena Italian Studies has an agreement with a local cafe as well as a local restaurant to provide lunch for all students and staff.  Both are located in the immediate vicinity of the study center.  Participants, just like all students of Siena Italian Studies, can eat sandwiches and salads at the cafe or choose from fresh pasta dishes made daily at the restaurant. 

Experience Descriptions

Intro to SIS

Staff and professors will introduce the program and elaborate on our unique didactic methodologies developed by SIS staff and professors: EUFICCS (European Use of Full Immersion: Culture, Content and Service) and NOLC (Non-Level Concept).

Survival Italian

No matter what your Italian language level of proficiency, our professors will lead all participants in an interactive language class, similar to those that students of SIS experience during their semester in Siena.

Palio Lesson

Staff member and authentic Contradaiolo Andrea Cancelli will take participants on a journey through history to explain Siena’s unique social fabric, the Contradas , and the Palio horse race that they live for. 

Tour of Siena

Participants will take a walk through Siena with SIS staff members and discover some of Siena’s secrets hidden in lesser-known corners of the city.

Art History Experience

Professor Antonella Filippone will guide participants in getting up-close and personal with Siena’s rich and unique artistic history.  Her tour will mirror what SIS students experience in the Art History course.

Reflective Writing Workshop

SIS professors will lead discussion on intercultural experience and go in depth regarding one of the more innovative aspects of the program.  All students of Siena Italian Studies participate in the reflective writing course as it is fundamental for the ultimate goal that SIS sets for its students: the development of their intercultural competencies.

Contrada Museum

Each of Siena’s 17 Contradas has its own museum that contains rich and unique cultural history as well as priceless artifacts and works of art.  These 17 gems of Siena are not open to the general public as they are sacred places for the Contrada members.  SIS staff member Andrea Cancelli will take you to his Contrada, La Contrada Capitana dell’Onda, to visit the museum as well as the church connected to it.

Service-Learning Project

All students attending SIS are required to participate in one or more service activity for a minimum of 5 hours per week.  SIS has working relationships with a number of institutions including  local schools, the Misericordia di Siena ambulance center,  OXFAM, and many more.  Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with Siena’s medieval walls through a local organization Le Mura that aims to salvage, restore, and promote the city’s 6 km of ancient walls. 

Emigration/Sociolinguistics experience

Professors Elena Cellai and Alice Vannucci will showcase two of the most requested courses offered to SIS students during fall, spring, and summer sessions. 


This course aims to present the transition of Italy from a country of emigration between 1861 and the second half of the 1970s, to a destination country that has been receiving significant immigration flows in recent decades.


After a brief study of the formation of Italian as a national language, this course will analyze the movements, changes and the many transformations that came about in the language during the last two centuries.

Visit to Spannocchia

The Provincia di Siena is home to a multitude of cultural and eno-gastronomic treasures.  We will visit La Tenuta di Spannocchia, an organic farm that raises an ancient species of pig, La Cinta Senese.  We will get a full tour of the operation and learn about the quality products that are made there.  Of course, we’ll be enjoying the products as part of lunch.  Vegetarian options will be available. 

Custom Programs and Partnerships

Professor Fiora Biagi and Director Lavinia Bracci will elaborate on SIS’s partnerships with other organizations in Italy and Europe and how SIS can create custom programs to fit various desired learning outcomes. 

SIS Wrap-Up

SIS staff and professors will be available to continue conversation with participants and answer any questions during a relaxing cocktail buffet.   

For more information contact us at:



Facebook: Siena Italian Studies

Instagram: SienaSIS

Twitter: @SienaSIS