Siena Semester Program

Activities & Excursions

Hands On Lessons

In many of our courses, learning is not limited to the classroom. Whenever possible, we integrate field excursions and visits to enhance comprehension and provide students with a multifaceted experience. For example, art history courses naturally include visits to museums, churches and sites of artistic relevance in Siena, Florence and other towns in the region so that students can see first-hand the masterpieces discussed in class. Cultural Anthropology students may attend traditional local festivals and visit museums dedicated to aspects of Tuscan folk culture; students studying Italian Costume will have the opportunity to visit museums dedicated to textiles, costumes and individual Italian designers in the Florence/Prato area, while students studying the History of Italian Cuisine might visit a local cheese making farm and attend a hands-on cooking lesson, and the list goes on…


Group Excursions

Each semester program includes a 4-day group excursion to a chosen location. This excursion follows the Intensive Italian Course and includes some relaxation time as well as visits to culturally significant sites. Students will also attend several half-day and full-day excursions that are designed to give students a wide-ranging and meaningful experience of Tuscany (and other regions of Italy) of the sort tourists rarely have. We visit farms that produce wine, olive oil and pecorino cheese; relax in one of the region’s many natural hot springs; experience traditional Tuscan festivals such as Carnevale in Foiano della Chiana. Each term also include a visit to Florence and the Uffizi Gallery, as well as an Italian Opera in Florence or Pisa as well as a day trip hiking along to Tuscan coast to an unspoiled beach in the Maremma Region of Tuscany. (Excursions vary from semester to semester; please contact us for current details.)


Solo Travel

At least one 3-day weekend and other free weekends give the chance to travel and explore Italy on your own, putting your knowledge of Italian to good use! While a multitude of interesting destinations lie within just a few hours of Siena, from centers of art history to hill towns and Mediterranean beaches — a long break allows students to travel farther afield. A 10 day mid term break offers is the perfect chance to get a little farther away. Popular destinations include the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast; the Dolomite mountains for skiing or hiking; the coast of Campania from where you can visit the lively city of Naples, the fantastic ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the holiday spots of the Amalfi coast and Capri; as well as Italy’s two major islands, Sardinia and Sicily. Whether you choose another destination in Italy or one abroad, the break allows you to meet fellow international travelers, sample different foods and exercise your language skills.