- About Siena Italian Studies
- Educational Approach
- Semester Program
- Summer Program
- Customized Programs
- Contact Us
Participants in all SIS programs are encouraged to perform, service in the community in conjunction with IC partner, Ulisse Cultural Association. Service can range from 1-5 hours a week and opportunities are in a variety of different service sites. Summer offers some particular service opportunities. Students might set tables at the city soup kitchen, visit with the elderly at a nursing home, volunteer with city ambulance crews during the famous Palio horse race. Volunteering in the community is an unparalleled way to improve language skills, get involved in the local social fabric and make a genuine contribution to the host community.
SIS works with a summer camp for local children at a rollerskating center. Students organize activities in English for the children and they work alongside counselors. Sessions for SIS students last roughly 2 hours, however students can stay on if their course schedule permits.
The Arciconfraternità della Misericordia di Siena is an association dating back to the Middle Ages that is dedicated to volunteer medical assistance and community service. Students who work with this organization can choose to focus their energies on a variety of medical realities. They will work alongside medical volunteers in an ambulance providing assistance in transporting patients to and from the hospital, and will be trained in the various levels of emergency medical assistance through courses offered by the Misericordia: basic and advanced levels of emergency medical assistance and a specialized course for on-call residential service. Working with the Misericordia, students will get to know personally medical and paramedical personnel of every level and be offered a detailed picture of the Italian healthcare system. In the interests of cultural exchange, students will also be encouraged to organize English language workshops for fellow volunteers, as English is very useful in a popular tourist destination such as Siena.
This is a day center 100% volunteer run that provides space, assistance, and organizes activities for Siena’s disabled community. Students can serve along with local volunteers in organizing and participating in activities that range from art and music to excursions to a local pool or even nearby towns.
This organization in Siena is dedicated to helping immigrants assimilate more smoothly into life in Siena. This includes helping immigrants find employment, access healthcare, acquire language skills, as well as legal aid when necessary. Students can volunteer in the office and work directly with immigrants in need. Activities include internet research, translation, accompanying people to offices, interviews, appointments etc.
Located just a short walk south of the Piazza del Campo, La Caritas is a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to helping those in need. Though all are welcome to their services, their soup kitchen and used clothing distribution center primarily serve Siena’s immigrant population. Everyone from immigrants from Romania to refugees from Sudan enjoy the warm meals at the church’s daily lunch as well as the services provided by their clothing bank, which distributes local donations varying from books to bed dressings, as well as providing free shower supplies and access to their shower facility. On a weekly basis, a combined total of over 300 immigrants make use of the resources provided by both the soup kitchen and clothing distribution center. The 90 religious sisters who live on the premises, as well as volunteers ranging from college students to Siena natives, help prepare and serve the daily meals as well as collect, organize, and distribute clothing. La Caritas also functions as a dormitory for women, children, and elderly in need of care and lodging.
The Associazione Centro Ippico “Della Pergola” ASD is an organization that provides various forms of physical therapy to children and adults with disabilities. Students work at the organization’s newly constructed stables and helping with riding therapy, “ippoterapia”. Responsibilities will vary, as “Della Pergola” is a very hands-on organization. Students with previous riding experience may be asked to work solely with preparing the horses, while others will do any number of odd jobs on the grounds. Previous experience with horses is preferred.
Italy’s elderly population is actually (2010) the highest in the world. Siena is no exception. The “Poggio al Vento” elderly center is home to more than 30 residents. Ulisse members can work with Italian volunteers to assist the elderly as well as organize activities and events.
Located in the medieval gardens “L’Orto De’ Pecci” La Proposta operates in the field of social-therapeutic reintegration. The first steps were made with subjects who were mentally disabled, after which they also began working with people coming from local prisons or who had drug addiction problems. La Proposta manages a community garden as well as a restaurant, where Ulisse members can lend their services in both places alongside those who are working towards their reintegration into society.