About Siena Italian Studies

Our Study Abroad Philosophy

A different way of thinking

We believe that we are the leading alternative to a trend in study abroad in which students live in bubbles in foreign cities but don’t have genuine opportunities to experience the cultural realities of those cities and the nations of which they are integral parts.  Cities throughout Europe have spaces, sometimes called islands, that are increasingly dominated by tourists and that create a false sense of culture when compared to that experienced by locals.

The founder’s vision for Siena Italian Studies has been the creation of a program that enables students to live outside these “bubbles” but instead as locals as much as possible.  Instead of looking at the local culture as if it were a museum, students at Siena Italian Studies are integrated into local society through coursework, host families, and service learning projects.

Our study abroad program is rare among its competitors.  In order to create an experience of integration that also meets university level academic standards we have created a unique method of instruction (www.euficcs.eu).

At Siena Italian Studies, our students really do come first.  Unlike the vast majority of study abroad programs, we are small, independent, and locally run.  This means that we are focused 100% on the students enrolled in the program, thus offering a model for sustainable study abroad.