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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 news in the SIS world.

First of all, this entry comes on an important day in history.  Today marks the 150th anniversary of that Italy has been… well, Italy!  After Giuseppe Garibaldi and his rather small army of one-thousand men successfully united the fragmented  southern part of the peninsula, on March 17th, 1861 Vittorio Emanuele II was pronounced the king of Italy.

The national holiday comes during our break, so there are currently no students in Siena at the moment.  It’s always rather astonishing to step back for a moment and realize how quickly things seem to go.  Our current students have already stepped over the half-way point of the semester.  Thinking back on all of the semesters that I’ve seen pass by in ten years here, I’m in awe of how many people I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and the amount of things that we’ve accomplished together.

This semester we took the group up to the north.  First we stopped in Torino at the Mole Antonelliana, which, today is home to the cinema museum.  From there we headed up to the Valle D’Aosta for a few days.  Some skied or snowboarded while others explored the area.  One day, our hotel organized a snowshoeing adventure near picturesque town of Cogne.  The Valle D’aosta is an interesting region with influences from both Italy as well as France.  Like all of Italy though, one thing that’s a sure bet is the quality of the food.  Probably the most famous product from the area is the fontina cheese.  We tried it and everything else we could.  I brought back a bunch of it to eat at home, but alas, it’s finished.  Now I’m left with nothing but all of this pecorino toscano… poor me!

This semester, like all semesters, is keeping both staff and students very busy.  All of our service activities are in full swing by this point in the semester as well as all of the courses.  An added challenge for SIS staff this semester is make sure the semester is as meaningful and productive as possible while simultaneously focusing on the organization of SIS’s second conference.  We are expecting quite a lot of people from literally all over the world to attend the conference that will address intercultural communication. Our homepage can provide you with info and links regarding the conference.

Here to help us with the conference, we are very lucky to have former president of IPSL and now Senior Fellow of SIS, Nevin Brown.  Nevin is not only working with us in the office, he’s also getting the full SIS experience… from the point of view of a student.   Nevin is taking Italian, living with a family and participating on all of our excursions.  I couldn’t think of  better way to really see SIS from the inseide!

More pics soon!



Posted in SIS News, Uncategorized


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