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Graduate Opportunities


SIS Intercultural Study Abroad offers several opportunities for graduate students seeking to deepen their knowledge in two particular areas: Second Language Acquisition and Special Topics in Italian Studies. 

Students who have completed their university studies at the Bachelor level and who are undertaking a graduate degree in Italian Studies or Second Language Acquisition can apply to study with SIS in Siena, Italy to experience SIS’s approach to intercultural study abroad at the graduate studies level.  SIS offers a small selection of graduate courses for both the summer terms and each semester on request. 

Additionally, SIS organizes a Hands On Teacher Training Program each summer specifically designed for students entering the first or second year of a graduate degree in Italian studies, TESOL, Applied Linguistics, Education or similar field. 

Our Second Language Acquisition course in Glottodidactics provides hands-on teaching experiences in the language classroom. The SLA: EUFICCS (Full Immersion, Culture, Content and Service) Methodology course trains teachers in implementing academic content in a full-immersion environment. 

Other courses in Art History, Medieval Italian History, Sociolinguistic Studies, Italy Land of Migrations and Food as Medicine — offered at the undergraduate level — complete the program, immersing students in Siena’s rich historical and linguistic context through on-site tours, visits, excursions, and more. 

8-week program (10 total credits)

  • Intensive Italian course (B1 or higher) 
  • Choice of SLA course 
  • One additional content course 
  • Intercultural Reflections Seminar 

6-week program (7 total credits) 

  • Choice of SLA course 
  • One additional content course
  • Intercultural Reflections Seminar

Program price includes: instruction, student teaching, option of publication of final project in online journal, SIS transcript or Certificate of Participation, excursions, overnight trip with group, and more. 

Host families and meals can be included for an additional price. 

Contact for more information on program and pricing.


Program Dates

 2021 Program Options and Dates

  • Spring Semester 2021 Sunday, Jan. 17th – Sunday, May 2nd
  • Summer 8 Weeks: Friday, May 28th – Sunday, July 25th
  • Summer 6 Weeks: Friday, June 11th – Sunday, July 25th
  • Fall Semester 2021 Sunday, Sept. 5th – Sunday, Dec. 19th


Courses and Descriptions

This course focuses on the principal authors of Italian literature from the 15th to the 19th centuries, such as Machiavelli, Ariosto, Tasso, Galilei, Foscolo, Goldoni, Manzoni and Leopardi. During the course the professor will offer a general overview of the history of Italian literature, exploring the main cultural movements of these periods from Humanism and the Counter Reformation to the Enlightenment, Neoclassicism and Romanticism and the Restoration and the Resurgence. Particular focus will be dedicated to the contribution and influence by particular authors in the context of their respective eras. Students will read, analyze and discuss a series of texts and excerpts during the course and will complete oral presentations, a midterm and final exam, and a final term paper.

This course is intended for graduate level students who seek to deepen various themes relative to Italian instruction as L2, as well as the acquisition of Italian as L2. The course will be divided into two parts. Part one will be theoretical and part two will be dedicated to more practical methods of Glottodidactics, including observation of lessons and the creation and elaboration of didactic projects. In addition, the Common European Reference for Languages will be analyzed, a brief overview of the History of Italian Language will be presented as well as the sociolinguistic situation of contemporary Italian language in Italy. Students will complete all parts of the course, actively participating with projects and homework to be presented and discussed during each lesson. Students will be required to read various texts in the reference bibliography and some additional materials provided by the instructor. During the course students will complete a theoretical exam that relates to the first part of the course. Participants will also be expected to create activities and lessons plans appropriate for the classes observed. At the conclusion of the course they must complete a didactic unit that reflects the various theoretical and practical considerations that emerged during the course.

SIS Intercultural Study Abroad promotes training courses that focus on the formation of cultural and linguistic competencies necessary to those embarking upon a study abroad experience. The course, articulated in theoretical lessons and practical lessons, requires in-class attendance, with the exception of the last portion that can also be taken online. The FICCS (Full Immersion: Culture, Content and Service) Method is unique to SIS and utilizes the unparalleled value of the combination of spontaneous and guided acquisition in language study abroad. The course will outline all components of the FICCS students’ experience as well as discuss the development and consolidation of Reflective Intercultural Competence, knowledge and expansion of teaching strategies and encourage the development of reflective didactic strategies, including a reflective didactic journal.

The course will present the main varieties of the Italian language that emigrated together with the millions of Italian citizens who left Italy to find opportunity in the various nations of the Americas. It will begin with a historical-social reflection on emigration and then it will focus on the languages that were developed in Latin America and in the United States from contact between the Italian emigrants and the local languages (in particular English, Spanish, Portuguese). The cultural and linguistic identity of the emigrants resurfaces through these “mixed” idioms that present very different histories and outcomes. The emigrants’ languages will be presented from the historical and sociolinguistic point of view; concrete examples of these languages will be given in different types of texts (poems, songs, proverbs…), and we will analyze the relationship that developed between the Italian dialects that left Italy and the languages of their destination countries. During the course, students will complete a midterm exam, an oral presentation and complete a final research paper on a topic determined jointly by the professor and students.

The following courses are only offered during Fall and Spring semesters:

After briefly sketching a panorama of Italian immigration to the United States, this course will examine the writings of two second-generation Italian authors: Robert Viscusi and Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Both authors reflect the hostile relationship that many immigrants’ children had with their own origins. These were often perceived as an obstacle and, therefore, veiled in silence in order to facilitate the ‘melting pot’ concept. The difficult rediscovery of the Italian language and culture by the two authors- after a long phase of silence, at times imposed, at times desired- and their type of “psychoanalytic” work that discusses the turbulent road in search of roots, act as witness to the dilemma that has characterized the second generation in search for their own identity. Students will complete a midterm and final exam, as well as complete a final term paper on a topic determined jointly by the student and professor.

This course will focus on Luigi Pirandello’s life, works, and poetry, as well as on his fundamental importance in early twentieth century literature and culture, both in Italy and in the larger European context. Students are required to read assigned material carefully and to prepare for active discussions and presentations. Students are expected to make brief oral presentations regularly. There will be a midterm exam, a term paper and a final oral exam. The term paper should focus on one or more of Pirandello’s works, or aspects of his works. Students will discuss paper topics with the professor and then choose one that relates to the general program.