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Siena Summer

Siena Summer

Spend your summer abroad in Siena

No place is as alive in the summertime as Siena, Italy.  In the heart of Tuscany, the city that dates back to the early medieval period bursts with life as it prepares for the annual Palio horse race.  This event is truly like nothing else on earth and the only way to understand it is to live it.  All students participating in the 4, 6 and 8-week summer options at SIS Intercultural Study Abroad will get to experience the event through the eyes and emotions of the locals.  

In addition to the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Palio, students will also live with host families and participate in local service projects all while earning multiple university credits for our unique courses that cover a wide array of academic disciplines.  


For those students that can’t leave their home campus for a semester or full academic year, SIS offers a series of summer study abroad opportunities that from the end of May through July. These programs not only allow students to study Italian language and culture in a more condensed period of time, they will also explore Tuscany during a remarkable time of year. 

All programs include airport pick-up, program orientation, a series of activities and excursions, family home-stays and the opportunity to perform community service in a variety of areas.


Upcoming program dates and options

SIS Intercultural Study Abroad offers Intensive Italian Language and Culture Summer Programs of varying lengths. These include: 4-week, 6-week, 8-week options as well as a new 10-week option especially designed for students that were unable to participate in a full semester abroad in recent academic years!

2022 Summer Study Abroad Program Options and Dates

  • 10-week summer “recovery” quarter Siena: Sunday, May 15 – Sunday, July 24 ***NEW IN 2022***
  • 8-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, May 27 – Sunday, July 24
  • 6-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, June 10 – Sunday, July 24
  • 4-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, June 10 – Sunday, July 10

Summer Program students take a combination of Italian Language and content courses. The number of courses a student takes depends on the length of the individual program chosen. All students live with local host families and participate in a series of excursions and activities during each term.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there may be some modifications to the program offerings in order to safely operate the programs and comply with local, national and CDC/WHO guidelines.

Please inquire at for price information.


Summer course descriptions

Although course offerings for summer study abroad are fewer, there is still a choice selection for all majors. All Siena summer program students are required to take Italian Language, the Intercultural Dialogue and Reflections Course, and 1-3 content courses depending on the length of the program.

8- and 6-week students can choose two courses among the five content courses listed below.

4-week students can choose between Art History and Food as Medicine.

For the new 10-week summer quarter, students will take an intensive Italian course the first two weeks then select at least one course from our Semester Course Offerings from week 3. From week 5 students will add 1 or 2 courses from the below summer content course offerings (for a maximum of 3 content courses). 

Please inquire as to your preferred course.  All of the courses at SIS Intercultural Study Abroad are accredited by Portland State University (PSU).


Service Opportunities

Service-Learning is an integral part of study abroad even in the summer.  Participants in all SIS Intercultural Study Abroad programs are encouraged to perform service in the community in conjunction with its local partner, Nuova Associazione Culturale Ulisse. 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.


Activities and Excursions

Siena in the summer is vibrantly full of events and activities for all.  Of course, the focal point of the summer in Siena revolves around the Palio, however there is much more to do.  We at SIS Intercultural Study Abroad take advantage of local events and guide students through as a way to create fun, interactive learning experiences.  Here are some of the activities included in the Siena summer programs.

Palio experience

SIS takes pride in being a locally run, Sienese program.  The Palio is just as important to us as it is to the people of Siena.  We believe that it’s vital that our students understand the festival and the emotions that are associated with it so that each of our students can experience the incredible Palio in a way that respects the local traditions and people.  SIS staff will be your guides during the four marvelous and intense days of the Palio, showing you where to see specific events as well as explaining its historical and cultural significance.

       Video credit: Katrina Orr – The Ohio State University – SIS student Summer 2019

2-day trip

All participants in Siena summer programs will go on an overnight trip that includes visits to cities near Siena, museums, wonderful food, and a day at the beach!  


      Video credit: Katrina Orr – The Ohio State University – SIS student Summer 2019


The various SIS study abroad summer options include day trips to places like wineries or some of the amazing villages that surround Siena, as well as a full day in Florence.

Local activities

SIS Staff will guide you through all of the activities offered by the city of Siena as well as many other local organizations. We’ll provide you with everything that you need in order to live like a local during the summer in Siena, Italy.