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Video Testimonials

Listen to students talk about their experiences with SIS:


Check out what the summer overnight program looks like with SIS:

          Video credit: Katrina Orr – The Ohio State University (GRAZIE KATRINA!)

See what it’s like to experience the Palio from a student’s point of view:

           Video credit: Katrina Orr – The Ohio State University (GRAZIE KATRINA!)

Written Testimonials

I remember my semester abroad at Siena Italian Studies vividly and with enormous fondness. It’s been eleven years, yet those memories still cross my mind regularly and add great value to my life. The faculty and staff were very kind and accessible, which made for a healthy and fun dynamic in the classroom and during our many off‐site activities and trips.

The immersive language experience was highly effective: Five hours of Italian language courses a day coupled with an Italian host family who spoke very little to no English was instrumental in becoming conversational in Italian language. The professors lowered their pails deep into the well of Italian culture, and the examples used in their curriculums had a coolness factor. Every class offered anecdotes that would one day make each student a more interesting dinner guest.

Studying abroad at Siena Italian Studies offered a service component, as well. Students were encouraged to volunteer in various situations such as gardening, assisting elderly in the community, or making appearances in Italian grade school classes as an English language ambassador. These were bond‐forming experiences with people in the community and were interesting peeks into corners of Italian life you normally don’t see or hear much about.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit outside of my semester in Siena, Italy, and I’ve had other immersion experiences in foreign countries; however, Siena Italian Studies was hands down the most special and of the highest caliber. I cannot say enough positive things about the experience, and I encourage everyone to look into it!

Literally the best time of my life.

The first time I made a slightly crazy decision, to move to a foreign country for a summer when I didn’t know the language past “menu Italian” And didn’t know any of the people traveling with me.

After having to give an oral report of Art History in Italian, which I’ve been studying for 4 weeks, I lost my fear of public speaking.

Traveling is the greatest gift I’ve given myself.

I learned that taking risks and being vulnerable will bring greater joy and greater opportunities.

I met my travel buddy, Molly Reed, at SIS. We have done a trip to Washington DC and plan to do more together when our schedules and bank accounts allow.

Since SIS I have made one more “crazy” decision. I moved from my home in Cleveland, OH to Los Angeles. I came to LA without knowing a soul in all of California, and not having a job. I have since found and fought my way into the hard to break into television/film industry.

I now have worked on Greys Anatomy for 2 years and am about to join the Directors Guild of America’s as an Assistant Director. I have also found my husband on my first movie set. We got engaged in the Cinque Terre and then I took him to Siena. I had to show him the place that changed me. I cried as I remembered my way from Piazza Gramsci to Il Campo and was shocked by how much it felt like home.

I can’t wait to go back again!

My host family became my second family.  They opened their home to me and allowed me to make it my own. In three months we formed a bond that will last much longer than that and that is something that you can’t find everywhere at home or abroad.

I learned more about myself and the world in 4 months than I did in 18 years. Siena will always be the place I remember discovering who I really am.

I had an incredible volunteering experience in Siena thanks to Siena Italian Studies was probably the best decision I could have made, in terms of getting the most of my experience abroad.

My learning took place inside and outside the classroom.  When my academic day came to end, my real day and learning too place at home with my host family. What I learned is that successfully assimilating yourself to another culture is hard work but all my efforts paid daily constant dividends through my Italian.

I came to Siena the summer of 2017 without knowing anyone in my class,

where I would live or if I would even be able to communicate with

anyone! Apprehensive was an understatement. As soon as I had my first

lunch with my new friends, I was immediately a part of the SIS family.

The full immersion into Sienese culture presents a unique opportunity

that requires you to get out of your comfort zone by making new

friends, speaking in Italian (even if your confidence is lacking), and

trying new things every single day- not as a tourist but as a

transient Italian. Our class quickly became very close exploring

Siena, traveling through Italy, eating lunch at the bar between

classes, and spending every second together.

Many plane tickets have been purchased and FaceTime calls made since

that summer, and few months pass without catching up with each other.

After the program, I stayed so close with one of the guys in our class

that we started dating while he lived in New York and I lived in

Georgia. We’ve been together for over 2 years now, he’s moved to

Georgia, and we still shake our heads at the look of amazement in

people’s faces when we say we met in Italy. We reminisce on our

beginnings inside the walls of Siena, cherish the friendships we’ve

kept, and still practice our Italian over a bottle of Montepulciano


Thank you, SIS, for the most special and lasting friendships.