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EU SIS Summer Language + Service

  /  EU SIS Summer Language + Service

SIS Summer Language + Service

Siena Italian Studies prides itself on offering opportunities to engage with Italian culture through its “gentle” full immersion programs for motivated and curious students. These short-term summer program options were designed specifically to give students an opportunity to study the Italian language in this fascinating city and then put it into practice in the community through service-learning and via accommodations in host families.

Program Dates (2022):

  • Maymester study abroad Siena: Sunday, May 15th- Saturday, June 4th, 2022
  • 8-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, May 27th – Sunday, July 24th, 2022
  • 6-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, June 10th – Sunday, July 24th, 2022
  • 4-week summer study abroad Siena: Friday, June 10th – Sunday, July 7th, 2022


Italian language course ( from 45 up to 100 hours)

Siena Italian Studies provides Italian language courses for any level of Italian proficiency.   All books and didactic materials will be provided by the program.

If desired,  students my opt to take the CILS/PLIDA exam at the end of the 8, 6 and 4 week  summer programs (not the Maymester),  and receive the Internationally recognized CILS/PLIDA certification. NB, the exam is at the student’s expense.

Intercultural Dialogue and Reflections Course

(15 hrs) This course combines structured and guided reflection with fundamental issues that characterize today’s world both in a global and a local perspective. Students are invited and led to reflect on the ever-changing challenges that await them as future global citizens.

The course opens with a historical and philosophical discussion about the paradigm of hospitality and its corollaries guiding students to reflect and ponder on how this paradigm has been changing in recent times. It leads students through the understanding of the concept of otherness and includes a brief overview on human rights. It goes on with discussing the history of European institutions and Europe’s efforts to spread the concept of intercultural dialogue and deeply analyzes the most recent European outcomes in terms of democracy protection and democratic competences development.

Reflection in the course is carried out thanks to the discussion of cultural topics that reveal their inner meanings and deepness when put into the right perspective.

The aim of this course is to empower engaged global citizens with the necessary knowledge and skills, and with a reflective attitude that will allow them to open to the world without getting lost, to discover the confines of their own culture, to see reality from different perspectives and to feel common ties of humanity under the flow of apparent differences.

Service-Learning in the Community

In addition to taking classes, participants in all SIS programs are encouraged to perform service-learning in the community. This service can range from 5-10 hours a week and opportunities are in a variety of different service sites. Students might assist refugees adjusting to life in Siena, visit with the elderly at a nursing home, teach English or other languages to local children at elementary schools or summer camps, or help other volunteers to clear brush and maintain the medieval city walls. 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. For a list of summer service learning sites and descriptions please click here.

Included Activities

Participating students will be provided with a transfer from the Pisa airport to Siena*.  Each session begins with an orientation session and a welcome cocktail for all students.  The following is a list of activities:

  • Guided trekking in the historical center of Siena
  • Participation in Palio and introductory lessons (except Maymester, which includes only an introductory lesson)

*Enrollment must meet a minimum number for airport pick-up on designated arrival day.

Optional Activities

SIS staff is happy to organize extra activities for students.  Please inquire about prices for the following optional activities.

  • Local wine and cheese tasting
  • A Visit to Siena’s underground tunnels, i bottini
  • Local museums: Il Museo Civico and Santa Maria della Scala
  • Excursion to the seaside (1 night in the hotel. Dinner, breakfast and dinner.)
  • A day at the pool in the Chianti region
  • Tuscan Cooking Classes
  • Dinner the day before Palio di Siena (ONLY available on July 1st)
  • Visits to local farms and/or vineyards to experience local products
  • Visits to Florence and museums such as the Galleria degli Uffizi or Duomo di Firenze
  • A final dinner at the end of the program with all participating students.

Not Included

  • Airline tickets
  • Medical Insurance
  • Personal expenses

Accommodations in the Host Family

 All of our students in the SIS Summer Language + Service programs live with host families. The home stay is an integral and indispensable part of all SIS programs, offering students the opportunity to make life-long friends and reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons.  Living with a host family is the best way to experience modern, Italian culture from “the inside”.

Host family accommodations include:

  • A room in an apartment with an Italian family.
  • Breakfast and Dinner (Monday to Friday)
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Saturday and Sunday)
  • Weekly laundry

* Host families will provide lunch on the weekends if students are in Siena but they do not provide lunches during the week.  SIS provides the option for lunch coupons that are valid Mon-Fri at two local cafes near the school.  This option is 120€ / month.  Students can also choose to explore the many options in Siena and eat on their own.