Review Overall Rating
I participated in the summer of 2011. Working on my Italian was so much easier because I was completely immersed in the culture. I was working on my language skills and I didn't even notice it! I had a fantastic host family and experience with the program. The staff at SIS did all they could to make sure we felt welcome so we could enjoy Siena. I still consider Siena my home away from home.
Other Reviews on Siena Italian Studies Summer Program
Siena Italian Studies Summer Program A summer that changed everything!
Reviewed by Whitney Miley on .
I had a truly amazing experience with SIS in the summer of 2009. It was my first time abroad, and I left feeling as if I had experienced the "real" Italy, not just some idealized version of it that you would find while vacationing. Living with a host family was by far the greatest part of the program. Although challenging at times, the host family really put things into perspective and empowered me to use the language in and out of the classroom; afterall, I wouldn't have been able to communicate with them otherwise! Even though the experience was challenging, I never felt alone- I had tremedous suppport from staff, as well as my fellow SIS'ers. The bond between us was unimaginably strong given the short amount of time we were there together- I continue to keep in touch with several of my peers from the program today. Not to mention how breathtakingly beautiful Siena is. I have since traveled extensively throughout Italy and have yet to find a piazza as timeless and magnificent as Piazza del Campo.
There's nothing to lose by spending a semester with SIS, but there's so so much to gain from the experience. SIS provides it all- an authentic Italian experience, language improvement, social understanding through service projects, the opportunity to travel and explore, and relationships with peers, staff, and host families that will truly last a lifetime. I'd give anything to re-live my summer with SIS!
Siena Italian Studies Summer Program Un'estate bellissima!
Reviewed by Julie Guseman on .
My experience in Siena during Summer 2012 was amazing and really gave me the opportunity to get immersed in the Italian culture. Staying with a host family really made me feel like a part of the community and gave me a chance to use my Italian in a real-life setting. The service opportunities in Siena also really gave me insight into the lives of the Sienese people. SIS took us on some great excursions and gave us the opportunity to see so many things in and around Siena, including the Palio, which was amazing. Our classes were laid back but very interesting. I felt like all of the experiences I had with SIS really helped me to gain confidence in my Italian skills while learning so much about the Italian culture. Overall, this was an amazing summer and an incredible first time in Italy. I wish I could have stayed longer!
Siena Italian Studies Summer Program The best experience of my life
Reviewed by Ag03stra on .
My experience in Siena was incredible, eye opening and transformative - it showed me true meaning of community. My home stay family was amazing and through them and their involvement in the contrada of the caterpillar I experienced the palio, a tradition which predates the medieval period, not like a tourist but like a Sienese. My study abroad experience provided me with unprecedented access to a beautiful culture that is still very much alive to this day. In the day's preceding the palio I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with the Senese and participated in the cultural duties which belong to the contradaoli ( the people of the contrada). As tourists lined the streets to watch the processions which lead up to the historic cultural event they watched in amazement from the outside with the cameras in hand, and I as an American was in their pictures. I too was in amazement with the singing, parading, flag tossing and drumming but my amazement came through participation.