Two Week – $3,695
Summer 2: June 29 – July 14
Immersion Extension +$2,995
Immersion Extension: July 14 – 28
*Add to Summer 2
Tuscany’s Culture-Rich Gem…
Siena is a gloriously beautiful medieval town built upon three hills in the heart of scenic Tuscany! The summer brings a wealth of festivities to Siena, and the town itself is famous for its history, art, cuisine, museums, medieval treasures and the ancient Palio Festival. Siena has long maintained a unique character and beauty that charms its visitors year round! The city is quaint in size yet has a large youthful population — creating an intimate and studious environment that allows students to fully immerse themselves in Italian language and culture. Get ready to enjoy a plethora of places to explore and exciting things to do, ranging from socializing at local pizzerias and cafés to discovering world-famous museums and historic theaters and galleries! Siena truly is ideal for total immersion into the Italian language and way of life.
SIENA PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Academics & Leadership
School: Local language institute
Course Hours: 40 Hours of Italian Language & Culture
Italian Language & Conversation: Students are broken up by levels and attend Italian language and conversation classes Monday – Friday in the mornings. The courses focus on developing Italian communication skills by simulating real-life situations through interactive class activities that include writing, oral expression, film, music, food, and literature.
> Italian levels 1 through AP/IB
> 5-15 Students per Class
> Certified native instructors with advanced teaching degrees
CULTURAL LEADERSHIP ENRICHMENT
SPI offers a unique cultural leadership enrichment component for our European programs. This component is geared toward connecting students with their local surroundings and language while engaging them in skill-building exercises. We incorporate unique activities, excursions, and daily group discussions with a focus on team-building, leadership, personal growth, travel skills and cultural awareness.
> SPI Leadership Building Seminars
> European Travel Skills Workshop
> Exchanges with Italian locals
> Italian Culinary Experiences
Activities & Excursions
In addition to SPI’s cultural leadership enrichment program, students will have the exciting opportunity to enhance their experience abroad by participating in optional elective courses and activities! Electives range from sports activities to unique cultural events, and are designed to further engage students in the local culture and, of course, to just have fun! Specific electives will vary per program and are based on student interest and weather. Upon arrival abroad, students will choose which electives they wish to participate in.
Siena Elective Activities:
> Italian Art & Architecture Survey Course
> Photography Survey Course
> Italian Cooking and Gastronomy
> Elective Courses: Italian Art & Architecture, Photography Composition Course, Italian & Tuscan Cooking and Gastronomy
> Additional Potential Electives: Gym & Weight Training, Running, Soccer, Tennis, Travel Exploration
*Optional elective activities may have an additional cost
From visits to world class museums to magnificent hikes through lush mountains, students explore the most important monuments, cities and natural wonders in the Siena and Tuscany region. Weekend and cultural day travel excursions help students dynamically use the language of study and interact with the local community.
Siena Travel Excursions:
> San Gimignano
> Palio Festival
> Castiglione della Pescaia
What Alumni Say…
“SPI provided a fantastic experience every step of the way (and there were a lot!) This program truly immersed me into the Italian language and culture in so many ways from the excursions to the evening shopping strolls around the old town. My homestay mother was very patient with me since my level of Italian was near beginner. She absolutely made my experience in Italy. I just wish I could have gotten all her recipes!”
“SPI gave me more than just a travel experience. They gave me a whole new understanding of the world around me. The bonds and knowledge I gained from this program were priceless.”
“I would definitely recommend SPI Siena. The city is tucked away in the heart of Tuscany (which is beautiful) and it was an awesome place to explore and there was always something new to try. My Italian improved so much from this experience that I was actually able to move up a level when I started classes in the fall. Grazie SPI!”
Safety & Supervision
ON-SITE DIRECTORS & STAFF
Directors and on-site staff are professional multilingual educators and caring leaders who serve as international “moms and dads”. We maintain a highly personal student to director ratio of typically one director for every eight students. Directors actively participate in all aspects of the immersion experience, with a strong focus on student well-being, cultural adjustments, and daily check-ins to ensure active student participation.
DAILY SUPERVISION & FREE TIME
To ensure student safety, on-site directors are available 24 hours a day and carry local cell phones at all times. Directors check in with students on a daily basis in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings; they essentially monitor all aspects of the program. At SPI, we believe in the educational value of giving students a structured amount of free time on certain afternoons. Of course, SPI-affiliated students are expected to abide by our standards of conduct at all times — we also implement a “buddy system” to ensure further safety among our students.
CURFEW: 11 PM on Weekdays and 12 PM on Weekends
YOUR DAY ABROAD IN SIENA
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast and Travel with Roommate to Classes
Enjoy a light breakfast of breads, cereal, and juice/coffee. You will either walk or take a short bus ride to classes M-F.
9:30 – 1:30 Italian Language, Culture, and Conversation Courses
Be amazed at how quickly your Italian improves with SPI’s master instructors at the institute in Siena! Classes are both engaging and fun.
1:30 – 3:00 Afternoon Lunch and Break
Enjoy lunch provided at school during the week with friends. You will have a daily meeting with your directors during this time.
4:00 – 7:00 Electives & Cultural Leadership Enrichment Activities
From surfing to photography and exchanges with locals, there are afternoon activities for everyone! SPI’s program also incorporates a leadership and cultural enrichment component where students will interact with the local community. (There is structured free time on some afternoons after activities).
7:00 – 8:00 Meeting with Directors
In the early evening, you will have an informal group meeting with directors to review the next day’s activities.
8:00 – 10:30 Evening Meal & Activity with Your Group or Time with Friends
Enjoy the evening practicing your Italian, eating authentic Italian cuisine, and having free time after evening meals to meet up with other students for ice cream or an evening stroll.
Day 1 Depart for Rome, Italy!
Board your flight and get ready to embark on the study abroad journey of a lifetime!
Day 2 Arrive to Rome & Travel to Siena
Benvenuti! Get to know your group with an orientation meeting and meet your homestay!
Day 3 Participate in the Palio Festival!
Celebrate this world famous festival like a local! Cheer as each contrada’s horse races against the backdrop of a medieval piazza.
Day 4 First Day of Italian Classes & Orientation.
Meet your Professore/ssa and class after a language placement exam in the morning. Discover your new ‘home’ during an afternoon orientation tour of Siena.
Days 5-8 Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership
Continue improving your Italian fluency through morning language and conversation courses, followed by afternoon leadership and electives activities.
Day 9 Travel Excursion to Florence!
Discover the amazing beauty and history of Florence, the capital city of the Tuscany region! This medieval gem is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance and will undoubtedly charm you with its endless art and culture.
Day 10 Quality Time with Homestay & Friends
Italian Sundays are the perfect day to fare due passi, meet for gelato with friends at one of the many piazzas, and take in the local culture while enjoying una tazza di caffè on an outdoor patio.
Days 11-15 Regular Classes, Elective Activities + Leadership
Be amazed by the progress you’ve made in your language skills and ability to thrive in a new culture!
Day 16 Return to Rome & Final Dinner
Bid farewell to your beloved Italian homestays before you depart for Rome. Explore ‘The Eternal City’ before heading to your hotel for a final group dinner.
Day 17 Depart Italy for Home
Buon viaggio! Return home with amazing memories of Italia!
Siena Immersion Extension
About the Independent Immersion Extension Option
The SPI immersion extension gives students the exciting ability to continue their immersion experience until the end of July. The extension is ideal for mature, independent students (16 years of age or older) with a keen interest in building their language skills.
Our Language School Partners
It is important to note that SPI offers our July Immersion Extension as a service to students desiring a longer stay directly with our language school partner and their excellent staff. The program is facilitated and supervised 100% by our partner language school and staff. SPI students will continue their classwork within the same framework as the SPI program and will be placed in classes with other teenage students normally from other North American & European schools. Students will gain an additional 30-40 hours of coursework to add to their transcript for potential college credit hours.
Homestay Experience Continued
Students will not change homestays once the immersion extension portion begins. Local staff will continue assisting and supervising students throughout their immersion experience with daily check-ins in the mornings and afternoons. Additionally, there may be new students that join the homestay during the immersion extension period.
Cultural Experience & Activities
The language school will offer optional cultural activities in the afternoons in which the students can elect to participate. This is a great opportunity to meet other students from around the world, gain an increased understanding of the culture, and practice the local language! Students are responsible for any fees incurred while participating in the optional activities.
Continued Supervision & Care
After the regular SPI program ends, supervision and on-site care is provided by the local bilingual language school staff and managers. All local staff have worked with youth in the past and most are certified Italian instructors at the school, as well. Students are not supervised 24 hours a day (just like on SPI regular summer programs) but are provided with a very high level of support. The on-site language school staff will already be acquainted with the students before the start of the immersion extension component, and students will know this is their main contact for the duration of the extension. Parents will be given the local cell phone number and email contact for the student’s immediate caregiver prior to departure.