CET Siena

A Well-Rounded Program for Students Who Love Italy

Study Italian language.
Meet major requirements.
Go on a Traveling Seminar to Sicily.
  • Italian language classes that cover 1 or 2 semesters of material
  • Traveling Seminar to Sicily 
  • Electives taught in English and Italian 
  • Out-of-classroom learning 
  • Academics overseen by University of Virginia 

Electives that Count Toward Your Major

Whether your focus is banking, politics, or cinema, you won’t fall behind in Siena. Studying finance? Enroll in Principles of Microeconomics or Economics of the European Union. Fulfill an art requirement with Life Drawing. Or try something uniquely Italian. What better place to enroll in Italian Cultural History, or a class devoted to Sienese Art and Architecture? Your electives might just be the most rewarding part of the whole experience.

Classes Get You Out the Door

Our teachers are more than just experts in their subject areas…they’re all about learning in action. For your classes, you’ll interview students at the library, or locals at a café. Check out an event with your host family, then report about it in class. Visit a contrada to learn about the Palio horserace. Head to Florence to see Michelangelo’s David and the Medici chapels. In the words of one former student, “At least once a week, I found myself outside the classroom in some part of Siena, Tuscany, or even Southern Italy, with a professor explaining the context of where we were.”

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Take As Much Italian As You'd Like

You can take up to 8 credits for Italian language. (Or you can take a few as 3.) You can complete 2 semesters of Italian in a term. (Or you can complete just 1.) You choose how much Italian you want and how many credits you need. But no matter what you choose, in Siena you’ll have the chance to practice your Italian every day—in class, with your Italian roommate, with your host family, or just out in the city. Your Italian will improve by leaps and bounds. Period.

Travel to Sicily

Enjoy a four-day journey in Sicily. You’ll learn about local history, see local sites, and meet with local people. Case studies come to life as you explore cultural differences through Italy, the integration of immigrants into Italian society, and how stereotypes affect communication–topics that seamlessly integrate into the Intercultural Communication course for those enrolled in it. And since Sicily is known for its incredible cuisine and Mediterranean coastline, we make sure you have time to eat, bask in the sunshine, and gaze at the ocean, too.

Curriculum & Syllabi

Core Course

Italian Language

Required for UVA students. Recommended for non-UVA students.

GSGS2310 Intercultural Communication: Italy in Sienese and Sicilian Contexts
3 credits
taught in English

(Crosslists as: ANTH2541 Topics in Linguistics-Italian Cultural Contexts)

You are placed into one of these courses if you’d like to take 1 semester’s worth of Italian:

You are placed into one of these courses if you’d like to take 2 semester’s worth of Italian:


You choose two or three electives.

Faculty Advisory Committee

CET maintains a faculty advisory committee of US-based scholars that provides guidance and expertise, and helps shape program development.

Susan S. Badder

Art Museum Education Consultant

Christopher Kleinhenz

University of Madison-Wisconsin

Professor Emeritus of Italian Literature

Arielle Saiber

Bowdoin College

Associate Professor of Italian

Daniel P. Solomon

Vanderbilt University

Senior Lecturer of Classical Studies, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Stacey Hansen

University of Virginia (SCOC education abroad representative)

Senior Education Abroad Advisor, International Studies Office

Adrienne Ward

University of Virginia (SCOC faculty representative)

Associate Professor, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese

Course Availability

Our goal is to offer every single course every term, but sometimes factors like faculty availability and program enrollment keep us from reaching that goal. If you’re concerned about needing to enroll in any one particular course, please contact us! We’ll try our best to get you the course you need.