CET Siena Study Abroad

CET Siena: At-A-Glance

Electives taught in English
(including Computer Science)
Individualized attention in small class settings
Take 1 or 2 semesters worth of Italian
Live with a local student or in a homestay with an Italian host family
Out-of-class learning and assignments
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CET Siena study abroad students are looking for a meaningful Italian immersion experience plus courses that help them stay on track at home. Take Italian language courses paired with computer science, politics, Italian studies, or art history courses taught in English. Your courses help you build the intellectual foundation for understanding, engaging with, and appreciating Italian culture.

Academics in Siena


Curriculum & Syllabi

You take one or two semesters’ worth of Italian, and two to four electives to meet the total 12 to 18 recommended credits.

  • Option one: 1 semester’s worth of Italian Language + 3 or 4 electives
  • Option two: 2 semesters’ worth of Italian language + 2 or 3 electives

Enhance your learning in Siena

Tailor your semester. No matter what your academic focus is, you won’t fall behind in Siena. And the best part? Your classes help you explore the city too. Take Critical Conceptions of the Global and visit a sewing collective founded by migrants, or Sienese Art and Architecture to spend time in Piazza del Campo studying the Fonte Gaia.

Take as much Italian as you like. You have options for Italian language learning. Want more credits? Choose 2 semester’s worth of Italian over 15 weeks. But if that’s not for you, take 1 semester’s worth of Italian in 8 weeks. 

Computer Science in Siena. Italy has a long history in the applied sciences, thanks to scientists and engineers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, and Guglielmo Marconi. Fill upper-level CS credits at your home university to stay on track while you’re in Siena—and enjoy small class sizes (5 to 15 on average!) for an engaging semester abroad. 

Housing and Meals

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Choose your housing preference:

Living Like a Local

Live with an Italian family. Choose to live in a homestay for a completely immersive experience. Host families are selected by CET and are all within the historic city center. They love learning about your culture, and more importantly, they love sharing theirs with you.

Live with a local student. If you opt for an apartment, you share your unit with other CET students and one local roommate. Roommates are local university students selected by CET.  Learn more about living with a local roommate. 

Eating in Siena. If you live in a homestay, you eat breakfasts and dinners with your host family. For other meals, or if you stay in an apartment, take your pick of Siena’s many restaurants and cafés offering some of the best dishes in Italy.  Learn more about accommodating your dietary needs in Siena. 

Group of people eating dinner outside on a patio during a sunny day.

Life in Siena

A wide shot of Siena's residential buildings stacked on a hill

It’s no wonder Siena is a crowd favorite—with its beautiful cityscape, impressive food scene, and close-knit community feel, it’s hard not to love this Tuscan city. Enjoy deeper cultural immersion as you converse with friendly locals in Italian and discover the profound connection residents have to the city and their contrada (districts with origins dating back to medieval times). Bump into your neighbors at the open-air market. Stroll down winding brick alleyways to your favorite café.

Experience Italy with CET

Around the City. Experience the opera. Take a CET-sponsored Italian cooking class. Follow a local guide on a polaroid tour of the city. For a lowkey weekend, relax at the thermal springs or on the idyllic Tuscan coast. And there’s even more to see on your own.

A Weekend Away. Get ready for a 3-day excursion to the Emilia Romagna region. Visit FICO Eataly World and immerse yourself in Italian food in Bologna. Spend the day taking in beautiful Byzantine mosaics in Ravenna. Visit an Acetaia and understand the art of making balsamic vinegar. Check out the Ferrari Museum before returning home to Siena.

Volunteer in Siena. Consider giving back to the community that is hosting you. Teach English at a local school, help out at a youth home for migrants and refugees, or even volunteer at the local cat shelter. We work with you to find experiences that match with your interests and goals.

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Student Resources

"One of my favorite parts about studying in Siena through the CET program is the daily cultural immersion that comes from living with an Italian roommate. I was incredibly grateful to Leo for being willing to cook a meal for us. I look forward to experiencing more Italian food that he prepares and showing him some of our favorite staples in America.

—Timothy Galamaga,
Bowdoin College | Fall student

"If you're looking to learn Italian or become immersed in the culture, Siena is the place to go. English isn't commonly spoken, and there is so much uniqueness and character to Siena. It doesn't feel as touristy of a location as Florence or Rome does—it's quieter and less crowded, which makes you feel like a true local by the time you leave."

—Leydi Alatorre,
Vanderbilt University | Spring student
"[My Computer Science] professors were amazing! They explained the material in a very understandable way. They gave me plenty of opportunities to participate during class and practice as I learned, which helped me better grasp the content. The problem sets were also very helpful because they were difficult enough to test how well I understood, but I felt like I had gotten a good background on how to do them during class."

— Anonymous student evaluation
"The frightening feeling of unfamiliarity and the language barrier of coming to a small town was immense, especially where English is not as common as in big cities such as Florence, Rome, and Milan. Having Federica, my Italian roommate, who speaks amazing English and knows Siena was very reassuring."

—Nolan Deja,
University of Virginia | Spring student

"My host mom is amazing and takes the time to teach me new things about the Italian language or how she relates to Italian culture. She also teaches me about how she prepares the food we eat and what it means to her. She makes me feel like I am in my new home while also pushing me to try new things and experience Siena in a more full context."

— Anonymous student evaluation
"I developed my language skills so much more in Siena. I don't think my Italian could've gotten better any other way, and I've achieved a level of proficiency that I've never had with another foreign language. Living with a host family definitely helped with that."

— Ariana Piacquadio,
University of Virginia | Spring student
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On-site Staff

Staff Photo of Emiliana Caldarelli

Emiliana Caldarelli
Director of Italy Programs

Francesca Calamita, PhD
Academic Director of Italy Programs


Victoria Van Luit
Siena Program Director

Melissa Rossi
Academic Coordinator

Matilde Santini Staff Photo

Matilde Santini
Siena Program Coordinator

A shoulders and up photo of Davide wearing a black sweater and an orange collar.

Davide Barcelli
Computer Science Faculty and Coordinator

Program Fees



What's Included

All of your classes and program-related learning are included with your tuition.

If you choose to live with a local roommate in an apartment, your housing is covered. If you opt for a homestay, there is an additional fee to help cover the costs of an extra member in the household.

From pre-departure to orientation, from on site to re-entry, CET provides you with the support you need every step of the way.

We guide you step-by-step through the visa process. You do the legwork, but we’ll make sure you have the documents & information you need, when you need it.

You’re provided with a comprehensive insurance plan through GeoBlue that even includes medical evacuation coverage.

The activities and excursions that we arrange are included in your program fee. All you need to do is remember to bring your camera!

Your textbooks and course supplies are covered and waiting for you on site.

You’ll receive an official transcript issued by UVA at the end of the term.

More on finances

group of students smiling at camera with view of Italy behind
Program Fee Breakdown. Of the total program fee, $16,590 goes to tuition and fees, and $4,200 goes to housing and other student life fees.

Local Cost of Living. Relative to the US, the cost of living (e.g. groceries, healthcare, etc.) is slightly lower. However when compared to the rest of Europe, life in Siena costs about the same as any other city.

Estimated out-of-pocket expenses: 

How to Apply

  • •  Pre-requisites: None. Open to students of any Italian level, including absolute beginners
  • •  Must be 18 or older at the time of program participation.
  • •  Open to students from any US college or university
  • •  GPA: 3.0 or higher is recommended, students with lower GPAs will be asked for a faculty recommendation to supplement their application

Complete the application through your online CET account. This is a brief form that asks for basic information and has a few short answer questions about why you want to study abroad.

Upload a scan of your passport to your online CET account. This should be a single scan that includes the signed signature page and the photo/personal details page. Don’t have a passport yet? Let us know and we can help advise you.

This is an online form that your study abroad office completes to let us know you meet the requirements to study abroad. To send the electronic form request,  simply enter the name and email address of your study abroad advisor in the designated fields of your online account.

Your online CET account has specific instructions for submitting an official transcript.


Fall Semester:

May 1

Spring Semester:

October 1

Have a question? Get in touch!

Karen "K" Olivas

Student Services Coordinator
[email protected]

Price Subject to Change:

CET reserves the right to increase quoted charges at any time without prior notification, based on increased instruction costs, exchange rate fluctuation or other cost increases beyond CET’s control.

Course Availability

Our goal is to offer every 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 one particular course, please contact us

Get to know one of our host mothers and her beautiful home in Siena.

Live with a homestay family in Siena, Italy

Want to immerse fully in the experience of local life? Then living with an Italian host family is the way to go. Some families have children, some might have pets, and others might consist of a single host mother. But no matter what, they are passionate about sharing their culture with you.

Homestay life offers a great balance of independence and support—and even delicious, homecooked meals: 

Note: The homestay option requires an additional fee to cover meals and associated labor. Please see the fees section for details.

CET Jordan: Academic Consultation Board

Over the years, we’ve built a strong network of locally-based faculty that we’re proud to call our peers. These faculty make up our Academic Consultation Board—a select group of local voices and thought leaders that help advise and shape components of the CET Jordan program. 

Board members support the program in many ways, including but not limited to:

Academic Consultation Board Members

Learn More about our Programs