CET Siena: Summer Study Abroad

CET Siena: Summer At-a-Glance

Electives taught in English
(including Computer Science)
Italian language classes
at all levels
Live with a local student or in a homestay with an Italian host family
Experience the Palio horse race
Out-of-class learning and assignments
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Siena offers a study abroad experience that other Italian cities simply cannot provide. Study Italian, computer science, history, politics, or economics. Enjoy the tight-knit local community. Experience the pageantry, history, and spectacle of the Palio horse race. Spending the summer in Siena offers an unmatched opportunity to experience Italian culture.

Academics in Siena


Curriculum & Syllabi

You take one or two semesters’ worth of Italian language and one or two electives for a total of 9 to 11 recommended credits. 

  • Option one: 1 semester’s worth of Italian Language + 2 electives
  • Option two: 2 semesters’ worth of Italian language + 1 elective
CET Siena study abroad students sit in a circle having a class discussion

Tailor your summer in Siena

Study Italian. Decide how much Italian you want to take on. Choose two semesters’ worth of Italian for eight weeks of intensive language learning. If that’s not for you, opt for one semester’s worth over four weeks. Either way, your language class equips you with the tools to better engage with Italy. 

Electives for everyone. Choose one or two electives from a long list of possibilities. Support your major or embrace your passion. Studying finance? Enroll in Special Topics in International Relations: The European Banking System. Learn about ancient history at the source with Roman Art and Archaeology. Majoring or minoring in Computer Science? Sign up for Introduction to Programming or Operating Systems. Your summer in Siena is up to you.

Housing and Meals

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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, cook for yourself or 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. 

CET Siena study abroad students enjoy a meal in their apartment

Life in Siena

View of church and apartment buildings in Siena, Italy
See your neighbors at the open-air market. Go for a run in the countryside outside the city walls. You’ll make daily discoveries about the local culture, whether you’re people-watching in the Piazza del Campo or exploring the picturesque side streets of the historic city center. Though your travels may take you far from Italy on the weekends, you’ll always be glad to return home to Siena.  

Experience Italy with CET

Around the city. Take a day trip to Montepulciano to enjoy the views. Or spend the weekend on the beach at Cinque Terre. On a quiet weekend, venture just outside the Siena city walls with some friends, biking along the old pilgrim road of Via Francigena. You won’t run out of ways to enjoy Siena and surrounding Tuscany with your CET peers and Italian roommates.

Experience the Palio. The centuries-old Palio horserace is Siena’s claim to fame. While Italian tourists flock to the city to see the action, you’ll already be there, waiting for the races to begin. You’ll learn about the Palio in your Italian language classes, and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to choose your favorite contrada (neighborhood). If you opt for a homestay, you will have the rare chance to “live the contrada life'” and cheer for your local banner alongside your family.

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Student Resources

"I thought that all of the field trips were a refreshing way to learn Italian and Art History. A large part of the Italian language is the culture that it is spoken in, so it was interesting to see the city in this light."

— Jake Colangelo
Hamilton College | Spring student
"Siena is an incredibly unique city. Big enough to feel like a city but small enough to feel like home, the sense of community in Siena abounds."

— Emma Harrison,
University of Virginia | Summer 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.

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

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

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.

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

Multi-colored buildings in Siena, Italy
Program Fee Breakdown. Of the total program fee, $7,440 goes to tuition and fees, and $2,050 goes to housing and other student life fees.

Local Cost of Living. Siena attracts fewer tourists than cities like Florence and Rome, resulting in a slightly more affordable cost of living. Some things might be cheaper (e.g. groceries, coffee, bus tickets), but other things can be much more expensive (e.g. utilities, taxi rides). 

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.


March 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