Diversity & Inclusion in Siena, Italy

In the CET Siena program, students attend classes for about 3 hours/day, with a minimum of 1 hour/day and a maximum of 6 hours/day. Class size ranges from 1 student to 20 students, and is typically 8 to 10 students. Classes are usually 100 minutes long, and there are two 5 to 10-minute breaks in between back-to-back classes. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 1 hour of homework for every hour in class. A low-distraction test environment, extra time on exams and assignments, computer-based exams, audio recordings of lectures, note-takers, and exam readers are available for students with documented need.

The CET Center—which houses classrooms, program offices, and a restroom—offers a chairlift and can be further adjusted to provide full wheelchair accessibility. Student apartments are located within the Medieval city walls, within a .5km walk from the CET Center. Streets within the city walls are generally for pedestrians only. Most streets are made of cobblestone and are, therefore, highly uneven. There are few sidewalks. Some businesses and restaurants are wheelchair accessible, but most are not. CET can provide a mobility orientation and/or a sighted companion for students with documented need, and service dogs are permitted on campus and in classrooms. Outside the city walls, public transportation is available and generally wheelchair accessible.

Students either reside in local homestays or share apartments with other students of the same gender. Apartments generally include 2 to 3 bedrooms and a minimum of 1 bathroom for every 4 students. Bedrooms are double- or triple-occupancy, though a few single rooms are available for gender non-conforming students or students with other documented need. Apartments offer equipped kitchens, including refrigerators. Food conforming to specific diets—such as Halal, Kosher, vegetarian, vegan—is generally available, though students may need to cook on their own.

After class and on some weekends, there are mandatory academic activities and optional trips and activities at nearby sites and other cities. Excursions may involve extended travel using public transportation, urban walking, rural hiking, and/or going up and down stairs. Excused absences are available for students with documented need.

There is one hospital in Siena that provides service in Italian. There is also an English-language mental health professional practice in Siena, as well as a Center for Victims of Domestic Violence and a local Pansexual Movement Group.

There are gyms and sports clubs that students may join at their own expense. Soccer fields and basketball courts may be reserved for a nominal fee.

There are places of worship for Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious faiths. Limited approvals for class absences due to religious holidays are available, but must be requested from program staff in advance.

For more information about program expenses and financial support: