Why Gap at CET Siena?
Take intensive Italian classes alongside college undergrads, live with a Sienese family, and explore your future endeavors in the gap student seminar. Not only will you return home with impressive language skills and international experience, you’ll leave feeling ready to take on whatever is next.
Why go with Gap at CET?
In our 35+ years within international education, we’ve developed a keen understanding of the student experience abroad and a strong reputation for thoughtful, immersive, and supportive programming.
Traveling Seminar: Learning on the Road
Day 1: Arrive in Palermo. Group lunch followed by walking tour with a local guide. Bus to Catania.
Day 2: Hike Mount Etna. Explore Catania and participate in a Sicilian street food tour. Dinner with local students.
Day 3: Discussion on organized crime with anti-mafia group. Guided tour of Monastero dei Benedettini. Group dinner.
Day 4: Visit Catania’s famous fish market followed by free time to explore on your own. Return to Siena.
Italy in Everything You Do
Maybe you’ve studied Italian before or perhaps your interest in Italy is brand new. Either way, Siena is the perfect place to dive in and really immerse yourself. Not only will your curriculum cover a year’s worth of Italian language in one semester, you also take a gap-only Italian class that gives your skills a little extra attention. And with a city as tightly knit as Siena, you can take everything you learn in the classroom with you as you get to know your host family, neighbors, and community.
A Seminar for the Gap Experience
Taking on a gap term is more than just learning a new language or traveling to another country—it’s an intentional pause in your academic path for personal reflection and exploration. Your intensive language curriculum keeps you busy, but this gap-focused seminar creates a space for facilitated reflection and discussion, as well as activities that help you explore and build skills for the future.
Coursework & Syllabi
You combine a not-for-credit gap student seminar and the Italian language components for a total of 9 to 11 recommended credits.
Intensive Italian Course
You take two of the following Italian language courses (6 to 8 credits) alongside your college peers:
- ITAL1010 Elementary Italian 1 (4 credits)
- ITAL1020 Elementary Italian 2 (4 credits)
- ITAL2010 Intermediate Italian 1 (3 credits)
- ITAL2020 Intermediate Italian 2 (3 credits)
- ITAL3040 Advanced Italian 3 (3 credits)
- ITAL3050 Advanced Italian 4 (3 credits)
Intermediate and advanced levels have supplemental tutorial hours not included on listed syllabi.
Supplementary Italian Course
You also take a supplementary 3-credit Italian class exclusively for gap students in Siena. You and your class choose a topic of interest and local significance to shape your language lessons, activities, and excursions for the term. This course runs throughout the semester.
You and other Gap at CET students from all over the world meet to reflect and explore topics and issues unique to gap students. This not-for-credit course is taught in English and conducted virtually once a week.
Housing & Meals
You can share an apartment with CET peers and an Italian roommate, or live with a local family. Both arrangements give you independence and instant community—chat about Italian politics with your host mom, go grocery shopping with your roommate. For meals, cook for yourself or try Siena’s many restaurants and cafés. (And if you select a homestay, enjoy home-cooked breakfasts and dinners with your family.)
Live with an Italian Family
Housing option 1
See how a family birthday is celebrated in an Italian home. Watch TV with your host dad and ask him his views about Italian politics. Get your host mom to teach you the secret to making her delicious marinara sauce. Living in a homestay gives you a completely immersive experience. Your host family will love learning about your culture, and more importantly, they will love sharing theirs with you.
Live with a Local Student
Housing option 2
You can learn everything you need to know about Italian college life from a local roommate. Learn how to haggle at the mercato (market). Ask them to show you their favorite beach or thermal spring, depending on the season. Go on a picnic to their favorite spot in Tuscany. Roommates are local university students selected by CET. You’ll share your apartment with other CET students and one local roommate.
Eating in Siena
Share breakfasts and dinners with your host family at home. For other meals, you can cook for yourself or take your pick of Siena’s many restaurants and cafés offering mouthwatering food. Find your favorite pizza spot or try pici al cinghiale (pasta with wild boar sauce). And don’t forget to have your fill of gelato—you are living in Italy after all.
Director of Italy Programs
Victoria Van Luit
Siena Program Director
Life in Siena
Activities & Excursions
Give Back to Siena
A Weekend Away in Bologna
All of your classes and program-related learning are included with your tuition.
Your textbooks and course supplies are covered and waiting for you on site.
We arrange for you to live in an apartment, right in the historic city center. Your program fees go toward rent, furnishing, and other management costs.
If you opt for a homestay, there is an additional fee to help cover the costs of an extra member in the household. This fee includes daily breakfasts and dinners at your home.
We take you on a four-day trip to the island of Sicily. The entire trip is covered, all you need to do is pack your bag.
From pre-departure to orientation, from on site to re-entry, CET provides you with the support you need every step of the way.
You’re provided with a comprehensive insurance plan through GeoBlue. It even includes evacuation coverage for individual medical emergencies.
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’ll receive an official transcript from the University of Virginia at the end of the program… the icing on the cake for your college applications.
To be eligible for a Gap at CET program, you:
- Must be 18 or order at the time of program participation
- Should have a high school diploma but are not yet enrolled at a college or university degree program
- Are recommended to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Admissions decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, so students with lower GPAs are still encouraged to apply.
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.
Use the link in your online account to send a recommendation request to one of your previous teachers.
Your online CET account has specific instructions for submitting an official transcript.
A phone interview is a required step of the application process. You will be contacted soon after the completion of your application.
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.