Program dates

  • May 24 to July 23, 2014 – students should arrive in Rome on May 24 (before 1pm) for airport pickup and bus transportation to Siena
  • Orientation begins on May 25 and the Italian placement test and initial language class is on May 26
  • The program offers a total of 8 weeks of instruction.

Courses & Credits

The program offers up to a total of 12 credits, broken up as follows:

  • Italian Language and Culture – 5 credits
    • 8 weeks of Italian instruction
    • All Italian Language and Culture courses taught by well qualified instructors, all native Italian-speakers
    • Five levels of instruction, from beginning to advanced
    • Students may select two other 3-credit courses, each 6 weeks long
  • Program perfect for–but not not limited to–music students!
  • Academic music courses are taught in English (with one exception); non-music courses are offered in Italian (with some English used for clarification)
  • Music offerings (selected from the following):
    • Music History — Ancient to Baroque
    • History of Italian Music and Musicians
    • Other courses offered based on need and enrollment
  • Examples of other courses offered (taught in Italian) (specific course offerings t.b.a.):
    • Art History
    • History of Italian Emigration to the Americas
    • Introduction to Sociolinguistics
    • Medieval Italian History
  • Instrumental/vocal lessons and chamber music may be available, depending on need and interest – 1-3 credits (applied vocal and instrumental lessons are taught in Italian); a concert/recital performance may be organized, depending on interest and enrollment.
  • Depending on student interest, a landscape painting class can also be organized and offered (at an additional cost per student).
  • All students are expected to perform community service in an area of their choice (1 cr.)

Individual Travel and Recreation

  • Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for personal travel on weekends; classes end earlier on Fridays, and one or two Fridays will be freed up completely to allow for 3-day weekend travel
  • Siena is well served by regional bus companies, the national train network, and nearby airports used by both regular and low-cost airlines (Pisa, Florence, Bologna)
  • Program Director and other staff will be available to assist students with travel planning

Room & Board

  • All students will be housed in Italian host families with previous experience in hosting American students.  Most families live slightly outside the walls of the medieval city, but within walking distance or easy bus ride.
  • Students receive breakfast in the homes, a sack lunch, and dinner with the family.  Room and board is provided 7 days/week throughout the program.
  • All students receive a bus pass valid for all city buses for the duration of the program.


  • Italian Language courses and non-music courses are taught by faculty from the Arts & Humanities Semester in Tuscany and Siena Italian Studies programs.
  • Johan Jonsson, Professor of Music, Montana State University; Program Director, Arts & Humanities Semester in Tuscany.
  • Other instructors are hired depending on courses offered, student need, and instructor availability.

Excursions, museum visits, concerts, Palio, other activities included in the program

  • Included in the program costs will be two day-long excursions in the area surrounding Siena, selected from (destinations may change, depending on weather):
    • The sandy beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia on the Mediterranean coast
    • A Tuscan hill town, such as Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, or San Gimignano
    • Florence (Uffizi Galleries, Duomo, San Miniato al Monte, Accademia, and more)
    • The medieval Castle of Meleto
  • In addition, the program costs include:
    • Visit to the underground waterways (bottini) of Siena
    • Visits to the city museums of Siena
    • A half-day trip to the hot springs of Rapolano Terme

Other included features of the program

  • Airport pick-up in Rome, May 24
  • Opportunities for service-learning/community service
  • Local bus pass in Siena for the duration of the program
  • Special lectures and presentations in preparation for the famous Palio race
  • Attendance at the Palio horse race, July 2
  • One cooking lesson at the Scuola di Cucina di Lella
  • Hiking in the Tuscan countryside
  • Group farewell dinner

Other activities, not included but offered at additional cost

  • Contrada dress rehearsal dinner before the Palio (Prova Generale) – $75
  • Extra cooking lesson – $75
  • Tasting of local pecorino cheeses and other typical, local products – $35
  • Wine tasting at the castle of Campriano – $35
  • Overnight (2 day) excursion (destination t.b.a.) – $215


  • Tuition & Program Costs – $4,950
  • Room & Board – $2,300

Deadline for Application – April 1, 2014