Siena in the Fall Past Review

By (English And Communications, Colby College) - abroad from 09/09/2013 to 12/13/2013 with

IES Abroad: Siena - IES Abroad Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Going to Siena was the best decision I've made since I started college. The people and the program were amazing. When dealing with the professors and employees of the program I felt like I was talking to my friends not my superiors. Siena is small but I felt like every day I stumbled on a new restaurant or statue that made my day. Of all the things I did in Europe, hanging out in the Piazza del Campo at night was the thing I'll remember most. People think Siena is a city you can see in a day. I don't even think a semester was enough time.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The professors were perfect for an abroad program. They understood that the students were in Italy to experience the culture and travel but the curriculum and class discussion did not suffer. My ability to speak and understand italian improved drastically and that is mainly because of the classes.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration is very understanding and will do whatever they can to help the students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Awesome 3 bedroom apartment 50 feet from the Piazza del Campo, the center of Siena. It was a great place to hang out, cook, and so close to everything happening in Siena.

* Food:

It's Italy, so it's amazing. Siena is relatively cheap and there are so many little places to eat and the staff are super friendly.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were a lot of programs that IES set up to help with immersion. You can be paired up with an Italian student, volunteer with children's volleyball and basketball, among other things.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

My roommate needed to see a doctor early in the semester and the program got him there ASAP.

* Safety:

Siena is the safest city in Italy.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Pretty cheap. Cooking for yourself saves a lot of money and as far as transportation goes it was super cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60 euro
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Enjoy yourself, your only abroad once.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I used the language most of the day every day. 3 of my classes were all in Italian so the program definitely pushed the language.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? IT 126
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? No matter how awkward it can be to use the language around native speakers, just keep trying. The only way to get better at the language is practice. Siena is a great place to do that.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Staff
  • Classes
  • Atmosphere
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You only go to Italy once. Enjoy and make sure you do everything you want at all costs.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.