Amazing Siena Past Review

By (Psychology, California Lutheran University) - abroad from 06/15/2015 to 07/30/2015 with

IES Abroad: Siena - IES Abroad Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Living in Siena was everything I wanted studying abroad to be about and more! Since Siena is a smaller city than others in Italy, it created a quaint, home-like feeling to it. By the time I left, I felt comfortable in the city and felt like one of the locals, and I always felt safe, even walking at night. I found it very fascinating to learn about the 17 contradas in Siena and how passionate each person is about their own contrada. Living in Siena was able to give me a more in-depth look at this. I also loved the apartment I lived in and how close it was to the Piazza del Campo- only a few steps away! The size of the program was only 9 students, so that created a very close, personal group. Most of the time, we all took additional trips with each other that were a blast! Overall, I am extremely happy I chose Siena as the city to study in through IES!

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES abroad staff was amazing! The staff was so helpful with everything, and they organized wonderful trips in and out of class for us.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The apartment I lived in was amazing! It was only a few steps away from the main square, the Piazza del Campo. I also had a really amazing experience with my roommates. We all got along very well.

* Food:

Every restaurant or cafe I went to had amazing food. The pasta and pizza is so fresh and a nice change from pizza I'm used to. Also, during IES trips, the food that was offered was very good. On the Naples cultural trip, we went to 2 restaurants 2 different days, which both had incredible food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Siena was a great city to live where I felt part of the culture because it was a relatively small sized city. I ended up meeting local residents at a restaurant that me and my friends went to many times. This helped me feel even more welcome.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Siena felt like a very safe city. I felt safe enough to be walking at night. The piazza del campo was always busy with people even late at night.

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)


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Nothing
How many hours per day did you use the language?

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?
  • Students in the program
  • Size of the city
  • Staff
* What could be improved?
  • More trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The world is actually small and it is much easier to travel across Europe than I thought.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!