Experiencing Siena Past Review

By (Cultural Studies, Lehigh University) - abroad from 01/19/2015 to 05/08/2015 with

IES Abroad: Siena - IES Abroad Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Initially, I was a little worried about choosing a program in a smaller city but I couldn't have made a better decision. This city became a second home to me and transformed my life. I was really able to get to know the city and become familiar with its traditions and history. I was also able to dramatically improve my Italian and immerse myself in the culture. From my amazing host family, to the wonderful professors and the people in my program, everything was absolutely perfect!

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Siena - IES Abroad Center Photo

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

They were extremely helpful!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family and I were extremely well matched! They were so friendly and welcoming and their home was right near Piazza del Campo.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

It was very safe.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Less than 20 euro. I ate most meals with my host family
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Sometimes its better to occasionally make lunches so you can have more money saved for other things


* 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? 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? Italian 201 course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you really want to improve your language skills IES Siena offers great opportunities. I was able to practice everyday with my host family, classes in Italian, language exchange with the University of Siena and volunteer opportunities.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* 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?
  • The city itself
  • my host family
  • the food
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I packed less but everything else was perfect!

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'