IES Abroad, my world, redefined. Past Review

By (Art History, Criticism and Conservation., University of Hartford) for

IES Abroad: Siena - IES Abroad Center

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I can not even put it into words, this trip made me grow more than any experience that I have ever had, and trust me life has thrown just about every obstacle to over come that it possible could at me

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.

Italy is really more about lecture based courses, which are not the primary form of teaching in the US, there is also discussion based classes. everyone kind of learns different, but being abroad is worth any kind of adjustments you will come in contact with.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES Abroad Siena staff was absolutely amazing. I could be anywhere, at nearly anytime and they would be available to assist me which any questions that i had, whether i was uncertain of the correct bus to take, or the right verb to use to order my coffee in the native language. The staff, everyone spoke english, didnt really know about american high edu very well, but that was expected. This program exceeded my expectations, they were beyond helpful, let alone some of the greatest people that i have ever met in my entire life.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

the basics were provided, and i was able to find everything i needed to live while in siena. the city is very safe, there is a little night life, but nothing like the large city. siena is a medieval city, it has architecture from the 13century, and is not modernizing itself like other areans have.

* Food:

food in siena is amazing, the markets (one on wednesday at the fortezza and one on friday in piazza del mercato) have amazing food, fresh everything to buy. even conad brand food is better than products in america. theres a little osteria on via della sapienza owned by two brothers, Bobbe and Davide which is a must visit, the food is amazing, so is the experience eating there.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

it is so easy to travel europe, even when you can only really speak english

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

i was never really concerned being in siena but the program followed all precautions to keep us safe, they kept us up to date on the world news and gave use every thing to stay safe, no matter where we were

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? bring a lot of money, more than a few thousand dollars, i feel if i had about 10,000 i could have done a trip every weekend, but around 6,000 would be an ideal amount. any less makes it stressful to manage money and do everything you want to.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? dont forget about supplies! school supplies and sometimes your travels won't work out and you still have to pay the plane tickets, hostel fees, etc. be prepared for anything.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
Language acquisition improvement?

Siena was a city that didnt have much english until tourist season, I used Italian everyday outside of the classroom, whether i was running errands, getting some food, or just hanging out, its nothing like the bigger cities (florence, rome, etc) where everyone knows and uses english and would rather speak english to you if it is your native tongue and you want to speak italian to practice!

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Any student could benefit from IES, my group was little but we were diverse, and everyone got along so well and the program was able to keep everyone happy and healthy.