Siena School for Liberal Arts: It was a life-changing experience. Past Review

By (Linguistics, Gallaudet University) for

Siena School for Liberal Arts: Siena - Semester & Summer Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Well, number one, I've learned how to appreciate food more. It has influenced how I cook my food and how I shop. I don't eat much processed food now. Number two, I see how Italians really appreciate their families so that helped me to reflect on my interaction with my family and focused on my family values. I study sign languages in the deaf communities so by studying Italian Sign Language and Italian and comparing them with American Sign Language and English respective, it gives more insights than I could ever expected.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was fine and the grading was fair.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program size was great but the communication among staff needed more work. But I know it is a normal issue in Italy.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I just needed to buy food for the apartment.

* Food:

No food is bad in Italy. I don't think it is possible to be bad.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Il Palio is something that you can never forget. It is something special to Siena and it's something you don't see elsewhere. Also, I like it that the other towns close to Siena are reachable by bus and train.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I dislocated my shoulder once and the administrative assistant called to make an appointment and she took me to the doctor. She was making sure that everything was set for me communication-wise. Also, I was able to get the meds for allergies. It wasn't over the counter so it wasn't easy to get, but with the school help, I was able to get what I needed.

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

Language acquisition improvement?

I used the language with my Italian peers in school and with the locals. The faculty encouraged us to use the language more with the Italian peers and the locals and it really helped with the language acquisition.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Language teaching
  • Local traditions
  • Cultural studies
* What could be improved?
  • Communication among staff (but it is common in Italy)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just go there with an open mind because there are a lot of things that you won't expect.