University of Oregon

Pre-Business in Siena

Program Overview

This program is designed to help you fulfill potential pre-business and general education requirements. The statistics and economics courses are geared to meet the basic concepts needed to fulfill introductory statistics requirements for pre-business and economics majors. In many cases, these courses may also fulfill campus degree requirements in math and or science as well as social sciences. The Cross-Cultural Communications course is required along with these two courses.

You will also have a range of electives available to take alongside the statistics and macroeconomics courses. Italian language courses, art history, political science and food studies courses will round out the educational experience and connect you to the rich culture and history of Siena, Tuscany and Italy. You are free to mix and match courses according to your preferences.

Academic Details

You will typically enroll in two to three courses in addition to the Italian language and Cross-Cultural Communications courses which are mandatory. All courses offered in Siena are recognized and approved for academic credit by various GEO partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information. Courses are taught by Italian faculty who have experience teaching US students, including supplementary language tutoring offered by the site director. You will attend classes with other US students, and as part of the Cross-Cultural Communications course, you will meet with Italian students from the Università di Siena at the Language Lab or in classes at the university. Courses make use of a variety of materials and texts, all of which are provided as part of the program fee. Italian language courses are held in the afternoon.

Required courses:

Electives available:

Service Learning

An optional service learning placement is an exciting opportunity for students studying in Siena, Italy during the fall or spring to immerse themselves in the local Sienese culture. Placements vary by term. In the past students have volunteered at local retirement homes, ceramic arts programs for community members with disabilities, pre-school and elementary schools, and rescue and social services.

Take it from one of our past participants:

"The most rewarding and unforgettable experience. Teaching the children english at the kindergarten and watching the amazing sculptures the students at the ceramic studio made was great.”
-Gardenia, Italian Language and Culture Participant 2015

"Really a great experienced that opened my eyes and gave me valuable lessons that I will take with me throughout life. It was easy to get there too, made it very convenient.”
-Christopher, Food and Culture Participant in 2015

Students opting for the Service Learning placement will be required to make both a personal and professional commitment. As part of the Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Service Learning course, you will design a project in partnership with your organization host, conducting a needs and skills assessment. Over the course of the term, you will continue to develop your project, while reflecting on your involvement, and the cross-cultural context in which you are participating. At the conclusion of the program, you will present a portfolio of reflection papers, resume and project analysis. 

Your placement will be determined in consultation with the Siena Site Director once you are in Siena. The Service Learning placement is not for credit and is an extracurricular activity of the Cross-Cultural Communications/Cross-Cultural Perspectives course. These placements hours will not be reflected on your GEO grade report. 

Housing Description

Experience life as part of an authentic Italian neighborhood, living in apartments with other GEO and/or Italian students throughout the town of Siena. Some apartments are within walking distance of the GEO classroom within the old city walls, while others are in neighborhoods just outside and accessible by public transportation. No matter where you live, close by you can find small local grocers, restaurants and cafés unique to your neighborhood. Each apartment is fully furnished with beds, desks and a kitchen table and chairs. You will share a bedroom with one or two other students, as well as the common spaces (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). The kitchens are equipped with utensils, plates, glasses, cookware, an electronic oven and a gas stove. You will also receive two sets of linens and each apartment has access to a washing machine and drying rack.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineApplication/Deposit DeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Spring Quarter20171/1/20172/1/20174/3/20176/15/2017
Spring Quarter20181/1/20172/1/20174/3/20186/15/2018

Priority Discounts

If your program has a Priority Deadline, complete all pre-decision application materials by this date to receive a $100 credit toward your program fee. Please note, students participating in multiple summer programs are only eligible to receive the $100 credit once.

Note: this $100 discount does not apply to priority deadlines for SIT programs.

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.