Language Requirement: None
Academic Standing by Program Start: Sophomore or Above
Location: Europe, Italy
GPA: 2.5
Program Overview

Combine the study of Italian language (for absolute beginners to advanced) with courses in fields including anthropology, art history, communications, economics, food and culture, history and political science. You can elect to enroll in Italian semi-intensive language courses for 50 contact hours at the beginning, intermediate or advanced levels. You will enroll in the intercultural communications (ICC) course and, combined with a community placement, can elect to earn service learning credit. If you opt to enroll in service learning, you can select from a variety of opportunities, including placements at a pottery arts program for the disabled, a day care center, an elementary school, the Social and Rescue Services or with a retirement center. In addition to Italian language and the ICC course, you can enroll in one to three additional courses offered on-site to round out your Italian cultural experience. In addition to the GEO courses offered on-site, you can also opt to enroll in an extra-curricular Italian cooking course (for an additional fee).

This program is located in the medieval city of Siena, Italy!

Dates and Deadlines
Term Year Deadline Arrival Date Departure Date
Spring Quarter 2024 1/15/2024 3/28/2024 6/8/2024
Fall Quarter 2024 6/15/2024 9/19/2024 12/7/2024

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Discount for Pell Recipients

To expand access to study abroad, GEO is offering a $400 discount for this program to UO students who currently have the Pell Grant as part of their federal financial aid (FAFSA).

Academic Details

You will enroll in the three required courses listed below, along with at least one elective course. 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. The service learning experiences are not offered for credit, but are an optional extracurricular activity of the Cross-Cultural Communications/Cross-Cultural Perspectives course.

Courses are taught by Italian faculty who have experience teaching US students, including supplementary language tutoring offered by the site director. In addition, visiting US faculty may teach two courses. You will attend classes with other US students, and as part of the Cross-Cultural Communications/Cross-Cultural Perspectives course, you will meet with Italian students from the Università di Siena at the Language Lab.

Students should pay special attention to the Italian language level offered by term, as the courses are offered in sequence (i.e., Fall 101, Spring 103). However, Italian 101 is also offered spring term to provide students without Italian language experience the opportunity to start learning as well.

Required courses (Fall):

Required courses (Spring):


Optional Service Learning Placement:

Students are welcome to participate in a service learning placement as part of the Cross-Cultural Perspectives course. If you opt for the service learning placement, you will be required to make both a personal and a 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, resumé, and project analysis. A service learning placement requires flexibility and commitment to the internship schedule and entailed responsibilities. Because of the time commitment required, you may sometimes have to forgo a program activity or excursion in order to fulfill your responsibilities to the organization.

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.

Course Equivalencies

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

Non-UO students: 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.

Application process
This program is less than 90 days. Students with a US passport will be traveling to Italy under the Schengen Visa waiver program and do not require a travel visa for this program, and GEO is unable to assist U.S. citizens in obtaining a visa. If you are not a U.S. Citizen: Notify your GEO Advisor. Students who are not U.S. citizens should contact the Italian consulate in their country of residence about visa requirements, no matter the duration of the program of study.
Housing Description

Experience life as part of an authentic Italian neighborhood, living within the medieval city walls of Siena. Residences are spread out within the city center. All are within easy walking distance (~15 min) of the GEO Center, and you will have small local grocers, restaurants, and cafés nearby.

You have two housing options, each with its own perks. You will be able to provide your preference, though we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate everyone in their first choice.

Apartments: Apartments are fully furnished with beds, desks and a kitchen table and chairs. No two apartments are the same. Generally, there are 2-3 rooms per apartment, and you can expect to share a bedroom with one or two other GEO students. 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 (dryers are very uncommon in Italy).

Student Residence: You can live in a residence with other international and Italian students, fully immersing yourself into the community. The student residence has single and double rooms, some with ensuite bathrooms and some with shared bathrooms (no more than 3 people/bathroom). Each room has a TV, fridge/freezer, safe, desks, nightstand, and sink. Kitchen and living areas are shared with your floor (~8 people/kitchen, students often enjoy cooking together or share meals with each other). Linens and towels are provided, and your rooms are cleaned weekly.