IES Siena

  • Location: Siena, Italy
  • Language of Instruction: English and Italian
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


Siena is a stunningly beautiful city nestled in the Tuscan countryside 35 miles southwest of Florence. Founded nearly 2,000 years ago, Siena offers a rich cultural heritage, is surrounded by well- preserved medieval buildings, and features one of the most unique and famous piazzas in the world. Siena is also the gateway to enchanting Tuscan villages, such as Montepulciano and Montalcino. Siena has been named one of the world’s ten best UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  • Visa:

    Required. It is no longer required for students to complete the corsi singoli process in order to take courses at the University of Siena. The elimination of the corsi singoli step in the visa process gives IES Abroad Siena students more flexibility and time to decide whether to take a course at the University of Siena.

       Additional Visa Information
  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition only to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting tuition payments to the program. Student pays room and board fees directly to IES.

  • Requirements

    No previous Italian language study is required for the Beginning-level. Students planning to take courses in Italian must have taken an appropriate level Italian course no more than one year prior to the program start date. Students must enroll in an appropriate-level IES Italian language course. Placement is determined by the results of pre-departure and on-site language tests. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    Academic Credit

    Students must carry 15 credit hours per semester. Students are not permitted to take less than 15 credits unless they have the permission of their dean and advisor in advance. Italian majors/minors must take all their major courses in Italian at the University of Siena or at the Center. Italian majors cannot take courses toward their major/minor in English at the Center. Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad III fulfills Haverford’s language requirement. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.

    If students have had at least four semesters of college-level Italian, they are encouraged to take one or two courses at the Università degli Studi di Siena. Students who choose to enroll in individual courses (corsi singoli) at the Università degli Studi di Siena must apply for outside enrollment through the Italian Consulate in the U.S.


    The program is designed for students interested in studying the Social Sciences and Humanities in a more intimate Italian setting. No previous Italian language study is required. With an integrated curriculum of English- and Italian-taught courses led by Italian faculty, IES Abroad Siena offers students the opportunity to increase Italian language skills regardless of proficiency level. Course options are determined by language proficiency.

    Course Highlights

    Anthropology, Art History, Economic,s Education, European Studies, Feminine and Gender Studies, History, International Relations, Italian Language, Italian Studies, Italian Literature, Law/Legal Studies, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Three week continuing orientation program that includes general meetings, workshops, intensive Italian language classes, and a field trip to scenic and historically significant areas outside of Siena.

    Number of Students: Approximately 40 students participate on this program each semester. Siena is a small city of about 70,000 inhabitants, 20,000 of whom are students at the two major local universities. Siena hosts very few American study abroad programs compared to Florence.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Homestay or apartment. Most homestays are located outside the historic city center and generally house one to two students. Accommodations vary, and hosts provide students with breakfast daily and five evening meals per week. Students generally commute about 20 minutes by bus. Haverford believes that living with a family provides the best opportunity to learn a language and experience full cultural immersion. Due to this educational benefit, Haverford will only incorporate the full cost of room and board for a homestay into the financial aid package for students who qualify for aid. If any student on financial aid chooses to live in an apartment instead, Haverford will not be responsible for any increased living costs or additional charges. All students (whether on financial aid or not) who do not plan to live with a family should consult the IES website for estimates of non-homestay living costs, and should plan accordingly. IES students may also share an apartment and with local Italian students in the historic center of town. Furnished apartments are single-sex, and usually two IES Abroad students share a bedroom. Apartments have equipped kitchens, and students are responsible for their own meals. Housing is not provided between semesters. Academic year students who remain in Siena during this period are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing and meals during this time.

    Haverford students may not opt for housing not arranged by the program. 

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Field trips: IES Siena offers several optional, partially-subsidized field trip opportunities.  Past destinations have included Bologna, Umbria (Assisi, Perugia, and Bevagna), Milan, and Tuscany (Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana).

    Field study: Students participate in a variety of extensive excursions in and around Siena that complement IES Abroad courses.

    Cultural Events: The Center arranges a variety of events, including guest lectures, outings to local music performances, operas and plays, University of Siena lectures, soccer and basketball matches, special museum exhibits.

    Internships: Internships are available for credit in Architecture, Art, Education, International Relations, Alternative Medicine and Sports.


Computer and Library Access: The IES Abroad Center offers several computers for student use and has a wireless Internet network and limited Internet jacks for students with laptops. A collection of course-related texts is available. Students can also utilize the Università degli Studi di Siena’s computer lab and library.

Apply to Study Abroad!

  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Late August to late December
  • Semester II: Mid-January to mid-May
  • Year: Late August to mid-May
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Ute Striker