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  • Locations: Siena, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Program Costs: Spring
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year UMass/IPO Application Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 11/15/2019 ** Varies TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admissions.

If you are applying to a partner program, you must check their website for ACTUAL APPLICATION DEADLINES. The posted deadline above indicates when your UMass Abroad application materials are due and the program’s deadline may be sooner.
Program Description:


The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers Italian Studies in Siena as a spring semester program.  Siena is a remarkably preserved medieval city that is one of the richest cultural and historical centers of Tuscany. The program is offered in collaboration with the Università di Lingua e Cultura Italiana per Stranieri, whose emphasis is on language acquisition and cultural literacy. This program fulfills all the global education requirements for SBS students in one semester.

LocationCampo in Siena

Siena is a classic medieval hill town in Tuscany that has one of the best preserved city centers in Italy.  The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the red brick town square, is the heart of Siena and is home to Siena's famous summer horse-race, known as Il Palio. Surrounded by architectural treasures, the Piazza del Campo is also the site of numerous restaurants and cafes and is the center of city social life. Cars are strictly prohibited within the town walls.  The roads and alleys create a labyrinth through the city. The University of Siena is among the oldest in Italy, founded in 1240, and is one of the first publicly funded Italian universities.  Siena is only 60 km south of Florence and 200 km north of Rome. The land in between the cities is famous for producing some of the finest wine in Italy.


The grades earned through this program are averaged into your UMass GPA.

Students earn 15 credits per semester: 9 credits comprise intensive, daily Italian language courses; 6 credits are provided in English-language culture courses.  The culture course offerings include topics such as art history taught on-site in various historic places in Siena (Architecture, Painting, Sculpture in Italy from the XIII to the XVII century), and Italy in the 20th and 21st centuries.  Students accepted into the program will be placed in appropriate language levels through a placement test in Siena.

Course information:
Italian 396E- Italian Architecture and Art (Art History syllabus), 3 Credits
Italian 396B- Italian Contemporary History (Contemporary History syllabus), 3 Credits

3 separate Italian language classes worth 3 credits each.  Students take consecutive language courses based on their placement test results.  
Levels follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: levels A1 and A2 correspond to an elementary level, levels B1 and B2 to an intermediate level and levels C1 and C2 to an advanced level

The program is organized and overseen by the Italian Studies program faculty at UMass Amherst in conjunction with Dr. Elena Monami, the on-site director in Siena. Language courses are taught by native Italian faculty from the Università per Stranieri. The language courses are composed of international students, giving the UMass students an opportunity to expand their cross-cultural connections. The culture courses are taught either by UMass faculty in Siena or by Siena faculty contracted by UMass.

The program cost also includes field trips to Rome, Venice, Florence, museum entrance, as well as two cooking classes and wine and cheese tasting.


UMass Amherst applicants from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts are encouraged to have completed at least one year of college-level Italian or the equivalent (3 semesters are recommended) by the start of the program. However, students from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, wishing to fulfill the Global Education requirement through successful completion of the Siena Program, may apply with no prior Italian experience.  Students from other faculties and institutions should consult the Italian Studies Program for eligibility requirements.  All applicants should have a "B" average in college Italian (where applicable) and a GPA of 3.0.  Students will be interviewed either in person or by telephone.

Living Arrangements

Accommodation is provided in a mini-residence inside the city center.  Students mostly share double bedrooms and have kitchen facilities for meal preparation. The mini-residence provides free wireless internet, cleaning of common areas (kitchen, bathrooms, etc.) twice a week and change of towels and bed linens once a week.  
Students also have the option to live with an Italian host family.


Students from both UMass and other U.S. universities apply to the program by creating an online UMass Abroad account through the IPO website, meeting or communicating with the IPO Italy Advisor, and completing the online application (with a $50 non-refundable application fee).  The Siena Program Coordinator, Dr. Figliola, will interview each student and provide further information, orientation, and coordination of the Italian study visa process.

Professor Arturo Figliola
c/o Italian Studies Program
Herter Hall
161 President's Way
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-2314

Emily Ostenson
IPO Italy Advisor
(413) 545-2710


The 2019 program fee was $10,000 for in-state UMass Amherst students, $11,000 for out-of-state UMass Amherst students and $12,000 for all other students. The fee for 2020 has not been set yet but will be in this range.  The fee includes tuition, housing, designated group excursions (as a minimum, weekend excursions to Rome and Venice), and a catastrophic health plan provided by the Italian Government (ASSITALIA).  A $600 non-refundable deposit will be due upon acceptance to the program.  A required housing deposit of 100€ is due upon arrival in Siena.

Click below to see student blogs:

Grace Berte:
Shannon McDonough: