A semester abroad with UTM in Siena will provide with more than just a high-quality educational experience abroad. Program fees will also cover housing in local apartments within the walls of medieval Siena; cultural and agricultural excursions to Rome, Florence, and the Tuscan countryside; culinary courses; and access to the facilities of a major university campus. Additionally, you’ll also live within easy travel distance of most major European cities and enjoy the opportunity of meeting and taking classes with students from all over Europe and around the world. Read more below about these benefits of UTM in Siena.
Students will study in beautiful Siena, a small city located in the heart of Tuscany, one of most important regions in Italy for both culture and agriculture. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, retaining a Medieval appearance and making a walk through the city feel like a walk through history. In Siena, you’ll find history and culture that spans from ancient times (with origins dating back to the Etruscans), to the Medieval and Renaissance periods (as a center of art, architecture, and commerce), and through the contemporary (from Fascism to fashion). Additionally, you will live and study in the one of the richest agricultural regions in Italy, with world-famous wines (think Chianti), cheeses (Pecorino), olive oils, and cured meats. All of this makes Siena an ideal place to spend a semester enhancing your knowledge of culture and agriculture.
All programs with UTM in Siena begin with a five-day visit to Rome, where students will be guided through their first cultural experiences in Italy with visits to the Colosseum, Vatican City, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi fountain, and other important sites within the city. Then, during the course of the semester in Siena, students will visit other culturally significant sites, both ancient and modern, in and around Siena. Students will be exposed particularly to the role Siena has played as a center of banking, art, and agriculture throughout the centuries. Occasionally, students will travel as far as Florence or San Gimignano for cultural lessons on-site. Closer to home, students will also learn to prepare Italian cuisine with lessons at DA Siena’s culinary school.
Those students who participate in agricultural and animal science courses will enjoy the opportunity to see agriculture from the Tuscan perspective. Students will be invited to cultivate grapes and olives with students at the IIS Bettino Ricasoli, and participate in the production of wine; assist with the care and milking of sheep and goats at local family farms, including the Fattoria le Caprine; learn about hydroponic farming from the CEO of Sfera Agricola, whose organic, nickel-free datterino tomatoes are among the most delicious in the world; and visit a vertically integrated farm in the beautiful countryside outside of Trequanda where Chianina beef cattle are bred and pastured.
Dante Alighieri of Siena
Our primary partner, Dante Alighieri of Siena (DA Siena) is a language and culture school that has been facilitating study abroad programs for U.S. universities for nearly 30 years. Its faculty and staff are well-educated and highly experienced in providing effective educational experiences, both on- and off-campus, for students from around the world. The school, located in the most ancient part of the city, boasts 25 classrooms, many of which overlook the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The staff arranges extracurricular activities for its students each week, including afternoon aperitifs, evening cultural events, weekend wine-tastings, and more.
DA Siena faculty will instruct several of the courses offered through UTM in Siena, including an immersive course required of all students called Reading the City as a Textbook: Territory, Culture, and Heritage of Siena. This course explores the city of Siena as a text through an examination of the sociology, anthropology, history, and art history of the city. It is intended to orient students to the culture of the city, the region, and the country, and how that culture has played out historically and continues to play out in the lives of the Sienese. This course will include on-site instruction at important historical and cultural sites throughout the city and throughout Tuscany.
DA Siena is also home to a culinary school, which all students will join at least twice during the semester for cooking courses. Agriculture students in particular will be able to have a farm-to-table experience when, after visiting several farms throughout Tuscany, they will spend time in the kitchen preparing classic Italian dishes with the foods they’ve seen and helped produce on their visits.
To learn more about DA Siena, visit their website.
The University of Siena
While studying with UTM in Siena, students will also be able to enroll in courses taught by the University of Siena (UNISI). Founded in 1240, the university is one of Italy’s oldest. A truly international campus, students enrolled in classes with UNISI will join students from all over the world in their classes. And all UTM in Siena students will also enjoy the benefits of UNISI’s campus, with access to the libraries and museums of this historic institution, as well as its cafeteria and student centers.
To learn more about the University of Siena, visit their website.
An important part of the UTM in Siena student experience is the student housing. Students will live together with other UTM in Siena students in apartments within the ancient walls of the city. Apartments are just like those the locals live in, with fully furnished bedrooms and kitchens, so that students will even get the chance to live as locals. Thus students will not only study abroad, but truly live abroad.