Online Application
Course Offering​s
(click title to download syllabus)
  • Intensive Italian Language and Culture
  • Semester Italian Language and Culture 
  •  COSA in Italy
  • Introduction to COSA ( Course Offered ONLINE)
  • A Wide Range of Electives

Travel and Excursions that Broaden Your Perspective
Travel is an essential part of studying abroad. Taking knowledge from the classroom and applying it through direct observation allows for greater classroom comprehension and cultural understanding.

Excursions MAY include SOME of the following:



Begin with a 3-day orientation in Siena, to get the lay of the land!


4-day Group Trip

Most  terms include a 4 day group trip to a fascinating, often off-the-beaten path location Excursions vary from semester to semester.


Mid - Term Break

A 10-day mid-term break gives you the chance to travel independently and explore Italy on your own. You will need to make your own accommodations as your homestay will not be available unless you make special arrangements.


3-day Weekends

There are two scheduled 3 day weekends per term that will also give time for short independent travel.

Cultural and Seasonal Activities

A variety of additional activities are offered to enrich the program experience. Students begin the semester with a series of complete cooking lessons on traditional Tuscan cuisine. Students will also participate in various seasonal activities. For example, in the fall, participants will help out with the grape and olive harvests, vital events in the traditional agricultural life of Tuscany. In the spring, a highlighted activity is the participation in the Carnevale celebration. And throughout the year, there are various cultural activities such as guided museum visits, concerts and opera performances in places such as Siena, Florence, Lucca, and Rome, as well as various other hands-on workshops and lessons.

IPSL students in Italy may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Italy and Europe. As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, IPSL program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries.

IPSL in Siena, Italy...leaders in European Development Studies, Intercultural Communication, and Italian Language Studies

The Italy program is based at Siena Italian Studies, and courses are taught by their faculty, who have developed an innovative approach to teaching language and culture, FICCS (Full Immersion Culture, Content, and Service).  An official  transcript for all courses is issued by IPSL Institute for Global Learning upon successful completion of the program.


Intensive Italian Language

All students begin the program with an intensive 3-week course of 25 hours per week. After an entrance exam, students are placed in appropriate levels and participate every day in classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities. A wide variety of teaching materials is used.

Classes and activities designed to develop all linguistic abilities, from the basic (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to the integrated (responding to questions, note-taking, etc.). The Program employs the FICCS (Full-Immersion: Culture, Content and Service) approach to language instruction. This approach, created and developed by our partner, Siena Italian Studies, combines linguistic and cultural elements taking into account the reality of life in Italy that students are experiencing outside the classroom. 

Contact Hours: 45
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


Semester Italian Language

Students are placed in the appropriate level and continue to study Italian 2 hours a day, 4 days a week. Classes include activities linked to experiences in the city, student presentations, discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar. The intermediate and advanced levels provide a complete study of grammatical and communicative structures using materials that are varied in both content and type.

Activities are linked to experiences in the city, student presentations and discussions, videos, quizzes, and writing assignments, as well as the study of specific aspects of Italian grammar.

The language is always presented in context,  Two or three teachers alternate in the classes, giving students the greatest possible linguistic variety. Throughout the semester, students will take part in activities that require them to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. Some of these activities include chatting with their Italian-language partners, conducting surveys in the university’s cafeteria, or participating in the semester’s caccia al tesoro, or treasure hunt.

Contact Hours: 90 

Recommended U.S. Credits: 6

COSA in Italy (Community Organizing and Social Activism)

The focus of this course is to explore community organizing and social activism in Italy with the goal of learning how to effectively translate these ideas and techniques into a concrete knowledge of social activism (including a practical tool set and the development of a personal ethic of advocacy) that can be applied across cultures, countries, and efforts. The course starts with an overview of social change institutions, explores the history and ethics of international service and moves to the examination of past and current political and social movements and advocacy efforts in Italy. Students will learn the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning in an Italian context. This course complements IPSL community service placements and helps students make sense of their international experience in order to develop their intercultural competence. Topics are examined through the prism of hands-on community service in Italian, Belgium and African NGOs and other non-profits and include intercultural communication, the mechanics of non-profits/NGOs, citizenship in Italy, local civic engagement/advocacy efforts and the exploration of civil society.

Contact Hours: 45 

Recommended U.S. Credits: 3

Introduction to COSA (Community Organizing and Social Activism) Undergraduate Course

This course is delivered virtually and begins before departure and completes after returning. The content includes both pre-departure and post departure information, discussion and reflection and serves to compliment the IPSL Institutions in Society Course. The course explores the theories and practical realities of intercultural service-learning to help make sense of the international experience and to develop intercultural competence. One credit will be awarded for 15 hours of academic reflections work and 2 credits for the  hands-on service-learning volunteering.

Contact Hours: 45 
Recommended U.S. Credits: 3


IPSL students may take any additional SIS elective course (up to a maximum of 18 credits) or simply take the required courses which equal 15 credits.  Electives range from Art, Cuisine, Cinema, History, Business, Literature, Latin, Culture and Religion fields.