This program, smaller than most others offered in Italy, offers students an opportunity for true immersion in Italian culture. The program offers students the opportunity to take part in internships and field study activities. Students with advanced Italian abilities can enroll directly at the local university and take courses alongside Italian students. Siena, a small, beautiful city, less than an hour from Florence, was founded nearly 2,000 years ago. Students on this program have the chance to immerse themselves in culture and history and get to know the real Italy.
This program offers a large selection of courses, including Italian literature, art history, history, and political science. Information about the range of IES courses can be found at the IES Website. The IES Siena program offers courses taught in English and Italian, which are designed to further your understanding and appreciation for the rich artistic and cultural history of Siena. A 3-credit internship and seminar are available. You will take 15-19 credits on this program (per IES requirements); all students must take an Italian language course (level to be determined by on-site testing). There is also a mandatory core course, The Presence of the Past, which includes many required field study activities to important sites in and around Siena. You may take all your courses at the IES Center (in English or Italian), or -if you have completed at least 4 semesters of Italian language- you may enroll in courses in Italian taught at the Università degli Studi di Siena. IES courses have characteristics of both US and European university courses; they have a syllabi with required and recommended readings, require a mid-term and final exam, and require oral presentations and/or written term papers
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
All students participating in this program are required to take 15 - 19 credits.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the IES Siena Course Equivalency List. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Some Penn State departments or colleges (e.g., the Smeal College of Business) may require students to complete certain courses prior to studying abroad; please check with your department or college to see if you have any specific departmental requirements.
Housing and Meals
Your housing will be arranged by IES. You will live in an apartment with Italian students or young professionals, where you will be responsible for providing your own meals, or you will live in a homestay, where some meals are provided.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the (Falland Spring) budget sheets. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully. Since students can enroll in varying amounts of credits on this program, the summer tuition rates vary according to the number of credits taken.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
IES Public School Grant : As a Penn State student, you will automatically be awarded a $1500 Public School Grant for this program. IES has created this award to make their programs affordable to you.This award has already been calculated into the budget sheets.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
1 or 2 academic recommendation(s)
Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with IES as a part of your Penn State application. Applications open approximately one year before the program term begins.
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing if taking only IES Abroad Center courses. Students taking university courses will stay as long as late June, depending on exam schedules.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed
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