Study and volunteer on the IPSL Service-Learning Plus Program in Italy - Siena (Tuscany) and on the island of Sardinia!
IPSL students have an exclusive opportunity to volunteer and learn about environmental and social issues of southern Italy to help create sustainable change. For a week at the beginning or end of each semester, IPSL service-learning students live in Cagliari learning about the issues this southern Italian community is challenged with. IPSL students will travel to Sardinia, a culturally diverse island off the coast of Italy, and volunteer with Team Kayak to lead sea kayaking trips for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. The IPSL PLUS program provides extensive volunteering in a location culturally and environmentally different than Siena and it affords students an opportunity to learn more about regional issues through the seminar The Mediterranean Sea: A Cultural And Geographical Entity that examines geopolitics, migration and socio-linguistics. An excursions to ancient historical
IPSL students return each semester to Cagliari and Team Kayak Sardegna to help further the goals of the community and engage in hands-on service to promote equitable relationships, social justice and sustainable change for local communities.
Siena, a walkable, medieval city in the center of Tuscany, is "the cradle of the Italian language" and the heartland of the Italian of Dante. Service-learning in Siena offers an ideal opportunity for you to learn Italian (or strengthen your existing skills) through a full immersion in Italian life.
You will spend a semester in Siena, engaging in intensive Italian language study at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level; living in a homestay with an Italian family; serving 15–20 hours a week in an Italian agency or school; taking a course in socio-anthropology, related to your service; and going on guided excursions. All of these activities blend into a unique and innovative language-teaching method, FICCS (Full Immersion Culture, Content, and Service).The program is designed to give you a rich and varied experience of modern Italian society and social issues.
Experience Siena from a Local Perspective
Located about one hour from Florence and three hours from Rome, this small but vivacious city provides a perfect home base for exploring the rest of Italy. Its two large universities keep things lively during the academic year with many cultural events, theaters, and concerts. During the summer, things heat up with the world renowned Palio, a horse race dating back to 1656, that takes place in the central square. The town itself is your classroom, as you navigate and gain familiarity with the local fruit and vegetable market, bakery, and gelateria, and absorb the Italian voices drifting in your window from the street. The countryside surrounding the city is home to producers of the famous Chianti and Brunello wines as well as some of the most sought after olive oil in the world. The province, with its rolling hills and cypress trees, is rich with hill towns, hot springs and Etruscan ruins waiting to be explored.
Language of Instruction: Italian
Affiliated Institution: Siena Italian Studies
Courses & Credits:
Intensive Italian Language | Credits: 3
Semester Italian Language | Credits: 6
Socio-Anthropology - IPSL Service-Learning™ Course | Credits: 5
IPSL Reflections / SL Practicum Seminar | Credits: 3
Optional Electives | Credits: 3
Summer Courses & Credits:
- Summer Italian Language | Credits: 3
- Service in Contemporary Italian Society | Credits: 3
teaching English to elementary school children
teaching English to ambulance drivers
working alongside medical personnel in an ambulance
assisting with the elderly
providing immigrant and refugee assistance
helping with an organic farm and restaurant
…and other options…
You will live in a homestay with a local host family. The homestay is an integral part of both the program, giving you the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons, and experience modern Italian culture from "the inside." Host families are carefully selected, experienced with hosting students, and view the experience as a form of cultural exchange. Full board is included.
Accelerated language learning
Full cultural immersion
Real cultural understanding
Meaningful growth and personal insight
3-day orientation in Siena
4 day group excursion to another Italian region
Field trips exploring Tuscany and other parts of Italy, including a 3-day trip
Service- Learning PLUS program in Sardinia
Program Director(s): Ms. Lavinia Bracci
Eligibility: The program welcomes students of any nation, with any level of Italian language skill. Academic studies are taught in Italian at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Program Fee includes: Academic program tuition; books; 3-day orientation in Siena; homestay (including all meals); service agency placement and supervision; academic excursions and program-related activities including a 4-day group excursion outside Siena; bus transportation from Rome Fiumicino airport to to Siena on arrival day (transfer to airport upon departure not provided); bus pass for local transportation; health insurance; administrative fees; and pre-departure materials. Personal expenses are not included such as airfare; books; spending money; travel money for the 10-day semester break and transportation to the airport at the end of the program.
What's typically NOT Included: passport, visa and vaccine fees; airfare; books; spending money; local personal transportation; transportation back to the airport upon departure; local cell phone and independent travel.