Dante Abroad by Dante Alighieri Siena
Study Italian in Italy - Authentic Italian experience

In our Study Abroad Program students are encouraged to fully take advantage of their stay in Italy. Learn Italian not only in the classroom but through your everyday life in Siena. Our on-site lectures, academic excursions, visits to museums, field trips, hands-on cooking classes and internships will surely broaden your learning experience. Culture courses and seminars are taught in English so you can fully understand subjects we cover such as: Art history and Architecture, Italian History, Performing Arts, Literature, Anthropology, Economy, Health and Nutrition amongst others.

F.A.Q's

Applications When and how should I apply?
Computers, Internet Will I have access to Internet or Wi-Fi connection?

Should I bring a laptop?

Cost of living in Siena What is the cost of living in Siena?
Field trips Are all field trips included in program fees?
Language courses, levels, continuous enrollment, progress, placement How much Italian can I expect to learn during the courses?

What happens if I want to change the class level?

What is Continuous Enrollment?

How can I be sure that I'm making progress?

How will I be placed in class?

What teaching methods are used?

Medical emergencies Where can I go for medical help?
Official Italian language certificate Will I receive an official Italian language certificate?
Visas and Passport Will I need a passport?

Will I need a Visa?

Weather, time difference, shops and travel What's the weather like in Italy?

What is the time difference in Italy?

When are shops open?

What do I need to travel around Italy?

Applications

Q : When and how should I apply?

A : We recommend you apply no later than one month prior to the start date. You can apply online by clicking HERE .

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Computers, Internet

Q : Will I have access to Internet or Wi-Fi connection?

A : Dante Alighieri Siena has in-house Internet and Wi-Fi connection available to all students.

Q : Should I bring a laptop?

A : We do not require you to bring a laptop but strongly encourage you to, provided it is insured. You should make sure that your computer accepts local electric currency and can be used in foreign countries.

Please note: Dante Alighieri Siena does not offer technical support for personal computers and cannot assist with hardware or software malfunctions or incompatibilities.

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Cost of living in Siena

Q : What is the cost of living in Siena?

A : The cost of living in Siena is average. Basic food costs are in line with the rest of the European Union.

Food and drinks come in all price ranges, from reasonably priced eateries to fine dining. The following can be used as reference for food costs:

one loaf of bread: € 1,40

250 gr. of butter: € 1,40

one liter of milk: € 1,30

one liter of mineral water: € ,30-,50cents

one can of Coke: € 1,50

one bottle of beer: € 1,80

Complete lunch in an average restaurant will cost about € 20,00/25,00, typical Italian breakfast of a pastry and coffee or cappuccino costs about € 2,00, delicious Italian gelato (ice-cream) costs € 1,70.

If you feel like having a snack, there are plenty of cheap pizzerias, where a slice of pizza costs about € 1,10/1,50.

A local phone call costs 0.30 cents, and a cinema ticket will cost € 8,50.

A full cycle of washing, including drying, at the launderette, costs € 6,00.

Urban bus is 90 cents for a one-way trip, while a monthly pass will cost € 24.00.

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Field trips

Q : Are all field trips included in program fees?

A : We offer both required field trips and optional field trips in all programs. Required field trips are included in the program fee. Optional trips are not included in the program fees. No refunds are given to students who do not participate in field trips that are included in the program fees.

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Language courses, levels, continuous enrollment, progress, placement

Q : How much Italian can I expect to learn during the courses?

A : As all our courses are specifically planned to meet the needs of our students, and all lessons are held in Italian language, you can be sure you will learn the most amount of the Italian required in your level.

Q : What happens if I want to change the class level?

A : It is no problem if you want to change class level at any time. It is important for us that you are happy with the level and rate of progress in class. If you are not happy for any reason, you may speak to your teacher or the Director of Studies in order to be placed in your appropriate level.

Q : What is Continuous Enrollment?

A : Continuous enrollment means that it is possible to start and stop any week. We have a system where the syllabus is divided into separate weekly modules. Each teacher is given a study program that should be covered for each level so the Director of Studies knows exactly what the students are doing. The Director visits every class each week to check the levels and the students' progress.

Q : How can I be sure that I'm making progress?

A : Students benefit from intensive classes and their progress is measured and evaluated on a weekly basis. Every two weeks you are given a quiz to verify that you have understood all the concepts, functions and vocabulary covered in that period. During this time, you will also be given an opportunity to revise and to deal with any specific areas of interest or difficulty. This constant monitoring of the students' progress ensures your confidence and success. Because of the tightly structured syllabus, it is also easy to change a level without losing any time or repeating the same aspects of the course.

Q : How will I be placed in class?

A : New students will take a placement exam which will be in multiple choice format. Each student also has a short oral assessment to check his/her communicative ability. There are eight different levels and usually 2 levels within each of those as in 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B, and so on. This makes it possible to place students within the right group of their level.

Q : What teaching methods are used?

A : The classes are full-immersion meaning that classes will be taught in Italian and students are politely but strongly dissuaded from speaking their mother tongue in class. All four language skills will be explored in class: speaking, listening, writing and reading. In most classes, emphasis is placed on speaking and listening, while written work is usually done as homework and checked by the teacher.

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Medical emergencies

Q : Where can I go for medical help?

A : The First Aid (Pronto Soccorso) service at the hospital is free for anyone who needs it. In the city-centre there is always one pharmacy open 24-hours. Pharmacies take turns for this 24-hour service, but the timetable is clearly shown outside each pharmacy. Please click HERE for more info on medical emergencies.

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Official Italian language certificate

Q : Will I receive an official Italian language certificate?

A : You may take the PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) exam which is offered on specific dates in November and May every year. The PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) certificate is an official diploma issued by the Società Dante Alighieri under an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (no. 1903 of 4 November 1993) and with the scientific approval of the "La Sapienza" University of Rome (agreement of 29 June 2004). The PLIDA is also recognized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies (decree of 18 October 2002) and by the Ministry of University and Research as a qualification for the facilitated university enrollment of foreign students (ref. no. 1906 of 9 October 2006). The PLIDA certificate attests proficiency in Italian as a foreign language on the basis of a 6-level scale. We offer specific preparation courses for the exam. (more info)

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Visas and Passport

Q : Will I need a passport?

A : Yes, you need a passport valid for at least six months beyond the end date of the program. If you don't have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible!

Q : Will I need a Visa?

A : Only if your study abroad program lasts more than 90 days. Please click HERE for more info on Visa's and Residence Permits.

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Weather, time difference, shops and travel

Q : What's the weather like in Italy?

A : The summer months are very warm throughout Italy. The south is always a few degrees warmer than the Center and the North. The average temperature in the summer is between 18°C - 30°C (64°F - 86°F), and in the winter 4°C - 16°C (39°F - 61°F). During the winter it is best to bring warm clothes - also for wearing around the house - as Italians tend to turn off the heating at night due to the high costs.

Q : What is the time difference in Italy?

A : Italy is on the Middle European Time (MET). Rome is 1 hour ahead of London, 6 hours ahead of New York, and 8 hours behind Japan. During the summer months (March-October) the clocks are set one hour forward.

Q : When are shops open?

A : Most shops are open between 9:30-13:00 and 15:30-19:30. During the summer, many shops stay open all day during the week, but close Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, but this differs from shop to shop. On Sundays, most shops and banks are closed all day so it's a good idea to make prior arrangements if you arrive on Sunday.

Q : What do I need to travel around Italy?

A : Siena is linked to Florence, Pisa and Rome by train and bus. Special discounts on trains are sometimes available for persons under 26 years of age. It is also possible to buy a season ticket, saving you money on your travel. Siena is very close to the main motorway system, making it easy to travel around during your stay. Non-residents are not allowed to drive in the city-center and parking is outside, but the city is small and it is easy to travel around on foot.

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The city of Siena

The city of Siena

The school

Dante Alighieri, Siena
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