Program Overview

ITALY: Siena

Saturday, August 1 to Thursday, September 3, 2020 (4.5 weeks)

The summer program in Siena, established in 1972, was our first Summer Abroad program and was the model for the other summer programs. Since its inception, over 5300 students from across Canada have completed a University of Toronto summer course in Siena. The praise for the program has been consistently and overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Your host is the University of Siena, Italy’s second oldest university, dating back to 1240. It is a state university with over 18,000 students.


Each course is worth one full-year credit and is contingent on adequate enrolment. Students are not permitted to register for more than one course. For some courses there may also be one or two lectures held in Toronto before the start of the program; in this event, participants will be provided with further details in their admission documents.

Classes take place Monday to Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with the exception of CIN378Y0, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A detailed schedule will be available at the time of admission. Mandatory field trips are an integral part of each course and may occur outside of class time on afternoons or Fridays.

ANT396Y0 Special Topics in Anthropology: Italian Regional Foodways and Culture

CIN378Y0 The Italian Cinematic City: A Grand Tour

FAH393Y0 Studies Abroad in Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

IRE332Y0 Special Topics: Cross Cultural Perspectives on Leadership

ITA358/359Y0 Modern Italian Culture

RSM295Y0 Special Topics: History and Design of Financial Institutions

Program Details

Saturday, August 1 to Thursday, September 3, 2020 (4.5 weeks)

The Summer Program in Siena, established in 1972, was our first summer abroad program and was the model for the other summer programs. Since its inception, over 5,300 students from across Canada have completed a University of Toronto summer course in Siena. The praise for the program has been consistently and overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

A Medieval City Rich in Renaissance Art and History

  • In a city famous for its art, visitors can enjoy the National Gallery, the Town Hall, the Cathedral and Cathedral Museum and barely scratch the surface in Siena alone. There are also many smaller galleries, museums, libraries and churches in the towns and villages scattered throughout Tuscany.
  • Among the many summer events in Siena, the most famous is the Palio, a spectacular bareback horse race preceded by colourful, historic parades and festas, culminating in one of the oldest and largest street parties in Italy.

Program Activities

To help students become familiar with the city, the program includes a walking tour of the old quarter of Siena, as well as a Contrada dinner (including performances by traditional Sienese musicians). Participation in the program can also include a number of additional extra-curricular events. In the past, students have enjoyed wine tasting at the Enoteca Italiana, music at the Chigiana Festival, a night at the opera in Verona, thermal baths, cooking lessons and dancing and dining at Contrada parties. Students can also choose to participate in a “survival Italian” language tutorial.

Note: The Contrada dinner is mandatory for students taking ANT396Y0.

Accommodation and meals

Rooms in the Casa dello Studente, the University of Siena student residence, are adequate and reasonably priced. Rooms have limited internet access, no air conditioning, or screens on the windows. Washroom facilities are usually shared by two rooms. Most rooms are double occupancy and very few singles are available. In assigning single rooms, preference will be given to mature students and students with medical conditions that would be adversely affected by double accommodation (medical documentation required).

Please note that the residence imposes a 3:00 a.m. curfew on all students. Also, students will not have access to library, computer, or sports facilities at the residence or the University of Siena.

There is no meal plan. Meals may be purchased at the University of Siena cafeteria (“Mensa”), and each residence also has a few small, shared kitchenettes. Students should budget approximately CAD$1200 for purchased and self-prepared meals for the duration of the program.

Residence availability: Tuesday, July 30 to Saturday, August 31
Double room: CAD$750
Single room: CAD$1,200

During the first week of classes, room assignments are often in a state of flux as some University of Siena students are still in residence. Students may be assigned to temporary rooms at the beginning of the program until room allocations are settled.

Facilities and Accommodation Details
University of Siena Residence Information Sheet
Photos of University of Siena Residence & Area

Group flight

There will be group flight to Rome (direct) for students in the program. The round-trip economy class airfare with Air Canada is CAD$1,313 which includes taxes/fees of approximately $666. Note that flight taxes/fees (including fuel surcharges) are subject to change. Alternatively, students may make their own travel arrangements.

Departure date from Toronto: Friday, July 31 (arrive August 1)
Return date from Siena: Thursday, September 3

Transportation between the Rome airport and the Siena residence will be provided.

Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO)

All students admitted to the Summer Abroad program are required to successfully complete an online PDO, which will provide information and advice on international health and safety issues.

Students are also strongly encouraged to attend the in-person Italy PDO, which will take place on May 6 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Health and Safety

Please be advised that Siena is one of the Tuscan hill towns, filled with steep streets. Also, in August expect it to be hot during the day, around 30°C, but relatively cool at night. If you are under medical care or may be affected by heat or steep terrain, you are advised to consult both a physician and the Professional & International Programs office before applying.

Entry requirements

All students are responsible for making sure that their necessary travel documents are in order. Information on visitor entry requirements is available from the Consulate General of Italy.

As of the time of publication (December 2019), Canadian citizens only need a passport valid for six months beyond their return date to enter Italy as a visitor for up to 90 days. Citizens of other countries may have additional requirements.


The deadlines for fees payable to the University of Toronto are as follows:

  • Application fee: due February 3, 2020
  • Non-Refundable Deposit of $1,000 due one week after admission notification
  • All remaining fees: April 16, 2020

Cost of Studying in Italy

Amount Details
Application Fee $200 Paid at time of application
Course Fee
Domestic Students $3,000 Includes $1,000 deposit
International Students $4,155 Includes $1,000 deposit
U of T Incidental Fees $180 Estimate based on 2019 part-time summer fees
Field Trip Fees
ANT396Y0 $1,450
CIN378Y0 $1,025
FAH393Y0 $1,375
IRE332Y0 $1,463
ITA358Y/359Y0 $1,525
RSM295Y0 $1,165
Airfare $1,313 Group flight arranged by U of T – optional participation
Accommodation $750 Based on shared accommodation in University of Siena residence
Meals $1,200 Estimate – paid on site for purchased and self-prepared meals
Medical Travel Insurance variable Students must provide proof of medical travel insurance
Miscellaneous Expenses variable All students should budget for miscellaneous expense (e.g. travel, gifts, etc.)
Approximate TOTAL Program Cost INCLUDING field trips
Domestic Students $7,668 – $8,168 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance
International Students $8,823 – $9,323 This figure does not include mandatory medical travel insurance

Financial Assistance

The following assistance is available for eligible students in this program. For additional awards and further details please see the Financial Aid section of the Summer Abroad website.

• Summer Abroad Bursary (15 awards at $3000 each)
• Laura and Sandro Forconi Award (one award at $1000)
• Hans Karl Lucke Award (one award at $1000)
• Alex R. Waugh Siena Study Abroad Award (one award at $1,000)
• Italian Scholastic Awards

Information Session

A detailed information session for the summer program in Siena will be held on the UofT St. George campus in January. This session provides an excellent opportunity to hear from instructors, onsite staff and previous participants, see photos, and ask any questions that you may have.

Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2020 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Location: Woodsworth College, Kruger Hall, 119 St George Street (south of Bloor)

Map to 119 St. George Street


See information session listings for all UofT programs and campuses.