Siena - Business & Economics of Italian Food & Wine


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Siena?

The intersection of culture and cuisine is taken to the next level in Tuscany, where traditional food and wine are not only a large part of the cultural identity but also a primary economic contributor.

You will live in the welcoming city of Siena, home to many specialty foods, including hand-rolled pici pasta, crostini with chicken liver, and panforte nut and fruit cake crafted by local, quality-driven producers. It’s here that you’ll enroll in four courses for a total of 12 credits where you will explore how business and economic concepts are woven into the fabric of the Italian food industry. Imagine exploring global marketing strategies one day and visiting a local Brunello wine producer with international distribution the next. How about studying EU agriculture policy and then talking to the owner of an agriturismo farm about how these policies impact his business? Welcome to study abroad!

What You'll Study

Our Business & Economics of Italian Food & Wine Program is ideal for Business, Economics, Agribusiness, Environmental Studies, Political Science, and Agricultural Economics majors, as well as any student with an academic or professional interest in local and organic food and wine in Italy.

Tuscany will be your classroom. Can you picture visiting Italian organic cheese production facilities, utilizing case studies from local wineries, and having lunch with the owners of an independent farm? Our courses take advantage of the region’s many resources that will help you understand key concepts of the food business in Tuscany which you'll apply to your future career - wherever in the world it may be.

Daily Life

We want you to feel at home in Siena, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Business, Management, Cultural Studies, and other topics through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

You take 12 credits per semester, and all courses are worth 3 credits. All courses are taught in English.


This is a full list of courses offered in Siena. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity.

  • Managing Small Business Enterprises with a Farm-to-Table Focus
  • The Italian Wine Industry and its Evolution in Tuscany
  • The Economics of Social & Environmental Sustainability: Food & Wine Sectors in the New Globalization
  • Economic Policy in the EU and its Impact on Global Food Markets
  • Managing Small Business Enterprises with a Farm-to-Table Focus
  • The Italian Wine Industry and its Evolution in Tuscany
  • Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad I
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I
  • Managing Small Business Enterprises with a Farm-to-Table Focus
  • Marketing Strategy: Focus on Italian Wine and Food
  • Economic Policy in the EU and its Impact on Global Food Markets

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Siena, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the cultures and traditions of your host country. All field trips are included in your program fee. Here are a few possible destinations:


2 Days | Spring

Learn to prepare the famous Emilia hand-made pasta and visit Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar production facilities.

Amiata Mountains

2 Days| Fall

Visit the large baking facility of Corsini family-owned bakery and compare it to the small-scale Corsini production back home in Siena. Also, learn about chestnut beer production and tour a facility that produces olive oil using only sustainable energy. Spend the night in an agriturismo where fresh honey is produced.

Pienza & Montalcino

1 Day| Spring

In one day, you'll visit the pecorino di Pienza production, learn about the invention of Brunello, visit S Antimo Abbey, and partake in a wine tasting.


1 Day | Fall

Explore the wine-making areas near Siena and learn about how Chianti wine contributes to the region's economy and culture. Also, visit a pasta producer in the region.

San Gimignano

1 Day| Fall & Spring

Explore the small, walled, medieval town known for its skyline which earned the town its nickname—“The Town of Fine Towers”. You will have lunch at an agriturismo, a working farm that hosts tourists who want to learn about farm-to-table living. IES Abroad Faculty will accompany you on this field trip to relate what you see on the trip to what you are studying in class.

IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and length of stay may vary according to term and availability.

Course-Related Trips

IES Abroad Siena organizes course-related trips that complement your courses and contribute to your knowledge of Italian culture and society. All course-related trips are included in your program fee and depend on course enrollment.

Possible course-related trips include:

  • Local Food Producers - Learn about food production, explore the workings of a Sienese bakery, or tour a chocolate shop.
  • Winery/Vineyard Visit - Learn about the production of local wine, from vine to bottle.
  • Local Wine Shop - Learn about wine marketing and sales techniques.

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Siena is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.


The program begins with a one-week orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Siena staff, your fellow students, and the city of Siena. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during the week. During this time, you'll also have a few intensive sessions of survival Italian to help you navigate Siena during the term. You can continue your study of Italian throughout the semester if you wish.

In addition to intensive Italian language sessions, settle into your new home in Siena as you sample aperitivi with Italian students, visit the Contrada Museum, pick olives in the Tuscan countryside, and explore the medieval past of Siena’s surroundings during an archeological excursion.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Siena, it will feel like home.


Share an apartment with other IES Abroad students in the historic center of town. Furnished apartments are single-sex, and usually, two students share a bedroom. Apartments have equipped kitchens, and you are responsible for your own meals.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Siena through cultural events, such as:

  • Guest lectures
  • Language exchange meetings with Italian students from the University of Siena and the University for Foreigners
  • Outings to local music performances, operas, and plays
  • University of Siena lectures, seminars, and conferences
  • Special dinners and events sponsored by a Contrada of Siena
  • Soccer and basketball matches
  • Special museum exhibits

Università degli Studi di Siena - Special Events

There are several special events hosted at the Università each term that are aimed at helping introduce international students to local Italian students. You'll learn more about what's available each term once on-site in Siena.


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $9,915 $3,320 $165 $13,400

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $9,810 $3,285 $165 $13,260

Scholarships & Aid

Program-Specific Scholarships

Robert McNeill Need-Based International Business Scholarship

Up to $3,000; awarded to 2 students each year.

This scholarship is named in honor of Robert McNeill, a member of the IES Abroad Board of Directors for 25 years (6 years as Chairman). Open to students who have an interest in international business. Majors might include management, marketing, economics, finance, international relations, and social and behavioral sciences.

Our Center

The IES Abroad Siena Center is located in a palace on the famous Piazza del Campo – a large, sunny plaza that is the center of social life in Siena. The palace, called Palazzo Chigi Zondadari, was built in the 18th century and served as a home to the prominent Chigi family whose lineage includes many intellectuals, artists, businessmen, and even a pope!

Features include:

  • Multimedia classrooms
  • Student lounge and library
  • Computer lab
  • Wireless Internet access throughout the Center
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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