A quaint city in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Siena has become one of Italy’s most popular travel destinations because of its pristine natural setting, architectural beauty, and conveniently central location only hours away from both Florence and Rome. The sights, sounds, and flavors of la dolce vita flow steadily through the streets of this serene hill town. In Siena, volunteers will discover a vibrant culture beyond the big cities of Italy and gain the chance to engulf themselves in a variety of language immersion and community volunteer projects.
Projects & Placements
Most volunteer placements in Siena will involve a combination of community development work with Italian language or cultural study. Many fields of interest are accommodated for through a variety of service learning courses; education, social work, agriculture, and medicine are all popular fields for volunteer work in Siena. Keep in mind, a basic knowledge of Italian is prerequisite to most programs.
Summer programs are most popular, though volunteer opportunities are made available throughout the year. Participants are generally given the option of choosing between programs that last from just a few weeks up to a full year. There are a couple of university campuses within Siena, so life during the academic year can be fun and exciting.
On top of this, volunteers will find a buzzing local community to keep themselves occupied with. Theatrical and musical performances, traditional marketplaces, and plentiful opportunities for exploring nearby hill towns offer a wealth of leisure time opportunity. Plus the many architectural wonders with Siena itself have earned the historic city center acclamation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Costs & Affordability
Siena is an increasingly popular tourist destination, meaning that the price of living will not be as cheap as one might expect of a small Italian hilltown. Rest assured, however, that most commodities will be less expensive than the big cities. Program fees vary depending on length and often cover the costs of housing, meals, and transportation. For more information on available financial aid, check out GoAbroad’s Scholarships Directory for volunteer abroad in Italy.
Accommodation & Visas
Homestays are quite popular during volunteer projects in Siena, and give the prospective participant the unique first hand experience of life in an Italian household. Volunteer programs in Siena will also likely offer independent or group apartment living for more autonomously oriented students. Consider the pros and cons of both before making your decision.
Members of the EU do not need a visa to live and volunteer in Italy, but participants from other countries will likely have to apply for a temporary visa if planning to volunteer in Siena for more than 90 days. Consult your program details and GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more information on the requirements of your home country. It is important to get started with the visa process early, especially as the Italian bureaucratic system can be famously slow working.
Benefits & Challenges
Siena is a perfect place to experience what life outside of the major Italian cities is all about. Here you can live the authentic Italian culture while gaining invaluable volunteer experience and making a positive impact on the local community.
There will be no shortage of mouthwatering Italian cuisine, fine Tuscan wines, and lazy strolls along cobblestone streets to make your volunteer in Siena experience into the memory of a lifetime.
Working to make a difference during the day and relaxing as the sun sets over the Italian countryside by evening, you may just never want to leave.