Student space

Student Interview

This is a new segment of interviews with the students of Siena School for Liberal Arts. Our interns sat down with students individually and created a question and answer format conversation about their time in Siena and being part of the school. Read on to check out our new mini series!

Question & Answer Interview with student Emma from Siena Art Institute

1.What did you expect when studying abroad in Siena?

I don't know exactly what I expected when I came to Siena. I think coming in I didn't want to have crazy expectations because I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. I knew I would be focusing on my art and I was hoping to find my voice and a real vision. I also knew I would be eating large amounts of very good food which made me extremely excited.

2.How does it compare now that you are living here?

Siena has absolutely and instantaneously surpassed my initial thoughts on how my study abroad experience would be. I love the city of Siena in such a deep way that I wasn't sure would happen, let alone this quickly. Even though I still am, and always will be, an outsider in this city, I feel completely at home here, both in my home stay and walking around the city. The environment in which I have been making my art is quite different than my American university which has been conducive to a new thought process and new ideas. The food has also not let me down at all, I think it almost stresses me out that I won't have enough time to eat everything I want to before I leave in December.

3.What are your hopes and goals during your time in Siena?

While in Siena my main focus was to find a true voice for my work. I have a lot of ideas and they are only connected loosely, which I hope to make more concrete, making my portfolio of work more cohesive. Additionally, it is my other main goal to become as fluent as I can while here since my previous study of Italian really drew me into the language in a way that my previous language studies had not.

4.What is your experience with your host family like?

My experience with my host family is everything I could have ever hoped for and more. I feel completely at home in the apartment and I really feel like they have taken me into their family. We have great conversations in both English and Italian that help me both connect with them and further my practice of the language. I fully believe that living with a host family while staying in Siena gives me a lens into the city and its people that I would never have otherwise.

5.What is your favorite characteristic of Italian culture/lifestyle? Why?

My favorite characteristic of Italian culture is the pride that the Sienese people have for their city. Most of my host family is in the Lupa Contrada so I have gotta to see their celebration of their win in the August Palio first hand. And now that there is another Palio I have gotten to experience it even more since both of the family Contradas were picked. I have been in complete awe and a bit of jealousy in how the neighborhoods in this city are like small families full of friendship and fierce pride. I think seeing how much all of the Sienese people truly love their city made me instantly love it even more.