Deaf Studies: Learn Italian Sign Language in Italy!

Program Facts

Program Type: UA Faculty-led

Credit Type: UA Direct Credit

Level of Study: Undergraduate

GPA: 2.5

Class Eligibility: Freshman who will be Sophomores after the Spring Semester , Sophomore , Junior , Senior

Language of Instruction: English , Italian , Varies

Program Open To: UA and Non-UA Students

Explore Deaf Studies: Learn Italian Sign Language in Italy!

Summer 2024 Dates: June 8th - June 29th

This is a three-week Deaf Studies Program that offers a series of courses in Italian Deaf Culture and Italian Sign Language undergraduates. Students expand their previous linguistic and cultural knowledge through hands-on engagement guided by experienced faculty and staff. The linguistic exchange begins in the formal classroom setting and often naturally continues well into the evening when students and faculty meet in the unforgettably vibrant center of historic Siena to socialize and relax. The experience, as of so many of our students have testified, can be transformative. We hope you’ll join us in Siena!

Are you interested in an opportunity to engage in a Deaf World that expands beyond America in one of the most beautiful corners of the world? Look no further — this exciting summer immersion program provides ASL users a foundation for transnational engagement that invites a fresh perspective on ASL as a visual and spatial language.

This immersion program will strengthen and hone your linguistic and cultural competency in ways that will benefit you both professionally and personally. Our unique courses in Deaf Studies promote a greater understanding of the diversity of Deaf Cultures and a facility with Italian Sign Language. You will be instructed by teachers who are actively part of Italian Deaf communities and will learn about Deaf life in Italy in intensive daily classes combined with frequent excursions to local sites of interest.

Language Requirements: Must demonstrate ASL skills equivalent to that of an ASL 4 by the end of the Spring semester prior to this program. 

Language of Instruction: Italian Sign Language (LIS), Italian, and some English and ASL. Previous knowledge in LIS and Italian is not required to participate in this program.

Courses Offered: The courses offered are SERP 433B- Languages & Cultures of the Deaf Communities & SERP 494- Practicum. Students earn 6 units of credit upon completion.

Arrival in Sienna, Italy: Students are expected to arrive in the morning of the first day of the program. Detailed arrival instructions will be provided to students after March 10. Please do purchase airfare until instructed by your study abroad coordinator or program lead.  

Faculty Contact: Jason Gervase,

The Siena School for Liberal Arts has its headquarters at "Il Punto / The Point", an independent building surrounded by greenery alongside the historic city gate Porta Romana. Siena is a pedestrian-oriented city-- within a 15-minute walk from the school, you can find virtually anything you might need: office supply stores, computer repair shops, grocery markets, and of course, pizza, espresso and gelato!  

Housing is in shared double-rooms in apartments.

  • Students who receive the Pell Grant may qualify for the Gilman Scholarship is a national study abroad scholarship sponsored by the Department of State. 
  • The Fund For Education Abroad is another national study abroad scholarship that is a great opportunity- if you are eligible, be sure to apply!
  • Although it is not exhaustive, our office has put together a list of study abroad scholarships & we have compiled them into a database. Please visit our Scholarship Tracker to view the available scholarships. Do not forget that Scholarship Universe also is another great resource! 

Term: Summer
Application Deadline: Feb. 25
Start Date: June 8
End Date: June 29

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Study Abroad Students

Anna Petronella

"As an art student, I wanted to be in a city that was surrounded by art and there is no better place for this than Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance."

Anna Petronella
Santa Reparata International School of Art
Florence, Italy
Bryn Sharp

"Study abroad helped me identify my deepest passions in the field of Latin American Studies – urban development and environmental protection – and develop the application of photography to these subjects."

Bryn Sharp
Arizona in Viña del Mar
Viña del Mar, Chile
Christy Fierros

"If there's a program that really speaks to you, do it! Traveling abroad gives you a greater sense of your place in the world."

Christy Fierros
Climate Justice
Longo Mai, Costa Rica
Edward Monteverde Jr.

"I chose the Research in Munich study abroad program because it had a great balance of traveling throughout Europe and gaining technical knowledge and experience in the engineering field."

Edward Monteverde Jr.
Research in Munich
Munich, Germany