Temple Summer in Italy

Biomedical Research in Siena

Experience a unique opportunity to learn alongside faculty, researchers, and physicians in the pathology and biotechnology lab at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, and observe clinical work in the Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences at the University of Siena.

Program Overview

Expand upon each of the links below to view more details about this program.

Academic Program

This is an intensive program during which you will be engaged in observing research, attending lectures and lab activities, and participating in guided visits to Italian hospitals or labs on a full-time basis, generally from 9 am-5 pm, four to five days a week. 

The educational program is dedicated to the learning of:

  • clinical skills in diagnosis and staging of cancer
  • principles of cancer patient’s care
  • fundamentals of radiation physics and biology
  • basic clinical radiation oncology
  • guidelines and clinical recommendations for the most frequent cancer types undergoing RT or CHT-RT
  • side effects and damages from RT

You will be provided a tentative program schedule prior to departure. Due to the fluid nature of the research and medical environment, the schedule will be amended to accommodate learning opportunities that arise during the duration of the program. 

Language of Instruction

English. Italian language background is not required (but useful), and non-credit survival Italian instruction is provided on-site.

Course load


Course Offerings

Biology 3364 (Theory and Applications of Cancer Biology); must have the appropriate pre-requisites. 

  • If you have already completed the pre-requisites for Biology 3364 but need to receive credit for an alternative research course in your department, contact the to discuss the petition process. 

View course.


Siena is a city of approximately 50,000 residents, located in the heart of Tuscany.

Explore Siena!

Built on three steep hills and encircled by ancient walls, Siena is known for its medieval, pedestrian-friendly cityscape, as well as its cuisine, museums, art, and architecture. The city offers an array of cultural events, concerts, cinema, theatre and sporting activities. Some of the most prominent landmarks include the Duomo, the cathedral begun in the 12th century, and the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo (Siena’s town square), which houses the Palazzo Pubblico, the town hall. The city is comprised of a series of wards, each with its own boundaries and identity. Ward rivalries come to life during Siena’s signature event, the Palio horse race in Piazza del Campo.

From Siena, you can reach a number of other destinations in Italy by train or bus. Several major cities including Florence, Rome, and Bologna are easily accessible.

Program Dates

Six weeks: Mid-June through early August

Tentative Program Dates

Departure from U.S.

June 16

Arrival in ItalyJune 17
OrientationJune 17-21
Hospital/Research/Clinical PlacementsJune 24-July 31
Last night in housingJuly 31
Program endsAugust 1

Do not use the above dates to book your flight, as they are tentative and subject to change. Accepted students will receive confirmed program dates and flight booking guidelines from Education Abroad before making travel plans.  

Program participants are required to be present for the entire length of the program, from the official arrival date through the program end date.


Housing type: shared apartments

Our on-site partner, IES Abroad, arranges student housing in shared apartment accommodations in the city center. The apartments are typically shared by 2-6 students; each apartment includes a shared bedroom(s) and fully equipped kitchen and is a short bus ride to the hospital where the laboratory is located and typically walking distance to the IES Abroad Center.

Activities & Excursions

The IES Abroad Siena Center provides a comprehensive orientation upon arrival and basic Italian language training during the first part of the program. In addition, students will have the opportunity to participate in cultural activities, day trips, and group meals throughout the program. 

Faculty & On-site Support


The program is founded and facilitated by Dr. Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD, Temple University professor and Director of Sbarro Health Research Organization, in collaboration with the Unit of Radiation Oncology at the University Hospital of Siena. 

Dr. Marcella Barbarino, Biomedical Technologies and Molecular Oncology Lab Manager, oversees and coordinates the academic program on-site in Siena. Throughout the program, participants will also meet and learn from several faculty, researchers, and practicing physicians at the University of Siena.

View program faculty.

On-site Support Staff

You will have access to 24/7 on-site support from the IES Abroad Siena Center for this program. The IES Siena Center is an actual palace located on the city’s most famous plaza called the Piazza del Campo. The palace, called Palazzo Chigi Zondadari, was built in the 18th century and served as a home to many notable people. The Center includes classrooms, a student lounge and library, computer lab, and wireless internet access.

Program Costs


Temple students pay their usual per-credit rate by school/college and residency.

Non-Temple students pay the non-matriculated student rate based on residency. For the 2023-24 academic year, PA residents are charged $749 per credit and non-PA residents are charged $1,349 per credit. *Non-Temple students: your program costs may vary depending on your home institution's billing model. Please check with your study abroad office about your school's billing policies.

All students pay:

  • University Services Fee
  • Siena Program Fee, estimated at $3,900, which includes housing in shared accommodations, orientation, transportation from the airport upon arrival, some field trips and a few group meals.

For complete details about billable costs and estimate for non-billable expenses, such as airfare, meals, and personal expenses, view the program cost sheet.

View detailed program costs.


Education Abroad offers competitive, need-based scholarships for this program. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

Health & Safety

Staying healthy and safe abroad requires good planning and strong support. Review our health and safety page for important steps to preparing for study abroad, and details about international travel medical insurance and assistance provided by Temple.  

In Italy, quality medical care is available, as well as teletherapy. Water and sun safety are especially important during your summer abroad.

  • Education Abroad: 215-204-0720; 
  • Antonio Giordano, MD, PhD; Director, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine & Center of Biotechnology; College of Science and Technology; giordano@temple.edu; 215-204 9520

Eligibility Requirements

Temple programs are open to qualified students matriculated at any U.S. or Canadian college or university.

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements.

Are enrolled fulltime and will have completed 2 semesters before studying abroad
  • You are enrolled as a full-time matriculated student at the time of application as well as during the semester prior to studying abroad.
  • You will have completed at least two (2) semesters of college-level study by the program start.
Are in good academic standing and meet minimum GPA requirement for the program

You meet minimum cumulative GPA requirement, on a 4.0 scale from all colleges/universities attended. The requirement varies by program:

  • Temple Semester Programs: 2.75 (Internships: 3.0)
  • Temple Summer Programs: 2.5
  • Exchange Programs: 2.75
  • External Programs: 2.5

You remain in good academic standing from the time of application until the start of your term abroad; students on academic warning are not eligible to participate.

Have a valid passport

You will need a passport, valid well beyond the length of your program, by the application deadline.

View deadlines and validity requirements for your host country.


Are in good disciplinary standing

You are in good disciplinary standing at the time of application and remain so through the start of your term abroad. Students who have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation and will not be in good disciplinary standing (including disciplinary probation) may submit a petition for review.

Meet the minimum age requirement

You are at least 18 years old at the time of application.

For Temple in Siena, the following additional considerations apply:

  • Open to qualified, upper-level students who have completed significant coursework in Biology or a related science field
  • Must have completed the pre-requisites, or their equivalent, for the required course, Biology 3364

Application Requirements

The standard application requirements pertain to all students applying to Temple programs.

    For Temple in Italy - Siena, there are no additional application requirements.

    Admissions Timeline

    • Admissions is rolling (early applications encouraged).
    • Once you submit your application, you should expect a decision within two (2) weeks.

    The memories you make while studying abroad will stay with you for a lifetime, so cherish every moment you have!

    Photo of Brook Quinn against a cityscape of Siena, Italy

    Brook Quinn