C-GAP Admissions
Summer 2024
Info & Deadlines
SMU students must apply through the SMU Study Abroad office.

Applications will open to students from any university beginning Nov. 15th, 2023.

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Rolling admissions will proceed until the programs are full.



How to Apply

  • Fill out the online application (ONLINE Form) and submit it;
  • Check your inbox for an email confirming that we received your application.

Please note: accepted applicants will be asked to provide a copy of their passport or ID cards.

You will also need to provide:

  • Biographical information
  • Passport number and expiration date
  • Health info and allergies
  • Academic history & GPA
  • Contact info for instrument instructor & faculty advisor
Voice Program
May 20 - June 7, 2024 (3 weeks)
May 20 - June 27, 2024 (6 weeks)
Chigiana C-GAP 2022


An audition video recording of approximately 10 minutes of repertoire from at least two time periods is required.


Piano Intensive Program
June 10 - 25, 2024


An audition video recording of approximately 15 minutes of piano solo repertoire that includes both lyrical and virtuoso styles and at least two time periods is required.


Composition Program
June 12 - 26, 2024


Required Supporting Materials:
A first draft of the piece (between 5 and 8 minutes max) that will be rehearsed and performed during the summer session (may be accompanied by a mock up – optional) 

Submission via email: admissions@chigiana.org.

Costs & Financial Aid

All Program fees INCLUDE:

Instruction, program orientation, cultural activities, welcome dinner, farewell reception, student services assistance, housing in a double occupancy room in private apartment (except when specified otherwise), access to university canteen, tickets to all program concerts, video and professional audio recording of the final concert.

Program Fees DO NOT INCLUDE:
transportation from/to the US, international cell phone plan, regular meals, personal expenses.

The intensive programs for graduate students do not include airport meet & greet or transfer to Siena.

For helpful travel tips, see:
Getting Here

 Estimated Cost2-week total3-week total6-week total
Airfare to/from Italy $1700-$2000$1850 (average)$1850 (average)$1850 (average)
Daily Meals (*more if you eat out a lot)$15-20 per day
Laundry (wash only, double for dryer use)$5 per load$20$50$50
International SIM / phone plan$50 $50$50$50
Discretionary spending (travel, tourism, museum visits, etc.)$200$200$400$500
Airport Transfer$25-$150$50 (average)$50 (average)$50 (average)
spending money in Italy
(Airfare + living expenses)

The non-refundable program deposit of $500 is due by March 30th.

Students are required to pay their balance by May 1st. Payment information will be communicated to accepted students via email. Please include the student’s name in the notes. There will be a $25 insufficient funds charge for returned checks. A single payment of the full balance is encouraged; however, an installment plan is available to help students/parents meet their financial obligations. Installment Plan Requests can be sent to admissions@chigiana.org.

All students pay a $100 security deposit. The security deposit is refundable subject to completion of the check-out procedure and completion of the Student Exit Survey. After all applicable fees for damages and unreturned items have been paid, any remaining balance of the security deposit will be sent using Zelle to the email provided by the student by September 30.

Essential Pre-Arrival Info
Important Dates 2024
 Study Abroad - Voice
6-week Program
Study Abroad - Voice
3-week Program
Piano Intensive Composition
Arrival & Check-inSunday May 19Sunday May 19Sunday June 9Tuesday June 11
OrientationMonday May 20Monday May 20Sunday June 10Wednesday June 12
Program StartsMonday May 20Monday May 20Monday June 11Wednesday June 12
Final ConcertThursday June 20Thursday June 6Tuesday June 25Wednesday June 26
Program EndsThursday June 27Thursday June 6 Tuesday June 25Thursday June 27
Check-outFriday June 28Friday June 7Wednesday June 26Thursday June 27
What to Bring

Packing Suggestions

Since you will only be gone for a short time, you should pack as lightly as possible!! There will be times when you will need to carry all of your belongings, sometimes for fairly long distances – 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch. Your travel to and fro will be more enjoyable if you aren’t carting too many things with you. A daypack plus a light, easily carried suitcase is ideal. You can buy essentials that you have forgotten in Italy if need be.

Many students travel to Europe outfitted with the latest in backpacking gear. Remember that these backpacks are too large to qualify as carry-on luggage and thus, must be checked in.

Important: Please bring a folding, lightweight music stand. Also bring any music that is assigned prior to departure. No books are required for History or Italian.


The weather in Siena should be nice, although you should be prepared for some rain. The average high temperatures in May and early June are in the high-70s F with average overnight lows in the low 60s F. In late June the weather is typically warmer (mid 80’s) but it can also be very HOT. The days can experience highs in the 90s F with low 80s at night. Bringing layers will help you be prepared for a variety of temperatures.

Bring comfortable but not grungy clothing. Clothing that does not need to be ironed or dry-cleaned is preferable. You’ll be happier if you take clothing that can wash out by hand and dry quickly overnight.

You should bring 1-2 nicer outfits for aperitivo concerts and evenings out. Dress for performances is concert gown attire.

Siena is a medieval town in the countryside with a large university presence. While you shouldn’t spend the next few weeks shopping for dress-up clothes, you should expect to dress a bit more formally in Italy and you must be aware that you are not on an American college campus. Dirty or torn clothing is not appropriate, nor are spaghetti straps, midriff blouses, and short skirts. Ratty t-shirts, shorts, and baseball hats are nearly never worn by locals. Italians tend to wear flip-flops and shorts only when they retreat to the beach for the summer. Keep in mind that A/C is not as common in Europe, and when it is present it is not very strong.

Make sure to bring good walking shoes: you’ll do a lot of standing and walking, often on cobblestone. Flip-flops typically get destroyed quickly by the cobblestone streets and are not recommended for everyday (they are, however, great for communal showers).

Electrical Equipment

In Italy, electric power runs on different voltage (220 vs 110 in the US) and wall sockets are configured differently and are incompatible with American plugs. For this reason, you may not use non-European appliances without an adapter. 

An electrical converter (different from an adapter) is required for items such as hair dryers/straighteners, electric razors, etc. It is NOT recommended that you purchase an electrical converter. The wattage and volts never convert correctly and can damage your appliance or the hotel’s electrical supply. If you use appliances that require a converter, be prepared to purchase them upon arrival or buy a special kind at a travel store that has built-in convertibility. Our program provides a hairdryer in each apartment for students to share.

Most chargers for iPads, laptops/tablets and digital cameras have an automatic voltage converter, but double-check the charger to make sure (it should indicate this somewhere). If it contains a converter, then you simply need an adapter for the two-prong plug in Europe.

List of suggested essentials:

  • Computer / tablet
    The Music history course will require research and writing a final paper; therefore, a portable computer or tablet with external keyboard is fundamental for this course
  • Scores / music
    Bring your assigned repertoire, either digital version or hard copy printed (find on IMSLP if available, or provided by the C-GAP music coordinator)
    In addition to your assigned ensemble pieces, bring 1-3 already polished solo works that you could play during the aperitivo mini-concerts
  • Bring a black binder to keep all your scores organized and for concert purposes
  • Your own portable folding music stand (mentioned above)
    You will need this for all rehearsals and concerts
    Put your name on it!
  • Concert dress attire
    Required concert dress is fancy.
  • Clothing should be “dressy” – pants, shirts, dress, skirt – as you wish
  • Concert shoes should be black, may be dressy sandals, but not flip flops
  • Concert dress should be appropriate for warmer weather, but also be somewhat conservative (some concerts are in churches).
    Backpack or overnight bag for field trips
    Travel size toiletries

You may find the following to come in very handy

  • Flip flops (for shower, beach travel, as house shoes)
  • Sunglasses
  • Headphones
  • Phone charger / portable battery, un-locked phone to use withItalian SIM
  • Notebook
  • Pencils with eraser, scotch tape
  • Mini hole punch, mini stapler,
    We have these to share in the staff office – during open hours
  • Clothes pins (for drying laundry and pinning scores when playing outdoors with a breeze)
  • Layers for cold and warm/hot weather, light jacket for rain
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Laundry bag
Travel To/From Siena

Making Travel Plans
See program dates section above for when you will need to meet the group in Siena, Italy. You are responsible for booking your flight to Italy and back. You may wish to arrange your own independent travel in Italy or Europe before or after the program, so your flights could vary.
Please note in booking your flight from the U.S. that you “lose” a day in arriving when flying to Europe.

If you are a U.S. citizen, no visa is required for this program. You only need your passport and a return/onward ticket in order to enter Italy for 90 days or less. You can also travel throughout most of Europe as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa.

Arriving in Italy
Please discuss your travel plans with a program staff member before booking. We can help advise you on important arrival and departure logistics.

You are responsible for arranging your return travel from Siena to the airport at the end of the program
Be aware of this when choosing your flight. If you need to leave Siena at 3 or 4am to get to the airport, a private car transfer will cost significantly more than if you can take public transport later in the day.

Make sure not to miss any programmed events at the end of the program – ie. Final concert, Farewell dinner
You may choose to fly into Rome Fiumicino airport
If so, you are responsible to arrive in Siena (Piazza Gramsci) by bus, or directly at your apartment address by taxi from Siena train station (if you come to Siena by train)
The best connection is to take a train from Terminal 3 to the Roma Tiburtina station, where you can walk across the street to the bus depot and get a Flixbus to Siena.

Arriving to Siena
We recommend that you arrive in Siena by bus to Piazza Gramsci, via Tozzi, La Lizza (all names for the same place – in the heart of the city center).

All regional “Autolinee Toscane” transport arrives here
The train station is “down the hill” on the periphery of the city of Siena – if you arrive there, we suggest to take a taxi to your final destination (apartment address)

It is not possible to take a taxi to the Accademia Chigiana (via di Città is a traffic restricted street). The closest place to arrive at Chigiana by taxi is called “Quattro Cantoni” (angolo via San Pietro / via di Città).
If you take Flixbus it is possible that your only option will be to arrive at the Siena train station (Stazione FS / Centrale), then you will need to take a taxi to your apartment’s address
Be prepared to pay for a taxi in cash (euros) as not all cars are equipped with a credit card reader.

If you decide to walk to the city center from the train station – cross the street and go into the shopping mall, then take the escalators up the hill, at the top walk to your left until you see the gates of the city walls then keep going straight.

What to do if your checked baggage does not arrive at the airport

– Do not panic—this is not uncommon
– Be prepared to fill out a claim at the airport desk
– Have the stub of your bag tag handy (take a photo of it just in case)
– Put your contact info in Italy as the
Accademia Chigiana
Via di Città 89, Siena (SI) 53100, ITALY
Put the contact phone number as +1 8572698628 (Program Coordinator – Sergio).

He speaks Italian and will help intercept your bag on your behalf when the airline tries to deliver it to Siena.- Make sure to get a copy of the official claim
– Take a photo, memorize the claim number, save any contact info
– Continue your onward journey to Siena
Inform Sergio that you are missing luggage. When your bags turn up they will be delivered to Siena by a courier who cannot access the heart of the city center due to the Limited Traffic Zone
Therefore, when they call to notify us of delivery we will arrange a meeting point at the NH Hotel (next to Piazza Gramsci) and you will go there to pick up your bags
–  You must have a form of ID and the claim with you to pick up the bag


We have student cellos here for you to use, however:

If you choose to bring your cello to Italy, we recommend that you travel by train instead of intercity/regional coach bus – many bus operators have not allowed cellos to ride on-board even with the purchase of a separate ticket.

For all other instruments it is preferable to arrive in Siena by bus, not by train (see above)

Arrival & Check-in

All students will be sent a form where they must enter their travel information so the program can coordinate the student arrivals and check-in, as well as, check for updates in the case of flight delays or other travel disruptions.

Before departing the U.S., students should make sure to save the contact info of program staff directly in their phones and download the WhatsApp app for program communications (see more).

Since the historic center of Siena is primarily a pedestrian only area, we arrange for program staff to meet students upon their arrival at Piazza Gramsci and walk them to their apartment for check-in.  In the case of arrival to the Siena Train Station (Stazione F.S.), students should message or call the resident advisor to inform them of their ETA and then take a taxi directly to their apartment address.

6-week and 3-week C-GAP Study Abroad Program
A program staff member will meet students at the airport on May 19th. Look for the sign that says “Accademia Chigiana”.  The staff member will be in the arrivals waiting area after you exit the doors from baggage claim.  We will arrange group transfer to Siena for students.

Piano Intensive Program and Composition Program
You are responsible for arriving directly to Piazza Gramsci or your apartment address in Siena. Please coordinate your real-time arrival ETA with the resident advisor.  See “getting here” for helpful travel tips.  Please e-mail admissions@chigiana.org with any questions.


Before departing the U.S., all students should make sure to:

Save the contact info of program staff directly in their phones:
Dr. Antonio Artese +39 339 2412 388
Resident Advisor – Sergio DeIudicibus 
Download the WhatsApp app for program communications
Do this before you leave the USA!

Send a message with your name to Sergio to be added to the group chat where you will receive program updates in “real time”.

What are the emergency contacts/numbers?

Antonio Artese (see # above) antonio.artese@chigiana.org
Italy / Europe wide emergency number: 112

We have 2 student advisors living in the student apartments that will hold a 24hr emergency phone. The number will be communicated at orientation.

Should I get an Italian pay-as-you-go phone plan?

6-week and 3-week C-GAP Study Abroad Program

We highly recommend that ALL students get a “pay-as-you-go” Italian SIM card with phone credit. You can get this when you arrive to Siena from various providers (Vodafone, TIM, Iliad, Kena, WindTre, etc.) This will allow you to make calls to other Italian numbers (e.g. program staff) and navigate the internet in the absence of Wi-Fi (using 4G LTE) with your phone. Your phone must be un-locked for the SIM to work. The total cost for the SIM card and enough credit for the 6-week period varies by company, from about €30-45.
Full functionality of the cell phone on the local network will be paramount for communications when we are making field trips outside Siena together. It will also allow Italian staff to call you if the need arises.

Piano Intensive and Composition Program students
You are responsible for making sure you are updated of the program schedule and commitments and for ensuring smooth communications with program staff.  We highly recommend that you maintain a phone with access to internet in the absence of Wi-Fi.  Before you depart, evaluate the options for maintaining connectivity through your carrier or plan to get an Italian SIM upon arrival (budget €20-35 for 3-weeks).

What is an address where I can receive mail or that my parents can use as reference for my location abroad?

Your apartment will be within a short walking distance of the academy. You will learn the exact address before your departure from the US. Do not plan to receive mail at your apartment, couriers and the Italian post will not deliver to your apartment.
Our student apartments are in:
Via Casato di Sotto, 34
Via Casato di Sotto, 64
Via S. Pietro, 12
You will be studying at the Accademia Chigiana at the following address:

Via di Città 89, Siena (SI) 53100, ITALY

We discourage students from receiving mail or packages during their stay at the program. The Academy is in the traffic limited zone of the city center and not all couriers are aware of how to deliver packages. Packages coming from abroad may incur additional customs fees.
If you must receive a letter or package for any reason, please have it sent to your name ℅ the Accademia Chigiana, with a tracking number, and communicate the expected arrival of your package to our student assistants and the custodians of the academy who will receive your package and keep it in the lobby for pick-up by you.

Housing & Meals

Housing is provided to all students of the C-GAP Study Abroad Program  in local apartments within walking distance (<10min) to the Accademia Chigiana.

Bedrooms are double or single occupancy.  Apartments are mixed gender.  Students are asked to provide the name of preferred roommates and housemates to the admissions@chigiana.org . All attempts will be made to honor the student’s request. 

All apartments receive a weekly cleaning service where common areas are cleaned and bed linens and towels are changed. Periodic inspection of student apartments will be conducted by program staff upon announcement.

Are any meals provided with the cost of tuition?

  • The welcome dinner and the farewell dinner are special meals offered by the program. Daily meals are the responsibility of the student. Many students find cooking at home to be a good way to eat on a budget. Each student will have a card which allows them access to the university canteen where discounted meals can be purchased.

Are pillows and blankets supplied?

  • YES

Should I be bringing sheets? If so what size? 

  • No, bedding and towels are provided and they are changed once a week.

Is there laundry in the apartment or nearby? How does that work? (Do I need change to operate the machines, laundry detergent, etc.?)

  • There is a laundromat a short walk from the apartment. Soap is sold from a vending machine in the laundromat. You can operate the machines with normal Euro coin currency. Your apartment should have some clothes drying racks to save money on the dryer.
  • You may want to bring a laundry bag

Will the apartment have cooking supplies such as pots and pans or should I plan on picking up one or two beforehand? 

  • Yes, the kitchens are equipped with basic crockery and utensils.  There is no use of the ovens or a dishwasher (however, the stove top works and a microwave is provided).

Will Wi-Fi be available? 

  • Yes, although there is typically less bandwidth than in the US
Program Schedule


See your program page for important dates.

Program Departure


Reminder: students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to the airport when leaving Siena.

Program Policies