Study Abroad


Florence, Italy
Spring Quarter
15 college credits
March 30 - June 16, 2017

 Application deadline: January 17, 2017

This program has closed for spring 2017 but may be offered again in the future.  Please check back.

This program in Florence, Italy is a wonderful opportunity to live and study in the heart of Tuscany and experience some of the most significant art, historical and architectural treasures of Italy and the world. Feel the presence of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Dante as you walk over the same stones tread by these giants of the Italian Renaissance which began in Florence and its environs. Walk daily though the narrow, cobble-stoned street lined with palaces and churches built by the architectural geniuses of the Middle ages and the Renaissance. View sculptures adorning outdoor walls and standing in the loggias of the grand piazzas. Experience continental life with the Florentines as you enjoy cappuccino and panini in the street cafes.

Academic Program:
This is a study program. Students must carry a 15-credit load and are expected to fully participate in all class activities. In addition to the Italian Language and Culture class, students can choose two additional courses from a limited menu of courses, which vary from year to year. 

Application Requirements:
Students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible to apply. Transcripts are required. Minimum age is 18.



This is an academic study program. Students are required to take 15 credits in the following courses.

Italian Life and Culture

The Italian language part of this class is taught by local Italian instructors focusing on beginners' level conversational Italian language, and the cultural part of the class is taught by an English speaking instructor and English-speaking guest lecturers focusing on and including separate lectures on historical, political, economic and cultural aspects of Italy and Florence. This is a humanities course and no Italian language credit is given.


Art History Survey: Renaissance is an introduction to the history of art with its epicenter in Florence. Students will learn about the art and architecture of Western Civilization (with a focus on Renaissance through Baroque periods), becoming familiar with the major artists, their media (painting, drawing, sculpture, and architecture), and their ideas in the context of world history.
The ability to look critically at a work of art is a skill that will be useful to anyone, even those in other fields. Observing a work of art (looking For patterns and relationships; asking what, how, and why questions; and making creative hypotheses) is similar to the way scientists observe their subjects. In today's interdisciplinary and global society the visual literacy and critical thinking skills developed in an art history class are more important than ever.

The Renaissance provides the foundation for understanding many other periods of history. Being in Florence, with the abiliry to study from the masterworks of the great Renaissance artists in the Uffizi, the Accademia, etc., provides an ideal place for learning. While much of art history is taught using digital images, there is no substitute for the real thing. This course, when paired with Drawing and taught on location in the birthplace of the Renaissance, will be an unforgettable and invaluable experience.


Drawing I introduces students to the principles of drawing from observation. Students will be exposed to various media (graphite, charcoal, Cont6 Crayon, ink, colored pencil, etc.); and will study line, perspective, shading, and techniques for drawing figures, interiors, landscapes, and architecture. Students will keep a sketchbook for continually recording observations and will work toward a final project that communicates a personal viewpoint in a unique way. Drawing is the most foundational skill for artists, but students in other disciplines will find it useful as well. The ability to communicate with images is tremendously helpful, especially in the STEM fields.

Drawing skills (which anyone can learn) enhance new ways of thinking, and increase one's ability to focus on details and identify the essential and the abstract. With proper instruction, context for use, and repetition, students will be surprised at their new found abilities. Florence is an ideal setting for this class, as students will be taught the historical context of the craft, so much of which developed at sites they will be able to visit in person. We will learn linear perspective while standing in the exact spot at the Duomo where Brunelleschi worked out the system. Students will study important works of public sculpture and architecture around Florence and visit local museums to see, first-hand, some of the greatest works of art ever created.



Students will live and study in the heart of historic Florence.