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UConn Studio Arts in Florence, Italy (Faculty-led)

The Program

Please note: This program is administered by UConn, but it is not led by a UConn faculty member. 

Studio Art Program in Florence, Italy: Fall semester

This special program, aimed at studio art and art history majors, will offer students a unique opportunity to study in what is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the most important European centers of western art, science, literature and architecture: Florence, Italy. With two studio courses (drawing and photography), an art history course and the Florence Experience course, this program is designed to offer a curriculum that allows for the richest study abroad experience possible.  The drawing class will be held in the Institute’s recently renovated XVth-century art studio.  Art will be studied historically through an exploration of one of its most significant stylistic manifestations in the art of Renaissance Florence. On-site teaching is a major component of this program, and field trips to various locations in and outside of the city will complement the course of study.

The Academics

Taught by UConn faculty on site in Florence, as well as other American and European artists and scholars, you will take three courses that will enable you to acquire three credits in art history and six credits in studio art that can be applied to degree requirements; a fourth course in Italian language and culture entitled “The Florence Experience” and a one credit “Cultural Literacy Workshop” will complete your roster of courses.

Studio course: Drawing – Investigation Based on Observation (interior, still life, architecture and the figure). Studio Art Elective, Drawing II or course credit arranged by faculty 3 credits. 

Art Professor Deborah Dancy ( of the Department of Art and Art History at UConn will take you on an exploration of these historical and contemporary areas of study and practice.  Along with a rigorous exploration of drawing in the studio classroom, this course will include drawing on location around the gardens, piazzas, churches and other public spaces of Florence.  Santa Maria Maddalena Dei Pazzi, Piazza SS Annunciata, Museum Bardini, Church of San Marco, San Marco Museum, Garden at the Villa Rossa, Boboli Gardens are a few examples of possible places to visit, observe and draw.

We will also explore first-hand, as artists/students, the extraordinary richness and variety of the art collected in the numerous museums of Florence. You will investigate various approaches and applications relevant to issues in drawing. The course combines beginning, intermediate and advanced students, creating a rich environment for learning and the exchange of ideas as well as individual study.  You will work at your appropriate level of experience while expanding your skills and understanding of drawing.

Studio course: Digital Photography: Figure/Places/Architecture. Studio Art Elective. 3 credits. (specific course content will be developed by faculty teaching)

You will continue your exploration of Florence in a Photography course, where you will be introduced to the skills necessary to communicate with photography while being immersed in the world of imagery of the Florentine landscape, urban sights and historical monuments. The course will introduce you to the craft of photography with an emphasis on the mechanical workings of the camera as well as theories of space and 2D composition. The course is digitally based and will be beneficial to both experienced and non-experienced students(this course does not substitute for Basic Photo at UConn). ** This course requires that students bring to Florence the following: SLR digital camera with manual function and at least one lens; camera USB cable; memory card (at least 1G); card reader compatible with your camera; laptop with Adobe Photoshop; external hard disk or USB of good capacity; matting cardboard for final portfolio. 

Art History course: The Art of Florence: Exploring Visual Culture [ARTH 3993]. 3 credits.(specific course content will be developed by faculty teaching)

An introductory course on the artistic riches of Florence designed to examine the art and architecture within the context of the history of the city. The historical factors which made Florence the birthplace and greatest focal point of the Renaissance will be touched upon, as well as the role of the patronage of the arts on the part of powerful families such as the Medici, the Strozzi and the Rucellai. A major component of the course is the study of art and architecture on site as a means to further appreciate the social function of art, its relationship to its context and the impact on the viewer.

Gen Ed: The Florence Experience I [INTD 1993]. 4 credits.
An interdisciplinary course which focuses on achieving a  basic level in cultural and linguistic-communicative competences (speaking, writing, reading and understanding) regarding familiar contexts, everyday life’s activities and simple interaction with native speakers, while introducing the students to various, relevant aspects of contemporary Florentine life and Italian culture. The course offers you an interdisciplinary experience in language learning made possible only by direct immersion in the target culture. The city of Florence becomes a cultural laboratory, a composite of contemporary Italian culture to be explored by the student.

Cultural Literacy Workshop: Pathways to Intercultural Competence [ANTH 1093] 1 credit
Cross-cultural communication and understanding, as well as harmonious intercultural relations, are becoming increasingly important in today’s world. It is therefore vital that we hone effective skills to become global citizens, to understand culture, cultural differences, and the ways that culture influences the thinking and social behavior of people.

The Experience

You will be housed in double or triple rooms in furnished apartments shared with other program participants. The apartments have fully-equipped kitchens and access to a washing machine. Located in the center of town, the residences are just a 15-25 minute walk to Palazzo Rucellai. Along your way, you might stop at your favorite coffee bar for a cappuccino and a pastry, gaze into the shop windows at the artistically displayed goods, or marvel at major artistic, historical landmarks. The little pleasures of Italian life, the espresso break, the gelato, buying fresh vegetables in mom and pop shops, and the Italian approach to the time, become a natural part of the day. Weekly cultural  activities in Florence include a gelato walk, organized soccer games, the Ferragamo shoe museum, the artisans’ workshops, and the secret rooms of Palazzo Vecchio, to name a few.  Optional day trips to Siena, Pisa, Lucca and San Gimignano offer new perspectives on other parts of Italy.  In fall and spring semesters a trip to Chianti concludes the orientation program.


Please note that this program charges program fees and not tuition. This affects the types of financial aid that can be applied to defray the cost. Click the link below for this program’s budget sheet and contact the UConn Office of Financial Aid Services for information regarding your individual financial aid package.

You may apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: CT Aid for Public College Students Grant, Federal Title IV Funds including Pell Grant, SEOG, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Parent Loans, and private scholarships.

You may not apply the following types of financial aid to the cost of this program: Federal Work Study, Tuition Remission Grant, University Grant, Tuition Waiver, and academic scholarships (such as Day of Pride, Nutmeg, Presidential, Leadership and Academic Excellence Scholarship).

Budget Sheets: Fall
The Details

Dates / Deadlines:

Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 03/08/2018 03/15/2018 TBD TBD

Fact Sheet:

Class status: 2nd Year, 3rd Year, 4th+ Year Academic area: Arts
Language of instruction: English Prior language study required: None
Open to non-UConn students: Yes Required GPA: 2.75