Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer 2020 Florence Program has been cancelled. Applications are closed.

View images from the 2019 Florence Summer Program>>
Download the most recent program brochure>>

Open to all university students, the 2020 Florence Summer Program provides an interdisciplinary learning environment within the framework of design, art, architecture, and art history in Florence. You begin with a one-week Italian language and cultural immersion workshop on the island of Elba. Once in Florence, you spend two months broadly examining visual culture as a social, political, and aesthetic construct through an art history course and either an architecture or art studio.

Collaborative in nature, the studios use drawing and design as a medium for exploration and visual experimentation, as you study the nuanced layers of Florentine history within the dynamic context of contemporary life. Work in studios extends into the streets of Florence and surrounding cities, allowing you to engage the full cultural landscape of contemporary Europe. The small size of the program allows you to work closely with professors in developing a body of work that is highly personalized, culminating in well-developed final projects.

Upon successful completion, you receive a total of 10 credits:

- 6 credits of art or architecture studio
- 3 credits of art and architecture history
- 1 credit of Italian language

For Sam Fox School students, the studio and history courses count toward your major, including as Sam Fox School Elective courses. These credits may also count toward a minor in design, art, or architecture, or fulfill the Humanities credit for engineering students.

Italian Language Course (1 Credit)

Offered through a partnership with the Italian language school Centro Fiorenza, this weeklong workshop builds a strong understanding of the Italian language and provides an instant immersion in the culture, giving you the necessary foundation for an authentic experience during your time in Florence. Morning classes develop your conversational skills. During the afternoon, you explore the island of Elba through cultural programs, art history classes, and free time. Activities include sailing and swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea, hiking in the mountains, visiting historic sites (such as Napoleon's fortress in Portoferraio), and enjoying the beach.

Groups of two to six students share fully furnished apartments with equipped kitchens in Marciana Marina. You are a 10-minute walk from anywhere in the town and a bus ride away from other island destinations.

Art History

Rethinking Renaissance Visual Culture (3 Credits)
Faculty: Katharina Giraldi-Haller

This course explores the complexities, innovations, and magnificence of two centuries of history through its visual production: architecture, painting, sculpture, etc. It challenges the established understanding of Renaissance Florence as a cohesive phenomenon, instead constructing a more diverse notion of Florence’s aesthetic language. Emphasis is placed on those motifs that permit interdisciplinary connections to drawing, design, and architecture that you explore in your studio courses in Florence. Beyond the assigned textbooks, your visual guide is the city of Florence itself.

Architecture Studio

Disegno: Encounters in Public Space (6 Credits)
Faculty: Igor Marjanović (marjanovic@wustl.edu)

One of the origins of the term "design" is the Florentine word "disegno," which denotes both the drawing of a line and the drawing forth of an idea. Building upon this dual trajectory, the architecture studio engages a diverse set of drawing strategies—from freehand drawing and drafting to printmaking—probing public space as a confluence of architecture, culture, and identity. Projects emphasize craft, experimentation, and the socioeconomic forces that shape architecture, including the role of different cultures in its making.

Art Studio

From Film to Drones: Exploring Florentine Spaces through Photography (6 Credits)
Faculty: Meghan Kirkwood (meghan.kirkwood@wustl.edu)

This studio explores strategies for interpreting and representing public spaces through a range of photographic media. Using the Florentine landscape as our subject, we will consider how black-and-white film photography, digital imaging, and drones can explicate the social, political, and environmental histories that make up a space. Travel to Venice and other locations in Tuscany will compliment studio work in Florence. This course is open to students from all disciplines and there are no prerequisites.

Transportation to Florence

Due to varying points of departure and individual travel schedules, students arrange their own transportation. Students must arrive in Florence on May 16, 2020, and must check out of housing on July 29 by 10a.

Passports & Student Visas

Students obtain their own passports. Students who already have passports should make sure they will be valid at least six months after their last day in Europe. International students should make sure all necessary paperwork is in order and that their country of origin has passport and visa reciprocity with Italy. The School will assist students with the visa application process.

Housing in Florence

Groups of two to six students share furnished apartments with fully equipped kitchens. Students can walk anywhere in the old city within 20 minutes. Apartment costs during the program average about $2,000 for double occupancy rooms, $2,400 for single occupancy rooms—the fee includes utilities. An additional $250 refundable housing deposit is required.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Estimated tuition for the 10-credit, nine-week summer program is $13,400. In addition, students will be responsible for approximately $1,700 in fees to cover international health insurance, Elba expenses, course materials, field trips, museum passes, and library passes. Fees are based on estimated exchange rates and are subject to change. Students are responsible for purchasing their food, art supplies, and books.

A limited number of students can receive financial assistance based on need and merit. Please indicate on your application whether you are interested in receiving financial assistance.


Applications are closed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer 2020 Florence Program has been cancelled.

For more information about the Florence Summer Program, please contact:
Courtney Cushard
Coordinator of Special Programs