• Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
    Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
  • Architecture students visiting Opera di Firenze. Photo by Emir Kulosman.
    Architecture students visiting Opera di Firenze. Photo by Emir Kulosman.
  • Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
    Photo by Igor Marjanovic.
  • Neena Wang photographing the Island of Elba, 2014. Photo by Whitney Wood.
    Neena Wang photographing the Island of Elba, 2014. Photo by Whitney Wood.
  • Sketching trip in Rome, 2014. Photo by Elisa Kim.
    Sketching trip in Rome, 2014. Photo by Elisa Kim.
  • Nianci Li at work in studio, 2014. Photo by Jamie Adams.
    Nianci Li at work in studio, 2014. Photo by Jamie Adams.

View images from the 2018 Florence Summer Program>>

2019 Florence Summer Program
May 18-July 31, 2019

Download the brochure>>

Open to all university students, the 2019 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

Site-Responsive: Art and Design Studio Practice in Florence (6 Credits)
Faculty: Sage Dawson (sagedawson@wustl.edu)

This course will help students develop a site-responsive studio practice in relationship to the cultural landscape of Florence. We will consider the unique identity of particular sites and structures, land use, and use our experiences on-location to inspire and frame ideas for our work. Open to students in all disciplines, participants will work both in the studio and on-site in the city. Practical and didactic learning will include a complement of methodologies: texts, lectures, films, demonstrations, site visits, field work, and travel to Venice and other sites outside of Florence. Students will develop a series of visual projects in art, design, or a hybrid of the two, through a series of prompts. Students may choose to use resources such as the on-site letterpress studio and the printmaking and photography facilities to explore a variety of art and design media. Ultimately, all students will have the power to make independent work that explores their own visual and media interests. Students will exhibit their work in Florence and at an exhibition at Washington University in the fall semester. Open to all university undergraduates. No prior experience in art or design is required. Counts for two 3-credit studio elective courses in the BFA, BA, art and design second major and minor programs.

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 18, 2019, and must check out of housing on July 31 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 $13,000. 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.


The application deadline is February 15, 2019. Students are admitted on a rolling basis, so early applications are encouraged. Apply Now>>

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