6-week Gap Year Course in Italy | Art History Abroad

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About

This course travels through Italy four times a year, exploring all aspects of culture, such as history, music, politics, food, literature and philosophy – in addition to art and architecture. Alongside studying the greatest masterpieces of Western civilisation, tutors will take students off the beaten track to unearth some of the secret wonders of Italy. The course visits Venice, Verona, Florence, Siena, Naples and Rome as well as many places in between. For example, while in Florence students will spend a day visiting the leaning tower of Pisa, and while in Naples some time is spent studying Pompeii and climbing Mount Vesuvius. Spending at least 5 days in each city and up to 10 in some, students will delve beyond the realms of tourism, leaving with an in depth knowledge of Italy that will remain with them for life.

Highlights
  • Enthusiastic and friendly experts for instructors
  • Private viewings to some of Italy's most extraordinary sites
  • Incredible off the beaten track visits to explore authentic Italy
  • Demonstrations and workshops in traditional crafts
  • A focus on the joy of creativity (it's in all of us!)

Questions & Answers

Hi, thanks for stopping by! To get a feel for the experience you will have on this trip we recommend reading reviews! You can find a ton of helpful reviews and pictures at the bottom of this page to help you out: https://www.gooverseas.com/gap-year/italy/art-history-abroa….

Reviews

9.98 Rating
based on 56 reviews
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  • Housing 9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.7
  • Benefits 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Facilities 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 56
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Barney
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing three weeks in Italy

I spend three weeks with Art History Abroad during August 2020 on their Regeneration Summer Course. I joined them for a week in Naples, then five days in Rome, three days in Siena, and the rest in Florence.

The course exceeded my expectations by a mile. I was joining the course alone after its first week and was worried that everyone would already be friends with each other & I would be the new one; but, within minutes of arriving I had already met everyone and gotten completely comfortable with all the students and tutors. Prior to going, I had already met Marie Naffah, one of my tutors in Naples, at two different school gap fairs. I remember finding her extremely friendly & easy to interact with, and so I was very happy to have her for my first week of the course. I think that the tutors are one of the best aspects of AHA. With each tutor I had (Steve Nelson, Marie Naffah, Joe Nickols, Holly Morrison, Nick Ross and Helen Oakden) I found that I had more of a friendly relationship with them rather than a student-teacher one. The lessons were more like conversations than lectures which was perfect for discussing all of the amazing things which we saw every day.

The course itself was exactly what I was looking for. Having been unable to take Art History as a subject at school, I found myself able to understand everything that the tutors were talking about & to present my own thoughts properly. I had the opportunity to learn about whole areas of history & art which I had never thought about much before and the variety of periods, places, and cultures we covered was amazing.

When the course finished I was very sad to have to leave the group and the environment which we had been living in for the last few weeks; however, I have soon was able to return to Italy and live in Rome for 8 weeks. Walking around the city, everything that I recognised from the course brought back happy memories and I found that I knew far more about the different sites than the others around me. I had the most amazing time with AHA and I really hope that I will be able to join them again at some point in the future.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The Course started in Sicily, a week in Palermo and Syracuse, before going on to Naples where I joined. If I could do it all again I would certainly choose to drop the plans I had before I left and join the course for the first week. I would want to spend as much time as possible with the group.

(I would have tried to describe my funniest moment on the trip but there were so many hilarious experiences that I couldn't possibly choose or begin to explain just one of them)
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Hatty
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best month of my life

I decided to go on a month long AHA summer course around a month before it began. I was feeling bored and uninspired from being stuck at home during lockdown without anything to do. I was not keen at first to go on a summer course as what I imagined was a sort of glorified school trip. I could not have been more wrong. The students and tutors were all interesting and entertaining and I have made friends I know I will be close with for the rest of my life - including quite a few who are now at university with me! I could not recommend this course enough, I find myself thinking back to August whenever the rain or my essays start to get me down.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was worried about scuba diving in Ischia as I sometimes get claustrophobic. The tutors and instructor were very encouraging, however, and I ended up really enjoying the experience.
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Theo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AHA semester course review

Art History Abroad’s semester course is the best way anyone could possibly spend 6-12 weeks. I was so lucky to experience it, having not only educational but fun tutors who guided us seamlessly through some of the most stunning places on the planet. I met friends from places I’d never even heard of before and the lasting friendships that you can build during this enriching time are possibly the best thing about it. It is truly a blast. I found the most enriching thing to be the way in which i found myself loving learning. I felt that everyday had a true and amazing purpose, and i knew that each day my mind would be blown afresh.

What was your funniest moment?
Waking up realising that my pizza addiction had gone to far as i surveyed the carnage on the floor of my room.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad- 4 week Program in Italy

My own experience with Art History Abroad is a positively unforgettable one. It’s the trip where you will catch yourself replaying sun soaked scenes in your head, when it’s still and raining outside. If you need a reminder of all that is valuable and sweet in life you really do not need to look any further. Behind all of it lies a foundation of passion for the arts which I found infectious, to create in any form is joyous and so much more valuable than we make it out to be these days. AHA is an important reminder of this and I can’t encourage you enough to welcome such an opportunity with open arms.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
All of the tutors bring their very own individual approaches to the educational side of the trip, the art and and architecture is breathtakingly beautiful and the food...the Piece de Resistance! I do believe the best and only way to approach an AHA course is with openness, observe, be a sponge, be conscious of all you take in and what you give out will be equally as special. After a lockdown year out this opportunity couldn’t have come sooner, I could charge my batteries up with incredible conversations, new connections and memories that really will last a lifetime. It’s difficult for me to find any criticisms on AHA as my own experience was so magical! I’ll always stand by the fact that trips of this kind, as cliché as it sounds, enrich your own perspectives on life and surely that alone is worth joining for...and it’s fun I guarantee you, you will laugh till you cry!
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Lois
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

6-week Gap Year Course in Italy

The course is well-organized, informative, educative, and relaxing. I learned a lot through the 6-week course. I saw so many masterpieces that I was dreaming to see in person. Besides art, the trip provided me with perfect opportunities to experience Italian culture and enjoy Italian food. Immersing myself in a totally different country was intimidating at first, but later I found Italy truly fascinating. I will definitely visit again! I will never forget watching the sunset on the dome of Florence Cathedral, sitting in a random cafe while doing nothing, seeing Botticelli's “The Birth of Venus” in the Uffizi…The tutors are really nice and knowledgable, and I enjoyed the conversations with them. If you want to learn more about art history or simply hope to do something meaningful and/or cultural, take this trip!

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Alexa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 Months of My Life!!

Before embarking on my journey with Art History Abroad, I had no idea I would come out the other side a completely changed person. After finishing high school I felt almost burnt out and AHA completely revived my excitement about learning and exploring the world. Every day the tutors (who live and travel with the group) lead “sessions” on a different subject in a museum, cathedral, city center, or even on a gondola. These lessons were anything but dry and often discussions about the art and architecture we were seeing continued into the rest of our days together. I often found myself most looking forward to our meals. The tutors always knew the best restaurants in the area and we would spend hours as a group eating, laughing, and talking about the day. Something that I quite appreciated about AHA was their flexibility. I decided to combine two of their courses and start a few weeks late on one of them since I had an interest in traveling to France by myself. They were more than accommodating and even encouraged me to forge my own path and meet up with them later. I also appreciated how the tutors and directors treated the students as real and capable adults. After participating in similar programs throughout high school, I found that it is unique to AHA how students are given so much freedom to explore and learn and are taken seriously in return. The tutors, directors of AHA, and friends from the program became like another family to me and I am forever grateful for the memories I made and the amount I learned about myself and the world with AHA.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Personally, I was quite worried that I did not have an art history background. I would tell future students not to worry about what other interest they might have an how those will take away from the program or make it difficult to fit in but rather how they will add to their experience. Some of the most interesting conversations we had surrounded a student’s interest in a subject I initially thought was totally separate from art history. Without having the diverse group of students and tutors I had, I would have never learned as much as I did!
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William
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad - 6 Week Gap Year Spring Programme

For anyone thinking of pursuing a future in Art History or any creative field, AHA is without doubt an eye opening experience that will exceed your expectations. The course provides an inviting social environment that encourages individuality within members of the group and aids the challenging yet engaging opportunities that the course offers. Each location that you visit gives plenty of time to inhale the cultural differences between each region, and how history has influenced its infrastructure and people throughout time. I can safely say from my experience that I discovered so much about the wealth of locations such as Florence, Naples and Rome. And how important they were in establishing Italy as a powerhouse of the arts from a contemporary view of today, reflecting on the time period.

The best offer to the course is definitely the tutors who are extremely insightful with both their opinions and factual knowledge to each location we visited. They provide an intimate and engaging setting when they take you to visit galleries, monuments etc.. which personally cannot be provided in regular tour groups. The teaching style of the tutors were a big reason for artists I found a new interest in, you also will find yourself becoming invested into certain figures depicted and not just the artist themselves. I especially became fascinated with the life story of Mary Magdalene, after being in awe of Donatello's emaciated wood sculpture 'Penitent Magdalene' at The Opera del Duomo Museum in Florence.

Looking on the course as a total package it was the most insightful and intriguing experience i've had abroad! Packed full of curricular activities, workshops and including free time to do some independent research around the cities and capitals we visited. The itinerary includes entry to exhibits to all galleries of medieval, renaissance, modern and contemporary stature. Workshops allowed us to take handcrafted pieces home and providing demonstrations of traditional techniques used to make sculptures, mosaics and frescos. These making both great memories and ideal presents if you wish to give them to relatives and loved ones.
Tutors will take you to the most authentic restaurant locations in each city, steering you clear of tourism traps of overcharged prices for food, which becomes especially useful for lunch and supper. All in all it's an course I would urge anyone who is interested art, history, architecture or even in general to get involved with AHA, it's a great way to spend part of your gap year anywhere from 2 to 6 or 12 weeks engulfing the culture of Italy and form your own opinion of the place itself.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to keep your whereabouts at all time, despite it seeming like a safe environment its best to be on the safe side. In particular with cons and beggars around the streets offering you 'free' gifts.
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Tess
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AHA - The Best of Times

Before having found AHA, I had never been away from home without the company of friends or family. The idea of being on my own was a terrifying concept. But AHA changed that for me. I came into the program thinking I would fail. Instead, I succeeded in the best of ways. There was so much that made the trip extremely memorable. From the art, the tutors, and the other students, AHA made it their goal to help us have the best time possible. The tutors not only were supportive, but they were fun, happy and altogether fantastic. They were amazing teachers too, providing us with the necessary tools to be passionate about the art we saw while not pushing us in the way of exams or tests. They taught us simply for the love of learning. Also, the food was amazing. Every dinner was a new experience, and I never grew tired of eating pasta. AHA provided me, and I believe so many others, with the chance to experience art in a new and thought-provoking way. We had discussion-based sessions where students were encouraged to ask questions and speak out, while also having sessions where we would be able to draw and write about the art we saw.

There was so much to explore on this trip, so much to do and so much to learn. I would really recommend it for anyone looking to learn (for the sake of learning!) and to have fun. I’m so glad that I found AHA’s summer course, and if I could, I’d do it all over again.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing at all. It was really one of the best experiences!
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