By Art History Abroad   Reviews (42)   100% Rating

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

By Art History Abroad   Reviews (42)   100% Rating

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.

Locations
Europe › Italy
Program Tags
Study Abroad
Length
1-3 Months
Accommodation
Hotel
Primary Language
English
Age Max
17
Cost
Included in the fees: all accommodation, breakfast, tuition in small groups, all transport in Italy when concerned with teaching, all museum entrance fees, notes and reading lists.

Not included in the fees: flights, lunch and dinner, spending money, travel insurance, repatriation insurance and cancellation insurance.
Starting Price
10000.00

Rating Values

  • Housing
    90%
  • Support
    99%
  • Fun
    99%
  • Value
    98%
  • Safety
    98%

Program Reviews (42)

Louis
Male
23 years old
Exeter
University of Exeter

Extraordinary

Overall
10

It is without question that this trip has taught me extraordinary things: I have learnt about the history of Italy, of Ancient Rome and Pompeii, of medieval Tuscany, the Renaissance, Byzantium, the Napoleonic wars and even the fascist government of Mussolini before and during the Second World War. I have learnt about Classical, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Modern, Postmodern, Supermodern art forms and ideologies. Of course we had our days off and would sometimes have a change from history of art; a Sienese cookery lesson one afternoon, a fascinating visit to a famous Venetian 18th century velvet factory, a deeply moving tour of the Jewish ghetto in Venice. However, all of these added to an incredible understanding of Italian culture and history.

It still seems unreal, too perfect to recollect. I went to Rome, Orvieto, Naples, Pompeii, Siena, Arezzo, Florence, Fiesole, Pisa, Verona, Vicenza, Castelfranco, Padua, and Venice. I know it sounds clichéd, but I saw Michelangelo’s David, I climbed Mount Vesuvius, I listened to an orchestra play Mozart in the Cattedrale di Siena, I heard monks sing evensong in the 11th century crypt of San Miniato, I watched the sunset over Verona, I saw rain fall through the oculus of the Pantheon, I ate some of the best pizzas on the planet, I made some incredible friends, and I saw the golden mosaics of Basilica di San Marco light up one by one like so many stars.

Jiddu Krishnamurti once said that there “is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” And in my opinion, the greatest form of education is that which makes you feel alive, teaches you things you never knew, and inspires you to change the world: it is the movement from darkness to light. This trip is that movement, and so so much more.

Lana
Female
18 years old
Memphis, TN

Lana

Overall
9

There are so many moments on AHA that made the experience unforgettable. I could talk about seeing Michelangelo's David in real life, or climbing Mount Vesuvius, or even savoring a slice of Naples pizza. But those are all things that you could find on a "Top 10 Things to Do In Italy" website article. The internet can't describe the close-knit bonds I made with the other students. People who, at first glance strangers, became like family within the first week. People who, being from different backgrounds, each had a unique perspective on everything we saw. You can travel to each city alone and see the same artwork, immerse yourself in the same culture, and follow the same itinerary to the dot. But nothing compares to that sense of enlightenment when someone else realizes a small nuance in the work that you would have never seen had you been by yourself. I gained so much on this trip. Yes, knowledge. Yes, leg muscles from all the walking. But most importantly, a newfound respect for the world and the people around me. There's no price on that.

How can this program be improved?
There are so few things I disliked about AHA, but if I could improve upon one thing , it would be some of the hotel choices. At times, the comfort level or even the location relative to where most of our activity was to be were less than ideal. Other than that, the program was beyond my expectations!
Robyn
Female
19 years old
Potomac, Maryland, USA

Unforgettable Experience

Overall
10

I loved my six-week fall program in Italy with AHA and know that it thoroughly prepared me for University life. I learnt a lot about art, architecture, and history while developing valuable life skills along the way. I grew as a person and grasped how to live away from home, travel independently, responsibly have fun, and cooperate with my roommates. As a future architecture major, I appreciated how much I learnt from the course that I can transfer to my studies in 2017. My favorite city that we visited was Florence because we stayed in the heart of the city so it was easy to find activities to do on a night out with friends (plus the food there was amazing). Florence also had amazing art and architecture so the sessions in the city were extremely interesting. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn about art history, develop valuable skills, make amazing friends, have fun, and expand their independence before University.

Ahladini
Female
19 years old

Loved it!

Overall
10

I adored everything about this trip! I took an art history class my last semester of high school and fell in love with the subject so I knew I wanted to do something related to it during my gap year and I found Art History Abroad. Before I went on the trip I was mostly worried because I knew I was one of two or three Americans in a group of mostly English students and English tutors, but once I met everybody and we spent time together it absolutely didn't make a difference and actually made it a lot more fun that we were from different places. Plus, now I have friends to visit in London! The tutors were super knowledgeable and since I wasn't doing the program for credit it was a great way to learn more about this subject I'm interested in without the stress or pressure of an actual classroom. Aside from our morning and afternoon sessions we were pretty much free to roam, which was one of my favorite parts of the setup of the program. With so much free time we really got a chance to get to know the cities and towns we were staying in, trying lots of restaurants, finding the best hidden spots, and meeting locals. As horribly cliché as it sounds, I truly made some friends and memories that will last me a lifetime. I would highly highly recommend this trip to anyone, and especially any Americans out there, it was such a great experience!

How can this program be improved?
Accommodation at times was a bit squished because we would have four girls in one room with one bathroom, but for the most part all right.
Ben
Male
20 years old
Henley-on-Thames UK

Amazing

Overall
10

I have never studied art history as a subject, however there was never a boring moment throughout my time in Italy. The tutors are passionate, thoughtful, knowledgeable, engaging and want nothing more than for you to learn!
I joined AHA for the 6 week course in January to February and I can honestly say I was amazed. If you have an interest in people, places, art, architecture, history, food, wine, travel, you will find this course fantastic.
I fell in love with every city we visited only to fall in love with the next when we moved on - it's remarkable how many places you may end up visiting that aren't on the schedule!
This experience with AHA was truly inspiring and will stay with me for a very long time.

How can this program be improved?
I don't know, it was amazing
Ava
Female
19 years old
London, England
University of Manchester

DO IT

Overall
10

AHA was an incredible 6 weeks with beyond memorable experiences and with friends I will hopefully have forever. The tutors are fun and interactive really bringing more life to a usual dull classroom where I had previously been learning history of art for the last two years. If anything I would recommend anyone to do it who has any tiny sliver of interest in adventure, travelling, art or just a fun thing to do on your gap year or any time in your life!

George
Male
22 years old
Exeter
University of Exeter

A month in Italia with AHA

Overall
10

Writing a review of any given month is a hard task. Writing a review of an entire month in Italy with Art History abroad is truly gargantuan. The sheer variety of activity from reading Dante in Verona, joining the victorious contrada for their triumphal banquet in Siena to learning how to be a Gondolier in Venice is extraordinary and it would be an easy task to write an extended piece about any of these events.
It was such a pleasure and a privelege to be so immersed in Italian culture lead by tutors whose passion both for Italy and the art we saw was so infectious that I believe anyone no matter how uninterested in art would have enjoyed themselves and profited greatly from the trip.
The organisation was thorough both on an overall level and day to day. Everything was pre booked and there was not a single moment in a month when there was any logistical hiccup, testament both to the tutors on the ground but also clearly a well oiled machine behind the scenes.
If I was pressed to pick a single "favourite" aspect I would have to pick the atmosphere and the camaraderie present in the group. By this I mean the manner in which we as students were encouraged to discuss culture in a way that we do not normally have time nor the inclination to do so. This took place at so many different points and in so many different ways, from being asked to read poetry on our night time gondola ride to simply being challenged in our own presuppositions and perspectives. It is a hard thing to articulate but rather than being teachers and taught we were simply a group revelling in our surroundings and challenging each others perspectives on what we were seeing. I feel priveleged to have been a part.

Layla
Female
20 years old
Norfolk, England
Other

An immeasurably valuable experience!

Overall
10

It is always difficult to convey what an AHA course entails exactly, and what every student will inevitably gain from the trip. Phrases like "study abroad" and "guided tour" simply do not do this magically all-encompassing, fulfilling adventure justice. The impeccable local knowledge of the tutors makes falling into any "tourist traps" highly unlikely. For example, I remember thinking how authentically Italian our experience was when we were welcomed to a big celebratory supper in the street with members of this year's winning Contrada of the Palio in Siena. Learning to row gondolas, paper marbling, wine tasting and going to the opera in the Verona Arena are just a mere handful of examples of the experiences outside of Art History that made my four weeks in Italy with AHA so priceless and unforgettably special.
It was a real privilege to examine all art and architecture in situ. This, combined with such rigorous expertise and infectious enthusiasm of the tutors meant that each day was revelatory and enriching in some way, and the act of learning felt effortless.
Joining a course with AHA is immeasurably valuable and I cannot recommend it enough!

Max
Male
21 years old
London
Courtauld Institute of Art

A fascinating cultural experience where one is properly immersed in all things Italian.

Overall
10

In a heavy rain storm one afternoon in Rome we were rushing back to the hotel and passed the Pantheon, and so decided to take shelter in it. Seeing the rain streaming through the oculus really brought home why geniuses like Brunelleschi were so fascinated with such ambitious Roman engineering. It's original function as something dedicated to 'all Gods' also was evident as it's very much at the mercy of the elements, and this classical harmony seemed almost reverential to the power of Mother Nature and the Gods.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe be given some reading about some of the things you're seeing to focus you?
Hannah
Female
21 years old
Cheshire
Newcastle University

AHA 6 week course

Overall
10

Before starting the course I had never studied art history formally, and I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I needn't have worried, however, as the tutors were extremely supportive and their passion and enthusiasm allowed my love of art history to grow throughout the course.

The course was a great way of meeting new people and learning about Italian culture. In the evenings, the meals together were a good way of getting to know the other people on the course and they were also just really good fun. The tutors knew of local places off the beaten track with amazing food.

I thoroughly enjoyed the weeks I spent in Italy and would wholeheartedly recommend AHA to anyone with an interest in art history.

Emily
Female
18 years old
London, England

Best 6 weeks ever!

Overall
10

I had the most amazing time on the AHA course and would recommend it anyone even if they have never done History of Art before. I hadn't done History of Art before and it wasn't a problem as the tutors are very good at explaining everything as well as keeping it interesting with games and their general enthusiasm bouncing between paintings and sculpture starts to resemble some kind of dance!

Spending 6 weeks with 15 other people also means you get to know them well and hopefully make life long friends ships. The evenings spent in bars and restaurants are great fun and an easy way to break the ice when you don't know anyone else.

Some special moments were the Scrovegni Chapel, a private tour of St. Marks, visiting the underground Etruscan tunnels and visiting a textile factory in Venice. I can't think of a better way to spend 6 weeks.

Charlie
Male
18 years old
Leeds
Newcastle University

My Experience with AHA

Overall
10

My second AHA course was probably the best six weeks of my life, the first one wasn't bad either. I'm no kind of art historian but the truth is you really don't need to be. Obviously it's sick for art nuts but it's also insane for those who ain't really bothered, because afterwards you are definitely bothered!

The tutors are more like learned puppies dressed in neon than dingy old professors decked out in tweed. These serial fun lovers are never happier bouncing from masterpiece to masterpiece, whilst making frequent pit stops in local bars to discuss the highlights of the day over a glass of wine. As well as knowing a s***tload about art they also know the coolest places to eat, drink and just generally chill!!! They are honestly the funnest, coolest, most hilarious (with exceptions(you know who you are)) people I've ever met!!

The other students are also awsome!! Granted it's a bit daunting spending 6 weeks with 15 people you never met before, but a 2 hour plane ride and the first of many bar crawls really break the ice, and a while you realise how lucky you are to be around such rockstars!

All that's left to say is that the food literally blows you mind and I'm seriously considering doing a 3rd course!!!

How can this program be improved?
Merchandise!!!! T-shits, hoodies, mugs, caps, banners, pyjamas (definitely), notbooks.... That sorta thing
Dominique
Female
23 years old
West Yorkshire, England

Time of my Life

Overall
10

I would recommend the AHA course to anyone interseted in Art History, even if you've never studied it before. It's a well constructed course and I feel more confident going to university to study Art History, having never studied it before. I loved how we travelled around Italy, which enabled us to get a feel for Italian culture. The tutors were utterly amazing and their enthusiasm for teaching us really made the course a marvellous experience. I've made so many new friends and had such a fantastic time. My advice for others is to just get yourself on the course!! Thank you AHA!!

How can this program be improved?
To have t-shirts for the trip.
Emma
Female
23 years old
United Kingdom
University of Cambridge

Wish I could do it again

Overall
10

Having studied History of Art at A Level and planning to do it at university I decided to go on this trip essentially to get a basis of Western Art History and see some of the stuff I had learnt about. However it more than exceeded my expectations as we were taken to so loads of stuff I hadn't even heard of and even the works I had studied were presented from a totally new perspective. We also learnt about general history as well as a bit of Italian language, literature and poetry which I wasn't expecting but loved!

The tutors were all incredibly interesting and at no point did I feel like I was in a lesson or being lectured at. They were also so much fun and their local knowledge really helped. Everything was planned out but a good amount of free days gave us the chance to do what we want and explore the cities in our own way.

Finally, the best thing about the course was the people. Everyone was so lovely and I couldn't have hoped for better people to spend six weeks travelling around Italy with. Highlights that come to mind would be the Scrovegni Chapel, bar crawling round Siena and Naples in general (don't be scared by its reputation!). Definitely the best way to see Italy and I would definitely recommend this course to anyone, whether you're doing Art History or not.

Thanks for the best six weeks!

Alexandra
Female
23 years old
United Kingdom
University of Edinburgh

Wish it was longer!

Overall
10

I had the most amazing time on AHA and would recommend it to absolutely everyone!

The tutors are all phenomenal, teaching you all about the Italian language, their art, culture, religion etc. Having not previously studied History of Art I was initially a little apprehensive, but luckily found that I was not alone and the tutors methods meant that I did not need to worry at all.

I can also safely say that AHA gives you some of the most amazing (and hopefully life long) friendships with the fellow students and even the tutors, having already arranged multiple reunions!

A special mention must be made to all of the special activities that we got to do - thank you so much Lavinia for the 11 course meals at Titignano, the rowing lesson in Venice and the textile factory we visited - these things really made the course special, differentiating AHA from just your standard holiday with family/friends!

I will never forget all of the wonderful memories I have of AHA and honestly can't think of a better way to spend a holiday/gap year. Thank you so much AHA!

How can this program be improved?
Wish it was longer! (ps: they do have a semester course)
Olivia
Female
23 years old
London
University of Liverpool

Chin chin!

Overall
10

Very interesting time spent travelling around Italy and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The tutors were very approachable and always willing to answer questions as and when and help when required!

The hotels that we stayed in were very comfortable!

Clio
Female
18 years old
Sydney, Australia

Absolutely amazing

Overall
10

Had the most brilliant 6 weeks in Italy on AHA - would recommend it to everyone! The tutors were so enthusiastic, the people on my course were lovely and I can't think of a better way to travel around Italy and appreciate its culture.

How can this program be improved?
I don't think I have any criticism!
Fenella
Female
23 years old
London

I want to go back

Overall
10

It hasn't even been a week since I returned from the 6 week Gap course and I would love to return even if it's not specifically the same course.

I would like to thank AHA for giving me the absolute time of my life. I have never been to Italy and it was certainly the way to do my first visit as, thanks to the tutors knowledge, I have now come back knowing more about the Italian culture and history than I probably would have done if I went on a family trip.

I did art history for A-level and I have definitely learnt many new things. but do not worry you can come on this course not know a thing about art history and come back having had an incredible and inspiring time. The tutors are fantastic in not only in their Italian knowledge but also their general loveliness.

I came back not only learning about art but also religion, myths, history, language and politics. I will certainly remember the liveliness of the place for example the corner cafes and restaurants spilling out divine aromas and filled with the friendly locals. The locals were very welcoming especially when they knew you were trying your hardest to attempt speaking their language even if the pronunciation wasnt at its best.

The food is also amazing - different parts have their specialities.

You get to meet a whole range of people on the course. I have made some special friendships just in six weeks.

I will never forget the memories I made and being able to live Italian life in such a beautiful setting.

Thank you.

Chuck
Male
23 years old
United States

AHA Review

Overall
10

I loved every day of this trip, both learning about art and making new friends. AHA is a fantastic organization that takes an interest in its students. There are heaps of examples like this, but a couple of instructors actually organized a surprise birthday celebration for me.

I cannot imagine a better way to travel through Italy, one of the most beautiful places on Earth, than with 10-20 friends your age and experts in their field showing you around churches and museums.

How can this program be improved?
Probably but I have no idea how. What am I, your supervisor?
Livvy
Female
23 years old
United Kingdom

Unforgettable

Overall
10

Thank you AHA, for giving me the absolute time of my life. It’s been 2 months and I'm still obsessed with how amazing this trip was. I probably will be for the rest of my life. I would say to all those going on this trip that you can come and not know ANYTHING about Italy/history of art and still have the most incredible and truly inspiring time.
The tutors were fantastic. Not one of them disappointed on Italian knowledge and just general loveliness. As well as showing you the most beautiful art and architecture you will ever see, they succeed in giving you an all-round Italian education. I learnt not only about art but history, religion, poetry, politics, myths, food, language, film ...... i could go on forever. They instil in you a deep and endless love of Italy.
The hotels were lovely and perfectly located within each city and the FOOD… you will dream about it upon your return. Nothing can beat the beautiful little restaurants and coffee shops filled with delicious aromas and chattering locals.
But most of all… the people. I cannot find the words to express my happiness ENOUGH at having had the chance to meet such wonderful people on this course. I never imagined I could create such special friendships in just 6 weeks.
I am so grateful to AHA - I feel like a new person. I will never, ever forget those few idyllic weeks spent with such wonderful people and in such a beautiful setting. Thank you.

How can this program be improved?
Make it longer!
James
Male
18 years old
New York City

Just Such a Lovely Way to Spend Six Weeks

Overall
10

AHA's short course, whatever they call it, the one where it's six weeks long and it's in Italy, is that one which I did, and let me tell you, dear reader, it's just lovely. The course travels around Italy for six weeks visiting, more or less in order, Rome, Naples, Titignano, Sienna, Florence, Verona, Castelfranco, and last but more than least, la bella Venezia. As you may have gathered from the name of the program, it deals with art history, in quite the best place possible, i.e. right up close and very personal with the art. Drawing from the greats of the three canonical extra-double-important Renaissance art, those being painting, sculpture, and architecture, AHA really shows you round the block. You see the big names (did you know they just leave the Colosseum lying out in the open? They don't throw a tarp over it or nothing) like Michelangelo, and Caravaggio, and Giotto, and Titian, all them fancy-ass folks. More importantly, you'll be in the company of the AHA tutors, which are a group of people that are as friendly as they are bonkers intelligent, which is quite a bit. Seriously speaking, the tutors know a staggering amount about the art you're looking at, and they will share it with you. They also have usually done the trips several times before, and will know useful little tidbits like when you need to book two slots for looking at a Giotto chapel. Just perk-type things. On a day to day basis, you'll start somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00, following (or not, you can probably do without it) what is admittedly a usually meager hotel breakfast. Fear not, however, because after a morning of art and adventure you will get to sample of the great Italian traditions, i.e. lunch. Also dinner, but more on that later. Meals will be exclusively at restaurants, and there are some good ones. Apologize to your local pizza place in advance, because upon your return they will seem lackluster in the face of the world-class Neapolitan stuff. After lunch, you will continue on till five-ish or so looking at, learning about, and marveling over the choicest bits of artistic fare available. Bear in mind for you Americans, anywhere from all to half of the people you'll be with will be British, which is just looooooovely. Dinner will be with a whole group of you, and following that the tutors will likely take all those disposed to a local drinkery for some drinking. Incidentally, the drinking age in Italy is 18, now isn't that wonderful. Highlights will include nights to remember (or forget), as well as such things as Michelangelo's Pieta and David, Caravaggio's Amore Dormiente and Calling of Saint Mathew, Bernini's Pluto and Proserpine, Titian's Venus of something or other, all close enough to spit (please don't), as well as some of the best food you'll have ever had.

How can this program be improved?
You will be staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and washing your clothes in laundromats and sinks for six weeks. Comforts of home there are not, but that goes with the territory. Also it's raather pricey.
Mia
Female
23 years old
Manila, Philippines
Other

This program changed my life!

Overall
10

It has been 2 weeks since the trip and not a day goes by where I don't look through photos and try to recount every single moment that happened during the most amazing 6 weeks I have ever had. I entered the course with a vague knowledge of Art History, politics, architecture, religion, mythology, etc., and now being back home I can say that joining AHA changed my life completely. The people I got to spend 6 weeks with were some of the most incredible people I have ever met, and the tutors didn't even feel like conventional teachers to us. Most lectures just felt like listening to a friend telling amazing stories about the culture of Italy. Every single tutor was brilliant and engaging and they really took the time to go out, have fun, and get to know each and everyone of us.

I highly recommend joining this program, and you don't even need to have any knowledge whatsoever of Art History. If I could relive something in my life, it definitely would be reliving my experience with AHA.

Ed
Male
23 years old
London

don't read this just go

Overall
10

About two weeks have now passed since the course I was on ended. Only now do I realise how special it was, and how much it sucks now not being out there.

AHA exceeded my expectations enormously. I was wrong even to doubt about going on it in the first place, and even having studied art history at school and having been to a couple of the places we went to, I learnt so much.

I cannot fault the 6 weeks I had with AHA. It would be impossible for me to tell you whether it was more informative or more fun because they were just as strong as the other. The tutors are not only informative, but they are young-hearted people too and more than up for a laugh. There is never a sense of being treated like a schoolkid. Help was also at hand, whenever you needed it.

A friend on the trip made this video of our trip, and it is impossible for me to spot the tutors because the tutors were more friends than tutors.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnNCvGJ7THo

The video shows what an amazing setting it is to be in for 6 weeks where you are able to forget everything and just enjoy yourself. The food, also can't be forgotten!

However, if there was one highlight for the trip for me, it was the people. Spending 6 weeks with the same people, in that situation, creates some unforgettable moments and amazing friendships.

If you really do ever have any concerns about going on AHA, I'd really reccommend you to contact AHA or anyone who has been on it. Or even, forget that, just go!

Susannah
Female
23 years old
United Kingdom
University of St Andrews

I wish I could do it again!

Overall
10

AHA was absolutely amazing and was definitely the highlight of my gap year. Its three years later and I still talk about it all the time because it was so amazing. It was incredible to see so many works of art and architecture and learn about them from really knowledgeable tutors. It also really felt like we got to know the cities we were in like locals because the tutors knew them so well and took us to places off the beaten track. They knew all the best restaurants and the Italian food was definitely a highlight! The tutors were such a great part of the experience as they were all so much fun, enthusiastic and so good at teaching and making us love the works of art they were telling us about. The course was really well organised and the accommodation was all really central. AHA was such a perfect mix of art, incredible food, wine and people. Going on AHA was definitely one of the best decisions I've made and I would highly recommend it.

Izzy
Female
18 years old
London, United Kingdom

I want to do it all over again!

Overall
10

If you are reading this and not taking a Gap Year, either beg your university for a deferred place and get yourself on this course or join the summer program.

The AHA tutors brought the art and architecture of Italy to life and there is nothing better than learning about the wonders of the Classical and Renaissance world in situ. I came back more knowledgeable than ever. The days were perfectly planned out and relaxing, shared with people who I hope to keep in contact with for many years to come. I can't thank the tutors and the people enough for giving me the best six weeks.

Please do not think you have to study or be interested in Art History to partake in this course. Yes, some people on the autumn program were going to study the subject at university; however, others were studying psychology, geography, graphic design and biology. This just underlines the interdisciplinary nature of Art History- it encompasses everything. Make sure you bring a notebook and pen as you will want to remember everything you learnt. People in my group that didn't hugely regretted that.

All the other reviews below have taken the words out of my mouth for how i want to describe the course, so instead of just repeating myself, anyone is more than welcome to ask me specific questions it.

How can this program be improved?
It doesn't need to be improved, but if i had to say some things:

- Accommodation: every hotel was great, however (I personally didn't experience this problem) some rooms were too small for the amount of people sleeping in them.

-Perhaps a few handouts before each class?

-Tutors coming and going: it breaks the students heart when the tutors have to leave- can't they stay the whole time?!
Samuel
Male
18 years old
United Kingdom

10/10 Excellent course

Overall
10

Whether you are studying history of art at university or just have a passion for the subject, AHA caters for everyone providing a comprehensive education on the arts whilst immersing yourself in the culture of the country that you are in. In your free time one can find themselves wandering through the streets of Florence or Venice and enriching themselves in the Italian lifestyle and culture, in this sense AHA provides a balance between teaching and allowing the students to discover for themselves. In total I had a great experience and would recommend this course to anyone with a passion for the arts or a desire to broaden their horizons.

Brilliana
Female
23 years old
London
University of Cambridge

5 star trip!

Overall
10

I could not recommend AHA more. The six week course is perfect for a gap year, and I found it hugely useful when I went on to study History of Art at university.

This is not just any old History of Art course, it is unbelievably special because you get to see every work of art you are learning about at first hand. No lecture theatres, or slides, but the real deal. I was fascinated and inspired to be learning about paintings in situ, it really helped me understand the context in which the paintings were created. One real highlight was when we were given a tour of Saint Mark's in Venice after public hours, we were the only people in there which was such a luxury, and I think we all lay on the floor to look at the glittering mosaics!

The tutors were brilliant- this is one of the key factors of the course. They are so intelligent, enthusiastic, young and fun. They know all the cities like the back of their hand- from hidden away churches, the best-aperitvo-bars, to the most delicious restaurants. There was a lovely mix of people my age on the course, who I am still in touch with.

I never ate more / better gelati, pasta, or papperdelle. The food was a real highlight!

Such a fantastic combination of history of art, fantastic tutors and teaching, wonderful food, and great fun!

Augusta
Female
23 years old
London, Edinburgh and Charlottesville, Virginia
University of Edinburgh

Take me back!

Overall
10

It is now nearly three years since I participated in AHA's six week course in Italy and yet it continues to stand out as the most fun, rewarding and invigorating experience I have been privileged to have. The course is exceptionally well organised, the tutors are unsurpassed and the other participants continue to be life long friends. AHA manage to combine the most famous important works and key sights with those that are off the beaten track. I left each city feeling like a local and the tutors' knowledge of the best bars, restaurants or scenic views make the experience completely unique. The enthusiasm for art, literature, sculpture, architecture, history and so much more is infectious. You are immersed in so much but AHA has a way of committing what you learn to knowledge. I joined the course with very little knowledge of history of art and left being able to recite names of various Popes and give a criticism of Caravaggio's major works!! My only criticism is that six weeks doesn't feel like long enough! AHA inspired more in that short time than my fourteen years of schooling and I am still so grateful that I was able to be involved. AHA is for anyone who is curious, energetic, ready for adventure and a fan of Italian food and wine!

Marie
Female
23 years old
London, UK
Courtauld Institute of Art

Please let me do it all again!

Overall
10

Whilst planning my gap year, I toyed with the idea of travelling alone around Italy for copious amounts of time. My main purpose being to visit the art I had learned about and loved whilst studying Art History A Level. When hearing about Art History Abroad, I was absolutely fascinated with what they had to offer - from a private candlelit tour of St. Marks in Venice, to climbing Mount Vesuvius in Naples. Having spoken to a handful of the tutors, each as enthusiastic as the other, I decided to sign all forms and enrol in the course. Having experienced those six weeks now, I still cannot begin to emphasise how much the trip exceeded all expectations. I joined the course not knowing anybody but from day one I was fully immersed with the 19 other like-minded students and fantastic tutors. Starting in Rome and ending in Venice, passing places including, Naples, Siena, Florence and Verona, we were able to skip queues of the Academia , eat where only locals would eat and continuously develop such an enthusiasm and appreciation for the profuse amount of art Italy has to offer. The difference between going alone and with AHA is that, due to the company's vast experience with the trip, they know what works. They know how much time should be allowed to admire Giotto's frescoes in the Musei Civici Eremitani in Padua, or which little café does the best cappuccinos in Florence. Each day is filled with something new and exciting, with all the teaching located on site. The tutors are of exceptional standard whilst being accessible and fun, with a passion for the arts that is inevitably contagious. The beauty of the trip is that you don't need any previous knowledge of Art, and you are guaranteed to experience something that you have never experienced before. The variety that you experience stretches far further than Renaissance paintings, with sessions observing the work of Jackson Pollock in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, to visiting the Jewish Ghetto of Venice. I could not stress more how much I recommend Art History Abroad as a course. Whatever age, whatever you are studying, if you have an interest in Art, this course will open your eyes to so much more than what you read in books.

How can this program be improved?
Make it longer!
Rebecca
Female
23 years old
Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh

Every tick tock is incredible!

Overall
10

AHA is an amazing and enriching course.
Throughout the six weeks, you are able to enrich your knowledge of not only art history but also mythology, literature, politics and gastronomy; experience Italian culture and, meet extraordinary people.

Tutors are the motor and heart of this programme. They are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about art and Italian culture and this makes every visit to museums, churches, streets, villas and cemeteries amazing and unique. Their explanations and the discussions they bring up can definitely transport you to other times and places.
Moreover, they become great friends with whom to go out on a Monday morning jog; with whom to walk with along Rome's beuatiful and magical streets to find a lavanderia where to remove the wine off your clothes; share some pesto, cheese and dried tomatoes wile listening to a friend reading Keats and, help and support you with any struggle or concern you may have.

Furthermore, I met beautiful and kind-hearted people that I am lucky to consider now as 'friends'. Six months have passed and we can still recall wake up calls, nights out, entertaining visits and funny moments when we meet up.

How can this program be improved?
I enjoyed every part and moment of this program. I just wish it would have lasted longer so that we could have stayed together and in Italy more time.
Lexi
Female
23 years old
Providence, Rhode Island

Espresso's, fresco's, and incredible people

Overall
10

AHA, I've got to say, is one of the chances in my lifetime that I am the most thankful for taking. If you as a parent or gap year hopeful have been searching for programs for days, weeks, maybe even months, then you should take the time to consider this program. Because of the tutor's passion and sincere admiration for the art and architecture being studied, it is nearly impossible not to take interest and engage yourself in group discussion. I found that the tutor to student relationship was easy to establish because the restrictions and awkwardness that a classroom setting sometimes has were completely stripped away. We traveled together, we ate together, we learned together, and were lucky enough to experience Italy unlike the average tourist because of the tutor's familiarities with the country.

If you have a craving to be surrounded by espresso's, fresco's, and incredible people, then I would recommend AHA.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe a day or two more just for the students to venture around whatever city they are in for themselves
Anon
Female
23 years old
London
University of Exeter

Incredible Experience

Overall
10

AHA was one of the most fulfilling things I've done. It was a fun, informative, and all-round incredible experience. The tutors are all fantastic, the art and locations are stunning, and I met some of the best people. I couldn't have asked for more.
I found out about AHA through my sister, who loved it so much that she did 2 of their trips. If you're considering AHA, my advice is to go for it - you won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?
Longer. I enjoyed it that much.
Maya
Female
18 years old
Washington, DC
American University

The Perfect Abroad Experience

Overall
10

I went straight in to college from high school, and therefore didn't take a gap year. However, in high school I'd met Alice Lindsay (one of the tutors) at a gap year fair and I kept in touch with both her and Nick Ross after the fair. When I mentioned that I was travelling to Europe for my summer holiday from college, Nick suggested I see if I could spend part of my time with AHA, and of course I said yes.

Although I only spent the last week with the 6-week AHA group, I felt like I'd been with them longer. I was very nervous to be joining so late in the program, but once I met the students and tutors, I knew I had no reason to be. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. This program is by far the best way to learn a ton about art history while spending time with great people (not to mention eating amazing food!). This trip was incredible. The only regret I have is not spending more time in the program.

How can this program be improved?
There is nothing I would change about this program.
Cassia
Female
23 years old
United Kingdom
University of Cambridge

Ideal Gap Course

Overall
10

I will not/cannot ever forget the wonderful experiences I have had with AHA. The tutors are flawless and individual, giving their own perspectives onto the art and architecture of Italy, but also the other aspects of culture that surrounds AHA students, like food, music, religion, and fun! Six weeks of utter joy!

How can this program be improved?
Accommodation is literally the only thing I could think of. Every hotel was, however, in a fantastic location, perfect for our learning and personal endeavours.
Will
Male
23 years old
London, UK
University of Exeter

AHA: A-OK!!

Overall
10

Simply put, AHA changed my life! I went into the course with a vague and very shallow interest in the History of Art, but came out 6 weeks later with what I feel will be a lifelong passion for the subject. Everything on the course is, to paraphrase Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way; from the fantastic art and architecture we saw, to the unbelievably delicious meals we ate, to the charming (and sometimes brilliantly eccentric) hotels we stayed in.

However, what really makes Art History Abroad standout is the quality of the tuition and the boundless, infectious enthusiasm and energy that its tutors have for the subject material that they are teaching. One is also treated as a peer, rather than a student, so no question is too stupid to ask, no answer too obvious! As well as being great teachers, all of AHA's tutors are genuinely lovely people and cannot do enough to help you in any way possible. This is so much the case that even 3 years on from the course, I'm still in frequent touch with many of the tutors from my course.

Thanks AHA for the gap year experience of a lifetime.

How can this program be improved?
I can honestly say that I would change absolutely nothing on the course, save it lasting forever, rather than just 6 weeks!!
James
Male
23 years old
United Kingdom
Oxford Brookes University

Brilliant

Overall
10

The course was fantastic. The tutors were incredibly knowledgable and fun, making the trips to galleries/churches etc very enjoyable whilst also absorbing extensive information. The accommodation was excellent and always in the best locations. The tutors know all the great local restaurants so the food couldn't be better. I have gained lasting friends and I have learned a great deal about art, and a thirst to learn more.

Catriona
Female
23 years old
London
University of Cambridge

The Grand Tour!

Overall
10

AHA is an incredible company - great tutors, great local knowledge, great at engaging all the participants.

I went on the 6 week course at the start of my gap year and the experience confirmed in my mind that History of Art was the right degree for me to pursue at university. It really reinforced what is so wonderful about the subject with such a comprehensive and captivating tour of art throughout Italy.

I haven't met a single person who went on AHA that has not absolutely loved it.

Maddie
Female
23 years old
London
University of Cambridge

Inspiring experience!

Overall
10

The AHA gap year was incredible amounts of fun. The tutors and all who go are wonderful and nearly 3 years on, I still keep in touch with many of them. To see so much of Italy, learn so much about Italian culture and have so much fun all at the same time is a really rare opportunity I think.

Though you are constantly learning new things, the pace is very relaxed. Visits to churches/museums are interspersed with long, delicious lunches.

Had I not done the course, not only would I have missed out on an amazing experience with wonderful people but my academic and career ambitions would be entirely different. The course ignited a real love of History of Art in me, so much so that it has heavily influenced my paper choices for my History degree, subsequent work experience I have undertaken, and I am now about to apply for an MA in Art History.

Regardless of your background, I can't think of anyone who would not enjoy and get something out of the AHA gap year course. It is so different to much of what else is offered by 'gap year' companies in that it is truly inspiring - I really can't think of a better way of describing it. I would recommend it to all!

How can this program be improved?
Really can't think of any improvements! Great people, great support, wonderful but reasonable accommodation and stunning surroundings everyday. It was an experience of a lifetime and I can't think of a better way to learn and immerse oneself into Italian culture.
Rosie
Female
23 years old
Oxford
University of St Andrews

Once in a lifetime trip

Overall
10

I genuinely don't know how to put how much I love AHA into words. The 6 weeks I spent with AHA were some of the best weeks of my life. I learnt so much Art Historical knowledge which is already helping me with my university course. The tutors teach in such enthusiastic and inspiring way. I made best friends for life and had memories I will remember forever. Anyone thinking of doing this course I cannot tell you how valuable it was and how much fun I had. I would be more than happy to give further feeback/ answer any questions to any of those thinking of doing this course. Defiantly a once in a lifetime trip!

How can this program be improved?
There was not one thing I would change about this course - it is so special.
Maura
Female
18 years old
Hartford, CT
Tufts University

Great, once-in-a-lifetime experience

Overall
10

Choosing AHA was one of the best decisions I made for my Gap Year. The group was a perfect size, accomadations were fantastic and we were able to see Italy from a point of view. The trip did not only teach us a significant amoutn about art, architecture and history, but also about Italian culture, travel and independence. Tutors are beyond helpful and extremely knowledgable. They were also incredibly approachable and have stayed in touch even two years later. The trip is perfect for any student who wishes to explore Italy and appreciate its amazing culture and history, while forming incredible bonds with new people!

Alex
Male
23 years old
New York, New York
Middlebury College

I Had an Incredible Time

Overall
10

I had an excellent trip to Italy with AHA last Spring. I was taking a gap year and, even though I had not studied art history, thought it would be nice to spend some time learning about it in the best place for art history in the world: Italy! If I could rate AHA's tutors higher than a "10" I would--they were fantastic. Every single one was energetic, knowledgeable, kind, supportive, and so much more. They kept our days engaging and fun and had great suggestions for our free time. They were all experts in the cities that we were in--I wish I could take them with me whenever I visit a new place!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can't think of any changes that I would make to the program. Our days were filled with visits to interesting sites, including museums and historical locations. At the sites the tutors did more than lecture--they fielded questions, gave tours (after we skipped all of the lines), and organized activities (I won't mention them so as not to ruin the surprise for anyone that does join AHA). The fact that I still keep in touch with a number of my tutors speaks, I think, to how truly engaged they were during our time there. They love their jobs and it shows.

I would recommend the AHA 6-week Gap Year Course to anyone looking to learn art history from the best tutors in the best place.
Sam
Male
23 years old
Boston, MA

Best 6 weeks of my life!

Overall
10

The only downside to this trip, is the walking.. Every day you're out exploring an italian city, seeing masterpieces and learning history that was only ever taught to me through a text book, And after the first couple of weeks you really start to feel it in your legs, or atleast i did. I would recomend bringing some comfortable shoes!
There's really nothing about this trip that i would have them change, everyday you're surrounded by interesting kids from all different backrounds, some interested in an art field, like me, and some just interested in spending 6 weeks in Italy exploring the beautiful country and making friends along the way.
The tutors are awsome, ALL OF THEM, and they really get you involved and interested in the day-to-day lessons. Some of my best memories from the trip, came after the lessons, when the whole group is out for dinner engaged in discussions with some of the most lively people youl meet, the fun never stops when you take this trip, if i could do it again i would sign up in a heartbeat.

(Typed from my iphone, sorry for spelling mistakes)

How can this program be improved?
If i could change one thing, i would make the "free day" that you have in naples, changed to a day trip to Capri. The free day is a cool idea, basically you can do whatever you want for one day, do laundry, go explore, chill out in the hotel and just relax.. But what i strongly recomend doing is changing that day into a trip out to this paradise island. Its only a 20 or so min. Walk from the hotel to the harbor, and from there a 30-45 min boat ride away, and once there youl know what beauty looks like, and although pretty much everything there is expensive, i say its worth every cent. Right after you get off the boat and step onto the island, there are signs for a tour of the Grotto Azurro, a trip i missed out on, but have been told by others is like no place else in the world. Strongly recomend going, if not just making the trip to Capri part of the AHA schedual.

About The Provider

Study art, architecture and European culture in Italy, France and London for a semester in the Autumn, 6 weeks during the Gap Year or a 2-4 week Summer holiday course. Art History Abroad programmes are carefully structured and brilliantly taught so that art and culture come to life. We believe in a few simple truths: that art is best taught in the presence of the real thing and that tutor groups (of 9 students or fewer) should encourage discourse and expression. AHA tutors travel with the course, providing a friendly, enthusiastic approach, which has been an inspiration to countless students over the past 27 years. Open to students of all disciplines, attendees need only an enquiring mind.