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.

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

100%
based on 48 reviews
  • Housing 8.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
  • Benefits 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Facilities 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 31 - 45 of 48
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Izzy
10/10

I want to do it all over again!

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?!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samuel
10/10

10/10 Excellent course

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Brilliana
10/10

5 star trip!

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Augusta
10/10

Take me back!

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Marie
10/10

Please let me do it all again!

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!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rebecca
10/10

Every tick tock is incredible!

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Lexi
10/10

Espresso's, fresco's, and incredible people

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
Yes, I recommend this program
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Anon
10/10

Incredible Experience

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Maya
10/10

The Perfect Abroad Experience

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Cassia
10/10

Ideal Gap Course

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Will
10/10

AHA: A-OK!!

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!!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
James
10/10

Brilliant

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Catriona
10/10

The Grand Tour!

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Maddie
10/10

Inspiring experience!

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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rosie
10/10

Once in a lifetime trip

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.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Art History Abroad

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...