Art History Abroad | Summer Gap Courses in Italy

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About

If you are between 17 and 22, AHA's 2-4 weeks courses are a brilliant way to pass some of the summer while doing something worthwhile and of real value. Study many of the greatest works of art on site while travelling through Italy. Carefully structured, this course is an excellent overview of art history for those new to the subject and particularly useful to those already studying it. There are two courses: Northern Italy, which travels to Venice, Florence & Rome, and then there is the adventurous Southern Italy Course which travels from Naples and Pompeii to Sicily. Some students do both courses and stay in Italy for a month.

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Reviews

9.79 Rating
based on 29 reviews
  • Housing 8.8
  • Support 9.9
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.5
  • Program Selection 10
  • Pre-departure Help 10
  • In-program Support 10
  • Impact on Student 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 29
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Ella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Once In A Lifetime Experience

Travelling to Italy for two weeks with Art History Abroad was one of the most exciting and inspiring experiences of my life. I knew so little about art history beforehand, but I learnt a phenomenal amount in such a short space of time and I am still now inspired by it!
The tutors were unbelievably enthusiastic about their subject and they made every ‘lesson’ so fascinating and always such fun. They were clearly enjoying themselves and this enthused us students all the more. There was quite literally not one single dull moment.
I made friends for life on the course. We ate, drank, laughed, danced, painted and sang our way through three fabulous cities and shared so many wonderful and unexpected experiences. Highlights ranged from a spontaneous silent disco in a beautiful square in Venice to a private opera performance from one of our tutors on one of the bridges and from ‘nun-splitting’ in the Vatican to devouring delicious pizza and gelato. Another amazing experience was watching the sunrise, with prosecco, over the roman forum on our last morning before our flight home. This trip really had it all.
I had never been to Italy before and to physically step into the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican and many wonderful churches and museums, rather than just looking at them in books, was unbelievable and I fell in love with it all. To learn by experiencing something first hand is unbeatable.
This trip really was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Not knowing anyone one else going on the trip was scary and I was really nervous. However, everyone was so friendly and I had made good friends before we had even got on the plane. I also found that I had connections to multiple of the people on the trip, such as knowing the same friends outside of the course. Everyone is scared and nervous at the beginning but therefore everyone is really friendly.
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Anousha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Southern 1

I had an amazing two weeks on the AHA southern course! We saw the beautiful Naples and ended up visiting many towns in Sicily, a poorer part of Italy yet still so stunning, and full of incredible architecture as well as some breathtaking Caravaggio paintings. The tutors were incredible - so much fun but also so passionate and knowledgeable, full of information and fun facts about the art! I learned a huge deal of fascinating things but also made some amazing friends! I love history of art but it’s not something I’m thinking of studying, nonetheless I would recommend this course for anyone because with the art comes friendships, happiness and the building of a group. Thank you so much to AHA for a truly unforgettable course.

Anousha O’Malley

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Oliver
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fit for Any Student

I went into this program having little to no knowledge and experience in art history; in fact, the only art related courses I had taken in school were the easiest ones I could find to fulfill my art requirements. But I am a fond believer in exploring outside your comfort zone, so I decided to give this course a shot, and I am so glad I did. The tutors are all so engaging and funny that even if would not normally be particularly interested in the subject that they are teaching about, you will still find yourself engaged in the lesson and enjoying every minute of it. Additionally, the tutors cover such a wide variety of topics and take the students on so many different activities, that you are bound to find things that truly interest you. The summer course is a very fast paced course and you are traveling around quite a bit, but as long as you utilize the free time provided to get any rest you may need, you should have no problem at all. And if there ever is any problem, the tutors are incredibly approachable and helpful, so if you ever, say, swap bags with someone at the London airport, they will do everything in their power to help you get the bag back and keep the mind off the fact you've been wearing the same pair of clothes for nearly a week! While the lessons and activities are a joy to partake in, the most valuable experiences for me were the relationships I had formed with the incredible tutors and fellow students. This group will become like a family abroad, with some pretty hip parents I might add, and if nothing else, you will have such a great time exploring the beautiful country of Italy with them.

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Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An absolutely amazing experience

I didn't know what to expect when I flew to Italy for AHA, but wow - it was a wonderful, life-changing trip. As I'd hoped, I learned so much about the world through art history during my time in Italy, but I also made some of the best friends I've ever met. How can I describe my tutors... words really wouldn't do justice to how much I enjoyed their company. I think it's so nice that I can stay in touch and go and visit them in the future. The same for my peers - we came from different places around the world, but everybody was friendly and open-minded. Our trip was the perfect balance of learning, laughing, and having fun. We saw the most beautiful art pieces of all time, we visited some of the most beautiful views I've ever seen, and we shared some of the most beautiful conversations I've ever had (blackcurraant :).

I was quite unsure of what direction I wanted to take in life before this trip, but AHA helped me so much in figuring out what I want to do and the people I want to be with.
GRAZIE to all of my tutors, peers, and people who made this trip possible. I won't forget you!

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Omi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Looking back 3 years later, AHA was amongst the best things I did on my year out

I found AHA's program online and was keen on doing an art history course as I was going to study History at university but knew my course wouldn't extend too far into arts and wanted to do an academic course whilst having the fun of being in a group with people my age and to travel. AHA really hits the nail on the head with this combination - to learn about a painting, sculpture, or architecture and the history of a city/town whilst you're in it is entirely different to learning about it from a classroom. 3 years later I continue to look back at AHA fondly and wish I could do it all over again. I enjoyed the company of everyone on my course and keep in touch with many of my tutors and peers regularly.

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Henry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Perfect balance of fun and learning

The weeks I spent with AHA were some of the best in my life. The learning experience was wonderfully led and there was a mutual respect between the tutors and the students which I haven't encountered yet. It was fascinating to learn about Southern Italy and it's extremely rich cultural history. There was a large spread of different sites and something to interest everyone. It was also very amazing being put with other people of your own age who share an interest in History of Art. I made some very good friends during the two short weeks.

What would you improve about this program?
I hate to quote someone who has left a review before me, but it was literally perfect.
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Yiwen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Northern and Southern Italy Combination Course

I highly recommend the AHA combination course of Northern and Southern Italy. We went all the way from Venice to Sicily in four weeks, and enjoyed a lot of amazing art ranging from Greco-Roman ruins to Renaissance and Baroque paintings and some interesting art shows that juxtaposed ancient archeological finds with contemporary art. Sometimes the traveling schedule might be really intense, and socializing with a group of people all the time can be stressful. But on the other hand, this was also a life lesson for me to get out of my comfort zone. Overall, I feel that I have learnt in this course more than just the canonical art history, but moreover experienced different kinds of art and tried to think beyond the single narrative of art history. Definitely, Italy and this traveling course have made a precious mark on my life.

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Jude
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Southern Tour

I really enjoyed all of the trip and thought that above all it was organised perfectly. There is great balance between learning and fun which made the two weeks great. The tutors know everything needed to have an easy and fun trip around Naples and Sicily. Highlights include seeing a wide variety of Caravaggio paintings, the Cathedral in Syracuse and the bronze sculptures in Messina. The trip is certainly worth anything and I recommend that everyone should do it.