Art History Abroad | The Autumn European Semester Program

Video and Photos

Students visiting Monet's house in Giverny
Students visiting Monet's house in Giverny
Olive picking in Podere Ebbi, Tuscany
Olive picking in Podere Ebbi, Tuscany
Semester students outside St Paul's Cathedral, London
Semester students outside St Paul's Cathedral, London
Bridge at sunset, Verona
Bridge at sunset, Verona

About

Starting college in the spring or taking a Gap Year? Why not kick start your time doing something worthwhile with this amazing leap into European culture. Beginning with two weeks in London, the course focuses on art, power and the nature of European politics. It then moves to Paris and the South of France to study modernism. Next we move to the beautiful hilltop town of Montepulciano in Tuscany for two weeks of cultural immersion through Italian language learning and a home-stay. We also take this time to study other aspects of Italian culture, such as cookery, film and drawing. The idea is to use our time well and develop new skills. The Semester Program then joins the autumn Gap Course for an in depth exploration of Italy and European civilisation as described next.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

99%
based on 15 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 15
Default avatar
Anwyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful Program

This program was wonderful and taught me a great deal about art history. All the tutors are immensely knowledgable, and having the opportunity to visit so many significant historical sites in person was an amazing experience. The course was also very fun socially, and provides a great opportunity to make lifelong friends. It is challenging and engaging, and is also a program that will certainly make anyone who takes it change as a person and grow. There were many different aspects of the course, and many different periods of art history were covered, making it quite expansive and informative. The quality of the information delivered by the tutors and the quantity of incredible sites that were in the itinerary, as well as the opportunities for social interaction made this a truly unforgettable program.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be sensible and aware of yourself and your surroundings, and savour the time that you have on the course, as it is an amazing once in a lifetime experience.
Default avatar
Lilly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing gap year experience!!

I attended the AHA Semester program in 2015. I completed two courses I fell so throughly in love with it. I met some of my closest friends from all over the globe that I still stay in touch with and see regularly. The tutors were extremely knowledgable and enthusiastic about teaching and inspired a life-long passion in art history in me....I am now an art history major going to university in Florence if that's any indication for you. I plan on becoming a Renaissance professor after I get my masters' degree in art history. AHA made me fall in love with art history and find what passion I wanted to follow as a career. The hotels and inns included are charming and quintessentially Italian. The groups and tutors always have engaging conversation over traditional, delicious Italian antipasti. Italy is a dream and AHA is too....don't wait, just GO!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing.not a thing. not a thing nota thing not a thing not a thing not a thing
Default avatar
Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience

This program was a dream come true. I made friendships that will last a lifetime. The tutors were amazing! I would wake up each day excited to see which new adventure I was going to embark on. This is the program for you if you are into art history and the European culture. Submerging myself into Europe made me fall in love with this continent that was so new to me at the moment. The best part of the trip was being able to take a hands on approach into different art and cultures. This trip made me more worldly and independent. I came back as a stronger person and I could not thank AHA enough. The overall experience made me grow as a person and has made me continue the path of art history into college in Florence, Italy. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life and I can’t wait to share my story with everyone!

What would you improve about this program?
Everything was absolutely amazing! The tutors were friendly, informative and were always there for you! I was happy, comfortable, and most importantly, safe.
Will
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Trip!

I went on the full 3 month September throughout December trip, and it was one of the best experiences ever. Sure it wasn’t perfect, but I loved the “tutors” - the people who were leading us everyday and teaching learning sessions, and I met so many great people. I would recommend this trip to anyone who says they want to travel to Europe during their gap year. We travelled to so many cities: London, Stratford (English Countryside), Paris, Nice, Montepulciano (Tuscany), Rome, Naples, Siena, Florence, Verona, Castelfranco, and Venice. The first six weeks is a smaller group and then once in Italy- more people join- which was difficult at first because we had become settled into our original group but everything eventually calmed down and the groups integrated and we got to meet more amazing people. I would even recommend this trip to people who don’t particularly love art history- like me- because I had such an amazing time learning about it and it’s not even what I’m pursuing in college. Plus, the program gives us ample free time to explore the city for ourselves or just hang out with your new friends. Would go back in a heartbeat!

What would you improve about this program?
Sometimes the students weren’t always kept in the know about what was going on- but that was a very minor issue.
Default avatar
Maayan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Stop what you're doing and sign up for AHA!!!

This was honestly the best three months I've had in a long time!!! I learned so much about art history, being a traveller around Europe, and about myself on this trip! And I made such good friends who cared about my contributions to the course and were simply some of the raddest people i have ever met and were amazingly fun whether we were learning or just hanging! I feel really good about being independent now and I feel like I learned a lot about Art History as well as brushed up on my European history significantly. Even though I've never had any formal training in Art history, I felt like the information was taught in such a great way that my lack of experience didn't negatively impact my overall understanding. Which brings me to the amazing, awesome, rad, super smart, fun, and interesting tutors who absolutely made this experience for me! They work really hard and care about your wellbeing and growth as a student and a friend. I feel like I am a better person for going on this trip and I would recommend it to anyone! Thanks AHA!

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

Been home a day and already dying to go back

If you are even remotely considering joining AHA – Do it! You won’t regret it.

I joined the course having next to no knowledge of art history nor any intention of pursuing it in the future, and I can say with absolute certainty that choosing AHA was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

The tutors are all amazing. In addition to being some of the coolest human beings I have yet to encounter, they are all brilliant in their own way and offer unique and exciting ways to understand the information and to connect with the art pieces and places.

Not only have I walked away from the course with an in-depth understanding of European art and architecture within the historical context, but I have also gained an appreciation for the Italian culture – the beautiful way of life. Furthermore, in just eight weeks, I have become extremely confident as a person and international traveler, have formed life-long friendships, and have made memories I will take with me for the rest of my life.

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

An Adventure You'll Never Forget

My original intention for going on this three month long trip around Europe was to learn as much as I possibly could about art history, visit countless art museums & galleries and maybe enjoy the different cultures I was exposed to as well. Not only did I achieve my original goals but I also did something that I didn't expect to do. learn as much as I possibly could about art history. I made unforgettable bonds with people from all over the world. This is kind of a crazy thing for me because I usually am painfully shy and suffer from anxiety which made me a nervous wreck the first few days in London. I remember calling my father saying "I don't think I can do this etc." but after maybe a day or two I never had thoughts like that again. In fact my dad jokes that he barely heard from me after that just because I was so busy having the time of my life. Another huge positive to this trip is that I grew as a person, especially into someone who is incredibly independent. I am actually incredibly confident in my abilities to navigate a train system (especially if it's the London tube), take a taxi on my own etc. This again is a huge development for me because of how anxious I usually get about stuff like that. Another really funny thing about this trip was that I was incredibly nervous about the two weeks of homestay in Montepulciano. Like it was the thing that I kept going back to and worrying about. But it actually turned out to be probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. You're in one of the most beautiful little towns in Tuscany, taking really fun Italian classes, cooking classes and then you pick olives in the Tuscan countryside. Like who does all that in two weeks! The trip went by way too quickly and I will cherish every single memory and bond formed. Even the one where I was crying to my dad over the phone on the very first day.

What would you improve about this program?
Make it longer & better access to wifi!
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 Months of Your Life

To be honest I had absolutely no interest in art history before going on this trip and my mother forced me to do it. However I will be thanking her till the day I die for pushing me into AHA because it was by far the most incredible gap year experience. It perfectly combined intellectual stimulation with an unbelievably fun social life with a group of tight knit peers. Each tutor blew me away with their breadth of knowledge about art history and they inspired me to become absolutely fascinated by what each European city had to offer.

I entered the course knowing no one else on the trip yet quickly became best friends with all of the other students and tutors. Each day was jam-packed with cultural activities, varying from art museum exhibit tours to wild boat trips on the Thames. At night we explored other cultural aspects of the cities whether it be concerts, comedy clubs, or night clubs. Your happiness is always the top priority of the AHA tutors and the ensure that throughout the entirety of the trip you are in pure bliss. The highlight of my trip was the home stay in Montepulciano. Not only did we go olive picking at a Tuscan home but we did wine tastings and cooking classes. The food is so good it will make you cry. Get the pici for every single meal.

I would recommend AHA to anyone and everyone. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and will completely change your life for the better. Don't spend your gap year any other way, I promise you will NOT be disappointed.

What would you improve about this program?
MAKE IT LONGER please
Default avatar
Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Opportunity of a Lifetime!

I will always remember AHA as one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much in the three months I was on the program, not only about Art History, but about European culture. The other students and tutors were the most interesting, unique and fun people I have ever met. Also the opportunities we had on this program were amazing. We were able to see things that the average tourist would not have access to. I would honestly give anything to do this program again or even to have another experience like it. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who likes to travel.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe a tiny bit more free time during the days. Still this was not a major issue when I was on the program.
Default avatar
Jojo
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

Travel is vital. The world I knew before my time at AHA was small, sheltered even. All cookie-cutter houses and theoretical adventure. I hoped to travel, but I was unsure how and where and when. It wasn't until I did some research that I came upon Art History Abroad. There's a strong sense of community between the students and the tutors. Real friendships form among the hours spent meandering through museums and traipsing through unknown cities. Those three months I spent with the wonderful, hilarious, insightful people involved with AHA will remain a benchmark in my life.

What would you improve about this program?
One struggle with the Semester Program is integrating the full semester students and the six week program students.
Default avatar
Georgia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

The Semester Course was truly the highlight of my gap year and ever since returning home I have wished I could do it all over again! This unique experience is an immersion into European culture, and introduced me to everything from art history to good food and wine in amazing locations. I shared my three months with a group of passionate, like-minded people from all over the world whose ideas and continuing friendship contributed to making the trip unforgettable. The relaxed learning environment with incredibly friendly and knowledgable tutors not only provided an excellent foundation for further study in any discipline, but encouraged an appreciation for visual culture that is enduring. The course changed my perception of the world and I cannot go a day without recalling an anecdote or fact learnt!

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

Amazing!

Highlights: olive picking, italian classes in Monti, cooking classes in Monti, the wine tasting night in London was a lot of fun

Difficulties: there should be more free time, like for dinner and maybe during the day, some of the hotels did not have great wifi so it was difficult to keep in touch with people back home

What would you improve about this program?
I would add more free time during the trip so people can explore more of what they're interested, and maybe explore more pop-art than only classics. Add more cultural aspects, such as wine tastings and experiencing food and general culture in the different Italian cities.
Default avatar
Joe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Ninety Amazing Days

I definitely had a bit of skepticism as I flew over to London to start the trip. However, I can honestly say Art History Abroad was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The bond between fellow gappers and the amazing knowledge and welcoming knowledge of the tutors quickly became apparent. By the end of the trip a sort of melancholy sets in that it will soon end. But, the knowledge and friends I gained during this trip has been invaluable to me. I'd recommend this trip for anyone, no matter their intended career path.

Default avatar
H.
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fall Gap Program

The program helped expand my understanding of European art. I went into the program having studied much of the material but never fully realizing its depth. The course also gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in multiple cultures in the span of a short time. It gave an exposure to a lifestyle which I still seek out today. I would absolutely choose this course to begin my gap year if I had to do so again.

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

The Ultimate Art Experience

When I think about my time on the Semester Course, I keep wishing I could go back. The trip teaches you how to explore cities and what to look for in Europe's cities. However, the best apart about it is I went in with basic Art History knowledge and now know more and have seen more than I could have ever thought possible. The tutors are fantastic and some of my favorite people I have ever met. The students on my trip I still stay in contact with. Each day is something new and exciting, there was never a boring moment. There is set sessions but there is a good mix of free time too. The free days were great and allowed for downtime or having fun in the town with the other students. If I could I would do it again and it was the highlight of my Gap Year.

What would you improve about this program?
I would want a little bit more exploration into film and that form of visual culture.

Interviews

Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

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...