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 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 for 30 years. Open to students of all disciplines, students need only an enquiring mind.



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Yes, I recommend this program

AHA spring course

I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who fancies learning about art, whether you’re a complete beginner or have studied Art History before! The tutors were amazing and I made some very close friends!
You shouldn’t worry if you’re a solo traveller - everyone in my group had joined on their own and it encourages you to make new friends! This was one of my favourite trips on my gap year as you get to explore such a wide variety of art (sculpture, buildings, paintings etc.) with unique perspectives from passionate tutors.

  • Making new friends
  • Accommodation and transport on the course pre-arranged
  • Amazing Italian food!
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Yes, I recommend this program

AHA Spring Review

AHA was one of the best travelling experiences I have ever had and I recommend it to any gap year student who is willing to give it a go. The trip gave me access to so many places and opportunities I wouldn’t have thought to try and each one was as enriching as the last. The tutorials were fascinating and the small group size meant the support felt very personal and safe. A few cons would be the expense extra to the initial cost that covers food etc. I also think the course could’ve included more foodie aspects. Additionally, although I was grateful for the packed schedule, there were little rest days which meant exhaustion hit quite hard sometimes. You also get very little alone time. Overall it was an incredible opportunity I would recommend to anyone. Met some of my best friends on this course.

  • Thorough basis knowledge of art history
  • Access to amazing opportunities
  • Visit a variety of cities
  • Extras are expensive
  • Few rest days
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Yes, I recommend this program

Best 6 weeks of my life!!

Going on AHA was the best decision I made during my gap year. The tutors are so wonderful and the teaching was really engaging and interesting. I still can’t believe that we had a private tour of the Vatican and Saint Mark’s Basilica. It was really a once in a lifetime experience.

Some people had studied art history before, some hadn’t, but I think being with a group of people with similar interests really helped us to bond. I was quite nervous at first, especially when committing to a 6 week course with a bunch of strangers, but the way that the course is designed meant we all got to know each other very quickly and it didn’t take long to feel comfortable around one another. I have made some of my best friends for life, who I still talk to every day. Do this programme, you will not regret it!!!!

  • The people
  • The activities (I will never forget the contrada crawl)
  • Italy!!
  • Fish and bean pasta
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Yes, I recommend this program

AHA Semester Course

AHA is the one gap year program that truly allows students to immerse in culture and learn powerful lessons in history and life. Tutors form real, lasting connections with both students and the history being taught. I did AHA the fall semester of my gap year in 2021 and know the friendships I made will last me through life. The program completely changed me. I met some of the most influential people in the field of art history, saw history in a way I never could have previously, and was allowed to experience the true culture of every place we traveled to. I saw the Sistine chapel completely empty at 6 in the morning, ate incredible meals in a small vineyard outside of San Gimignano, saw the ceiling of San Marco Basilica light up at night, and shared unforgettable conversation with friends and locals. I’m left with friends who are family, tutors I can always reach out to, and a confidence that only could have been drawn from living the way I did. The people involved with AHA are wonderfully unique and intelligent individuals, and any person willing to be open to the full experience will grow.

  • Access to art and culture in an entirely unique manner
  • Lifelong connections made
  • Experiencing several different paces of life
  • A detailed schedule is not usually provided, but I saw this as a pro as it allowed for a present mindset and adaption to each day.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Art History Abroad

It is challenging to articulate the extent to which Art History Abroad shaped my gap year and the time after it. If you are ready to absorb as much knowledge, culture, and joy as possible, Art History Abroad is the program for you. The tutors are excited about their disciplines and even more excited to share it with the students. The friends I’ve made are still some of my closest friends, and hold such a special place in my life. From private tours of galleries in London, sketching in the hilly landscape of Tuscany, and spending days walking through Rome’s history-steeped streets, it is truly an experience to treasure for a lifetime.

  • The people (tutors, peers, etc.)
  • Fantastic opportunities to view world-famous Art
  • Locations


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Alexa Lane

Alexa's time with AHA motivated her to continue her study of art history, architecture, and economics at Middlebury College. She hopes to return to Europe as soon as possible to continue her studies!
Alexa poses with friends in front of a colorful backdrop

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Art History Abroad because I had never tried anything like it before. I'm a big believer of throwing yourself into the deep end and learning how to swim. So, I thought there couldn't be a better way to spend my gap semester than in a new country learning about a subject I had barely even heard of.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I did not go through a program provider or university to find AHA. I met the director, Nick, at a gap year fair at my high school during my senior year and figured out the rest on my own! The AHA team was incredibly flexible and responsive (despite the time difference), and I was able to sort everything out myself.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice I would give to a new student would be to ask as their tutors as many questions as they can possibly think of. All of the AHA tutors are incredibly knowledgable and they want to cater the course to your needs and interests. They also have great stories to share. All you have to do is ask!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

I would say there isn't an average day in the sense that you are doing the same thing every day. However most days follow a similar structure. We would meet as a group at around 9 am every morning and head off to our first lesson of the day. The lessons varied in location from church, to museum, to a public square. Sometimes we would take a cooking class, a private tour of a collection or cathedral, or were taught how to make Venetian masks! Around noon we would break for lunch and meet up again around 1pm for another lecture. After that, we would be free until dinner when we would meet usually as a whole group and discuss the day! Unless we had a special event, we were free for the evening, but often I would find myself hanging out with the tutors and other group members all night.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I was probably most nervous about being away from home for so long. My time with AHA was the longest I had ever been away from my friends and family and didn't know anyone else going on the program. But as soon as I met the tutors and some of the other students on the trip, I knew I was going to be completely fine. I think my views on homesickness changed because I no longer worry about being alone in the same way. Being away from home for some long allowed me to develop the confidence in myself to be able to chat with anyone or become friends with anyone.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Henry Tudor-Pole

Job Title
Henry has studied art at the Royal Drawing School, London, St. John's College, Oxford, and the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. He continues to do so as a tutor with Art History Abroad.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's got to be attending the New Generation Festival in Florence, an extravagant three-night celebration of music and theatre, with young performers and a young audience soaking up the atmosphere on the grounds of the Corsini Palace. One night, the concert went on to the Ognissanti church, and I don't think anyone sitting in that magical, Baroque interior was left with a dry eye.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working with AHA has significantly developed me as a person in several respects. Of course, it has deepened my awareness of art and my sense of the past, but it has also built my confidence in small ways that are manifested in everyday life at home, which can be hard to describe. I am better at speaking to an audience and bringing the subject to life.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One student became fascinated with Dante's Divine Comedy after encountering it on an AHA course and told the story back to me in a way that made me see it afresh. He then went on to take up cookery and invented a meal based on Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise! I can't imagine a more original interpretation.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose the Southern Italy program, for the chance to learn more about the Kingdom of Sicily. I am fascinated by the hotbed of cultural exchange that was twelfth-century Sicily, and also by the sultry chaos of modern Palermo and Naples. There is an epic, romantic quality to the south that I find appealing. The food is not bad, either.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

To be part of a team like AHA's is a constant source of delight. I can't imagine many companies are so warm and decent at every level of the organization, and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I felt proud of the team when we got together in London to see another tutor playing a gig in Shepherd's Bush.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Probably it's to do with giving students the opportunity to grow in their own ways and according to their own will and not along with a set of predetermined rails. The company sets up the conditions in which students can have an enriching experience, at which point it is exciting to see what they are able to make of it.

Professional Associations

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