I spend three weeks with Art History Abroad during August 2020 on their Regeneration Summer Course. I joined them for a week in Naples, then five days in Rome, three days in Siena, and the rest in Florence.
The course exceeded my expectations by a mile. I was joining the course alone after its first week and was worried that everyone would already be friends with each other & I would be the new one; but, within minutes of arriving I had already met everyone and gotten completely comfortable with all the students and tutors. Prior to going, I had already met Marie Naffah, one of my tutors in Naples, at two different school gap fairs. I remember finding her extremely friendly & easy to interact with, and so I was very happy to have her for my first week of the course. I think that the tutors are one of the best aspects of AHA. With each tutor I had (Steve Nelson, Marie Naffah, Joe Nickols, Holly Morrison, Nick Ross and Helen Oakden) I found that I had more of a friendly relationship with them rather than a student-teacher one. The lessons were more like conversations than lectures which was perfect for discussing all of the amazing things which we saw every day.
The course itself was exactly what I was looking for. Having been unable to take Art History as a subject at school, I found myself able to understand everything that the tutors were talking about & to present my own thoughts properly. I had the opportunity to learn about whole areas of history & art which I had never thought about much before and the variety of periods, places, and cultures we covered was amazing.
When the course finished I was very sad to have to leave the group and the environment which we had been living in for the last few weeks; however, I have soon was able to return to Italy and live in Rome for 8 weeks. Walking around the city, everything that I recognised from the course brought back happy memories and I found that I knew far more about the different sites than the others around me. I had the most amazing time with AHA and I really hope that I will be able to join them again at some point in the future.
If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
The Course started in Sicily, a week in Palermo and Syracuse, before going on to Naples where I joined. If I could do it all again I would certainly choose to drop the plans I had before I left and join the course for the first week. I would want to spend as much time as possible with the group.
(I would have tried to describe my funniest moment on the trip but there were so many hilarious experiences that I couldn't possibly choose or begin to explain just one of them)