AIFS Study Abroad: European Art and Architecture (Summer)
97% Rating
(11 Reviews)

AIFS Study Abroad: European Art and Architecture (Summer)

If you can’t decide on one location to study in this summer, maybe you’d like to go to seven!

Spend 4 weeks studying European art and architecture with AIFS in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Lausanne, Venice, Florence, and Rome. Earn 3 credits with a comprehensive survey of western European art and architecture from the Middle Ages and architecture from the Classical Period.

Students will stay in student residences and hotels as they travel through Europe, with daily breakfast included. You’ll enjoy field trips to museums and galleries, and visits to places of architectural, historical and cultural interest. The course includes visits to the Tate Modern, the Louvre, the Van Gogh Museum, the Vatican and many more. Students have free time to explore on their own with scheduled “free” days and afternoons.

Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
European Studies
Degree Level
High School Diploma
Short Term
Some Meals
Travel Insurance
Online Application
GPA Requirement
Price Details
AIFS is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Comprehensive fees cover tuition and housing with $800,000 in scholarship and grant funding available each year. A meal plan, tours and excursions, insurance and 24-hour emergency service are also included. Coordinated AIFS Flight Packages are available.
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Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 11 reviews
  • Academics 6.3
  • Support 8.9
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 11 of 11

"Grand Tour" of European Art History and Architecture

I don't think I could have chosen a more perfect study abroad program! As an Art History major, getting to view and discuss some of the most iconic works of Western art and architecture in person is an experience that cannot be replaced by textbook images or projected pictures. Every day was jam packed with excursions, tours, and lectures that were both informative and entertaining. Despite being a traveling program, I definitely felt like my study abroad experience gave me plenty of opportunities to embrace and explore different cultures and ways of life within each location. The support of my AIFS tour manager and professor were also phenomenal, and I could not consider my first time traveling outside of the U.S to be success a success without the unparalleled support of the AIFS staff both at home and abroad.

How can this program be improved?

I was incredibly happy with the opportunity myself and my classmates were given to express our concerns and suggestions for improvement with our tour manager and professor on the last day of class while abroad. I thought that the feedback we gave reflected greatly in the changes that were made to the program between my visit in 2016 and the offerings for the 2017 session. I think that AIFS takes feedback seriously and makes considerable efforts to always find new ways to improve and expand upon their organization, and that if they were to continue on this path they'll never steer a student the wrong way.

Yes, I recommend
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Best Month of My Life

When returning from this program, everyone asked me about it and I honestly told them it was the best month of my life and would not change this incredible experience for the world. As cliché as it sounds it’s particularly difficult to put my amazing trip into words. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to not only go abroad, but also experience five beautiful countries in a matter of one short month. This once in a lifetime “jaunt thorough Europe,” as my parents jokingly called it, made me acknowledge my love for traveling and experiencing new things.
There is not much that I would change about this program because I hardly have anything negative to say when looking back. Our professor and program coordinator, who both traveled with us, were so intelligent and exceptionally personable. I felt comfortable going to either of them with any problem or question I encountered. We had class a few times a week, along with scheduled group museum and gallery visits. Other than that we had the freedom to do as we pleased, which was awesome.
If this program interests you in the slightest, apply early. I was waitlisted for this program and only found out I was able to go at the end of my spring semester in April, just two short months before departing. I also took advantage of the flight package AIFS provided, which I highly recommend. It gives you the opportunity meet other students on your trip and its far less intimidating when landing in a foreign country, especially when you’re crazy jet-lagged. I would also recommend doing your research before leaving the United States and prioritize where you want to go and what you would like to see in each country. There are a few free days built into the program, but since you are only in countries for a couple of days it is way easier to know what you want beforehand.
Looking back on my journey makes me smile and I am confident I will feel that way for the rest of my life. The friends and memories I have made through this trip are unforgettable. You become so close to people in such a short period of time, experiencing foreign countries together as you gain friendships of a lifetime. This is an amazing trip for anyone who is contemplating going abroad for a shorter period of time or who cannot go for an entire semester due to extenuating circumstances.

How can this program be improved?

If I could change something about this program it would be the mode and time of traveling for one country to the next. This particular program is a lot of traveling, most we did by bus. Traveling days were the longest, and definitely took the most time by bus. If at all possible, I would recommend traveling more by train, or even throughout the night on longer trips simply with the idea to save time.

Yes, I recommend
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I had the time of my life!

I had the best time during this program! There were many times when I thought the program needed better organization, but I was also very thankful to have booked group times at museums and churches which allowed us to skip the absurdly long lines. The professor, Steve, was a really wonderful and kind man. My complaint is that his very soft-spoken voice was not ideal for trying to explain artwork to 40+ students. This was an ideal program for my first trip to Europe.

How can this program be improved?

This program would be so much better if there were only about 20 students in a tour group rather than over 40.

Yes, I recommend
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Lasting Experience of a Lifetime

I did this program in the summer before my senior year in 2015. The change I've felt in myself from the experiences I had are magical. The people I went on this trip with were complete strangers before, and now I have an amazing group of friends who I know will never leave my life. I had a strong interest in Art and History (so, naturally, art history), and seeing things in person during our field trips was one of the coolest feelings. I know what it's like to look at pictures in a book for years, then walk up to it and see it with my own eyes. Wow. Many times I was overwhelmed with gratitude that such beautiful things exist in the world to the point that I teared up, and believe me, I am not an overly emotional individual.
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone and leaving the states to journey across Europe with a group of strangers made me a better person. It made me realize that sometimes you don't agree with everyone, but differences can be accepted. I learned that I love seeing other cultures - how people communicate, their food, and their worlds that are so strange yet vaguely familiar to my own. Most of all, I learned that being in a strange environment and having completely new perceptions will expand your goals, thoughts, and ideas in ways you never expected.
I am very happy I decided to study abroad, and I'm pleased to the nth degree that I decided to do so with AIFS. They were accommodating, helpful, and organized with the program. Our tour manager was extremely knowledgeable, and our professor was brilliant. Both were wonderful human beings who I will never forget. The tours and lectures we had were taught in what I believe to be the best possible way. My flights and other details of the trip were meticulously planned, which is exactly how I would have done it myself. I completely trust the people in charge of the program.
Finally, a little story about one of my favorite moments of the trip: we stayed in Paris for about 5 nights, which was one of the longest visits of the trip. Each night, since the hotel was so close to Champ de Mars, my new friends and I would eat dinner or grab snacks and drinks then walk to the Eiffel Tower around 10 pm. When the sun leaves the sky completely, the Eiffel Tower starts sparkling all over. Hundreds of other tourists and locals come to see this each night, and when it happens they all start cheering and singing. Being in the same place with people who are just as pleased with a giant weird structure sparkling as me was a spectacular feeling, and I'll never forget laughing and having a good time with those people.
Sharing these experiences with individuals who are like-minded is unforgettable and will change your life for the better. The only downside is that I wish I could spend the time doing this every single summer, but I know it wouldn't be the same if it wasn't with AIFS and the original group of college students I became such close friends with.

How can this program be improved?

My return flight was at 6 am! It was awful. When I got to the airport, I had no idea where to go or what to do. I think it would help if there was more information on these travelling arrangements, and maybe someone at the airport who could assist in translating signs and instructions. My flight gate never went up on the boards and the WiFi was terrible, so I found some people who looked vaguely familiar (they had checked bags at the same place) and stood by them. Luckily they were on my flight!

Yes, I recommend
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Look no further for a program focused on fun

If you're looking for the freedom to explore Europe's most popular cities then this is for you. Once you visit the art museums and take a class with the group, you are completely on your own. You have the freedom and independence to do whatever you want. You can pick what you most care about and visit those interests. This is good for the explorer but if you prefer a more structured environment then this isn't for you. This program requires a lot of physical endurance. You are always walking, which means you are always making the most of your experience. However, you go on a lot of walking tours, even in the hot sun. I know I would get too tired to fully enjoy myself.

How can this program be improved?

I would not do some of the walking tours. We would learn about the city which was great but we are already doing so much. I would only want to tour the museums to learn about art.

Yes, I recommend
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Great, organized tour of Europe

This program was a great way to see almost all the places in Europe that I had wanted to see. The best part was being able to skip the long lines at places (Louvre!!) by going with an organized group!

How can this program be improved?

I really wish the program was a bit longer. In some cities I felt rushed to explore all the things I wanted to see, while in other cities I felt like we had more than days in that location.

Yes, I recommend
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Best trip ever! The students were great, the cities were awesome, the professor and RA were fantastic! I had the best time of my life. Would do it again if I could! I met so many cool people, saw so many different things, experienced many cultures, all while learning!

Yes, I recommend
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Unique Beyond Words

I was so indecisive about where to study so this program gave me the perfect chance to experience life in a variety of countries. Because of the travel aspect and living arrangements, I truly bonded with other students in the program- like another review mentions: the people made this trip for me.

Academically, you could not ask for a better way to study European art history- morning lectures followed by field trips to the best museums in the world. Having studied art history at my native university, I thought the curriculum was engaging but I didn't find it as challenging as some of the fellow students who had never taken an art history course. And when is the last time you had a professor that you wanted to hang out with and talk to all the time, even outside of class?

There is no shortage of fun on this program. During the first week in London, AIFS arranged a boat cruise down the Thames with fellow AIFS students in the city, which ended up being a highlight of the entire trip. Each city provided a different nightlife scene which makes it hard to pick a favorite. During the day, our tour manager and professor provided advice on where to go eat, shop, and explore.

This program gave me memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

How can this program be improved?

Like most people, I wasn't ready to leave! I would have liked to spend more time in each city or even have a weeklong break in the program to give us a chance to try and travel outside of the program countries. People who knew others on the program were able to plan ahead and travel before or after the course ended, but like most, I went not knowing a soul and became friends with people as the trip went along.

Yes, I recommend
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Absolutely LIfe-Changing:)

This was truly a wonderful program, one that I would repeat every year if I could:) I wasn't really sure what to expect, plus with the anxiety of traveling abroad for the first time, I was definitely nervous at first, but that quickly dissolved! All of the students (for the most part) were great people, including the staff and guides. They were all really helpful people! What I was most impressed with, was how accurate the itinerary was. We did absolutely everything we were told we would do, plus many more wonderful activities and excursions.

How can this program be improved?

There would only be a few things I might change, which is maybe adding in a few more locations. The program is already pretty jammed packed with great locations and excursions, and I realize that it would be challenging to fit much else. When you first arrive, you spend about a full week in London, which is great, but I would maybe cut that back a few days, as to be able to fit something else into the itinerery. Since the program focuses on "European Art and Architecture", one place that I wish I could have seen was Milan, Italy. My first thought was seeing the "Last Supper" or something along those lines:) Another thing I might tweek a little, is making the school work a bit more challenging (although I'm sure just about everyone would disagree with this! No one really wants to do homework when you're traveling the world!) But the class meetings were still fun and engaging.
Nevertheless, the things you experience are truly wonderful (obviously, you're not going to see EVERYTHING in one trip). This trip really opened my eyes to a vast world, and I am truly grateful for the experience! Like I said, I would repeat this program over and over! I would definitely recommend it to everyone!
Thanks for the great opportunity!

Yes, I recommend
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Trip of a Lifetime

I honestly could not rave enough about this study abroad. Not only is the company reputable, but our professor and guides were absolutely great. They were supportive and knowledgeable on the sites we visited and the cities we stayed in, but they still gave us enough freedom to explore ourselves. Hotels were great for the most part, with great balcony views and rooms. What probably made the trip for me, though, were the people. I was thrown out of our comfort zone with fifty other strangers, and yet, I made some of the best friends I have on this trip. The European cities we went to (London, Amsterdam, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, and Rome) should be on everyone's bucket list - we learned so much about each of these unique places through guided tours, museum visits, to-die-for food, night life, and just walking around on our own. Probably the highlight of my trip was when we were in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. It turned midnight on July 4th, and the tower started sparkling for a minute while we all laid on the grass. The trip was worth the cost just for that night!

Yes, I recommend
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Carpe Diem

Most who study abroad will tell you that it is hard to put the experience into words because it truly is an indescribable experience. It is a once in a life time opportunity to take a trip across Europe to see some of the best art and architecture in the world. It is set up and ran by great people. They take care of almost everything so you do not have to worry about a thing.

I hope you take the time to review all of AIFS programs and take advantage of the opportunity that is in front of you. It is a truly remarkable experience that you will never forget. My words and all the pictures in the world cannot do it justice. It is something you just have to experience for yourself.

I'm jealous of your opportunity and would love to do it all over again!

Yes, I recommend

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....