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Academics & Courses

Two remarkable cities will be your gateway to experiencing how art—such as architecture, painting, sculpture, literature, and theatre—reflects the cultural and historical context in which it is produced and displayed.

Day by day, you will encounter a variety of artistic media and develop your understanding and ability to analyze art across sites, historical eras, and modes of expression.

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London and Florence Are Your Classrooms

With the program’s emphasis on site visits, London and Florence become your classrooms. The London & Florence program courses take advantage of the rich resources offered by each city’s museums, galleries, churches, and public buildings and spaces. The program’s expert faculty and guest speakers also add a fresh perspective to your studies.

“My experience in London and Florence soared beyond my expectations! I met so many amazing students from all over the US. Together we attended class throughout the cities, experiencing the arts in the everyday context of parks, museums, houses, palaces, monuments and theaters. We rarely studied in a classroom and had so many opportunities to travel to other cities and countries. This program is accessible to anyone with an interest in arts or humanities, regardless of the concentration. My semester of seeing the history and culture of London and Florence through an artistic lens will be one I will remember forever.”

Kayla Prestel, Cornell College, theater arts major

You’ll view masterpieces of the Renaissance in situ in Florence, visit Rome and Venice on program excursions, and have opportunities for behind-the-scenes tours of famous churches. In London, you might take a tour of the Houses of Parliament, led by a long-time member of the House of Commons, or discuss the current theatre scene with a well-known director or actor.

In both cities, the curriculum closely ties the past to urban life today, as you study Italian language and culture during your time in Florence and attend theatre performances in multicultural, cosmopolitan London.

Museum Studies

The London & Florence program now offers museum studies courses in both cities! Learn about collecting in London by exploring the city's renowned museums, taking note of how societies create historical narratives. In Florence, you can study the birth of museums and see how the early collections of the Renaissance continue shaping our world today.

As a student of both museum studies courses, I engaged in critical discourses about cultural heritage of two important Western artistic centers with foundational texts and extremely intelligent and accessible professors. My understanding of an internationally intertwined historical past and present has grown exponentially through these two courses, as it includes many site visits to different museums.

—Anna-Marie Heins, St. Olaf College, history and art history major