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Excursions & Travel

Florence

See the rich interaction between medieval Europe and classical antiquity come alive. Florence—or anywhere you go in Italy—will become your classroom during the program. While most of the sites you visit for your courses are in Florence, program excursions visit nearby towns and cities, as well, to provide varied perspectives and examples.

The semester includes two weekend trips, typically to Venice and Rome, where you will have special access to famous sites. For example, program staff may arrange a private viewing of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice. In Rome, you might explore the site of the Roman Forum with a local expert or descend into the ancient Roman necropolis under the Basilica of St. Peter's during an archaeologist-led tour that ends at the tomb of Peter himself.

You’ll also experience a variety of Italian activities during your time in Florence, such as opera, wine tastings, concerts, football (soccer) games, or glass blowing factory tours.

“Whether the day’s itinerary involved a walking tour of one of Florence’s many historical sites, a trip across the English countryside, or even something as simple as free time to wander on your own, I can honestly say not a day was wasted during my four-month long stay. The cities were beautiful, the people accommodating, the history rich, and the adventures abundant.”

Artie Foster, Lake Forest College, art history and communications major


London

In London, you’ll travel throughout the city to attend on-site classes and plays. You’ll also hear different perspectives from guest speakers who work in the arts and performance sectors.

Countless museums, parks, gardens, galleries, and theatres make London a vibrant cultural and historical destination. Explore some of its renowned landmarks, which in the past have included St. Paul's Cathedral, Hampton Court Palace., and galleries such as Tate Britain and the National Gallery.

“In the time span of 18 weeks, I've been to Shakespeare's hometown, seen the relics of St. Peter, seen oceans and mountains, and these are just a few examples; it's like I've had the whole world at my fingertips.”

—Gabrielle Laske, Luther College, music (vocal performance) and Spanish major

In the past, students have visited the historic town, Stratford-upon-Avon, famously known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and the historic Greenwich district.

In your free time, pursue your own interests in London, whether that means participating in fringe theatre performances, volunteering for Oxfam or other organizations, or attending free music recitals!

Past plays attended

  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist
  • Tartuffe
  • Homebody/Kabul
  • The Mysteries
  • Three Sisters
  • Vincent in Brixton
  • King Lear
  • Jerry Springer - The Opera

Past guest speakers

  • Desmond Barrit, actor, Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Max Stafford-Clark, director
  • Michael Billington, critic
  • Anne Gosney, production manager
  • Ron Parkinson, art curator
  • Mark Thompson, designer
  • Polly Teale, writer, director
  • Joseph Fiennes, actor

Personal Travel

No matter the amount of time you spend on London & Florence program, you have the perfect chance to put some extra miles on your suitcase. This program offers you the freedom to travel on weekends and during the week-long program break.

You don’t need to venture far from Florence to fill your weekends with incredible destinations, many of which are named World Heritage Sites. And since London is an international transportation hub, navigating the city is easily accomplished through the London Underground (the "Tube"), the world's oldest underground railway, as well as an extensive bus network.

If you enroll in the 15- or 18-week London & Florence program, you’ll have an entire week to explore other parts of Europe. Many students make travel arrangements with other program participants, which is the perfect chance to make new friends with your travel companions.

“As a result of choosing to study in Europe, I was able to travel to seven countries (Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Germany, France, and Switzerland) in seven months. It was an incredible opportunity, richly engaging, and not to be forgotten.”

Arielle Denis, Ripon College, biochemistry major

Most students usually visit a few cities during the week-long break in small groups. Whether you spend a day looking at the Eiffel Tower, visit Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, or enjoy an afternoon in a cozy Irish coffee shop, you can expand your travel experience well beyond the program sites.