Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Study Abroad in Florence: Courses

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Please note that for all courses with field trips and on-site visits students must pay a supplement of approximately 50 euros per course upon arrival in Italy.

Maymester Program

Choose one course from the list below. Please note that all courses are taught in English.

Maymester Courses Taught in English

ADM 3855 (3) | Painting in Florence I

This course teaches students how to produce the illusion of volume, space and movement on a two-dimensional surface. Students explore hands-on approaches to paint application, color, structure and composition, and experiment with different ways of applying the paint. They learn to imitate the techniques of painters such as Caravaggio, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh and Picasso. This course includes classroom assignments and painting out of doors in places such as the Boboli gardens and the hills around Florence. Classroom assignments are also related to the city of Florence, and students work with their own photographic material. The course is designed to provide a foundation in the subject, and prepares students for the next course in the sequence. A studio fee is levied for this course.

ADM 4855 (3) | Painting in Florence II

In this course, problems associated with tone and light are studied, including side lighting, candle lighting, and artificial lighting. Studio practice is combined with discussion, critique and demonstration. Students are encouraged to talk about their work with the instructor and fellow students to clarify their objectives and problems. The course includes open air painting and work in the studio. It follows on from ADM 3855 Painting in Florence I and builds on the principles established in that course. A studio fee is levied on this course.

ADM 5855 (3) | Painting in Florence III

This is an advanced painting course, structured around specific painting projects to develop the range and technical competence of the student. Professional painting techniques are demonstrated and experimented with. There are advanced discussions of style, color, form, composition and subject matter. This course includes outdoor painting and work in the studio. This course builds upon ADM 4855 Painting in Florence II. A studio fee is levied on this course.

HST 5825 (3) | Italian Food and Culture

Per anthropologist Jon Hertzman, the tastes and flavors of a country’s traditional table are a meaningful representation of its collective memory. This course examines the geography, history and culture of Italian regional dishes that have brought Italy worldwide renown. The course looks at regional gastronomic traditions and their origins, including differences in how food is prepared, the representation of Italian food practices in media and cinema, food symbolism in Italian culture, food ethics and sustainable agriculture, with an examination of today’s fast and slow food traditions. A visit to a wine and olive oil farm in Tuscany will give a practical illustration of how resources are linked to food practices.

MKT 5810 (3) | Psychology of Fashion and Luxury Goods

Consumer psychology within the context of the consumption of fashion and luxury products and services is complex and is influenced by many factors. A thorough analysis and understanding of these factors allows organizations to plan effective marketing activities suitable to their target markets. This course enables students to understand the importance of consumer behavior in the process of marketing fashion and luxury goods and services. Note: This course is cross-referenced against MKT 5410 (offered on the Richmond campus).

4-Week Program

Please note that all courses are taught in English apart from Italian language. Choose 2 courses. Students taking both the optional Rome tour and the optional Venice excursion can also register for the Introduction to Italian Art course and earn 1 extra credit.

Italian Language Courses (Taught in Italian)

ITL 3831 (3) | Elementary Italian I

A thorough, basic introduction to the Italian language for those with little or no previous experience, the course teaches essential vocabulary and grammar and develops students’ ability to communicate in an authentic linguistic context – key to making the most of the experience of their stay in Italy.

ITL 4831 (3) | Intermediate Italian I

This course helps students to develop their ability to communicate effectively and accurately, using an expanded range of vocabulary. Conversation practice improves listening and interpretation skills for better understanding and response. Reading and writing exercises improve skills in understanding prose and writing letters and simple messages. Prerequisites: ITL 3832, Elementary Italian II, and/or min. 70/100 score on the diagnostic test.

Content Courses

ADM 3855 (3) | Painting in Florence I

This course teaches students how to produce the illusion of volume, space and movement on a two-dimensional surface. Students explore hands-on approaches to paint application, color, structure and composition, and experiment with different ways of applying the paint. They learn to imitate the techniques of painters such as Caravaggio, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh and Picasso. This course includes classroom assignments and painting out of doors in places such as the Boboli gardens and the hills around Florence. Classroom assignments are also related to the city of Florence, and students work with their own photographic material. The course is designed to provide a foundation in the subject, and prepares students for the next course in the sequence. A studio fee is levied for this course.

ADM 4855 (3) | Painting in Florence II

In this course, problems associated with tone and light are studied, including side lighting, candle lighting, and artificial lighting. Studio practice is combined with discussion, critique and demonstration. Students are encouraged to talk about their work with the instructor and fellow students to clarify their objectives and problems. The course includes open air painting and work in the studio. It follows on from ADM 3855 Painting in Florence I and builds on the principles established in that course. A studio fee is levied on this course.

ADM 5855 (3) | Painting in Florence III

This is an advanced painting course, structured around specific painting projects to develop the range and technical competence of the student. Professional painting techniques are demonstrated and experimented with. There are advanced discussions of style, color, form, composition and subject matter. This course includes outdoor painting and work in the studio. This course builds upon ADM 4855 Painting in Florence II. A studio fee is levied on this course.

ADM 3800 (3) | Drawing I

This course introduces students to figure drawing, structure and object drawing, and outdoor drawing which includes the city of Florence/Rome and the Tuscan/surrounding landscape. Students experiment with lead, charcoal, conté pencil and crayon and ink. The course is designed to provide a foundation in the subject, and will also prepare students for the next course in the sequence. A studio fee is levied on this course.

ADM 4800 (3) | Drawing II

This course includes figure drawing, still-life drawing and landscape drawing, with the focus on Florence and the Tuscan landscape. Students are encouraged to examine the problems of drawing the human figure (anatomy), perspective (several vanishing points) and objects (complexity, varied tonality). This course includes a consideration of the individual handling of traditional drawing techniques. It follows on from ADM 3800 Drawing I and builds on the principles established in that course. A studio fee is levied on this course. Prerequisites: ADM 3800 Drawing I

ADM 5800 (3) | Drawing III

This is an advanced drawing course, further developing students’ drawing skills. It focuses on figure drawing, still-life drawing and landscape drawing, with attention to the Florence and the Tuscan landscape. Students are encouraged to further develop their personal style of composing and choosing types of lines and mark-making. Assignments are complex and narrative/illustrative, requiring a process-based approach, which students are asked to verbalize to their instructor and fellow students. This course follows on from and builds upon ADM 4800 Drawing II. A studio fee is levied on this course. Prerequisites: ADM 4800 Drawing II

ADM 5860(3) | Photography for the Media

Recommended for communications and journalism majors as well as photographers, this course develops knowledge and experience in photojournalism via the study of the work of major practitioners and the production of assignments typical of today’s photojournalists. Students will need to provide a DSRL (digital reflex) camera and a laptop (with any basic photo editing software). There is a studio fee for this course. Prerequisites: ADM 3160

AVC 4800 (1) | Introduction to Italian Art

This course examines developments in early Italian painting and sculpture leading up to the Renaissance and Baroque. Students consider early Italian art from the Etruscans and Romans up to the Renaissance, in art historical context, particularly in terms of patronage and the key social, religious and philosophical events. It is normally taught during field study visits, which include Lucca, Pisa, Venice, and Rome. A field project paper is normally required.

AVC 5860 (3) | Florentine Art in Context

This course examines the concepts underlying Italy’s Renaissance art and architecture in their art historical context, including the visual representation of space in painting, sculpture and portraiture, harmony and space in architecture, disguised symbolism in Christian art and the language of allegories. The course normally includes weekly visits to museums, galleries, and exhibitions, with their rich intercultural collections, enabling students to engage directly with the original art works and consider their display. Prerequisites: HST 3200 World Cultural History or GEP 4180 Research and Writing 2.

COM 6805 (3) | Fashion and Media

This course traces the multiple connections between the fashion and media industries. It emphasizes the material realities, pragmatic and creative dynamisms, fantasy components, and essential visuality of fashion. It also highlights how cities in general function as creative agencies for fermenting style and fashion ideas and attitudes. Prerequisites: COM 4200 or COM 5200 or MKT 5200 or SCL 5200.

HST 5810 (3) | History of Florence

This course covers the history of Florence, concentrating on its development as a city and a state before and during the Renaissance and the Early Modern period. The uniqueness of Florence is underlined by drawing comparisons with other cities in Italy and Europe. The course features primary source readings by such authors as Dante Alighieri, Dino Compagni, Giovanni Villani and Franco Sacchetti. Some lessons take place onsite so that students experience this city’s past first-hand. Prerequisites: HST 3200 World Cultural History or GEP 4180 Research and Writing 2.

HST 5825 (3) | Italian Food and Culture

Per anthropologist Jon Hertzman, the tastes and flavors of a country’s traditional table are a meaningful representation of its collective memory. This course examines the geography, history and culture of Italian regional dishes that have brought Italy worldwide renown. The course looks at regional gastronomic traditions and their origins, including differences in how food is prepared, the representation of Italian food practices in media and cinema, food symbolism in Italian culture, food ethics and sustainable agriculture, with an examination of today’s fast and slow food traditions. A visit to a wine and olive oil farm in Tuscany will give a practical illustration of how resources are linked to food practices.

MKT 5805(3) | Fashion Marketing and Retail

This course covers the fundamentals of fashion and the basic principles that govern all fashion movement and change. It examines the history, development, organization and operation of merchandising and marketing activities, trends in industries engaged in producing fashion, purchasing of fashion merchandise, foreign and domestic markets, and the distribution and promotion of fashion. Prerequisites: MKT 5200 - Principles of Marketing

MKT 5810 (3) | Psychology of Fashion and Luxury Goods

Consumer psychology within the context of the consumption of fashion and luxury products and services is complex and is influenced by many factors. A thorough analysis and understanding of these factors allows organizations to plan effective marketing activities suitable to their target markets. This course enables students to understand the importance of consumer behavior in the process of marketing fashion and luxury goods and services. Note: This course is crossreferenced against MKT 5410 (offered on the Richmond campus). Prerequisites: MGT 3200

SCL 5855 (3) | Culture and Style in Italy

This course is recommended for students with an interest in contemporary Italian culture and style. The course focuses on aspects of post-war Italian culture including cuisine, fashion, religious beliefs and the persistence of superstition. Lectures cover topics such as the role of women, food and wine as cultural traditions, the effect of social change, and culture and style. Lectures are supported by field visits, food and wine tasting sessions, and audio-visual materials.