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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description
Please note: this program has been cancelled for Summer 2020.



Staue of David

Quick Facts

Florence: In the Shadows of the Masters is a six-week summer program designed to give participants an opportunity to spend a summer living in the historic city of Florence while earning 6 credits studying Ancient and Classical Art History, and Drawing. The Drawing Course is designed for first-time drawing students as well as students with more advanced drawing experience. Florence is one of the most famous and beautiful cities in Italy. It is also the cradle of the Renaissance and an Etruscan settlement. Not far from Florence (20 minutes) many small towns, such as Siena, San Gimignano, Lucca, and Pisa give students more opportunities to discover art and absorb Italian culture. A program trip to Rome, including the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, will help highlight this exciting summer opportunity and experience.
  • May 14 – June 27, 2020
  • 6-week program in Florence, Italy
  • Study Drawing and Art History, Earn 6 credits
  • Academic Visits to Florence Art Museums, Florence Cathedral and Dome, Markets, Cultural Sites and more!
  • Program Trip to Rome, the Colosseum, Vatican, and Sistine Chapel
  • Day Trips available to beautiful towns in the Tuscany region
  • No Prerequisites, GPA 2.5
  • Honors Contracts Available
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2020 

Application Requirements

To apply for this program, click the "Apply Now" button above. This will generate an online application with the requirements listed below. Please also refer to the "Academics" tab for specific eligibility information.
Note: Non-ASU students should consult these instructions before applying.


View of Florence

Rome buildings
Venice Canal

Location Details

Florence, Italy
The historical center of the city of Florence has a long and splendid history. Originally founded on the site of an early Etruscan settlement, the present city was established by Julius Caesar in 59 B.C.  Florence became a great mercantile and banking center during the medieval period and is recognized as being one of the most important European cities of its time.  Credited as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence has often been termed “the Athens of the Middle Ages.” The city enjoyed great renown under the Medici, who attracted brilliant artists, architects, philosophers, and scholars to their court.  Works of great masters, such as Giotto, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Leonardo, Botticelli, and Michelangelo were created here and can be seen in the various museums in the city.  Great architecture abounds with masterpieces like the Florence Cathedral (the Duomo), the Palazzo Pitti, Santa Croce, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Bargello, and the Ponte Vecchio. The historic center of Florence has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known as “The Eternal City,” Rome holds some of the most important monuments of antiquity and long maintained its stature as the cultural and political capital of the Roman world.  Within the confines of the historic center of the city and the Holy See (the Vatican) are an astounding 25,000 archaeological and environmental points of interest.  Roman monumental architecture abounds with the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Pantheon, the Imperial Forums, the Baths of Caracalla, the Circus Maximus, Castel Sant’Angelo, and numerous Roman temples, among many other important buildings.  As one of the holiest sites of the Catholic faith, the impressive number of churches and basilicas are important for Christianity and as inspirational architectural monuments, such as St. Peters, Santa Maria Maggiore, St. John Lateran, and Santa Maria in Trastevere.  Likewise, the Appian Way and the Catacombs are impressive for their historical and spiritual significance. 
Extraordinary works of art are housed in major museums in Rome, such as the Vatican Museums, the Borghese Gallery, the Capitoline Museums, the National Museum of Rome, the Museum of Roman Civilization, and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Parks and numerous outdoor spaces offer the exceptional ambiance of the city, including the Spanish Steps, the Piazza Navona, the Piazza del Popolo, and  the Piazza of the Trevi Fountain.
The city of Venice continues to charm with its unique topography spread over 118 small islands separated by canals and connected by over 400 bridges.  Known as “La Serenissima” (the Most Serene Republic), the city-state of Venice was already powerful by the year 1000 and was a leading political, cultural, and commercial center.  Architectural masterpieces dating to the Medieval and Renaissance periods, like the Doge’s Palace, the Piazza and Basilica of San Marco, and the beautiful Ponte Rialto and Ponte del Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs), reinforce the charm of the city.  Works by the master painters Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bellini, and Carpaccio defined the Venetian style and can still be viewed throughout the city.  An optional trip to Venice is possible for individual students. As a courtesy, faculty may be available for this optional trip in an informal, non-official capacity to enjoy and informally discuss art. For any optional trips, transportation, reservations, tickets, and decisions regarding travel and any personal activities are solely the responsibility of each student.
Carrara, Italy
Located in the Apuan Alps in northwest Tuscany, the famed Carrara quarries were opened by the Romans in the 2nd century B.C., and since then millions of tons of white marble have been quarried for over 2,000 years.  Marble from Carrara transformed from a city of brick to a gleaming city of marble, and it was from here that Michelangelo selected blocks from which he carved the beautiful Pietà and the towering David.  An optional trip to Carrara with one of the faculty will be possible along with a tour of the quarries.



Visa Information

It is each student’s responsibility to independently determine if a visa is necessary for travel to any foreign countries visited on this program. Limited information may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office, your faculty director, and/or partner organizations/institutions. Where visas are required, failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Payment a Withdrawal Policies

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas. If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.


Eligibility Requirements

Minimum GPA: 2.5
No Prerequisites


Students must enroll in 2 courses for a total of 6 credits

ARS 494: Ancient Art and the Classical Tradition (3 credits)
ART 494: Drawing in Florence - Studio (3 credits)

ARS 494 Ancient Art and the Classical Tradition
In the art history class, students will be investigating how the classical tradition in art was interpreted and utilized by later art masters, especially those of the Renaissance. In tandem with lectures, students will be visiting all the major art museums in Florence and will be considering significant works of art from permanent collections.

Art 494: Drawing in Florence - Studio
The Florence Drawing Course is designed for first-time drawing students as well as students with more advanced drawing experience. If you draw directly from great art, you will learn so much more about it and never forget it. The Drawing Class works primarily in sketchbooks on location in museums, churches, gardens and the historic center of Florence. Today, the modern city of Florence is home to some  of the great art of the world. Students study and draw original art by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Ghiberti, and Raphael. Taking the drawing course is the opportunity of a lifetime to live in Florence, learn about drawing, and better understand Italian art, history, and Culture.

Classes are Monday - Thursday. Additional time during evenings and weekends can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest.

"Florence is an amazing city full of history, art, and character. The best part of this study abroad program was getting to look at the artworks we were studying up close and personal. That was more impactful than any course textbook I have studied before. The field trips and excursions were always an adventure. This program gave me opportunities to network with professionals and make lifelong friendships with students in and outside the ASU program. And I loved living in Florence, it does not get much better than that!"
   - Former student on the Florence Summer Program

Gateway to Italy (optional pre-departure course):
Students participating on this program may wish to enroll in the Gateway to Italy course offered during the spring session B semester preceding the summer program.  This course is designed for non-speakers of Italian to gain basic language skills to help them during their study abroad experience. For more information, please follow this link. Please note that enrollment in this course is entirely separate from the study abroad program.

Students drawing in Chapel
Accent Center Classroom
Accent Computer Lab
Accent Center Exterior
Students near Duomo
Florence Summer Program




Faculty Directors

Dr. Nancy Serwint
School of Art
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Honors Faculty, The Barrett Honors College 
Phone: (480) 965-5025

“Study abroad in Florence with Dr. Serwint was unlike any academic experience prior. All of what I love about school—learning something new every day, engaging in a dialogue about art, being in an open environment—was paired with the incredibly unique opportunity to see the historic art we talked about on weekly field trips. Dr. Serwint puts her passion for art history into the coursework and has deep compassion for her students and student success." 
   - Former student

Professor Ellen Murray Meissinger
School of Art
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Affiliated Faculty: Environmental Humanities
ASU Sustainability Scholar
Phone: (480) 965-3748

During our Drawing course, Professor Ellen Meissinger was able to get us into the Accademia right as the gallery opened, so we were able to see Michelangelo's famous David statue before the crowds arrived. We were also privileged to visit the studio of a local Italian artist, who talked to us about his art and answered our questions. Professor Meissinger took us to a new part of Florence for each class, so we were able to visit and learn about other parts of the city that we otherwise may have missed.
   - Former student


Nancy SerwintNancy Serwint

Ellen Murray MeissingerEllen Murray Meissinger



ACCENT Florence Housing bedroo
Accent Apartments
ACCENT Florence - Housing
Accent Kitchen

Program Housing

Students usually stay in apartment buildings where they will share a two or three-bedroom apartment with 3-5 other students. Each bedroom typically houses 1-2 students. Each apartment has a kitchen, 1-2 bathrooms depending on the size of the apartment, and Wi-Fi. Laundry facilities are usually available in each apartment or in the apartment building. Meals are not included in the program fee, but students can easily buy food and prepare their own meals cheaply. A variety of small super
markets and farmers’ markets are within easy walking distance throughout the city. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from within walking distance. 


Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus. In the Shadows of the Masters: Ancient Art and Drawing program includes extensive walking through narrow streets and rocky sites of ruins with uneven terrain. Additionally, several places the program visits will have many stairs. 

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. For example, Italy is known for its old world layout and architecture, which may increase the challenge level for students with physical disabilities. In Italy, narrow, cobbled streets are pervasive and many sidewalks lack ramps, and some streets lack sidewalks altogether or feature stairs and narrow pedestrian bridges. Many hotels and attractions do not have ramps, elevators, or accessible bathrooms.

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. 

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity.

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

The Program Fee for Summer 2020 is $7495.

Program Fee includes: ASU tuition for 6 credits, housing with kitchen and WiFi, pick up at the Florence airport, on-site orientation, group meals, academic field trips within Florence, museum entrance fees, program excursions, ASU faculty support and international health insurance.
Not included: Airfare to and from Italy, meals, passport fee, drawing supplies, and personal expenses.

Faculty Directed program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the Program Fee listed above. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student. Be sure to reference the program cost sheet for information on program fees and any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sight-see or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program or optional activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. View the program Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  2. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  3. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  4. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  5. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  6. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program


Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2020 03/03/2020
Rolling Admission 05/14/2020 06/27/2020
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.