UConn Studio Arts Semester Program

This special program offer students a unique opportunity to study art history and studio arts in Florence, one of the most important European centers of Western art, science, literature, and architecture. The UConn Studio Arts program consists of a fixed curriculum of highly interrelated courses designed to offer the richest and most rewarding study abroad experience possible. They include:

  1. Drawing in Florence: Investigation & Observation – 3 credits
    An art professor from the University of Connecticut will take students on an exploration of historical and contemporary areas of study and practice. Along with a rigorous introduction to drawing in the studio classroom, this course includes drawing on location around the gardens, piazzas, churches, and other public spaces of Florence. The course combines beginner, intermediate, and advanced students, creating a rich environment for learning and the exchange of ideas as well as individual study.
  2. Digital Photography: Capturing Florence  – 3 credits
    Students continue their exploration of Florence in this photography course. They learn to communicate with photography as they immerse themselves in the world of imagery of the Florentine landscape, urban sights, and historical monuments. The course teaches the craft of photography with an emphasis on the mechanical workings of the camera as well as theories of space and 2D composition. The course is digitally based and is beneficial to both experienced and inexperienced students.
  3. Art History course: The Art of Florence: Exploring Visual Culture – 3 credits
    This course is an introductory course on the artistic riches of Florence. As such, it is designed to examine art and architecture within the context of the history of the city. The historical factors which made Florence the birthplace and greatest focal point of the Renaissance are touched upon, as well as the role of patronage on the part of powerful families such as the Medici, the Strozzi, and the Rucellai. A major component of the course is the study of art and architecture on-site as a means to further appreciate their social function, in relationship to the context and the impact on the viewer.
  4. Italian Language: The Florence Experience – 3 credits
    An interdisciplinary course that focuses on achieving a basic level in cultural and linguistic-communicative competences (speaking, writing, reading, and understanding). Students conduct everyday activities and simple interactions with native speakers, and they are also introduced to various relevant aspects of contemporary Florentine life and Italian culture. The city of Florence becomes a cultural laboratory, a composite of contemporary Italian culture to be explored.
  5. Free Elective (Optional) – 3 credits
    Students may take an additional course of their choosing from the semester offerings.
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Extra-Curricular Activities

They don’t call it la dolce vita for nothing. At ISI Florence, students partake in a sweet selection of cultural activities and events around Florence and greater Italy. Students enjoy cooking lessons, language exchanges with Italian students, citywide soccer tournaments, operas, charity events, local festivals and fairs, food tastings, artisan workshops, the secret rooms of Palazzo Vecchio, and much, much more. The Institute also runs optional day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, and Lucca. In fall and spring semesters, a trip to Chianti is an integral part of the orientation program. Not only are these activities interesting and enjoyable for students, they serve to catalyze artistic expression and inspire further independent exploration.