Florence and the Cultural Traditions of Italy

Next Offered: May 10–June 10, 2018
Application Deadline: January 17, 2018

A city of art and culture, Florence is the home of Dante, Lorenzo de' Medici and Machiavelli. As the center of Renaissance civilization, the city offers students many opportunities to become intimately acquainted with the artistic, architectural, literary, and cultural achievements of Italy's past.

In addition to coursework, students learn about Italian art, culture and history simply by being in Florence. Whether they join the scheduled group excursions or choose unplanned trips to magnificent museums, art galleries, churches or theaters, students will experience the best of Italy.

Classes meet Monday through Thursday for four weeks. All entrance fees to museums and other sites are included in the program fee.

Academic Program

All students will enroll in the two courses described below. No course may be taken for Satisfactory/Fail. For auditing policy and withdrawal policy, see course sheet.

Literature/Culture Course: The City as Renaissance Text (3–4 credits) 

This course studies four aspects of the city of Florence, considering it as a text from which one can learn about and experience the birth and the flowering of the Italian Renaissance. Each week is dedicated to specific concepts and incorporates primary texts, both in written and in visual form. This course will meet in the typical class setting and will also incorporate site visits around the city.

The meetings for this course will include pre-departure instruction (a total of eight hours over four weeks) that provide language instruction for students who have no prior experience with Italian. For those students who seek credit in Italian, all work will be conducted in the target language and will include separate meeting times. 

Fulfills Dominican University core curriculum requirement for Literature and requirement for Italian major/minor

English Language Course: Drawing on Florence (3 credits)

This course is a multi-level drawing course in which students work outdoors in the cloisters, gardens and streets of Florence as well as the surrounding Tuscan countryside. Drawing problems focus on working from direct observation and implement basic drawing principles such as sighting and measuring, perspective, light and color. Daily critiques help students develop their own vision and style. Students work together as a group.

The class begins by investigating some of the early interests and problems of the Renaissance, such as perspective and chiaroscuro, and then moves quickly on to color issues such as atmospheric perspective and color unity through the use of color pastels. Students are introduced to drawings and paintings of the Renaissance, as well as 19th and 20th century masters including Corot, Constable, Degas, Sargent and Morandi. 

Fulfills Dominican University core curriculum Fine Arts requirement. May also fulfill certain art major requirements upon departmental approval.

  • Deadline: January 17, 2018
  • Application packet consisting of application and two recommendations
  • Medical form completed by a physician due at time of deposit

For more information, please contact Alison Healy, study abroad coordinator, at studyabroad@dom.edu.

Cost and Financial Aid
Estimated Costs

Program fee: $5,100


  • Round-trip airfare Chicago–Florence–Chicago
  • 6-7 credit hours tuition fee
  • Student housing accommodations
  • In-country excursion to the Chianti countryside
  • Several group dinners
  • Museum pass to major art collections in Florence
  • Health insurance
  • Cell phone rental

Not included in the overall fee are most meals and personal expenses (estimated at $1,200-$1,400) and a refundable $100 security deposit.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • State and federal aid is applicable.
Requirements and Eligibility
  • Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior standing or qualified adults
  • 2.7 Dominican University GPA
  • Students must attend at least one information session.
Excursions, Housing and Transportation

Day excursion to the historic city of Siena.


Participants will be lodged in apartments in the heart of Florence. All apartments are air-conditioned, have internet access and a fully equipped kitchen.


Dominican University will make arrangements for a group fare. Airfare is included in the total program fees.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Healy
Study Abroad Coordinator

Learn more about Study Abroad