Washington State Community College Consortium For Study Abroad

Florence, Italy

Posted by csvoboda On November - 5 - 2016


PROGRAM DATES: March 30 – June 16, 2017



In the heart of Tuscany, the landscapes and cityscapes of Florence, Italy, have inspired some of the greatest artists in history. Today, the city is a kind of crossroads not only to Italy but all of Europe, attracting visitors (and residents) from many cultural backgrounds. Studying in Florence will give you the chance to be in a very cosmopolitan atmosphere, and at the same time be situated safely among fellow students from Washington State. As you get to know the area and become more practiced in the Italian language, you will meet local residents as well as other students who have chosen to study abroad. Whether you are an artist, a painter, a filmmaker, a musician,a footballer, a hiker, an avid reader, or all of the above, your field trips and class lessons will be suited to your needs and interests, as you travel to concerts, films, soccer matches and museums alike! And remember, your instructor is a student in Italy, as well. You will learn from each other, study the Italian language, and be inspired by your work in the classroom and beyond. The WCCCSA group will become a true community of scholars, making your experience an adventure, a joy, and a comfortable entrance into new terrain and another language.


SITE LOCATION:  The AIFS Study Center is located in the heart of Florence, within a 13th century palazzo in the Santa Croce district.  It houses the student services office and classrooms, and is within walking distance of all the main sights, museums and shops.

CLASSROOM:  Classrooms are equipped with a whiteboard, multimedia projector and projection screen, DVD player, speakers, and a laptop computer. WiFi is available.


  • Fully staffed AIFS office in the Study Center including an AIFS Program Coordinator and Student Advisors to provide information, personal advising/counseling and 24-hour emergency contact service. The AIFS staff is there to make sure students get the most out of their time in Florence.
  • Free wireless Internet access in the Study Center during class hours Monday to Friday plus free wireless Internet in the apartments where possible.

TRANSPORTATION: Although Florence is a large city, it is fairly easy to get around most of the historical center, where the Study Center is located, on foot.  The city is also well-connected by a bus system.  Tickets can be purchased at any tobacconist shop displaying an orange “A.T.A.F.” sign or at the A.T.A.F. office in Florence.  Students may purchase single tickets, multiples of two or four, or a monthly pass, among other options.


Scott Bailey spent years as an artist and an educator while living in Japan and Egypt and traveling to more than 50 countries before eventually returning to Washington, near where he grew up.  He has taught Drawing, Painting, and Art History at the college level for two decades and currently serves as the head of the Art Department at Wenatchee Valley College. He holds a BA in Fine Arts from Gonzaga University (where he spent a year in Florence, Italy) and earned an MFA degree in Painting from Colorado State University.

As a practicing artist, has held solo exhibitions of his paintings, sculptures, and installations in the U.S., Japan, Italy, Egypt, and South Africa, and his work has been critically recognized in a variety of national and international publications. He has also worked as a curator and writer, including as the Seattle Corresponding Editor for Contemporary Magazine (London). See examples of his creative work at www.sbailey.us.


– Italian Language and Culture (5 credits) is required of all students and provides an introduction to the culture. This course is taught by qualified local guest lecturers, focusing on historical, political, economic and cultural aspects of contemporary Italy.

– Drawing 1 (5 credits) introduces students to the principles of drawing from observation. Students will be exposed to various media (graphite, charcoal, Conté Crayon, ink, colored pencil, etc.); and will study line, perspective, shading, and techniques for drawing figures, interiors, landscapes, and architecture. Students will keep a sketchbook for continually recording observations, and will work toward a final project that communicates a personal viewpoint in a unique way.

Drawing is the most foundational skill for artists, but students in other disciplines will find it useful as well. The ability to communicate with images is tremendously helpful, especially in the STEM fields. Drawing skills (which anyone can learn!) enhance new ways of thinking, and increase one’s ability to focus on details and identify the essential and the abstract. With proper instruction, context for use, and repetition, students will be surprised at their newfound abilities.

Florence is an ideal setting for this class, as students will be taught the historical context of the craft, so much of which developed at sites they will be able to visit in person. (We will learn linear perspective while standing in the exact spot at the Duomo where Brunelleschi worked out the system!) Students will study important works of public sculpture and architecture around Florence and visit to local museums to see, first-hand, some of the greatest works of art ever created.

– Art History Survey: Renaissance (5 credits) is an introduction to the history of art with its epicenter in Florence. Students will learn about the art and architecture of Western Civilization (with a focus on Renaissance through Baroque periods), becoming familiar with the major artists, their media (painting, drawing, sculpture, and architecture), and their ideas in the context of world history.

The ability to look critically at a work of art is a skill that will be useful to anyone, even those in other fields. Observing a work of art (looking for patterns and relationships; asking what, how, and why questions; and making creative hypotheses) is similar to the way scientists observe their subjects. In today’s interdisciplinary and global society, the visual literacy and critical thinking skills developed in an art history class are more important than ever.

The Renaissance provides the foundation for understanding many other period of history. Being in Florence, with the ability to study from the masterworks of the great Renaissance artists in the Uffizi, the Accademia, etc., provides an ideal place for learning. While much of art history is taught using digital images, there is no substitute for the real thing. This course, when paired with Drawing and taught on location in the birthplace of the Renaissance, will be an unforgettable and invaluable experience.

This is an academic program and students are expected to enroll in a full-time course load. Failure to participate in the academic coursework may result in dismissal from the program. Students are encouraged to make the most of their classroom learning as it will enhance understanding of all the local area has to offer.


  • Orientation program in Florence including a meeting with AIFS staff, student information packet, local area information, welcome dinner and half-day guided walking tour of Florence.
  • Weekly program of subsidized cultural activities. The program allows students to experience typical Italian pastimes and explore the city in depth. Each term we offer walking tours, traditional cooking classes, wine tasting lectures, ballet, soccer matches, a day trip to Pisa, concerts and more.
  • Museum pass for each student valid for the duration of the program with unlimited entry to the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia, Bargello, Pitti Palace, San Marco Museum and Medici Chapel.
  • Guided day trip to the medieval town of Siena, famous for its Palio horse race, and then on to see the walled hilltop town of San Gimignano with its famous towers.

HOUSING:  Accommodation in apartments in the Historical Center of Florence. Students will be in twin rooms with typically four WCCCSA students sharing a two-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen for cooking all your meals. You will be right in the heart of the city with local Florentines as your neighbors.


COSTS: $7,095


  • Accommodation in apartments in the Historical Center of Florence.
  • Orientation program in Florence
  • Fully staffed AIFS office in the Study Center including an AIFS Program Coordinator and Student Advisors to provide information, personal advising/counseling and 24-hour emergency contact service.
  • Weekly program of subsidized cultural activities.
  • Museum pass for each student valid for the duration of the program with unlimited entry to the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia, Bargello, Pitti Palace, San Marco Museum and Medici Chapel.
  • Guided day trip to the medieval town of Siena and San Gimignano.
  • Free wireless Internet access in the Study Center during class hours Monday to Friday plus free wireless Internet in the apartments where possible
  • $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Student medical and program fee refund insurance policies.


  • $250 refundable damage deposit
  • Airfare
  • College tuition and fees
  • Course books or materials (unless specified)
  • Passport and visa fees if applicable
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not specified as included in the program
  • Optional personal effects coverage and medical insurance upgrade


WCCCSA Florence participants are all eligible to apply for the $1,000 WCCCSA scholarship.

To apply, download the WCCCSA Scholarship application below:

wcccsa-study abroad-scholarship-application

Send completed application form and all supporting documents to Ulli Schraml at uschraml@whatcom.ctc.edu on or before January 17, 2017 at 5pm. This scholarship is open to all students applying to the WCCCSA Flroence program.


If you are a Pell Grant Recipient you are eligible to apply for a Benjamin A Gilman Scholarship. Online application opens mid-August with the Deadline of First Tuesday in October.  http://www.iie.org/programs/gilman-scholarship-program