Open to all university students, the 2021 Summer Program provides an interdisciplinary learning environment within the framework of design, art, architecture, and art history. The Summer 2021 program is in development now. Details will be posted here as they become available. Curriculum for both Art and Architecture will be available, and the program will be open to all WU students.

In the summer program in Florence, you spend two months broadly examining visual culture as a social, political, and aesthetic construct through an art history course and either an architecture or art studio.

Eligibility & Prerequisites

Any WashU student can study abroad in the Florence Summer Program. Students must:

  1. Apply on time
  2. Have and maintain a 3.0 GPA
  3. Be in good academic and behavioral standing with the university
  4. Attend the two mandatory prep meetings before departing for the program

There is no language prerequisite for the summer program.


Apply online at the link above starting September 1, 2020. You will write a short essay about your interest in going to Florence and what it will bring to your academics and personal experience. You will also submit the name and contact information for two references. More details are given in the application.


In past iterations of the program, students have earned 10 credits during the Florence Summer Program. All courses must be taken for a grade and the grade will show on the transcript. Registration is handled during the preparation meetings.

Collaborative in nature, the studios use drawing and design as a medium for exploration and visual experimentation, as you study the nuanced layers of Florentine history within the dynamic context of contemporary life. Work in studios extends into the streets of Florence and surrounding cities, allowing you to engage the full cultural landscape of contemporary Europe. The small size of the program allows you to work closely with professors in developing a body of work that is highly personalized, culminating in well-developed final projects.

In the past, upon successful completion, you received a total of 10 credits:

  • 6 credits of art or architecture studio
  • 3 credits of art and architecture history
  • 1 credit of Italian language

For Sam Fox School students, the studio and history courses count toward your major, including as Sam Fox School Elective courses. These credits may also count toward a minor in design, art, or architecture, or fulfill the Humanities credit for engineering students.

Read the course descriptions and see photos from past summers here.


Due to varying points of departure and individual travel schedules, students arrange their own transportation. Students must arrive in Florence on May 16, 2020, and must check out of housing on July 29 by 10am.

Florence has an airport, the Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola, and main train station, Santa Maria Novella, which are both suitable arrival destinations. While it is possible to arrive to another airport and take the train to Florence, students should consider how much luggage they are traveling with and how comfortable they are traveling in a foreign country with lots of luggage.

Students are responsible for buying their own flights.

Field Trips

Field trips are organized by faculty to destinations throughout Italy and Europe including to Venice for the Venice Biennale. These field trips are a required part of the Art History class and do not disappoint. The trips are organized for the entire group and billing for the field trips (transportation to and from, lodging, museum admissions) will be on WebSTAC, not out of pocket while abroad.

Approximately 3 group field trips will take place during the summer abroad.

Personal travel is also popular on weekends and during fall or spring break. Being based in Florence, students have easy access to popular destinations throughout Italy and Europe. We encourage students to take advantage of the great location, but advise all students to wait to book their personal trips until after they have their syllabi. Personal travel is not an excuse for missing class, and will be counted as an absence, which could effect the final grade.


Students live in apartments in the city center, are fully furnished, and are shared between 3 to 8 students. Single and double rooms are available, but single rooms are rarer in both apartments and homestays. Housing costs during the program average about $1,000/month for double occupancy rooms, $1,200/month for single occupancy rooms—the fee includes utilities.

Students are required to pay a $250 deposit for the furnished apartments. If the apartment is in good condition at the end of the summer, students will receive a full refund. Any charges for damage to apartment will be taken out of the deposit.

Apartments don’t have air conditioning, but it can be very hot in Florence during the summer. This year, air conditioning will be available for $600 per apartment for two portable air condition units. For utility costs, approximately $50 will be withheld from the housing deposit.

Students are required to stay in university arranged housing.


Estimated tuition for the 2020 10-credit, nine-week summer program is $13,400. In addition, students will be responsible for approximately $1,700 in fees to cover international health insurance, course materials, field trips, museum passes, and library passes.

A limited number of students can receive financial assistance based on need and merit. Please indicate on your application whether you are interested in receiving financial assistance.

Students will need to make a Program Deposit of $1,000 to reserve their place in the program. This will be due approximately 1 month after notification of acceptance.

Tuition and fees are due before the program begins and will be billed through WebSTAC. Students are responsible for paying for airfare to Italy, activities fee, supplies, international health insurance, visa application fee, international phone, etc.

Scholarship Opportunities

Outside scholarships are accepted to cover program costs. There are a variety of scholarships offered by or outside of Washington University that can help you pay for studying abroad. It is important to note that deadlines change from year-to-year and after often six-nine months (or even a year) prior to your term abroad. This list is NOT exhaustive; be sure to do some research on your own. 

Washington University Resources

Global Resources: Opportunities for funding to support research and study abroad are available through Washington University in St. Louis. 

Avram A. & Jill Glazer Global Learning Fund: Opportunities for funding to support BSBA students abroad on BSBA administered programs. Students should have demonstrated financial need.

General Scholarships

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships: awards up to $5,000 for US pell-grant eligible undergraduate students. Programs must be at least 28 days in any country except Cuba or a country on the U.S. Department of State’s current Travel Warning list. The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad as well as the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints. Contact your Global Programs Advisor or Dr. John Milstead for more information.

Gilman-McCain Scholarship: This scholarship is a congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department and State and named after the late senator John S. McCain from Arizona. The Gilman-McCain Scholarship provides awards of $5000 for child dependents of active duty service members to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs. 

Boren Awards for International Study: Boren Scholarships are awarded to U.S. undergraduates for study in foreign countries that are areas deemed critical to U.S. national security and underrepresented in study abroad. All must incorporate a less commonly taught language. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree, students must perform one year of service to the federal government. Contact Dr. Helen Human at for more information.

Diversity Abroad Scholarships: Various scholarship programs aimed at increasing the number of minority students who study abroad. Amounts and deadlines vary.

Fund for Education Abroad: Applicants must be US citizens participating on a program of at least 4 weeks. They target underrepresented group and there are also LGBT, regional, and athletic awards. Award amounts range from $1,250 to $10,000 based on the length of program abroad. 

NAFSA: Resource for additional scholarship opportunities.

Study Abroad Funding: Resource for additional scholarship opportunities.