Open to all university students, the summer program provides an interdisciplinary learning environment within the framework of design, art, architecture, and art history. The program combines an immersive studio experience in Florence with visits to multiple cities in Italy with diverse cultures and ethnicities.

You earn 9 credits: Concentration studio in Art or Architecture – 6 credits; Everyone takes Art History – 3 credits.

The Florence summer program examines visual culture as a social, political, and aesthetic construct through an art history course and either an architecture or art studio. Collaborative in nature, the studios use drawing and design as a medium for exploration and visual experimentation, as you study the nuanced layers of history within the dynamic context of contemporary life. Visits to other Italian cities will encourage exploration of urban diversity and multiculturalism. Students will explore the themes of history, politics, conflict, and social justice and their impact on creative work. Work in the studio will extend into the city streets, allowing the students to engage the full cultural landscape of contemporary Italy. The small size of the program allows each student to work closely with professors in developing a body of work that is highly personalized, culminating in well-developed final projects.

The summer 2022 program is May 30 – July 30.

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 now at You will write a short essay about your interest in going abroad and what it will bring to your academics and personal experience. You will also submit the name and contact information for two references.


Students will earn 9 credits during the summer  program. All courses must be taken for a grade and the grade will show on the transcript. Registration is handled during Pre-departure Orientation.

Upon successful completion, you received a total of 9 credits:

  • 6 credits of art or architecture studio
  • 3 credits of art and architecture history

Architecture As Solid and Void:
Faculty – Shantel Blakely
The architectural work can be thought of as a sculptural object or as a configuration of shaped space, with distinct implications for what architecture is and what it can do. We will explore the manipulation of solid and void in the work of several architects, and look at the buildings of Florence through these lenses using study models and analytical drawings. The final project will be a medium-sized building for a local site, represented in hand drawings, physical models, and projected images.

From Film to Drones: Exploring Florentine Spaces through Photography
Faculty: Meghan Kirkwood
This studio explores strategies for interpreting and representing urban and rural spaces through a range of photographic media. Using the Florentine landscape as our subject, we will consider how black-and-white film photography, digital imaging, and drones can explore the social, political, and environmental histories that make up a given environment. Travel to Venice and other locations in Tuscany will complement studio work in Florence. This course is open to students from all disciplines and there are no prerequisites.

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.

Passports & Visas

Students obtain their own passports. Students who already have passports should make sure they will be valid at least three months after their last day in Europe. If your passport will expire before this, then you should renew your passport as soon as possible. Visit for more info.

International students should make sure all necessary paperwork is in order and that their country of origin has passport and visa reciprocity with Italy.

US, Korean, Canadian, and European passport holders that are traveling to Italy for less than 90  days do not need a visa.

Chinese passport holders do need a visa to travel to Italy. The School will assist students with the visa application process. 


Due to varying points of departure and individual travel schedules, students arrange their own transportation. During preparation meetings, arrival/departure locations and dates will be confirmed. Specific dates and destinations for arrival and departure will be posted here in early Spring.

Students are responsible for buying their own flights.

Field Trips

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


Students live in apartments in the center of Florence, a short walking distance from the studios, markets, shops, sites, and train station. They are fully furnished and are shared between 3 to 6 students. Florence is a very walkable city and public transportation is also readily available and easy to use.

Single and double rooms are available, but single rooms are more rare in apartments. Housing costs during the program average about $1,000/month for double occupancy rooms, $1,200/month for single occupancy rooms—this cost 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.

Students are required to stay in university arranged housing.


Estimated tuition for the 2022 is $12,798. In addition, students will be responsible for approximately $1,800 to $2,000 in fees to cover international health insurance, some course materials, field trips, and museum 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, supplies, food, 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.


Students will be required to attend two pre-departure orientation meetings to review program details and expectations, learn about Italian cultural, complete forms for the University, etc. The dates for these meetings will be confirmed in the acceptance letter students receive.

Prepare for Florence.