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Study Abroad/Travel Programs

Study abroad/travel programs provide students with unique opportunities to broaden their world-view, immerse themselves in another culture or environment and positively influence their work as designers and artists. MIAD offers short-term, faculty-led travel programs for students during the summer months and over Spring Break. Past programs have included Italy, Ireland, China, Thailand as well as travel exploring the Desert Southwest and digging for dinosaurs in Montana. Programs currently range in length from 9 days to 4 weeks for 3 to 6 credits. Financial Aid is often available as well as a select number of need-based grants. Most programs are open to students at all levels in all majors.  

MIAD Study Abroad

 In 2019-20, MIAD is offering the following opportunities for students:

FLORENCE, ITALY, May/June 2020

May/June 2020

4 weeks on-site in Florence (mid-May to early June) with scheduled pre- and post-trip class meetings at MIAD

  • 6 credits
  • FA396: Fine Arts Studio Travel Elective or DS396: Design Studio Travel Elective plus HUM396 Humanities Travel Elective or ARTH396 Art History Travel Elective
  • Pre-requisites: Completed WR120 and ARTH151 by time of travel and instructor approval

Florence, Italy



Florence will serve as a focal point as students examine how the layers of history created a breeding ground for culture and aesthetics that is continuously embodied or reinvented in Italian art, design, architecture, and life. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1982, Florence embodies a unique historic, cultural, economic, political, and artistic environment that few other cities can rival. Florence has served as a home to Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern, and Contemporary cultural innovations / monuments which will be utilized to engage student learning. Students will apply universal cultural elements, to define their own interpretation of the Italian aesthetic addressing such issues as innovation, adaptation, assimilation, modernization, variation, etc. The course will use key examples historical and contemporary art and design to trace the Italian aesthetic that has developed.

This course provides the opportunity for in-depth study of the contemporary Italian aesthetic by tracing its development over history through art and design from a connected art history and studio perspective. The objects, monuments, spaces, and other artistic explorations of Italian cultural life will be examined through multi-disciplinary perspectives that address the creative production resulting in the contemporary Italian aesthetic.

The student’s experience is broadened through immersion into the Florentine culture and enriched by reading, research, oral, studio, and written assignments that expand their contextual understanding. The students will realize that, despite geographical distances and cultural differences, all artists and designers share similar aspirations to understand the world around them. As a result of this experience, students will be better able to contextualize and navigate their own studio practices in relation to contemporary social, cultural, or intellectual currents.

Students’ on-site research and exploration will be expanded by discussions with faculty and guest artists, readings, journaling, sketching, photography and other means. Students will also spend time in the Siena as well as other nearby Tuscan towns. By the end of the program, students will produce a written inquiry-based reflection and a studio project translating and integrating their experience of this place. Projects will be completed upon return to MIAD. An exhibition of student work will be installed prior to the start of the fall semester.





Chris Szczesny-Adams is Professor of Art History at MIAD. Chris has been a full-time faculty member at MIAD since 2003 and has led three different trips MIAD study abroad courses to Paris and Florence. 
Jason S. Yi is Professor of Fine Arts and MIAD’s First Year Experience program. He has taught at MIAD since 1994. He has participated in multiple MIAD faculty-led Study Abroad programs to China, Thailand, as well as Florence. 

Estimated Travel/ Course Fee:  $5395

Includes 6 credits MIAD summer tuition, housing, field trips and museum admissions, travel health/safety insurance during program dates, and some group meals.

Students are responsible for necessary passports or visas. Airfare is NOT included. Roundtrip airfare is estimated at $1300 and will need to be purchased sometime in March. Students are typically housing in apartments while on-site, with WIFI, kitchen and laundry facilities.


Regular Application Deadline:  December 2, 2019

Interested students must apply for the program and complete an application packet available outside of office 450B. Completed application forms must include a deposit of $600 payable to MIAD Florence Program, a statement of interest, 2 letters of support from MIAD faculty/staff and financial aid form (whether requesting aid or not).

Students must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Minimum enrollment (12) must be met for program to run. Students are encouraged to submit their application materials earlier than the December 2 regular deadline.  Quality of submitted materials may also influence instructor approval. SPACE IN PROGRAM IS LIMITED.



Florence*Students interested in being considered for this year’s Study Abroad Need-Based Grants MUST submit their complete application package by November 8, 2019.

ALSO…in the event that more students apply than there is space, students applying for the need-based grant who submit applications by the November 8th Early Deadline MAY receive priority.

Application materials must be submitted to Jenny Krantz, Director, Creative Learning Opportunities (450B) by designated deadline.

After a student’s acceptance into the program is confirmed, and signed commitment letter is received, the deposit is non-refundable.
Deposits will be returned if program is canceled for insufficient enrollment or if student is not accepted. 


Financial Aid:

Financial aid is available for qualified students. Interested students should inquire at the MIAD Financial Aid office ASAP to determine individual eligibility. Students should be aware that financial aid cannot be distributed any earlier than 5-7 days before the start of the summer term, so students should plan other means to cover earlier required payments and purchases.


*MIAD Need-Based Study Abroad Grants:

Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, no business office holds, be in good academic standing and a current full-time MIAD student to apply. Grant awards of $500-$750 will be based on a combination of factors including need, quality of written statement of intent, with consideration of student’s cumulative GPA. If a student is awarded a MIAD need-based study abroad grant, this award will be credited to course/travel fee owed AFTER deposit. Awards are contingent upon the program receiving enough applications to run. Students must return signed acceptance/commitment letter for the program and grant award.


Payment Schedule: 

Payments on balance of course fee and tuition* will be due in the MIAD Student Accounts Office. Sample payment schedule based on estimated tuition/course fee noted: 

  • December 2, 2019 (November 8, 2019 for grant consideration) – $600 Deposit must accompany application (non-refundable after commitment letter signed) 
  • February 1, 2019 – $600 
  • March 29, 2019 – $600
  • May 1, 2019 – $3595 FINAL PAYMENT** 

Full payment is REQUIRED before program begins.
– Payments beyond initial deposit may also be non-refundable if expenses have already been paid on participant’s behalf.
** Students who are expecting financial aid for summer semester can elect to have this applied to their final payment.

  • Download more information here
  • Download the application here



Jenny Krantz, Director, Creative Learning Opportunities & Research –  
Office – 450B