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Florence, Italy (J-Term)


Program Dates: Program will run again in 2026. 

Academic Focus: Art and Art History
Students in this J-term course will have the chance to explore Florence, Italy- the city recognized as the cradle of the Renaissance- as a city and region, from ancient settlements to the 21st century. During this program, students will:
  • explore Florentine history, focusing particularly on early Renaissance painting and high Renaissance sculpture.
  • discuss, admire, and draw from artwork by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Artemisia Gentileschi;
  • study Florence's religious and political heritage, including the Florentine Republic and the Medici family, and Florence's role in the 20th century unification of Italy as a nation;
  • familiarize themselves with local Italian culture and values by residing in the Medieval city center, blocks away from the Duomo.
Student will accomplish these goals by participating in the following:
  • create a 10-12 minute oral presentation during the trip in addition to an accompanying handout on this topic
  • recording the activities of the trip in a written and visual travelogue
  • participate in extended drawings on location. All students will receive basic drawing instruction; no drawing experience needed.

Eligibility: Open to all majors. Student must be in good academic standing and have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of application (and maintain that GPA minimum until the semester before the program). Limited slots available. 
*Because of the location and the nature of our activities, it is critical that the students that participate in this J-term course are prepared physically, emotionally, and mentally for the experience. Florence's medieval center, where housing and most class activities will be located, is a pedestrian-only location. As such, you will need to be able and willing to walk at least two miles without difficulty. 

Faculty Leaders: Elise Schweitzer (
                           Genevieve Hendricks (

Application Information: Applications will be open August 1-September 29, 2023. For any questions or more information on how to apply to this program, please contact the faculty leaders listed above.

Funding Opportunities: All Hollins students can apply for funding for this program through the Hollins International Travel Awards. Hollins students who are Federal Pell Grant recipients are also encouraged to apply for the Gilman International Scholarship (which opens mid-August 2023 with deadline of October 5, 2023; notification of award will be in December 2023). 

For further questions, contact the faculty leaders for this program.

below: a view of Florence from a rooftopFlorence Rooftop View skinny