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Art History Abroad


Study art, architecture and European culture in Italy, France and London for a semester in the autumn, 6 weeks during the Gap Year or a 2-4 week Summer holiday course. Art History Abroad programmes are carefully structured and brilliantly taught so that art and culture come to life. We believe in a few simple truths: that art is best taught in the presence of the real thing and that tutor groups (of 9 students or fewer) should encourage discourse and expression. AHA tutors travel with the course, providing a friendly, enthusiastic approach, which has been an inspiration to countless students for 30 years. Open to students of all disciplines, students need only an enquiring mind.


The Red House
1, Lambseth Street
IP23 7AG
United Kingdom


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Going on the six-week gap year trip with Art History Abroad was one of the best experiences of my life thus far. I went in with no prior knowledge of art or art history and left feeling like I was able to hold meaningful conversations about nearly any piece of art placed in front of me. The tutors are incredibly knowledgeable and all wonderful, engaging teachers. Besides being great teachers, they are also amazing people and will feel like friends by the end of the trip.
This trip will present you with some of the most incredible opportunities you can imagine. You see all of the artistic highlights like the David, The Birth of Venus, and more, which are just as remarkable as they are hyped up to be. Beyond that, AHA takes you to places that you would likely never think of on your own. One of my favorite days was a day trip from Naples to the island of Ischia, where we explored a stunning botanical garden and got to spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach and swimming in the Mediterranean. Yes, this trip is about art, but it will teach you about so much more. You will learn about people, food, Italian culture, and life. This trip absolutely changed me for the better as a person and made me feel so much more confident in my abilities as a student and as a young adult. I could try to encapsulate all of my favorite experiences in this review, but it would honestly end up reading like a novel. And besides, seeing these things in real life and learning from these amazing tutors firsthand is even better than hearing about it. The fun memories and friendships I've made from this trip will last me a lifetime.
If you are even remotely considering doing this trip, I recommend you do it. You will not regret it!!

Yes, I recommend this program
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This trip still feels like a hazy dream. I am still trying to comprehend everything that happened. This trip was truly amazing. Our schedule was always jam packed with unique things to do. They took us to places I would never find by myself like Fiesole and the Brion Tomb, which quickly became my two favorite spots on the trip.

Fiesole is now one of my favorite memories. The crowded and long bus ride made it difficult to get up there, but once we were there it was all worth it. The view overlooked Florence, a sunset, and a rainbow. I brought my guitar, so I got to play a few songs for the group while looking at that view.

I feel like a new person after this trip. I'd say my confidence and inspiration have increased. I've made some incredible friends and memories on this trip.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I went on the Northern Italy course that AHA offers, travelling around Venice, Florence, and Rome!! I was lucky enough to have been to each of these places before, but going with the focused purpose of looking at art with a new group of people and some very knowledgable tutors was an entirely different (and amazing) experience. I have never studied History of Art formally but am really interested in it - for me this course was to help decide whether I should study it at university. I was worried about not knowing enough, and despite the fact that most other people on my course were studying History of Art at school, everyone was very welcoming and open. The course had also sent an extensive starter pack of notes beforehand which taught me all of the basics and gave me the confidence that I needed.
Apart from the academic side, I loved the amount of free time - we were given just enough to go shopping, nap, or go to more exhibitions, but not too much to get bored! The majority of my free time was spent seeking out more art to analyse with the other students - it was fun to have other people to share my passion with.
I'd really recommend this course to anyone interested in exploring Italy and learning about the history of it's beautiful art! :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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It was a really amazing experience. Every day we were looking at different pieces of art in their locations. The tutors were so knowledgable and obviously had passion for the subject. They were also loads of fun to be around and didn't take anything too seriously. In Italy, the food was so good and we had great weather. One of the best experiences! Made some best friends. Would definitely recommend to anyone who even has a vague interest in Art History.

How can this program be improved?
It was literally perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I was lucky enough to be awarded the Sir Trenchard Cox Scholarship after submitting two short essays arguing my stance on one piece of art/architecture/sculpture which I love (David’s ‘The Death of Marat’), and one which I loathe (The Shard). The generous prize of a place on the Northern Italy course ended up being two of the most exciting weeks of not just learning, but fun, imaginable.
As someone who would never have been able to attend the course without the generous prize, I cannot recommend entering two essays discussing art you feel passionately about enough, nor applying for any of the courses offered, regardless of whether you are successful or not.
Although our group began the trip as an incoherent group of individuals, we all left as friends bonded by the truly unforgettable experience we shared in Italy while learning from the brilliant, engaging and knowledgeable tutors in an intellectually and socially stimulating environment. Each day flew by with a schedule packed full of visits to galleries filled with influential art and buildings characterised by their incredible architecture, most of which I had only ever read about. The opportunity to engage with art work discussing contemporary society on a global scale, such as at the Venice Biennale and Damien Hirst’s ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’, was second only to being immersed in the deeply-woven sense of history ubiquitous in the cities we visited. For me, a memorable moment was feeling as though we were literally stepping back in time as we explored the various levels and former functions of the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome.
Altogether the trip was the perfect introduction to the culture, art and even language of Italy; although it has definitely set the bar high for the rest of my gap year, I am now more excited than ever to begin studying History of Art and Italian at university next year. My only regret is that the course was not longer!

Yes, I recommend this program


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