Thank you for your question about the fees – I am sure it is one that others must wonder too. We have a scholarship see: http://www.arthistoryabroad.com/Scholarships-available.html and there are significant discounts for signing up early. For example, this year, if signed up to a summer course before the end of December, we will reduce the fees by £200. Early signings will help us significantly because we can the arrange flights before the rush around the Olympics. It may also be the case that your school has a travel scholarship, which we will match to a value of £200. There are also discounts for the friends and siblings of ex students and discounts for those attending more than one course. So, there are several avenues by which you may reduce the fees. The most important thing is to speak directly to us; we love what we do, we love Italy and we want as many people to be involved as possible.
The most expensive element of the fees are hotel costs. We stay in family run hotels in the historic centre of the cities we visit. This is important for the atmosphere but also so that we are close to and amongst the buildings and galleries we want to study. This helps us to make the very best use of your time. On the same theme of time, the most effective and engaging way to see art and particularly architecture, is to study on site in small groups of 9 or fewer with a dynamic expert. It is all important that you see, learn, appreciate and discuss art in the most memorable way and that means not in a lecture room or in a party of 20 or 30 being herded by a guide. Our tutors are inspiring and carefully trained and, with the addition of pastoral care, they work a very long day.
Since we started 25 years ago, we have never had a complaint that the course was not value for money, even though many may have questioned the expense when signing up. Indeed, we often receive the comment that the course ‘was worth every penny’ and our scores for ‘satisfaction’ on post course questionnaire have consistently read as excellent. We are so aware that an AHA course is of high value and we are always conscious that it must deliver in terms of enthusiasm and study. A two week summer course is typically equivalent to 20 weeks of A level study at school or two terms. A gap year course is equivalent to 18 months of A level study at school, so almost like another entire A Level. Compared to other study programmes in Europe we offer the best value in terms of teaching ratio, expertise, local knowledge, private visits and time spent in active study. Lastly, having worked out everything, I always match our weekly costs against a typical boarding school, a residential sailing course in Europe and a skiing holiday with lessons and consistently over the years, we cost less that any of these other worthwhile pursuits on a daily and weekly basis.
So, I hope this goes some way to answering your questions; scholarships and bursaries, and we are always would like to speak to interested students. I hope also that you can see that we do not compromise on any of the arrangements we make ( I have not even gone into the considerable daily cost of museums or transport) and lastly, I hope I have shown that our fees are equivalent or less to others in the educational and travel world. Most of all, I hope you can see that we approach our work with a full heart and a genuine desire to make the appreciation of art as good as it can be and to reach out to as many as we can.