An overview: what is it & who is it for?
- a 6 week course across Italy (4 week option in late summer)
- study Western civilisation through art, architecture & sculpture
- stay in Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Siena & Verona
- for 18 – 22 year olds
- for those of every academic background who seek a cultivated mind
“If I could relive something in my life, it definitely would be reliving my experience with AHA.” Mia, 2015
- gap year, undergraduate & post degree students
- historically, a third are arts and architecture students, a third are doing other humanities and a third are scientists (usually doctors)
- students who realise that a cultured, educated mind is a mark of distinction in whatever career they pursue
- students join individually rather than in groups
- we are a British organisation but we attract students from across the globe
We take students aged between 18 and 22 from every academic discipline. They join because they want to understand why art is important. AHA is the only organisation dedicated to studying the wonders of art at first hand in the company of brilliant, unstuffy tutors who bring art to life. Importantly, we offer the chance to experience Venice, Florence and Rome for meaningful periods of time with shorter stays in Naples, Siena and Verona.
Why should you join?
We want you to have a real, visceral experience of art. So, all of our teaching is on site in small tutorial groups, where we foster discussion and argument. On site study permits all sorts of practical insights such as scale, real colour, and in the case of architecture, actual space.
Furthermore, how wonderful to study the creativity of others and find inspiration. This is where an educated mind becomes a cultivated mind; it is a maturing process in terms of character and intellect. What better way to spend part of a gap year en route to higher study.we have amazing tutors
- we offer privileged access to the treasures of Italy – The Sistine Chapel and St Mark’s Venice, to name but two
- a six week course with AHA is similar to 2 years of University study* representing astonishing value
- AHA extends intellectual horizons and gap year students do not “switch off”
- no obligatory exams but possibility of US college credit**
- how can six weeks in Italy not be fun?
There are no exams on this course because it was born out of an ideal of a gap year, where students sought to embellish their minds through travel, experience and broader horizons. However, don’t imagine this course is a breeze. We work hard, not least because everyone has travelled a long way and there is much to see and do.
Students are over 18 and as such they travel as independent adults on a course where accommodation, travel, special museum bookings and excellent tuition are dealt with by AHA. Thus, you make the very best use of your time.
- University style teaching in tutorials of 9 or fewer students
- AHA studies art in context to include music, philosophy, literature, poetry, politics, theology and aesthetics
- AHA proves broad academic interests to universities and employers alike who look for sentient, interested, interesting students and employees
- we offer travel and pastoral oversight in one gap year experience
* Though comparisons are admittedly imprecise, it is interesting to note that most universities offer 4 hours contact time with a tutor per week in the arts. An AHA course of on site study would represent just shy of 2 years of university study. So, an AHA course is a mighty asset in one’s education.
** On a purely elective basis, students can ask for assessment which could be used to apply for college credit. It comprises a tutor report, attendance record, creative work (film, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, poem or play), project (2,000 words), image recognition paper and a multiple choice paper.
What do you get?
Arguably, Italy has more significant art than any place on earth and so we study painting, architecture, sculpture, textiles, gardens, mosaics, drawings and decorative arts over the following periods:
- the Ancient World
- the Renaissance
- the Baroque
- Modern and Contemporary
Within these periods we study:
- Painting techniques (fresco, oil, tempera, etc.)
- artists: their biographies, significances, influence and patronage
- connoisseurship and collections
- art criticism and propaganda
- Venice – The Renaissance and modern
- Castelfranco – Palladio’s Villas
- Verona – The Gothic, ancient and the court at Mantua
- Florence – The Renaissance
- Siena – The Gothic and politics
- Naples – Ancient Pompeii, The Baroque and modern
- Rome – Ancient, Renaissance, Baroque and modern
We break up the course with day visits to a selection of the following:
- Padua – for Giotto
- Pasagno – for Canova
- Emo and Maser – for Palladio
- Mantua – for The Gonzaga Court
- Vicenza – for Palladio
- Pisa – for the tower
- Arezzo – for Piero della Francesca
- Bomarzo – for the first monastery
- Pompeii or Herculaneum
We also teach the context of art, so we touch on the following where relevant:
- Political theory
We build a solid foundation of the terminology of art and history:
– architectural; vocabulary & descriptive terms
– classical or biblical narrative; myths & stories
– geographical; Italy and Europe
– basic datelines, significant families and Popes
– general themes; politics, propaganda & patronage
- Drawing; there is always someone to help and encourage craftsmanship
- Marbled paper making
- Italian classes in manners and comportment (2 sessions at the beginning of the course)
- Mask making in Venice
- Gondola rowing lessons
- Visits to concerts and the Opera and the football
- Occasional cooking classes
I hope you will agree this course aims to make the most amazing use of your time. Quite simply, we want this to be the greatest experience and a true education. Follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook to see why people love our courses.
To read more independent reviews on: gooverseas.com.