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Mapping Experiences: Studio Art/Graphic Design in Florence, Italy

This five-week course, based on an integration of studio art and graphic design, will explore the visualization of information and narrative and how it applies to human experience. Mapping, in its broadest sense, provides structure and visual means by which to understand space and time. As a Study Abroad seminar, Mapping Experience will allow students to process a relatively new culture in an immersive way, to compare and contrast it to their own daily existence, and to work through their ideas visually and experientially.

Students will take Mapping Experience as a 3-credit course and, additionally, take a 3-credit course through Studio Art Centers International (SACI). More information on SACI can be found at

Academic Details

  • ART 104
  • May 17 to June 22, 2013
  • Fulfills Artistic Experience AOI
  • 6 credit hours total (3 through Drake, 3 through SACI)
  • 3 pre-departure and 1 post-travel meetings will be scheduled


The final cost will vary depending on the number of students that enroll.  For 20 students, the cost will be approximately $7100, for the minimum of 10 students the cost will be approximately $7700.  The price includes:

  • 5 weeks in Florence
  • Tuition at both Drake and SACI
  • Airfare to and from Florence, Italy
  • An apartment in the city center of Florence, provided by SACI, with WiFi and within walking distance of SACI's facilities. Apartment also includes a kitchen and is within walking distance of the central market of Florence. 
  • Transportation for all of the four Saturday excursions:  Fiesole, Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano
  • Access to SACI's facilities, including their library. 
  • A museum pass for the Uffizi, Bargello, and Accademia Museums and other major museums in Florence for students to visit as many times as they'd like while they are in Florence (in addition to class trips to the museums). 
  • International Student Identification Card

Additional Expenses

  • Meals are not provided.  The most economical way to eat in Florence will be to get fresh food from the market each day (except for Sunday) to prepare at your flat.  Eating out can get expensive.  For those who choose to indulge in cold, dairy based treats, bring extra money for Florence's insanely good Gelato.  One must also set aside money for espresso in the afternoon!  $20 USD a day (or, around 15 Euro) is probably sufficient for preparing your own meals.  Information on Mercato Centrale can be found here:
  • Personal expenses associated with travel are also not provided--this includes anything needed for additional travel, souvenirs, toiletries, etc.  
  • A $500, non-refundable deposit is required once accepted into the program.

Apply/For More Information

Apply Here

Benjamin Garner, Assistant Professor of Art and Design
HFAC 338 (Prof. Gardner is on sabbatical for the Fall 2012 semester, so it is best to contact him by email).