Study Abroad


France|Italy|Spain|Australia|Japan|Ireland|Pre-Architecture Programs|Internships

The faculty in the Art Department feels strongly that studying in a foreign country can be an extraordinary opportunity to learn about art in its original setting and to create art in inspiring and challenging environments. However, finding a good art program among the many international programs approved by Wake Forest can be difficult. Many programs (including Wake Forest houses in London, Venice, and Vienna) offer one or two art history courses. Only a few offer any studio courses, and of those only a few are challenging courses fully compatible with our program. Similarly only a few programs offer a wide variety of art history courses, including advanced courses, comparable to those taught at Wake Forest.

Going to a specialized program abroad offers studio art majors exposure to life and work in art school. For those thinking of a career in fine arts and design this is an especially valuable experience- a chance to make contacts and see what advanced training in the field might involve.

The programs described below are those that the Art Department faculty have evaluated, and in many cases, visited. We also list a few others that our majors have participated in recently. We have concentrated on programs in countries of greatest interest to art students. If you are interested in another program, first consult with the WFU Center for Global Programs and Studies. If a program approved by GPS offers art courses but they have not been approved by the art department, you will need to provide us with a detailed course syllabus.

You need to be aware that the American system of fine arts instruction in a university setting is nearly unique–art instruction in Europe is primarily through art schools whose systems of credit do not mesh easily with ours. For this reason our students find it difficult to take studio courses and also find a range of liberal arts courses in European universities. When looking at schools you need to be sure that they will offer more than a vocational training; be skeptical of the quality of instruction that caters to Americans abroad- these can vary widely!

Transcript information: All courses taken in non-Wake Forest programs will be assigned the number Art 500 (for art history) or Art 210 (for studio courses). Courses with these designations do count toward the art major. Each course will be evaluated when you return, to determine which specific requirements within the major your courses may satisfy. Courses taken in non-Wake Forest programs do not receive divisional credit. Read our Transfer Policies.


Paris: The American University of Paris (art history, limited studio offerings)

Paris: Hollins University
(art/architectural history)

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Florence: Syracuse UniversityA large program with classes held in a palazzo and neighboring buildings within walking distance of the historic center of Florence. Fall and spring semester programs, as well as summer session. Courses (except for Italian language courses) are taught in English. Most undergraduates live with carefully selected Italian families, often with an American roommate. Wide range of art history and studio programs are offered in all sessions. Art history courses include several field trips in Florence, Rome, Siena, and other Italian cities. Of special interest is the pre-architecture program which offers architectural drawing and design in a special studio. A full range of liberal arts courses including Italian, literature, political science, history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and women’s studies.

Florence: Studio Art Centers International (SACI)
Founded in 1975 the SACI program is located in several buildings in the heart of Florence.Undergraduate students may attend for either one or two semesters. The program focuses on studio art, with offerings in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, video and filmmaking. There are also substantial offerings in art history, Italian language, culture and literature. In addition there are opportunities to take courses in museology and conservation.

Florence: New York University
NYU’s campus in Florence s located just outside the city on a beautiful site,complete with its own working grove of olive trees. This is a large program with a wide range of academic offerings. It is best suited for art history or humanities students; it has limited studio facilities. Semester and summer programs are offered.

Rome: IES Abroad
Offers a wide variety of art and architectural history courses, from ancient Roman through 17th century, as well as courses on urban design, conservation, and Rome as a living museum. Internships in art museums are available. Other courses include Italian language, history, political science, literature and film. Classes are held in the Rome Center, near Castel Sant’Angelo, with many site visits throughout the city and region. Studio classes may be taken through the Rome University of Fine Arts. Semester and summer programs. Apartments or homestays.

Rome: Temple University (studio art; art/architectural history)

Rome: ISA/American University of Rome (art/architectural history; studio art)

Siena: IES Abroad
A smaller program in a city that still retains much of its historic character. Art history courses focus on Sienese art of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Other courses include Italian language, economics, history, and literature. Students with strong language skills may take courses at the Università degli Studi di Siena. Semester and summer programs. Apartments or homestays.

Studio art opportunities for students enrolled in Wake Forest programs:

Venice: Scuola Internazionale di Grafica
Students going to Wake’s Casa Artom who have had some experience in printmaking, digital media, or painting, have the possibility of doing course work at the Scuola Internationale di Grafica, an atelier-style specialized program. If you are interested in pursuing this, contact an art faculty member early in the application process.

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IES Barcelona (art/architectural history)

IES Madrid (art/architectural history)

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Please note that Wake Forest University has approved only a limited number of programs in Australia. The following approved programs have extensive studio art programs.

Sydney: College of Fine Arts / University of New South Wales (through Butler University) is
recommended for its great facility and wide range of courses. Although more
independent work is expected, students find the courses in art school challenging
and valuable.

Melbourne: The School of Art and Design at Monash University (through Butler University) has a new building with wonderful facilities. Courses are demanding and varied, with a full range of fine arts and design studios.

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Wake Forest’s program at Kansai Gaidai University offers two studio courses in traditional Japanese arts, brushpainting and pottery that can be used as electives. A variety of art history courses are also offered.

Tokyo: Temple University (studio art; art history)

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Burren College of Art is a small art school that caters to American art students. It is in a relatively isolated setting, with ample opportunity to focus on the artistic life. Classes are small and students work very independently in upper level classes. There are frequent critiques and many visiting artists.

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Pre-Architecture programs are designed for undergraduate students who are not currently enrolled in a professional architecture program, but who wish to learn more about the practice of architecture. These are rigorous programs, with studio experiences similar to that of professional architecture schools. They are particularly good for students who are considering enrolling in master of architecture programs.

Florence: Syracuse University
Students take three pre-architecture program courses for six credits (Architectural Concepts, Architectural Freehand Drawing, and Architectural Analysis and Design), an art history course and Italian language courses. (Includes extensive site visits in Florence and in cities like Rome, Mantua, or Venice.)

Copenhagen, Denmark: DIS
A semester-long program designed for students in liberal arts universities, with limited prior experience in architectural design or drafting. Students take a six hour Architecture Foundations Studio, 20th Century Danish Architecture, and one other Architecture and Design course, along with a language or humanities course. DIS also offers a five-week summer Pre-Architecture program, in which students take Architecture Foundations Studio and Scandinavian Architecture and Design for a total of six hours of credit.

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Wake Forest University has approved the Boston University Internship Programs in London, Paris, Dublin, Auckland, Sydney, and Madrid. In most of these cities, internships can be arranged with important art museums, galleries, auction houses, and other art related organizations.

Art internships are also available through the IES program in Rome.

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Last update: November 18, 2012