My Dear Friend, Time by Ellen (Jing) Xu

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Studio Art in Rome

rome study abroad
(Photo: Curt Labitzke)

Alternating years in Autumn Quarter, the School of Art + Art History + Design offers a unique opportunity to study and create art in the vibrant and historical city of Rome. Through site visits in Rome and field trips to selected major cultural centers of Italy, students will have the amazing chance to experience first hand some of the most influential art and culture in Western civilization. Studio assignments and individual projects create a framework for art making that may be a direct response to living and working in Rome or a continuation of previous studio work. The program is intensive and interdisciplinary in nature.

Program Dates

2017 dates to be determined.

Facilities and Lodging

Housed in the magnificent seventeenth century Palazzo Pio, the UW Rome Center serves as the primary base for the Studio Art Program. Located in the historical center of Rome, the Palazzo traces its origins to the Roman Theater of Pompey (55 BC), portions of which are still visible within the building and the surrounding neighborhood. It serves the program’s studio, lecture, library, computing, seminar, and administrative functions.  The Program begins this year in the beautiful city of Venice. We will be in the historical city for approximately one week and will visit the Venice Biennale and most major cultural sites. The program will conclude with a one week field trip to Southern Italy and may encompass the greater Naples area, including Herculaneum or Pompeii, and various sites in Sicily such as Palermo and Syracusa.

Students are housed in shared apartments within easy walking distance or a short bus ride from the Palazzo Pio. The program also arranges shared accommodations during scheduled field trips. There are no single rooms available either in Rome or on the field trips.


Students will earn a total of 17 credits for successful participation in the Studio Art Program in Rome.  Art majors will work with their faculty and advisers prior to departure to decide how these credits will be applied to their degree.

Visual Resources (10 Credits)

This course will introduce students to the art, architecture, and culture of Rome and other parts of Italy through lectures, field trips, and daily experiences. The quarter will begin with a few short-term projects and presentations to get everyone acquainted with the studio and to stimulate dialogue between the students and faculty. In addition, students will be required to maintain a comprehensive sketchbook and/or visual diary documenting their experiences throughout the course of the program.

Studio Projects (5 Credits)

Individual studio projects are to be determined by the students in consultation with their program faculty. By mid-quarter, students will be asked to identify and begin work on a major final project. This may be a direct response to living and working in Rome or a continuation of work begun prior to the start of the program. For many students, the final project naturally becomes a combination of both. This work or series of works may be created using any of the following methods or materials to include: drawing, works on paper, photography, video, painting, sculpture, fabric, mixed media, found object collage, typography or any combination of the above, given the students’ areas of concentration and interests. Group critiques and individual discussions with faculty will be an active part of these courses. Shared studio space and group critiques make the program interdisciplinary by nature. Projects will be displayed in a group exhibition to take place at the Palazzo Pio towards the end of the program.

Italian (2 Credits)

Italian for travelers will be taught as a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory course. This course will be taught at different levels depending on the students’ background.
If possible, students are encouraged take one or more Italian language courses prior to departure. Italian language experience is NOT required.

Eligibility and Language Requirements

Studio Art in Rome is primarily designed for undergraduate and graduate Art students, but other UW students with an interest and background in art are encouraged to apply.

There is no language requirement, but any Italian language or art history experience is strongly encouraged.

Art undergraduate and graduate students will be given priority. Approximately 20 students are accepted each year. Participants are selected on the basis of high scholarship, academic preparation, motivation, emotional maturity, statement of intent, financial responsibility, and faculty recommendation.

Participants should not plan to be accompanied by family members; exceptions require approval by program faculty.

The University of Washington provides equal opportunity in education without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.

Cost and Payment Schedule

The estimated program fee in 2015 was $7,200, which covered:

  • Accommodation and utilities in Rome
  • Studio space, darkroom, library and computing center
  • Instruction, individual and group critiques
  • Italian lessons in Italy
  • Guest lectures
  • Entrance fees on scheduled site visits
  • Transportation and lodging on scheduled field trips outside of Rome

This does not include IPE Fee ($250), airfare, food, Study Abroad Insurance ($37/month) and personal spending money.

Estimated Additional Expenses*

IPE Fee: $250 (required)
Roundtrip Airfair: $1,000 – $1,500
Study Abroad Insurance: $37/mo (required)
Food, personal expenses, supplies, cell phone: $1,700

*additional expenses vary widely due to personal preferences and needs.

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. A $350 non-refundable program deposit and $250 non-refundable IPE Fee will be charged to your MyUW Account once your signed contract has been received by the Study Abroad Office.  A detailed withdrawal policy will be signed when committing to the payment contract.

Financial Aid

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions may not apply, so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

Revision Request: You can request an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds) from the Financial Aid Office if the cost of the program exceeds the regular budgeted amount for a student living in the Seattle area.

Application Process

The application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, two faculty recommendations, five images of your artwork, and electronic signature documents related to University policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once admissions decisions have been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.

Please use the drop box link below to submit your five works of your art:

2015 Program Leader

Curt Labitzke,

Program Type: 
Quarter-long Programs
Program Status: