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  • Locations: Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 03/08/2018
Rolling Admission 05/11/2018 05/25/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Program Type Detailed: UC Faculty-Led Program Program Type General: Faculty-Led
Level of Study: Graduate, Undergraduate Academic Theme: Art, Architecture, Planning, and Design
Credit Offered: UC Credit Registration Term: Spring
Language Courses Offered: No Language of Instruction: English
Language Prerequisite: No Housing Options: Hotel
Program Lead Faculty: Catherine Richards Program Additional Faculty: Emil Robinson
Program Advisor: Thomas Shannon
Program Description:


Program Overview

The Artist Immersion Program is an in-depth drawing and painting adventure for all levels of interest and ability. 
  • Learn to paint and draw in the Italian Countryside. 
  • Explore ancient and modern Italy while staying in a beautiful Italian Villa in Tuscany.
  • Draw your way through Florence, Siena and other important towns. 
  • Enjoy group dinners out on the town and in the elegant villa.
Surround yourself in a culture vibrant and alive with cutting edge design, fashion, and culture. Live as an artist in italy building lifelong skills and confidence. 


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We are hosting 2018 at a villa in Tuscany near Sansepolcro, the site of Piero Della Francesca's masterpiece "The Resurrection." Sansepolcro is situated 45 minutes from Florence. We stay at an agritourismo or organic farm.

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Who Can Participate?

Students at the following levels are eligible to participate in this program:
Graduate Students


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Academic Program and Course Information

Course Overview:
This course is appropriate for anyone looking for a painting experience in the landscape. Beginners, as well as experienced painters, are welcome. We will immerse ourselves in the landscape of Italy and find ways to communicate how we see it through drawing and painting. We will also study historic works on several trips to large and small cities around italy. The first week will be spent working carefully with basic drawing techniques, value studies, and simplified color relationships. These exercises will tune your eyes and hands to the specificity of our location. We will discuss how to prioritize when viewing something that overwhelms and surrounds you with beauty. The second week will be spent with more realized studies in color. These skills are for a lifetime of discovery while traveling, allowing you to draw and paint while experiencing new ideas and cultures.

We will paint Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. On Fridays, we will travel to important sites and cities around Italy. The weekends are available for independent work, travel or relaxation. Each workday will be broken into two long working periods with a lunch/siesta/group critique time in the middle. The first working period will start around 9am and last until roughly 12:30pm. The second work period will begin around 2:30pm and last until 5-7pm depending on the day and evening activities. Group critiques will be bi-weekly. Faculty will work directly with the students for one of the work periods each day. The other work period will be for independent work with assigned goals.

Course Goals:
View the landscape as a painter.
Organize/draw the shapes of the landscape.
Find the largest most impactful value relationships in the chosen scene.
Identify the relative temperature and saturation in the color of the landscape.

Skills Acquired:
Basic knowledge of oil painting technique and materials
Advanced visual organization skills
Advanced sensitivity to color, value, composition, texture, and pictorial depiction

All students in this program are required to enroll in DSGN3060-001(for 1 credit) OR DSGN4060-001 for 3 credits for spring 2018.
Tuition and fees are assessed based on total enrolled hours for a term. This includes the hours associated with the study abroad class. Students who enroll for more than 18 hours for the term will be assessed additional per credit hour fees over and above the flat fees associated with being enrolled full-time (for most students full-time is 12-18 hours).
Co-op students selected to participate in this program are required to enroll in the course during the designated term, regardless of when the student may be on co-op.  If the course is during a term when the student is on co-op, tuition and fees will be charged per a student’s residency status and college, based on the part-time per credit hour rate.
A student can see his/her full and part time tuition rates and college fees here (use left-side navigation menu to click into the relevant academic year):

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Catherine Richards, Painting & Drawing Instructor
Catherine is an artist and architect. She explores materials and perception on a variety of scales, from wearable art and textiles, to sculpture and installation. Catherine worked at OMA and RE X architects in New York City, along with Metaphor Unlimited in London. Her studio practice and non profit works are process oriented, with a strategy of critical naiveté. Catherine is co-founder of the art collective Hark+ Hark and the experimental arts program Modern Makers. Catherine has exhibited work nationally and internationally at galleries and museums including a solo show at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center UnMuseum, solo show Capricious Alignment at Solway Gallery February 2017, traveling exhibition with Marchon Eyewear in Paris, London Berlin and Tokyo with Hark + Hark, a group show in Russia 2016 summer, exhibition at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids Michigan and Installation's in Art Prize.

Emil Robinson, Painting & Drawing Instructor
Emil's paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally. His work has been featured at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, Waterhouse and Dodd in London, England and at the Taft Museum in Cincinnati. Awards recieved include the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, an international grant for excellence in representational painting, and a prize from the Smithsonian. The Washington Post, Artists Magazine, and Fine Art Connoisseur have all reviewed Emil's work. He also writes art criticism for the online journal Aeqai, where his work has gained attention and honors from The Huffington Post. Emil was nominated for the Mrs. A.B. Dolly Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Cincinnati, where he teaches painting and drawing. Emil shows artwork across the US and internationally, along with lecturing on his work and practice.

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Living Arrangements

We rent out one or more villa's on the agritourismo. The rooms are all two- four person accommodation. The facilities are set in nature, so you can hike and explore. There is shared space for the whole group along with other private space. This past year we had pools at each villa along with a spa!

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Getting There

Students are responsible for their international airfare to and from Italy. Students are expected to arrive on Friday May 11 at Rome FCO airport no later than 11 am. This means you leave the US on May 10th! Fly home May 24 no earlier than 11:30 am as we need to drive and arrive early to the airport from the villa. 

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Program Costs

  2018 Program Cost: 3990.00
Included in Program Cost:
  • Housing / accommodations
  • Some meals (All breakfasts included)
  • In-country transportation for program-planned activities
  • Cultural excursions/entrance fees
  • International emergency and evacuation insurance
  • Professional translator and private guides
  • Discussions with Guest Lecturers
Not Included in Program Cost:
  • Tuition – (at your standard tuition rate)
  • Passport application/renewal fees (~$165)
  • Recommended/required immunization/vaccination fees (~$)
  • International airfare
  • Personal spending/souvenirs (~$)
  • Visa application/processing fees (~$)
  • ISIC Card ($25)
This program has been awarded a $400 UC International Scholarship (matriculated, UC degree-seeking students only).  UC International scholarship requires a minimum 2.0 GPA.

*For those who apply to this program after 1/14/2018, this scholarship is no longer available.*  

Note that both program charges and UC International scholarship will be posted separately on a student’s OneStop bill on the semester in which the course for the study abroad experience is given.  Program charges are posted shortly after students commit to the program through the online application process.  Scholarships are posted after all students 1) register for the course connected to the study abroad experience, and 2) complete all study abroad online paperwork.

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UC Financial Aid and Scholarships

For full details on using your financial aid to help pay for your study abroad experience, you should contact UC Financial Aid.

UC International awarded over $800,000 in student scholarships last year. Please refer to the UC International webpage for more information.

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Passports and Visas

A valid passport is essential to your international travel and study abroad. If you are planning to travel abroad, it's best to apply for a passport now as processing times may vary. Please see for more information.

In order to obtain country-specific visa instructions and resources, refer to your host country’s embassy web page. One way to access this information is via the US Department of State’s webpage at:

UC International is happy to guide UC faculty, staff and students to possible resources about visas for study abroad. Although, applying for the necessary visa for travel is the responsibility of the individual UC traveler. Entry requirements change frequently, and we advise you to pay close attention to consular updates. It is your responsibility to know and address the requirements for your host study abroad destination.

Applying for a visa can be a complicated process. Some UC travelers choose a third party to assist with this process, for example Travisa or A Briggs (mention UC for a possible discount).

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Health and Safety Abroad

While UC International is committed to student and faculty safety while abroad, traveling UC faculty, students and staff are the individuals making decisions overseas and therefore play a key role in their own health and safety abroad. The US Department of State, Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) and International SOS are excellent resources for country specific information.

UC partners with International SOS, a company that provides medical and security advice. UC's member ID is 11BCAS000010.

UC students, faculty and staff can utilize International SOS in the following ways:
  • Sign up to receive email alerts for medical and security information, customizable to various locations abroad.
  • Read about travel health information with medical advice, food and water safety and cultural tips.
  • Explore travel security with personal safety tips and travel risk ratings for locations abroad.

UC faculty, students and staff traveling abroad should register their travel through the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency.

All UC students participating in a University of Cincinnati sanctioned or funded international travel program are required to purchase and maintain insurance while abroad. UC International partners with CISI to provide insurance for UC students.

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Contacts for More Information

Catherine Richards
School of Design 

Emil Robinson 
School of Design 


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This program is currently not accepting applications.