Every spring, the School of Art offers its students in all areas the opportunity to study in Italy for the semester. The required, discipline-specific, coursework for the BFA and BA degrees (studio art, graphic design, art education, and art history) can make it difficult for our undergraduates to participate in study abroad programs. In response, the School of Art created study abroad semester in Italy almost twenty years ago.

This program provides an intensive and engaging studio and art history experience by immersing participants in the culture of Italy, with coursework led by their own professors and created to be integrated into their graduation schedule (most participants are in their junior year). The students present research projects on-site, work alongside Italian artists in studios and workshops created specifically for them, and then stage a group exhibition at MSU on their return. The art history courses at different places along the timeline depending on the professor, with the range including ancient Roman, Greek and Etruscan, Baroque, Neoclassical and Contemporary topics.

As part of our study abroad opportunity, We are pleased to announce our association with the M.A.D.E Accademia di Belle Arti Rosario Gagliardi, an officially accredited international-level academy of fine arts and design, which hosts our students and professors for studio/design courses in Siracusa, Sicily, as we work together at “the intersection of design, art, craft, and local cultural traditions.”

Dates for Spring 2023:

Students meet for orientation in Rome on Saturday, February 11

MSU Spring Break is March 11-March 18

Last day of class is Friday, May 5

Professors and Coursework:

(Dates may be subject to small adjustments before November 1, 2022)

The 2023 semester abroad consist of five courses, two design/studio, two art history and 1 field study course. The courses total 18 credits for the semester.

Professors Regina Gee and Melissa Ragain: February 11 - March 10

Roman Sculpture, Fresco and Mosaic (ARTH 375), 3 credits

Modern Art in Italy (ARTH 491), 3 credits

Field Study (ARTH 495), 2 credits

Professor Ashley Fuchs March 19 - April 12

Visual Placemaking (ARTZ 491) 5 credits

Professor Jim Zimpel April 13 - May 5

Floating Sculptures in Italy (ARTZ 491) 5 credits

Application for Semester in Italy Program 

Order of Courses and Brief Itinerary: Travel Cost

The semester begins in Rome with Professors Regina Gee and Melissa Ragain, who will teach two related art history courses exploring the original context and later receptions of ancient Roman painting and sculpture. As part of the co-taught itinerary, students visit Venice, Florence, Naples, and Pompeii. Next, Professor Ashley Fuchs teaches “Visual Placemaking,” a course which begins with a letterpress workshop in Turin, a city located high in the alps of northern Italy. Students then relocate to their housing and studio for the rest of the semester in the historical center of Ortigia (Siracusa) on the island of Sicily. From this “home base” students will complete Professor Fuchs’ printmaking course and conclude the semester with a course led by Jim Zimple. Professor Zimpel’s” Floating Sculptures in Italy” class takes advantage of the scenic seaside studios of Ortigia, an ancient town situated in the heart of the landscape of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, by having students create floating sculptural vessels inspired by ancient Greek poetry, global politics and immigration, nautical exploration, and cultural exchange 

Note: Students do not have to be a graphic design or a sculpture major to take these courses. The Italy semester coursework is designed (and evaluated for) students from different majors and levels of proficiency. 


Spring Break will follow the MSU academic calendar March 11 - 18


Ortigia, Sicily

Ortigia, Sicily


Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from Italy and also for any travel they wish do during MSU’s Spring Break. Travel costs within Italy related to the course of study are paid for by MSU under the study abroad program fee.



Study Abroad Program fee: 8000.00

What it includes:

All lodging, ground and air transportation in Italy related to student participation in coursework, all museum and site admissions related to coursework, and some meals

MSU-required international travel medical health insurance (Geoblue) for the entire semester, which we will sign you up for as a group.


What it does not include:

Regular tuition (resident or non-resident) and fees (Registration, Computer, Distributed Learning, Art Program)

Your round-trip airfare to Italy, any travel you do on your own including Spring Break, optional group excursions, and meals besides those belonging to pre-arranged boarding agreements.


Tuition and Scholarships

Regular tuition, calculated as usual (in-state, out-of-state, scholarships, GI bill)

Financial Aid is also available and you apply with the same application and timeline you do when you are here. We have an example of how to fill out this form for the Study Abroad in Italy Program. Apply early!

There are two 1000.00 scholarships for Italy, and details for application will be discussed at the first orientation meeting, held in the fall.

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Click on an image to view as a slideshow.

For more information, contact Regina Gee, Faculty Program Coordinator at: rgee@montana.edu 

Click here to view Study Abroad Italy brochure.