The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Study Abroad Opportunities for Studio Majors

Rome, Italy

Established by Temple’s Tyler School of Art in the 1960s, Temple Rome offers a variety of upper-level studio courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and graphic design, as well as art history courses from ancient to modern.  For juniors and seniors.  No Italian language is required.

Courses of note: 

  • Galleries and Studios of Rome. Weekly visits to galleries, museum exhibitions, and artist studios throughout Rome.

  • Rome Sketchbook. Daily outings to specific sites around Rome.

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:

Florence, Italy

Studio Arts Centers International (SACI) is a four-year art school for Americans housed in a 17th-century palazzo in the heart of Florence.  It offers a wide variety of studio art courses in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, digital multimedia, video, graphic design, and jewelry design as well as Renaissance and modern art history courses.  No Italian language is required.

Courses of note:

  • Advanced Sculpture, Stone Carving.  The stone carving class begins with a visit to the nearby Carrere marble quarry, the source of Michelangelo’s material, where each student selects a block of stone to bring back to the studio. 

  • Art Conservation.  SACI offers a sequence of courses in paintings conservation, conservation law, diagnostic techniques, and conservation of archaeological objects.

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:

Aix-en-Provence, France

The Marchutz School of Art of IAU College stresses observational painting and drawing with intensive critical dialogue.   Located in one of the most beautiful regions of the world, the Marchutz School of Art typically holds its studio courses in plein aire in and around Aix, with field trips to Avignon, St. Remy, Arles, and Mont Sainte Victoire.  Studios are team-taught to foster critical dialogue between the two artists as well as among the students.  All students take drawing, painting, art criticism and French language at the appropriate level along with one elective in art history or other humanities.

  • Strengths: Concentration on techniques and critical dialogue.  Its beautiful location.

  • Limitation: Studio courses are limited to drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:


Summer Faculty-led Programs


During the four-week Ireland program, students take an Irish literature course for English credit and an art course.  At the end of the four weeks in Ireland, they complete a third course, in essence an independent study, arranged with either the SoVA or the English instructor.   The focus of the program is examination of the Irish landscape through art and literature.   The program uses three locations as its bases: Allehies, a small village in the extreme southwest corner of the country; Galway, a medium sized university town on the west coast; and Dublin, Ireland’s capital and largest city, so students experience the Irish landscape from rural to urban.

  • Strength: In a English-speaking country with rich history and beautiful, diverse landscape.

  • Limitation: Limited studio facilities.  The studio course, typically taught out of doors, is limited to 2D media.

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:

Rome, Italy

This six-week program offers a course in digital photography and a course in film.   The Digital Photography course (Photo credits) uses the city of Rome as its classroom.  “From Viewing to Making a Film on Rome” (Integrative Arts credits) combines film appreciation with an introduction to film production.  Both courses examine Italian culture through the camera lens.  Participants must have a good quality digital camera.  No language is required. 

  • Strength:  Concentration on photography in one of the most historic and visually interesting cities in the world.

  • Limitation:  Limited to digital photography.  No darkroom or chemical facilities are available.  Critiques are conducted from computer screen. 

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:

Florence, Italy

Penn State School of Visual Art offers a faculty-led summer program in conjunction with Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy.  Each summer, a member of the School of Visual Art faculty accompanies Penn State students to Florence and teaches a course for SACI.  Penn State students may chose any two courses from the SACI summer course schedule including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, black and white photography, communication design, art conservation, jewelry design, and a Renaissance art history survey.

  • Strengths: This program combines the advantages of traveling with a Penn State instructor and SACI’s wide variety of studio art courses from which to chose.  No language courses required. 

For more information and to apply to this program, go to:

Aix-en-Provence, France

The Marchutz School of Art of IAU College in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, offers a six-credit summer program which combines a painting/drawing studio with art criticism and aesthetics seminar.  The program is grounded in observational easel painting and drawing, working from the still life in the studio and from the landscape during frequent excursions into the beautiful countryside around Aix. 

IAU College also offers a diverse selection of courses, including art history, history, photography, sculpture, psychology, political science, French literature and French language.  Aix-en-Provence was the hometown of Paul Cézanne and is near Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh lived the last years of his life.   The IAU College art history course, “Cézanne and Van Gogh” includes field trips to Cezanne’s studio, Mont Sainte-Victoire, Chateau Noir, Bidémus Quarry, and Arles. 

  • Strength: This program combines the cultural immersion of living with a local family, with the climate, food and physical beauty of the south of France.  No language is required.

For more information and to submit an application, go to:


Other Options for Visual Art


Buenos Aires, Argentina   Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte through IES*

Cairo, Egypt                          American University of Cairo

Florence, Italy                      ISI, Palazzo Rucellai

Granada, Spain                     University of Granada through IES*

Leeds, England                     University of Leeds

London, England                 Slade School of Art through IES

Melbourne, Australia         University of Melbourne

Nagoya, Japan                       IES Center

Paris,             France                       Académie de la Croix Nivert through IES*

Perugia, Italy                        Umbra Institute through Arcadia University

Sydney, Australia                University of New South Wales

Wellington, New Zealand  Victoria University of Wellington.


* Command of local language required.


How to Apply:

Applications for all Penn State-sponsored study abroad programs are submitted electronically through the Education Abroad web site:


Application Deadlines:

For Fall Semester: January 20th.

For Spring Semester: May 1st.

For Summer Semester: February 1st.


For More Information:

Randy Ploog     

Coordinator of International Programs

College of Arts and Architecture

104 Borland Building