TNCC Invites Students and Community to Study Abroad in Italy

Published: August 4, 2009

It’s easy to find images of the Italy’s Sistine Chapel in a textbook. Traveling to Italy to stand inside of the Sistine Chapel isn’t quite as easy, but Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) students and professors will have the opportunity to do so when they study in Italy next summer.

Scheduled for late May through June 2010, the four-week trip includes stops in Florence, Siena, Pisa, Rome and Venice. “This is full immersion in Italian culture,” said TNCC Photography Department Chair Shar Wolff.

Since there are no prerequisites for the study abroad courses, the trip is open to all TNCC students, students from other colleges and universities and members of the community at large. Participants must enroll in one of the following three-credit TNCC courses:

  • HUM 295: Topics in Humanities: Italian Culture, History & Religion
  • ART 295: Topics in Art History: Ancient, Medieval & Renaissance Art
  • PHT 295: Topics in Photography: Bathed in Tuscan Light
  • ART 295: Topics in Art: Drawing, Painting & Imagining: Light & Culture in Italy

Wolff will facilitate the courses with Humanities professor Brenda Allen and Art professors Michelle Wampler and David Rueckert. The College planned the trip with help from Art Research Tours and International Studios (ARTIS), an organization devoted to international study for artists, and people interested in studying art. ARTIS provides studios, critiquing space, lecturers and more in Italy.

TNCC photography student Anita Avila is one of the students going to Italy. “It just seemed like a really good opportunity. I’ve never been anywhere in Europe and I’m really interested in learning more and trying more things,” Avila said.

Wolff says the upcoming trip is much different than TNCC’s other trips that permit students to study abroad for a couple of weeks. “This is a month in Italy living in your own apartment, cooking for yourself, going to the market and living on the economy,” Wolff said.

Wolff says the tourist experience of any region always differs greatly from the residential experience, so she hopes the residential experience will help increase the students’ understanding of true Italian art and help them as they create their own art. Students enrolled in each course will complete on-site assignments given by the facilitators and a final project.

Those who are interested in the trip can submit applications through November 1. The selection process includes an interview with one of the Italy study abroad instructors.

The total cost is an estimated $6,000 per student and includes round trip airfare, transportation to and from the airports, housing in furnished apartments with kitchens, ground transportation, museum entrance fees for tours and excursions, fees required for classroom, meeting and studio space, field trip transportation and hotel cost and group travel insurance provided by Travelex. A $500 deposit is required to secure a spot. Traditional financial aid, fundraisers and other resources are available to assist with the cost of the trip.

For more information and permission to register, please contact Shar Wolff at 825-2775 or


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