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Program Dates: June 9 - August 6, 2020*

Early Application Process


Basic Estimated Program Cost: $6,895  (including the $300 Program deposit)


Standard Application Process


Basic Estimated Program Cost: $6,895†  (including the $300 Program deposit)

* June 9 is the last possible day to depart US for Italy (June 10 - arrival date).

† Approximate 2020 cost, including deposit. The final program fee is subject to change depending on student enrollment.


UGA Cortona Summer welcoming event

Cortona welcomes UGA Studies Abroad Summer students with a display of traditional flag throwing in Piazza della Repubblica.

The setting for the UGA Cortona Program is the small, quiet, walled hilltown of Cortona, Italy. Centrally located within the Tuscany region on the crest of Mont S. Egidio overlooking the vast Val di Chiana, Cortona is surrounded by beautiful olive groves, vineyards, rich valley farmland, and immense history.

The town of Cortona is a veritable museum that offers the student a rich artistic and historical environment that reveals itself through fine examples of Etruscan, Roman, Romanesque, and Renaissance art and architecture. Since 1970, the small community of Cortona and the University have shared a mutual tradition of goodwill and respect where the local government and citizens provide generous support and encouragement to the Program and its students.

In this idyllic environment, UGA Cortona provides a challenging opportunity for the serious student who wishes to combine international travel with an intensive period of studio and classroom work while merging with the lifestyle and culture of a typical Italian community. Students live in a newly renovated 15th century monastery that provides premium studio spaces and living quarters with historic surroundings. 

Although based in Cortona, students begin their experience in Rome or Naples. Throughout the program, field trips are made to many major cities and artistic centers in Italy such as Perugia, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and many other sites.

UGA Cortona Staff

  • Chris Robinson - Program Director
  • Kristine Schramer - Associate Director
  • Enza Valente - Office Manager in Cortona
  • Mary VanNus - Administrative Specialist
  • Maggie Pavleszek - International Center Abroad Advisor
  • Sierra Robbins - International Center Advisor
  • Ann Marie Hormeku - International Center Advisor
  • Maggie Faz Perry - International Center Coordinator

UGA Cortona students at Arch of Septimius Severus

UGA Cortona students and faculty view the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum Romanum in Rome.

Academic Program

UGA Cortona - Italy Studies Abroad Program

Please note that these course offerings are tentative, and may be subject to additions and revisions prior to the start of the summer 2020 semester.

CORE in Cortona

UGA Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Humanities and Arts.

  • ARST 2010 – Drawing and Visuality
  • ARST 2100 – Introduction to Painting and Visuality
  • ARST 2110 – Intermediate Painting
  • ARST 2210 – Introduction to Photography and Image Culture

UGA Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: World Languages and Culture.

  • ITAL 1001 – Elementary Italian
  • ITAL 2001 – Intermediate Italian

Complete Course Offerings

Art History

Students have an opportunity to visit and study some of the most influential works in western art. Each week the instructor lectures/presents a specific work of Italian art. The lecture is followed by a prearranged visit to observe the work “in situ.” Each student is responsible for the analysis (formal, art historical, visual) of a comparable work.

  • ARHI 3020 — Renaissance Art — Major monuments, artists, and subjects of art from the late fourteenth through the sixteenth century in Europe.
  • ARHI 4510/6510 — Modern Art in Europe from 1886 to 1918 — Painting and sculpture from Post-Impressionism to the end of World War I, the Cubo-Futurist revolution and approaches to expressionism and abstraction.
Book Arts

In the papermaking classes, the methods and materials for making paper by hand are studied and students are encouraged to investigate the potential for paper as a medium. The book arts classes include the study of various traditional and experimental binding techniques that explore the book as an art form and structure in relation to aesthetic content.

  • ARST 4315/6315 — Introduction to Book Arts — Use of handmade paper in bookbinding and introductory skills in hand bookbinding techniques. Hand papermaking as a support for other media and as a creative medium in two or three dimensions. Development of content and means of producing handmade books.

Cortona has a rich ceramic tradition dating to the time of the Etruscans. Students work in a large studio where there is ample space for handbuilding, wheels for throwing with electric and gas kilns.

  • ARST 2500 — Introduction to Ceramics — Development of personal expression using the ceramic process.
  • ARST 3500 – Intermediate Ceramics — Sculptural and functional ceramic forms with an emphasis on personal expression and individual style.
  • ARST 4500 – Advanced Ceramics

In direct contact with monument of traditional European art, the drawing student has the opportunity to compare and assimilate ideas and techniques of the Italian tradition. The student is encouraged to actively compare historical traditions with contemporary European art. In all drawing classes, there is the opportunity to work from the figure as well as the landscape.

  • ARST 2010 — Drawing and Visuality 
  • ARST 3010/3099 — Advanced Drawing/Drawing in Conceptual Space — Explores the potential of drawing in a contemporary context by incorporating goals and strategies that move beyond direct perception and conventional mimetic visual modes. Drawing language and media will be researched and studied to promote personal expression and understanding of form both practically and intellectually.
Graphic Design

Students will develop communicative concepts using combinations of photography, traditional materials, and imported or digitally created visuals.

  • ARGD 4080 — Special Problems in Graphic Design — Advanced research in graphic design media and techniques with application to a comprehensive project in visual communication.
  • ARGD 4120 — Informational Graphics, Signs, and Posters — Documenting informational graphics, signs, and poster designs in everyday life through digital photography. A series of projects focusing on concepts represented in a form which is thought provoking, challenging, or provocative. Graphics which transcend language and cultural differences will be explored. Traditional materials combined with vector- and raster-based image creation software will be used.
Interior Design

For centuries Italians have been recognized for their distinctive sense of style and design aesthetic. Students are surrounded by innovative Italian interiors and have the opportunity to study traditional and contemporary approaches to two and three-dimensional space.

  • ARID 3130 — Studio IV: Design for Special Populations — Development and presentation of a studio design project for people with varying special needs. Projection of documents of advanced complexity, application of specialized knowledge from prerequisite courses, and familiarity with relevant codes, standards, and guidelines.
  • ARID 3340 — Furniture Design — Cabinetry and furniture design, including construction methods, drawings, and design presentation.
Italian Language

These courses are designed to offer students with little or no knowledge of the Italian language effective and expedient control over basic language patterns necessary for basic, direct communication. The culture course introduces students to the politics, religion, food and daily customs of Italy.

  • ITAL 1001 — Elementary Italian — The Italian language and Italian speaking cultures. Emphasis is on conversational skills with attention to reading, writing, and listening comprehension. Fundamentals of Italian pronunciation and grammar. (CORE in Cortona Area IV: World Languages and Culture)
  • ITAL 2001 — Intermediate Italian — Practice in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Italian at the intermediate level. Study of Italian language and culture. (CORE in Cortona Area IV: World Languages and Culture)
Jewelry and Metalwork

Beginning students work primarily in the lost-wax casting process and are introduced to soldering and hand finishing techniques. Advanced and graduate students are encouraged to work on individual interests.

  • ARST 2600 — Jewelry and Metals: Design and Construction — Introduces hands-on techniques and conceptual topics associated with the creation of jewelry and objects. Emphasizes the connection to traditional and contemporary craft and art practices/movements and frames these within the arena of current and historical material culture.
  • ARST 3610/4610 — Jewelry and Movement/Advanced Metalwork — This course expands upon the skills learned in Beginning Jewelry/Metals and introduces advanced techniques specific to jewelry. Emphasis is placed on fabrication, casting, mechanisms, and surface embellishment. An ongoing relationship between form, subject matter, and content will enhance the students' abilities to express their ideas through the medium of metal.
Landscape Architecture

Italian landscapes and townscapes are complex urban and rural environments that are remarkably contemporary while retaining characteristics of the Middle Ages. Students are encouraged to assimilate into their own work some of the aesthetic qualities they observe in ancient public spaces by experiencing the wide variety of daily activities taking place in Italy’s small piazzas, squares, waterfront spaces, and streets.

  • LAND 4070/6070 — Garden Design in America — Design traditions which have shaped American gardens over the past 200 years with emphasis on the twentieth century, and plants, uses, design forms, and environmental conditions through which these traditions have been expressed. Designing gardens informed by traditional models.
  • LAND 4910/6910 — Independent Project — Special study or project under the direction of faculty.

Coursework offers students the opportunity of working in the environment where painting ideas ideas developed during the Italian Renaissance were born. All levels of students are encouraged to develop strong personal approaches to painting.

  • ARST 2100 — Introduction to Painting and Visuality
  • ARST 2110/3140 — Intermediate Painting/Painting Studio — 2110: Painting applied to still life, landscape, abstraction, and the human figure from live models. (CORE in Cortona Area IV: Humanities and Arts) / 3140: Inquiry into varied approaches in painting, both representational and non-representational. Experimental attitudes and personal ideas and solutions are encouraged.
  • ARST 2210 — Introduction to Photography and Image Culture — An introduction to photography and contemporary image culture, including history, criticism, and practice utilizing digital cameras and image interpretation. (CORE in Cortona Area IV: Humanities and Arts)
  • ARST 4270 — Social Documentary Photography and Video — Storytelling through documentary photography and video research. Introduction to the history and practice of documentary work as well as studio practice. Students will develop projects engaging social documentary work through photo essays, documentary videos, and digital storytelling.

Printmaking students work in a fully equipped intaglio and relief studio in Cortona. All basic equipment, accessories, and inks are provided. During the studio sessions intaglio and relief techniques such as etching, engraving, aquatint, mezzotint, dry point, collography, and woodcut are explored according to the interests of each individual.

  • ARST 2350 — Introduction to Printmaking —Various printmaking techniques with concentrated work on intaglio.
  • ARST 4345/6345 – Advanced Print Studio — Lithography, etching, or relief printmaking for advanced students, stressing aesthetic development and technical achievement.

Studio Facilities

UGA Cortona features extensive on–campus studio facilities, and therefore offers an opportunity unique among study abroad programs: the cultivation of a daily artistic practice while immersed in the art and culture of Italy. The Summer studio courses use these facilites:

UGA Cortona Ceramics crew

UGA Cortona ceramicists create works during the summer CortonArt event in Piazza Garibaldi.

Tentative Program Itinerary

All participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Italy. In order to arrive in Naples for the beginning of the program, June 9 is the last possible day to depart US for Naples, Italy (June 10 - arrival date)

  • Arrive in Naples from US
  • Field trip to Siena
  • Field trip to Pisa
  • Field trip to Rome
  • Field trip to Florence 
  • Exhibition Set-Up for La Mostra
  • Exhibition opening — La Mostra
  • Exhibition take down
  • Depart Cortona for Venice
  • Venice 

Housing and Meals


Living conditions for UGA students are similar to those experienced by European students in pensiones or one-star hotels. The John D. Kehoe building is the permanent UGA Cortona facility, and has been recently renovated with modern conveniences. The Kehoe building has multiple-bed dormitory rooms and shared bathrooms. A large courtyard provides students an opportunity to gather outdoors to study, draw or tend to personal chores such as laundry. Downstairs is a large kitchen. In an adjoining room, a continental breakfast is served between the hours of 7:00am to 9:00am. There are several coin operated washers for use, but many students choose to wash their clothes by hand in available sinks or tubs. The terrace has several clothes lines to dry your clothes on, which is the only means to do so. There are several common rooms available for studying or reading. The Kehoe building doors remain locked but each student is provided with a personal key. Linens are provided and are changed by the staff.


A continental breakfast is served every morning at the Kehoe Building. Continental breakfast consists of bread, jam, fruit juice and coffee or tea. Students who want or need additional food for breakfast may buy groceries and keep them in the student refrigerator.


Lunch while in Cortona and on field trips will be on your own. In Cortona, there are many options for an inexpensive quick lunch at local grocery stores and bars, as well as numerous full-service restaurants.

For lunch, sandwiches are available at most bars and grocery stores in town. A "toast" in Italy is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and most bars will offer other choices as well. Any of the grocery stores in town will prepare a sandwich made to your specifications or you can buy your own fruit, cheese and bread. The range of restaurants in Cortona varies from first-class full menu restaurants to more inexpensive places where you can order a pizza or a plate of pasta.

If you would like to go to a full-service restaurant for lunch, the prices will generally be higher and you will pay for service. A cover charge is automatically added to your bill and you are also expected to tip your waiter. Sitting down in a restaurant means possible waiting times, as food in Italy is cooked only after you order it. In Cortona, smaller family-run restaurants are usually fairly inexpensive and provide an opportunity to make friends with the Cortonese.


Evening meals are shared as a group 4 nights a week during the Summer Program. When taken with the group, meals are typical Tuscan fare prepared and served at Tonino's Ristorante, one of the most well-known and respected restaurants in the region. The University of Georgia group gathers for dinner at 7:30 pm. The dining room seats approximately 100 people and is serviced by the professional staff of Tonino’s. The restaurant has a balcony with a bar on the upper level providing a spectacular view of the Val di Chiana and is a relaxing place for a before or after dinner coffee or aperitif. Students are responsible for their weekend dinners and can choose to prepare their meals or eat at one of the many restaurants in Cortona.

Dinner at Tonino's consists of three courses: the first course (primo piatto) is usually pasta or rice, the second course (secondo piatto) is usually meat or fish and a selection of salad or vegetables, and dessert (dolce) is usually fruit or cake or pastry. A different second course is served to those who are vegetarians.

Meals While Traveling

Breakfasts and dinners while in Naples and Rome; breakfast only while in Venice. Please refer to specific itineraries for program travel.

Program Costs

The summer 2020 estimated program cost is $6,895. This cost is subject to change based upon budgetary approvals. Tuition is not included in this cost. See for tuition rates. Students take 9-12 hours in the summer. The cost of the program includes:

  • Program Deposit (due after acceptance to program) - applied towards total program cost
  • International Health Insurance (UGA requirement)
  • Charter bus transportation on all planned field trips
  • Charter bus transportation from beginning cities to Cortona, and from Cortona to program ending city
  • Shared hotel accommodations when traveling and dorm in Cortona
  • Breakfast and dinner while traveling with the program (Breakfast only while in Venice)
  • Dinner 4 days a week while in Cortona
  • Breakfast 7 days a week while in Cortona
  • Program t-shirt

Students who are not residents of Georgia or do not attend a University System of Georgia University or College pay an additional $250.00. Please contact us well in advance if you wish to take advantage of the opportunity outside the program to extend your time in Italy. Should you require additional information, please contact us by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 706-542-7120.


Scholarship opportunities are available for UGA Cortona students. Click here to learn more.

Accommodation Statement

UGA education abroad programs strive to provide reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Areas of disability include, but are not limited to visual, hearing, learning, psychological, medical, and mobility impairments. If you receive disability-related accommodations at UGA or at your home university, or if you anticipate needing accommodations at your overseas site, you will arrange for them with your study abroad program director and the staff in the Disability Resource Center. Examples of accommodations include note taking assistance, extended test time, a quiet testing location, alternative text/media, and accessible housing. Please provide information about your accommodation needs at least 4 weeks prior to departure in order to allow time to arrange for accommodations. Students are asked to disclose disability-related needs prior to the start of the program to help ensure that there are no delays in accommodations and that the student can enjoy the full study abroad experience.