Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art & Science, History & Myth
Known as centers of art and science in the da Vinci era, Florence and Milan have legacies extending into the modern day.
Known as centers of art and science in the da Vinci era, Florence and Milan have legacies extending into the modern day. In this Honors seminar, spend time accessing da Vinci’s life history and working through his paintings, architecture, and the sites where he lived and worked. Immerse yourself in European centers of art, science, history, and culture.This course will explore Leonardo da Vinci as both a mythic figure in history as a true “Renaissance Man” while also looking at the actual historical environment in which he lived and how that influenced him in areas of art, architecture, engineering, technology, and more. You will explore cultural and historic parts of both cities from that time period and also see how da Vinci’s influence is still seen today in Italian culture.
Housing & Meals
You will live in shared accommodation with fellow program participants. Breakfasts, as well as welcome and farewell meals, are included in the program fee. Purchase additional meals at local restaurants.
Excursions may include:
- Day trip to Vinci
- Brunelleschi's dome of the Florence Cathedral
- Palazzo Vecchio
- Museum of the Opera del Duomo
- Museo Galileo
- Uffizi Gallery
- Day trip to the Appenine mountains to see the source of the Arno River
- Val da Chiana
- Medici palazzo at Pratolino
- Ducal Palace in Milan
- Visit to Last Supper painting
All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
- Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
- Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
- Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches
Faculty & Staff
This seminar is led by JB Shank, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts. Dr Shank is a Morse Distinguished University Teaching Professor and affiliate faculty in the Departments of Art History, French & Italian, and History of Science and Technology.
On-site support is provided by ACCENT. ACCENT staff will provide orientation, information regarding cultural activities, and 24-hour emergency support.
One 3-credit course
Combine on-campus class during the spring semester with study abroad during spring break.
On-campus Spring Semester 2023 course meets: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:45 a.m.- 11:00 a.m, Spring Break Abroad: March 3-12, 2023
This deeply cross-disciplinary program appeals to students who want to engage with the arts and sciences through the lens of Leonardo da Vinci’s legacy and work. Engage closely with the actual historical environment that led to his seeming universality as a genius in painting, architecture, science, engineering, and technology. Explore da Vinci history through text in the classroom as well as through his works and significant sites during your week abroad.
Coursework throughout the semester will include writing responses to readings and discussion, journaling while abroad, and an individual project and presentation.
While this Honors Seminar Abroad is primarily aimed at University Honors Program participants, non-Honors students are now eligible to apply and participate upon review.
Receive credit for: HSEM 3072H
Although a COVID vaccination may not be required to enter your host country or or an exemption is granted by an onsite partner, local regulations still apply. Admission and participation in areas of this program may require accessing venues or public transportation which require proof of COVID-19 vaccination/booster. Participants will be required to present valid proof of vaccination/booster to gain entrance or will not be able to participate in this portion of the program. Participants are responsible for working with leaders to find an acceptable alternative. Refer to the Apply tab for further details.
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Application Deadline|
|Spring Break 2023||March 3-March 12, 2023||December 1, 2022|
This program departs for Italy on Friday, March 3. If you have any classes on that date, you may need to miss them in order to travel.
Program dates are subject to change.
If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 20 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on this website.
|Thurs. Nov. 17||12:30pm||HHH 289|
|Mon. Nov. 21||12:30pm||HellerH 230C|
On Campus Dates
Spring semester 2023, Tuesday & Thursday, 9:45 a.m.- 11:00a.m., West Bank
Orientation Dates & Locations
Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.
See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.
The program fee includes airfare, housing, program administration, welcome and farewell meals, some additional meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, airport transfers, and in-country transportation for all course related activities. Students must also budget for passport and passport photos, a few meals, spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.
If a student is required to isolate during the program dates, due to Covid-19, there may be an additional cost for the isolation period. Additional housing costs might also be covered by the onsite partner's insurance plan. In some cases, with agreement by students and prior approval from the university, roommates, apartment-mates or students who are in close contact with each other and who both test positive, may share a room in quarantine housing, in accordance with local regulations. This information is subject to change and will be updated accordingly.
If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.
If you are registered for less than 13-credits, or if you are a non-UofM student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee. Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.
Billing & Payments
Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.
Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.
Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.
Spring Break 2023
Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art & Science, History & Myth
Spring Break 2023
|Tuition and educational costs||$2,615|
|International health insurance||$26|
|Housing and/or mealsStudents will be housed in shared hotel rooms. Breakfast provided daily. 2 lunches and welcome/farewell meal also provided.||$544|
|Transportation (if required and included in program fee)Group flight||$1,535|
|Total Program Fee||$5,120|
|Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable||$0|
|Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable||$5,120|
Estimated Additional Expenses
|Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.|
|Transportation to and from program site||$0|
|Travel clinic/immunizations*Visit your travel clinic and consult for any costs||$50|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure||$200|
|Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country|
|Housing and/or meals not included in program fee$140 - $155/night of housing not included here, in case of the cost of required quarantine. Contact the LAC to have this added to your SACE.||$250|
|Essential daily living expensesphone credit/charges, etc.||$150|
|Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country||$400|
Total Estimated Cost of Participation
|Total Estimated Cost of Participation||$5,720|
|Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation||$200|
|Additional Notes & Information|
|* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.|
Complete pre-application advising.
A COVID-19 vaccine is required by our on-site partner for this location, per CDC Guidelines and you may be asked to present proof upon request. This may change before departure. Exemptions are be allowed on a case-by-case basis with proof. Participants are also expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements such as masking, social distancing, or curfews. Admission and participation in areas of this program may require accessing venues or public transportation which require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and these requirements could be updated before departure or during the program. Participants will be required to present valid proof of vaccination to gain entrance or will not be able to participate in this portion of the program. Visit the CDC International Travel and the LAC COVID-19 Protocols or LAC COVID Policies websites for updated information.
U.S. Consulate in Italy COVID-19 site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:
- Application Essay
Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.
This program is at a Waitlist. Applications will be reviewed upon completion and added to a waitlist. Applicants will be updated if they move off the waitlist and are admitted.
Enrollment on this program is limited to 20 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.
Applications will be reviewed using the following timeline:
- October 1: University Honors students apply by this date for priority admission
- December 1: All other majors/non-Honors students with UHP review
After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
Register for On-Campus Course
Your participation on this program is secured by applying and confirming through the Learning Abroad Center application process.
You will also need to register for the on-campus course HSEM 3072H. Permission numbers will be sent to confirmed students after thee program deadline.
Note: Registering for the course, but not confirming through the Learning Abroad Center, will not hold your spot in the program.
After You Apply
Before your program begins, review these resources.
Health & Safety
Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.
Power of Attorney
Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.
Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.
Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to