View from above a seaside village in Sicily

Design in Sicily

  1. Program Details

    Use the coastal town of Siracusa, Sicily as inspiration and context for your design courses. Engage in the design process with local and international designers through intensive design workshops, or observe the Italian workforce and delve into the Italian culture as an intern at a local company. 

    Location Sicily, Italy
    Term Summer Session
    Housing Apartment
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students
    Student Year Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  2. About Design in Sicily

    Known for its unique blend of cultures especially in the arts, architecture, and food, Sicily is a fascinating place to spend a summer. With historical influences from the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and many more, it is a location unlike any other. The city of Syracuse, where you will spend your summer, is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the outstanding Greek, Roman, and Baroque monuments, archaelogical sites, and architecture. Spend the summer using your design skills to create your own images of this beautiful city and island. Further immerse yourself in the culture by interning with a local company, or participating in intensive design workshops with local and international designers. This program integrates excursions to other areas around Sicily to bring course content to life. The program also begins with 5 days in Rome, where you will start learning about the history, design, and culture of Italy.

    Housing & Meals

    Students live in furnished apartments with shared bedrooms with other students on the program. Generally apartments are 2-4 bedrooms, with 4-8 students per apartment. Meals are not included, but kitchen supplies are available for students to cook their own meals.


    This program starts out with 5 days in Rome, to start learning the history, design, and culture of Italy. Once in Sicily, excursions around the island will be included. Excursions could include Mount Etna, Catania, Taormina, Greek ampitheaters, the Baroque city of Noto, etc.


    The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

    If you take the group flight, or are able to arrive before the group flight and wait, our staff will meet you at the airport and bring you to your housing at no added cost. If you do not take the group flight, you will need to make your own way to the ACCENT center upon arrival. Specific arrival instructions will be sent out prior to your departure.

    For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Italy.

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  3. Program Structure

    Program Type Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 3000 level courses

    Students take 9 credits in the summer

    This program appeals to design students who want to engage with Sicily in a meaningful way. Participate in the Italian Design Studio to really use Syracuse as your classroom as you use the city to work on your sketches, and explore the many ways that design is incorporated into this scity. Internships in English and Italian give students the opportunity to participate in Italian work culture and workshops allow students the opportunity to engage in the design process with local and international designers.


    Check out the Course List for brief course descriptions and University of Minnesota–Twin Cities course equivalencies. 

    All courses will incorporate study tours which will allow you to learn about areas in and outside of Syracuse. 


    Workshop Track

    Students on this track will spend the first six weeks of the program completing the Italian Design Studio: Image-Making course. The last two weeks of the program will be spent engaging in intensive design workshops at the MADE Academy with local and international designers. Students on this track are not able to participate in an internship. 

    Internship Track

    Students on this track will spend the first 6 weeks of the program in the Italian Design Studio: Image-Making course as well as the Internship in Sicily course. The last two weeks of the program will be dedicated solely to time at your internship placement, to fully engage with the work and your colleagues. Students on this track are not able to participate in the MADE Academic workshops.

  4. Courses

    Design Studio in Italy: Image-making
    SCLY 3xxx
    3 Credits

    This 3-credit six-week design studio provides students from all design disciplines with an exploration of image making in design processes and practice. Course projects center around the theme of how meaning is created through both the still and the moving image, and will include explorations of meaning through a variety of forms of visual representation including drawing from observation and imagination, illustration, photography, video, and collage. Students will create visual projects in response to their Italian experience, honing their own sensibilities as designers in the rich visual cultures of Sicily and Rome.

    History of Design
    SCLY 3xxx
    3 Credits

    Course description coming soon.

    MADE Workshops
    SCLY 3xxx
    3 Credits

    Course description coming soon.

    Internship in Sicily
    SCLY 3xxx
    3 Credits

    This course explores the world of work in Italy and how students respond to the challenges that they can expect to encounter while interning in Sicily. A list of potential internship placement areas can be found here.

  5. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Summer 2021 Aug 1 Mar 1
    Depart US (tentative) May 20
    Arrive in Rome (tentative) May 21
    Travel to Sicily (tentative) May 27
    Depart Sicily (tentative) Jul 18

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.
  6. Fees for Design in Sicily

    University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

    Summer 2021 program fees are forthcoming.

    Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

    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.

    Cancellation Policy

    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.
  7. Prepare

    Complete pre-application advising.

    Be aware: All programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

    To complete the online application for this program, you will need to select or provide the following information on the online application:

    Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Dates page for term options
    Program Name Design in Sicily
    Track Name See Academics page for track options
    Country Italy


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    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
    • Course Enrollment Form
    • Italy Internship Application (Required only for internship applicants)
    • Italy Cover Letter & Resume (Required only for internship applicants)
    • Home Institution Nomination (Non-UofM students only)
    • Transcript (Non-UofM students only)

    Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

    If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items—the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation. Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

    Application Review Process

    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.

  8. Program Contact

    For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

    Whitney Westley Fisher or call at 612.625.8827.

Virtual Info Session

Learn about the new Design in Sicily program at this virtual info session.

Friday, January 29, 2021
12:15–1 p.m.

More information and registration