Learning Abroad Center
This program page is for UofM students. If you are a non-UofM student, visit Design in Sicily
bicycle in front of a shop in Sicily

Design in Sicily (UofM Students)

LAC Program

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. 

Program Details

Sicily, Italy
Summer Session
Credit Type
Resident Credit
Learning Abroad Center

Program Eligibility

Student Type
UofM Students
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
No Language Prerequisite


Program Locations

Accent Syracuse Study Center
MADE Academy
Mt. Etna
City of Noto


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.

Program Structure

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 city. 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. 

This is an eight week program. In the first six weeks of the program, you will take the Italian Design Studio: Image-Making course and the Internship in Sicily course. In the final two weeks of the program, you will take the MADE Labs course by enrolling in design labs through the MADE Academy.

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

Full Course List

Design Studio in Italy: Image-making

Course ID
DES 3151
  • Summer

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.

Language Taught In
  • English

MADE Workshops

Course ID
SCLY 3201
  • Summer

Physical making remains central to how we understand and design the world around us, even as we become a more digitally connected, global world. These project-based, making-intensive courses celebrate the act and craft of individual hand-making in community with other makers. The specific theme and project change each year and are determined by the expert instructors in consultation with MADE Academy leadership. They are taught by international designers at the MADE Academy, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Syracuse, Italy.

Syllabus for MADE Workshops

Language Taught In
  • English

Internship in Sicily

Course ID
SCLY 3896
  • Summer

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.

Syllabus for Internship in Sicily

Language Taught In
  • English

Program Dates

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Summer 2021

Application Open Date: August 1
Application Deadline: March 1

Schedule Date*
Depart US May 21
Arrive in Sicily May 22
Classes End July 17
Depart Sicily July 19

Summer 2022

Application Open Date: September 15
Application Deadline: March 1

Schedule Date*
Depart US TBD
Arrive in Sicily TBD
Classes End TBD
Depart Sicily TBD


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

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.


Complete pre-application advising.

Due to COVID-19, current US passport processing times are significantly delayed. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now, and pay for expedited processing.


The COVID-19 vaccine is required by the host country and/or on-site partners and facilities for most study abroad programs. Complete your COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

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
  • Italy Internship Application 
  • Italy Cover Letter & Resume 

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.

Program Contact

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

Maria Mantey or call at 612.626.7535