Learning Abroad Center
This program page is for non-UofM students. If you are a UofM student, visit Design in Sicily (UofM Students)
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Design in Sicily

LAC Program
Info Session

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, observe the Italian workforce and delve into the Italian culture as an intern at a local company. 

Program Details

Sicily, Italy
Summer Session
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year


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 Siracusa, where the program is based, is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the outstanding Greek, Roman, and Baroque monuments, archaeological 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 engaging in the collaborative practicum with local and international designers. This program integrates excursions to other areas around Sicily to bring course content to life.

Program Model

Study Abroad Center

Housing & Meals

You will 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 you to cook your own meals.


This program includes several full-day excursions to other parts of Sicily. Some possible excursions are the Baroque cities of Modica and Noto, the Valley of the Temples, and the Necropolis of Pantalica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 13th to 7th centuries BC. These excursions are designed to provide context to the history and culture of Sicily.


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

You will take 6–7 credits in the summer.

This program will appeal to you if you are a design student who wants to engage with Sicily in a meaningful way. Participate in the Italian Design Studio to really use Siracusa as your classroom as you use the city to work on your image-making, and explore the many ways that design is incorporated into this city. The collaborative practicum allows you the opportunity to engage in the design process with local and international designers as well as fellow design students from a wide range of design backgrounds. 


Check out the Course List for brief course descriptions. 

You will take either 6 or 7 credits on this 7-week program. The Italian Design Studio: Image-Making course and the Collaborative Practicum in Sicily courses are required. If you haven't taken Italian before, you will also take the 1-credit Survival Italian course, to assist with your adjustment to life in Italy. 

Full Course List

Design Studio in Italy: Image-making

Course ID
DES 3151
  • Summer

This 3-credit seven-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
1000 level course in foundations design or art, or by instructor permission

Survival Italian

Course ID
SCLY 1201
  • Summer

The course is designed for college students who are approaching the study of the Italian language for the first time. Lessons are held exclusively in Italian and take into consideration the need to combine the study of lexis and grammar with the development of communication skills and cultural awareness. The instructor encourages you to put the language structures and vocabulary studied in class into practice in real life situations, thus accelerating the learning process and bringing you into contact with local society so that they may fully appreciate the way of life and cultural differences. This knowledge is an integral part of linguistic competence.

Syllabus for Survival Italian

Language Taught In
  • Italian

Collaborative Practicum in Sicily

Course ID
SCLY 3205
  • Summer

This course is an exciting way for you to develop skills and confidence by working in multidisciplinary teams on a project based in Siracusa. Each summer, the design project will be new, or beginning a new phase of work from another design team. Regardless, you will work with local community partners and professional Italian designers as mentors to help shape a design response to an unmet need or opportunity in Siracusa.

Your mentors will lead the design team in ways that are not unlike professional practice. They will help divide the work into manageable parts and smaller working groups, and help you determine ambitious, yet achievable goals for the amount of time scheduled for the practicum during the summer program.

You will be working alongside other design students (apparel design, architecture, graphic design, interior design, product design and retail merchandising) to realize at least some aspects of the design proposal at full scale—as prototypes, partial models, or bespoke objects or events. In previous summers, for example, community projects included: designing and building a gateway structure at the edge of the sea, implementing wayfinding strategies, and screenprinting apparel and accessories—all as part of neighborhood revitalization; and generating adaptive reuse strategies for an historic structure in the center of Ortigia, which included graphic identity and branding, prototyping furniture and build-outs, and hosting a communal event to share ideas.

Syllabus for Collaborative Practicum in Sicily

Language Taught In
  • English

Program Dates

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

Orientation Dates & Locations

Information Session

Friday, February 9, 2024 from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Registration is required to receive login details

Summer 2024

Application Open Date: August 1, 2023
Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Depart USThursday, May 16
Arrive in SicilyFriday, May 17
Depart SicilyMonday, July 8



Summer 2024 Program Fees

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.

Summer 2024

Design in Sicily

Apartment 1—Shared Student Apartment

Summer 2024

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $7,913
International health insurance $118
Housing and/or mealsIncludes rent and utilities, but no meals $1,849
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $10,280
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-500
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $9,780

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
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 siteRoundtrip airfare to and from Sicily $2,200
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents $0
Travel clinic/immunizations* $0
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $2,350
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $100
Housing and/or meals not included in program fee$150 per week for meals. $1,050
Essential daily living expensesIncludes the cost of a required cell phone $600
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $1,750

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $13,880
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $700
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.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

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
  • Home Institution Nomination
  • Transcript

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 an additional essay. It will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when it has 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.

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.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.

Program Contact

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

Molly Green at [email protected], or call at 612.625.6076

Contact Program Alum

Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.

Ellie W. - Summer 2023, Architecture major/Sustainability Studies minor