This course provides an intensive introduction to the art literature, philosophy, and politics of Early Modern Italy (1260-1580), with a special focus on Florence. Taught entirely on-site, this course offers students the unique opportunity to consider the civic, ecclesiastical, and domestic spheres of Renaissance Florentine life through daily visits to the city’s town halls, churches, palaces, and museums.

It is worth 6 credits, the equivalent of a full-year course.

Course Description

Taught entirely on site in Florence, Italy, this month-long, full-credit (6 credit hours) course provides a unique opportunity for students to consider the art, literature, philosophy, and politics of Early Modern Italy (1280-1580) through daily visits to the city’s churches, palaces, and museums. Students will gain a profound knowledge of the civic, ecclesiastical, and domestic spheres of Renaissance life through an interdisciplinary analysis of contemporary objects, spaces, and texts.


  • Arrive in Florence on Sunday, April 30, 2017
  • Depart Florence on Saturday, May 27, 2017



We stay at the Casa Santo Nome di Gesù, a 15th-century palace that was transformed into a Franciscan convent in 1901. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary converted it into a guesthouse in 1995 and continue to run it today. Centrally located in the Piazza del Carmine, in the student-friendly San Frediano quarter of Florence, the Casa is in easy walking distance of all class sites.

The reasonably priced accommodations are lovely but simple, with students divided between triple and quadruple rooms. All have en suite bathrooms. There are no private rooms available, nor is there air-conditioning or screens on the windows (as is typical of Florentine housing). The Casa also maintains a strictly enforced curfew of 1:00a.m. A buffet breakfast is provided in the dining room each morning, and there is free wifi access throughout the building. Students will also have access to the convent’s large private garden, a wonderful spot to relax or do class readings. Learn more about the Casa.


While breakfast is included with our accommodations, students are responsible for their own meals. There are no kitchen facilities available at the convent. Students should budget approximately CAD $1000-1200 for meals and personal spending for the duration of the course. The San Frediano quarter is home to a number of inexpensive sandwich shops, restaurants, and grocery stores; participating students will receive a list of these together with a map in their pre-departure information package.

Travel Arrangements

Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Florence. You must check in at the Casa on Sunday, April 30, and depart Saturday, May 27.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must meet the following criteria to participate in the EMSP’s Florence Study Abroad Course:

  • Have completed 5 full academic credit courses at an accredited university or have permission from the instructor;
  • Be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or above;
  • Be eligible to register at King’s or Dalhousie for the period of the international experience.

Deadlines and Deposits

Monday, November 28, 2016: Application Forms Available from the EMSP Office and Online

Friday, February 17, 2017: Extended Deadline for Applications

Friday, February 10, 2017: Deadline for Non-Refundable Tuition Deposit of $350.00

Monday, February 27, 2017: Course Registration Opens

* To gain permission to register, students must have:

  1. Completed the Dalhousie International Centre’s Online Pre-Departure Orientation Session via Bblearn;
  2. Submitted the “Certificate of Completion” from the Pre-Departure Orientation Session to the EMSP Office;
  3. Paid their fees for all previous terms; and
  4. Paid the non-refundable tuition deposit of $350.00 to Student Accounts.

Monday, March 27, 2017:  Final Deadline for Registration in the Course

Course Fees

Mandatory Fees (paid directly to the University of King’s College):

Tuition for a full-credit course: $1440.00
Program fee: $2000.00
Entrance to all sites (incl. Lucca Day Trip): $250.00
Accommodation (incl. breakfast): $1600.00

Estimated Total: $5290.00

Other Costs – Estimated:

Plane Fare: $1000.00-1500.00
Meals and personal spending in Florence: $1000.00-1200.00
Course Reader and textbook: $100.00

Estimated Total: $2000.00—2800.00*

*The exact total will depend on the student’s chosen travel options, personal spending preferences, and the exchange rate.

Required Documents and Activities

  • Mandatory online Pre-Departure Orientation Session (via Bblearn):
    • Fill in form to register
    • Take ~2 hour course on Bblearn, and complete required quiz.
    • Sign and upload the general waiver.
    • Sign the ROCA (Registry of Canadians Abroad).
    • Upload copy of passport.
    • Receive a “Certificate of Completion” that must be submitted to the EMSP Office in order to receive permission to register in the course.
  • Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the day we return from Florence.
  • Students must have, and provide proof of, valid travel insurance.
  • Check Dal email address regularly for updates!

Financial Aid

You may be eligible for the Dalhousie University Study/Work International Fund (SWIF). From the Dalhousie International Centre’s website:

“Established by Dalhousie University as part of the Student Assistance Program, SWIF provides financial assistance to Dalhousie and King’s students who want to take part in an international placement. There is a maximum award of CAD $2,000 per applicant.”

Find out more about the eligibility criteria and application process for SWIF.


Should you have any questions, please email the instructor directly at, or call 902-422-1271, ext. 213.

Dr. Jannette Vusich Assistant Professor, Sessional
Early Modern Studies Programme
University of King’s College
3rd Floor NAB (through the FYP Office)