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Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away

ACM London/Florence: Arts in Context

ACM’s current off-campus study programs around the world will cease operation after the 2018–2019 academic year.  Therefore, this program will not accept applications for future terms, though this webpage will be live for our spring 2019 participants to be able to access the budget information.


The London & Florence: Arts in Context program offers students a singular opportunity to live and study in two of the world’s most important and exciting cultural capitals.  This interdisciplinary program focuses on the arts that have made these two cities central to the heritage of the West: the visual arts, on the one hand, in architecture, painting, sculpture; and the literary arts, on the other, in theater and literature.  Students will live and study in two urban environments that have continued to fascinate visitors and scholars alike for their ongoing vitality over many centuries.  While they learn about the past and how each city came to foster such extraordinary creativity in the arts, students will become temporary residents of a living, thriving urban environment.  Students will see how each city works, day to day, even while they investigate how each city has functioned in the past as an artistic center.  By traveling its cityscape, patronizing its theaters, visiting its museums, its public spaces, and marketplaces, students will develop a sense of the ongoing vitality of both London and Florence.  Each city will become for students a living laboratory, a text to be read and understood. 

Program Type

Associated Colleges of the Midwest


London, England and Florence, Italy

Languages of Instruction

Most courses are taught in English, though students must take Italian language while in Florence

Program Dates

Spring 2019 (15-week option): January to May 

 All dates are tentative and may change. ACM will alert all accepted students of final dates.


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation. (Transfer students may participate after the first semester on campus) 
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam period
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 
  • Strong Italian language skills are required for those students wishing to participate in the internship. Otherwise, students may take basic Italian on-site.


Lake Forest students may do the 15-week London/Florence program. The program includes courses taken in both cities:


  • London as Visual Text
  • Theater course, taught by London Program Director


  • Italian Language
  • Two elective courses 

More information on course offerings can be found here.  

In London/Florence, students will earn letter grades (A/B/C/D/F) for courses.


Academic Environment and Teaching Style

As this program was designed in conjunction with a US liberal arts college consortium, the professors understand the unique higher education system and culture of US students. Some professors, especially for the language course, will be native to Italy.  Other ACM courses may be taught by a visiting faculty member from one of the ACM member institutions.


Course Approvals

Check to see if your department has pre-approved courses here. If not, don’t worry. You can work with your advisor.

Experiential Opportunities

A select number of students participating in the Florence program have the opportunity to intern at the Uffizi Gallery, the Medici Chapels, and possibly other local museums.  The Uffizi, for example, is among the oldest and most prestigious museums in Europe and the home to a remarkable collection of art works, including paintings by da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and many other great masters.

Applicants must possess good Italian language skills and a strong interest in the history of the arts.  Students interested in the internships should contact the director of the Florence program prior to their arrival.  The final acceptance to the internship will take place once students arrive on-site in Florence, with staff from the Florence program undertaking the initial screening, and the museum directors making the final decision.  Those accepted will also be required to incur the cost of an insurance policy (required by Italian law).

The internships will be in addition to the classwork required during the spring semester London/Florence program.  They are not credit-bearing, and cannot substitute for one of the courses that students take during the semester.  However, if a student’s home campus is willing to award credit for the internship, students would be encouraged to arrange this with their campus. 

Housing and Meals

In London, students live in apartments (flats) in the Maida Vale neighborhood of northwest London.  Each flat is designed for four to seven students, with two to three bedrooms, a comfortable lounge, kitchen, and one or two bathrooms.  Each student will share a bedroom with one or two other ACM students.  The rooms are furnished, and kitchens are fully equipped, including a microwave.  The building is a three-minute walk from the Warwick Avenue Underground station (the Tube), which is served by the Bakerloo line.

In Florence, students live in Italian homes, where they take breakfasts and dinners. Host families reflect the diversity of Italian households and include parents with children as well as widows whose grown children have left the home. Some live closer to the city center than others, but few live in the old center itself.

Financial Information

For all programs, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee.  The program fee for the ACM London/Florence program includes orientation, housing, excursions to Rome and Venice, and insurance.  All meals in Italy except lunch are included. Meals are not included in London.

Here is an estimated budget for your Spring 2019 program:

Budget Item


Lake Forest College Tuition


Program fee for 15-week option


Program Deposits ( ACM + Lake Forest Deposit Credits)


Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College


Program Deposits (ACM + Lake Forest non-refundable)


Lake Forest Program Deposit (non-refundable)




Estimated Airfare


Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, books, supplies, personal expenses, transportation between sites, location transportation, additional travel, etc.)


Total Out-of-Pocket Expenses




Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2018.  Deposits to other programs, if required, will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate.

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

Do check your student account on My.Lakeforest for your aid awards, as much of this will go with you. If you want to compare your program to the cost of being on campus, those numbers can be found here: https://www.lakeforest.edu/admissions/tuition/fees.php

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Experiences of Former Students

Notes from Abroad: Taylor in Florence and London:

Click here!