Getting the Full Experience: Learning about photography, art history, and Italian history in Florence

One of the most valuable experiences during the Street Photography Trip in Florence with IU South Bend is the truly all-inclusive nature of the trip. This study abroad experience does not cater to the intellectual or artistic exclusively, but to the part inside of you that identifies with both at any time. Professor Susan Moore, a photography professor at IUSB, has lectured students on street and night photography as well as photo basics like exposure, color, and composition. Dr. Jeff Wright, a professor of Music History, accompanied us on this trip and taught us about the composers that were buried in the Santa Croce, a church that houses the bodies of Michelangelo, Galileo as well as others.


In addition to Professor Moore and Dr. Wright, IU South Bend students enjoyed lectures from professors at Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA), IU South Bend’s Italian sister school. Andrew Smaldone, who teaches painting at SRISA, guided us to a fresco that resides in a former convent just down the street from the school (pictured). Professor Smaldone lectured on the Last Super of Sant’ Apollonia by Andrea del Castagno as we stood only inches away from the fresco. It was a unique and incredible experience to learn about a fresco that was painted in 1444 in such an intimate setting. When learning about the various frescos in Italy, you truly learn more about Italian history in general. The frescos of Italy were much more than just art; they reflect the developing skills and beliefs of the artists, the Roman Catholic Church’s control and influence over their work, and the overall mood of locals at the time. This collaborative style of teaching, while experiencing the subject matter, demonstrates to me that this is what studying abroad is all about.

Blog post by International Programs intern Jackie Thornton


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