This program is expected to run again in Summer I 2019. Please check out Book Arts in Venice for the 2018 program.
In this course students tour Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, visiting museums, libraries, and other historic sites, with a particular emphasis on traditional printing, papermaking, and book arts studios. Although the course has an emphasis in Studio Art and Graphic Design, it is designed for students from many departments of study at WMU. Traditionally the publication of books has been a collaborative effort, with people from many disciplines contributing: writers, artists, and craftsmen. This course is designed for student from all disciplines within the university, to foster a rich collaboration. In past years there have been students from Art, English, Creative Writing, Education, History, Science, and Chemical and Paper Engineering who have participated. All instruction in printing, papermaking, and bookbinding will be given at an introductory level, to give students the opportunity to explore new experiences in these beautiful, historic settings. The projects give the group a focus for the trip and allow access to local studios and resident instructors. This allows students to meet people from the host countries and have a more immersive experience in the local culture. While students will have the opportunity to visit five European countries and tour many historic sites, they will also come away with hand-printed books and posters to preserve and cherish from their trip.
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Location & Related Considerations
In this course students will travel to five European countries and create handmade paper and printed works from traditional equipment, including drypoint etchings, relief prints on handmade paper, letterpress posters, and a collaborative handmade book. Students will work in many studios and visit museums, exhibitions, and libraries including Firenze Arti Visive
in Florence, the Cini Foundation
the 57th International Art Biennale
in Venice, Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione
in Cornuda, Italy, the Basler Papiermühle
in Basel, Switzerland, the Gutenberg Museum
in Mainz, Germany, the Gravemaker+Scott Studio
in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the Plantin-Moretus Museum
in Antwerp, Belgium. A more complete itinerary is listed below.
Accommodation for Disabilities/Special Needs:
Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact Disability Services for Students at (269) 387-2116 ahead of their term abroad. A disability determination must be made by this office before any accommodations are provided by the study abroad course's instructor. For more information, visit WMU Disability Services for Students
Safety and Security:
Students are expected to research their country of destination to learn more about issues related to safety, security, and physical and mental health. For general information about Europe, consult The CIA's World Factbook and the U.S. State Department. If the state department has designated any travel destination as level 3 or higher, or if the travel destination(s) contain regions designated level 3 or higher, participants must sign a WMU travel waiver prior to travel. For specific information related to safety and security, consult OSAC (United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security). For advice concerning health issues and related concerns, consult Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Finally, once students receive a message that they have been enrolled, they can also use resources provided by WMU's International Health and Emergency Insurance provider, GeoBlue.
The following general comments are derived from OSAC: Travelers should exercise the same amount of high caution when traveling to different areas. Each country is different, as well as is each section of each city. However, petty crimes are still common, especially against Americans due to their perceived wealth and lack of awareness. Avoid heavily crowded areas, especially at night, and utilize the buddy system. Always keep valuable belongings in your lodging quarters, or safely tucked away in your baggage and/or front pockets. Please also note credit/debit fraud, attempt to blend into the surrounding community, and be aware of scams – in stores, street beggars, street markets, etc.
Please consult the full report for additional information and precautionary advice and exercise all means of necessary caution.
Infrastructure measures, construction safety standards, licensing, and regulatory procedures vary by country. Try to avoid travel in unsafe vehicles on unsafe roads, and exercise caution when using stairways, ramps, and handrails. Take extra precaution when hiking in areas with poor trail geography and infrastructure, especially if guardrails and other safety features are missing or dilapidated. Bring and use bug spray to help protect against insect-borne illnesses, especially from mosquitos and ticks. Protests occur frequently on university campuses and in public spaces; avoid these protests and refrain from engaging with (including photographing) the demonstrations. In addition to consulting the above-mentioned governmental agencies, review the WMU website, especially the section entitled “Health and Safety Abroad
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Good academic standing. Minimum 2.0 GPA. Applications are evaluated on a variety of factors including GPA, area of study, statement of purpose, and time to graduation.
Before departing from the United States students will work at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center to create a handmade journal to carry with them to sketch and record observations of their trip. The students will work in professional studios with master printers and artists. The students will visit many museums, libraries, and historic sites and will learn about the history and cultures of Europe through immersive travel experiences and interaction. Students will be required to keep a journal about their experiences on the trip and participate in writing the group publications produced in the studios. After returning to the United States, in September 2017, the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
will host an exhibit in the KBAC gallery of the work produced during this trip, to share the experiences with family, friends, and the local community.
Participants may earn three (3) academic credit hours in ART 5000. WMU credit will be awarded for courses successfully completed on this program with prior approval of the student's academic advisor, academic advisors in departments outside of the student's major department (if the student plans to take classes outside of his/her major), and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education. Students are urged to work closely with academic advisors and HIGE staff to plan a course of study allowing for steady progress toward their degree.
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Cost & Financial Aid
To access the complete program budget published at the top of this page, click here
. Students should bring a copy of the program budget when they meet with their financial aid advisor to discuss funding for study abroad.
WMU students who participate in this program may be eligible for the Haenicke Institute for Global Education Study Abroad Scholarship
and for scholarships offered through the College of Fine Arts
. (Please note that this scholarship is suspended for spring, summer I, and summer II 2018 programs. Funding is expected to be available again in fall 2018).
Students eligible for federal or state financial aid may use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, they must complete required paperwork with WMU Financial Aid to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student's responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad (i.e., remain enrolled full-time). Non-WMU students must apply for financial aid through their home university.
Disbursement of financial aid may not coincide with the start date of the program abroad so plan ahead. Some out-of-pocket costs may occur prior to financial aid disbursement for the semester, such as the commitment fee, passport, airfare, immunizations, visa or residence permit fees (if applicable). These costs vary by program and WMU Study Abroad Specialists are available to answer questions about the program budget.
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Students will stay in a variety of hotels, hostels, apartments, and a lodge during their trip around Europe.
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Travel will occur from May 18 - June 16. Current travel plans include:
Thurs., May 18 — Students depart from US
Fri., May 19 — Students arrive in Florence, Italy
Sat., May 20-Wed. May 24 — Students work at Firenze Arti Visive
and visit museums
Thurs., May 25 — Travel to Venice
Fri., May 26 - Wed., May 31 — Visit St Marks
, Cini Foundation
, Art Biennale
Thurs., June 1 — Travel to Cornuda
Fri., June 2-Sun. June 4 — Work at Tipoteca
with Lucio Passerini
Mon., June 5 — Travel to Basel
Tues., June 6 — Work at Basler Papiermühler
to make handmade paper.
Wed., June 7 - Thurs., June 8 — Work at Druckwerk
Fri, June 9 — Travel to Mainz, Germany
Sat., June 10 — Visit Gutenberg Museum
, print in Druck Laden
Sun., June 11 — Travel to Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Mon, June 12 - Wed., June 14 — Workshop at Gravemaker-Scott Studio
, and see museums
Thurs., June 15 — Day trip to Plantin-Moretus Museum
in Antwerp, Belgium
Fri, June 16 — Students depart for U.S. or personal travel
Note: Participants must attend all scheduled classes and participate in all activities during official program time, which is determined by the faculty director. Before making any side plans, students should first confirm them with the director. In particular, applicants are encouraged to pay close attention to the Statement of Responsibility included within the application which further details this requirement.
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Program faculty director:
Professor Jeffrey Abshear
Frostic School of Art
Lee Honors College
WMU Study Abroad
Study Abroad Specialist
Phone: (269) 387-5890
Location: 2425G Ellsworth Hall
Host Institution Information (external links)
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Firenze Arti Visive (Florence School of Art)
Cini Foundation, Venice
Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, Cornuda
Basler Papiermühler, Basel
Gutenberg Museum, Mainz
Country Information (external links)
Italy- Trip Advisor
Switzerland- Trip Advisor
Germany- Trip Advisor
Netherlands- Trip Advisor
Belgium- Trip Advisor
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