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Book Arts in Europe (Faculty-led)
Amsterdam, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Basel, Switzerland; Cornuda, Italy; Florence, Italy; Mainz, Germany; Venice, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer I
Budget Sheets Summer I
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer I 2018 01/31/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:
Faculty Led, WMU
Language of Instruction:
Housing Options:
Apartment, Hotel (double)
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
Graduate, Undergraduate Freshman, Undergraduate Junior, Undergraduate Senior, Undergraduate Sophomore
Number of Credits:
Program Specialist:
Sarah Reid
Language experience required:
Areas of Study:
Art, Fine Arts
Program Length:
Short-Term, Summer
Gilman Scholarship Eligible: No
Program Description:
Jump To: Photos Overview Location Academics Cost Housing Itinerary Resources

Photo Gallery

Book Arts in Europe

Program Overview

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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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 and Druckwerk 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.

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Academic Eligibility
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.

Academic Program
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.

Academic Credit
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.

Financial Aid
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.

Please note: 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, Accademia, 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

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Additional Resources

Program faculty director:
Professor Jeffrey Abshear
Frostic School of Art
Lee Honors College

WMU Study Abroad
Sarah Reid
Study Abroad Specialist
2420I Ellsworth Hall
Phone: (269) 387-5890

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
Druckwerk, Basel
Gutenberg  Museum, Mainz
Gravemaker+Scott Studio
Plantin-Moretus Museum

Country Information (external links)
Italy- Trip Advisor
Switzerland- Trip Advisor
Germany- Trip Advisor
Netherlands- Trip Advisor
Belgium- Trip Advisor
Culturegram Italy
Culturegram Switzerland
Culturegram Germany
Culturegram Netherlands
Culturegram Belgium

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