Student Experiences

Student Experiences

Study Abroad in Viterbo, Italy

Bea was skeptical that she could win the Jim Falck Italy Scholarship award to help assist with the costs for the Viterbo, Italy study program. “However, in the end,” Bea says, “a bunch of people were like, just do it. Just apply. You never know,” and so she did. 

Fast forward six months and Bea found herself studying art for four weeks in Viterbo, Italy (Technically, classes last three weeks, with the fourth week left open for more travel opportunities). It was summertime and simply gorgeous as her photos can attest to. Bea was pleasantly surprised to find the experience authentic since Viterbo isn’t a large tourist city like Florence or Venice. Instead, residents live inside the stunning historical buildings full of history and displaying ages old architecture.  She actually felt culture shock the most in Rome since it was so different from Viterbo. 

The thing that made the experience even more meaningful is that Bea got to meet other students from around the work including Canada and Japan most of them from the Rhode Island School of Design and Emmanuel college. “I was the only one not from the east coast,” Bea says laughing. However, they all got along so well that they discuss planning a reunion in the future. 

While there, Bea decided to take journalistic drawing and landscape painting classes. Other options included an art history class. The choices were obvious for her given that she had only four weeks to spend in Italy and as she says she, “didn’t want to spend her whole trip reading.” Instead most of her classes were spent outdoors observing the environment. She was grateful that most of the class and homework was done on small canvases or in a sketch pad, so she didn’t have to worry about how to fly all her art pieces home. 

Bea’s favorite pastime outside of class was to get out and explore the town and surrounding areas with the other students. The program was “very adamant about us being somewhat self-sufficient,” she says “even though non us were fluent in Italian and the bus system makes no sense. But we buddied up and figured it out.” She also pointed out that Viterbo was very safe compared it to other larger metropolises. 

In addition to ample time outside of classes to explore the region, Bea had one full week to travel after her classes ended, this time outside of the region. The Art History teacher planned a trip to Rome so she spent a few days with the rest of her cohort there. However, her goal was to visit Florence. Bea says, “I really wanted to see the Birth of Venus ( and the statue of David (” She was able to connect with another student heading that way. They found a little bed and breakfast and drenched themselves in the art and history of the city. Soon, more students arrived, and they all met up for more sightseeing activities.  

Ultimately, Bea’s grateful she applied for the scholarship. Her study abroad not only dramatically impacted her art practice, but it was life transforming. She said, “Seeing these amazing works of art that I’ve only ever seen in books, but also my professors had a huge impact. And meeting these other students who had such a good work ethic, like the passion they had impacted me. It made me realize this is what I want to be as an artist. I want to be an artist who’s passionate every single day and not be afraid to just run outside and draw something quick.”

About Jim Falck Italy Study Abroad Award >>

Resident Artist Program

The Artist Resident Program is guided by our commitment to serve the art community by providing a variety of ways of engagement opportunity in our facilities and with studio faculty members.

This program is intended for artists who are in transition and have need for space and expertise for continued artistic growth. The program allows for time at NDSU for 4-12 months at a time. The program costs $150.00/month plus materials fee and gives you 24/7 secure access, space within your host studio, and access to the host Professor who will provide media specific expertise and critique.

Resident artists are expected to provide 6 hours per week as part of the community doing a variety of tasks, including tutoring, technical support, studio management, etc. Since space is limited we have a competitive application process:

Applications are due Dec. 1 and Feb. 1 for the upcoming semester. Rolling applications will be accepted if there is room in the program. Please contact Michael Strand for more information. (link Michael’s name to his bio page)



Michael Strand


Visiting Artists

The Visiting Artist and Scholar Program gives Visual Arts students access to contemporary artists, thinkers and professionals to enhance their coursework, practice, and to develop a better understanding of divergent perspectives through engagement and mentorship. Topics include visual arts, design, business, health and finance. The program is developed in conjunction with the Memorial Union Art Gallery and speakers are selected annually. Click here for the program speakers for this academic year. 


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