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  • Locations: Florence, Italy; Milan, Italy; Orvieto, Italy; Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer I
Fact Sheet:
Type of Program:
Language of Instruction:
Minimum GPA:
2.5 or by Professor Permission Faculty-Led Program Status: Available
College: Beaver College of Health Sciences, College of Fine & Applied Arts Class Standing: Freshman, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
Program Description:


Program Description

Illuminating the Mind, Hand, and Body in Italy


Ciao studenti di design interno! 

This program is designed to integrate the mind, hand, and body in the exploration of the career of interior design through three courses (7 credits) in Italy during May 2019.

INT 3545 Seeing the Light, Jeanne Mercer-Ballard, 3 credits
INT 3546 Architectural Sketching in Italy, Nicole Starnes Taylor, 3 credits
PE 1747 Walking/Conditioning , Shannon Shanely, 1 credit

The courses are interlinked through their values and skill building to uniquely take advantage of the Italian experience, thus maximizing the student's experience. You will study design through an immersive, active, and integrative process that will develop your mind, hand, and body often simultaneously. 

The lighting course will encourage you to look deeper at how light interacts with space through the various layers and types of lighting. The sketching course will help you to develop your sketching style and better understand spatial relationships and impacts of lighting in a space. The PE course will help you to develop your creativity and a loose sketching style.

From Rome to Venice the course will keep you moving to a minimum of six important cities of various sizes, while experiencing a variety of subcultures, and making observations about Italian design and lighting. Lighting will be explored from daylighting to man-made sources and its integration within historic and contemporary structures. You will meet with design professionals, see installations, museums, Duomi, visit a famous designer's studio, see historic and important contemporary architecture and design. All of this while learning how and why to keep from being sedentary in a profession that often requires us to sit at a drawing table or computer for long periods of time.


INT 3545 — Seeing the Light — 3 credits
INT 3546 — Architectural Sketching in Italy — 3 credits
PE 1747 — Walking/Conditioning — 1 credit

Program Cost

All students are strongly urged to attend a Faculty-led Study Abroad Financial Workshop prior to submitting the signed application to OIED. These workshops are held throughout the semester. We will answer your questions about program payment schedule, cancellation policy, financial aid and other funding sources, financial planning, and other related topics. ALL IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE PLEMMONS STUDENT UNION. Online and evening workshops are available on (TBD). For workshop dates and to register for a workshop, please click here.

Paid to Appalachian State
  7 credits  
App Tuition & Fees1 Student Accounts  
Program Cost2 $5,960.07  
1Tuition and fees for summer programs can be found at this link. After selecting the appropriate summer tuition and fees cost sheet scroll down to "Study Abroad Rates". Please note that summer tuition and fees are updated during the spring semester.
2Program Cost includes airfare, in-country program transportation, lodging, international health and evacuation insurance, program events, some meals, and OIED/CCS administrative fee.

Estimated Additional Costs
Meals $625
Personal Expenses1 $340
Visa2 $0
Passport $150
1Personal expenses includes but is not limited to: toiletries, cell phone, emergency funds, laundry, clothing, utilities, basic travel and entertainment, etc. 
2Some non-US citizens may need to apply for a visa prior to entering Italy. 

Please note that non-billable costs are estimates only and will be affected by personal spending habits, currency fluctuations, etc. Prices listed in USD unless otherwise noted. 
Students are encouraged to start planning for their study abroad program costs well in advance. Please use the Student Financial Planning Worksheet to help estimate your anticipated expenses and your anticipated financial resources.  When planning for estimated additional costs students are encouraged to research currency conversion rates. To see a total of the estimated costs for this program please visit the program budget sheet.

Payment Schedule

  Amount Date Due
Deposit $300 Submit with application
1st Payment $1,886.69 01/31/19
2nd Payment $1,886.69 02/28/19
3rd Payment $1,886.69 03/31/19

Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.  Further details about Appalachian's withdrawal/cancellation policy can be found at this link.

Financial Aid

If you plan to use any form of financial aid (loans, grants, scholarships) to participate in a short-term, faculty-led education abroad program, we strongly recommend that you take the following steps before applying to the program:
  1. Complete your FAFSA for the academic year in which the program is offered. Please be mindful of Financial Aid deadlines!
  2. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website at Read all the information carefully and print the Study Abroad Agreement Form for the appropriate term that you are requesting an increase in financial aid due to studying abroad.
  3. Go to the Office of Financial Aid on the second floor of the JET Building to discuss your financial aid eligibility with Kim Overcash or Laura Sullivan PRIOR to applying to the program.


OIED Scholarships
Each semester OIED offers a variety of different scholarship opportunities for students. Scholarship awards range from $250 to $2000. 

For information about additional scholarships please visit our External Scholarships web page.


Program Itinerary

The international component of this course will run from May 12 to May 30, 2019.

Pre-Program Meetings

At least five pre-program meetings; dates and times TBD.

Program Leaders

Jeanne Mercer-Ballard
Associate Professor
Department of Applied Design

Jeanne is an Associate Professor of Interior Design at Appalachian State University where she teaches commercial interior design and lighting design courses. A graduate of Iowa State and Cornell University, she is NCIDQ (interior design) certified, a LEED Accredited Professional, and Lighting Certified (LC - NCQLP). Her students have won many prestigious awards and lighting design competitions. Her research interests include culture in design, cultural appropriation, lighting design, cultural preferences in lighting, and culturally inspired mid-century architecture and design. In her professional work she has completed design projects in over 30 states and three countries. Mercer-Ballard's designs have been published in several books and journals. She can't wait to share her knowledge of Italy, design, lighting and gelato with students!

Dr. Shannon Shanely
Recreation Management and Physical Education

Shannon has been teaching in the department of Recreation Management and Physical Education at App State for 5 years and has been a group fitness instructor for 17 years.  She earned her BS in recreation from the University of Florida and MS in recreation from Indiana University Bloomington. Shannon taught in the environmental and outdoor education field before earning her MEd in Secondary Science Education and PhD in instruction & curriculum from the University of Florida.  As a result of her Florida roots, you can always pick Shannon out on campus (and elsewhere) because she’ll be wearing many more layers than everyone else.  She was awarded the Appalachian State University Beaver College of Health Sciences Faculty and Staff Appreciation Outstanding Professor Award for 2015 -2016.  Shannon enjoys finding creative ways to stay active and helping others to do the same!  When she’s not teaching recreation management or group fitness classes, Shannon enjoys camping, hiking & kayaking with her family.

Nicole Starnes Taylor

Nicole is an architect and owner of MAKE Design Studio, an architecture and design firm focused on custom residential projects in Seattle WA. Nicole is a graduate of North Carolina State University and the University of Washington with undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture.  Her passion for design and architecture is intrinsically linked with the craft of making. Nicole worked as a carpenter after graduate school to be a better architect and continues to be inspired by the art of design and building. Nicole is an avid traveler and researches vernacular buildings and how they inspire how we live and design spaces today.  Nicole first visited Italy as a summer backpacker and later studied and lived there during graduate school.  Sketching has proven to be powerful tool to see and understand a place in a deeper way. In addition to sharing her passion for design and sketching, Nicole is excited to share her love of travel.


How to Apply

    • Log in to AppalNET/Banner Self-Service.
    • Select the "Direct Link to Web Self-Service" using your AppState username and password.
    • Select the Student Tab.
    • Scroll down and click on the "Faculty-Led Study Abroad Application Packet*" link.
    • Select the program-specific application form from the programs drop-down menu.
    • Fill out, save, and submit the online application.
    • Walk to the Office of Student Accounts, located on the 2nd floor of the John E. Thomas building.
    • Give the name and term of your program to the Cashier who will look up the deposit charge on your account (e.g., Poland COM Summer 1).Pay the non-refundable deposit by check, cash, debit card, or money order. Please note that Student Accounts can no longer accept credit card payments in person, but they can take credit card payments online. Online credit and debit card payments are subject to a non-refundable 2.75% transaction fee.
    • Walk to the Office of International Education and Development (OIED), located on the 3rd floor of Plemmons Student
         Union, Suite 321.
    • OIED will make your enrollment official upon reception of your signed paper application and verification of deposit payment.
All students are strongly urged to attend a Faculty-led Study Abroad Financial Workshop prior to submitting the signed application to OIED. These workshops are held throughout the semester. We will answer your questions about program payment schedule, cancellation policy, financial aid and other funding sources, financial planning, and other related topics. ALL WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE PLEMMONS STUDENT UNION. Evening workshops are also available. For workshop dates and to register for a workshop, please click here.

You will NOT be enrolled in the program until you have completed all 5 steps above.

You are strongly encouraged to share the information contained in the Faculty-Led Education Abroad Program Online Student Application Form with your family and loved ones (including the Student Handbook), before submitting your application.


Programs are open until full. If a program is full, the Faculty-led Education Abroad Program online student application form for that program will be deactivated and you will no longer be able to apply. The application deadline is 03/15/2019 but applications are accepted on a rolling basis so students are encouraged to apply early.

Appalachian reserves the right to cancel or alter the program format or to change costs in case of conditions beyond the university's control.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.