Because we have thought about how to make our courses the best.

So, to study art, you should see it at first hand, with only a few others, and with an engaging expert. We have thought about how to make the vast scope of history digestible, moving and useful.

We want your experience of Italy and life to be as vivid as possible. So we watch the football, love the food and wine, enjoy the countryside and essentially absorb all that is best in this wonderful country. It is a huge educational experience.


How we run our courses (the secret of our success)

    • for over 30 years, student feedback has rated our tutors as 5 star
    • as friendly as they are bonkers intelligent” to quote a 2015 Gap Year Course student
    • no lecture rooms but on-site study and special access
    • a teaching style where discourse is the greatest benefit of small tutorial groups
    • the excitement of seeing at close hand many of the most important works of art
    • the course is carefully structured to develop on themes so that students gain a clear understanding of Western Civilisation

Quality of delivery is at the heart of AHA Courses.

Paper Marbeling

Students need to be able to hear and join in discussions. Tutors need to be approachable, engaging and fun. When occasionally, because of the crowds, we gain private access to important sites, this is to improve the learning environment.

  • Some sessions are not about art history but are simply for fun; paper marbling in Florence, mask decorating in Venice, cooking in Siena.
  • Italian language sessions at the beginning of the course so students can learn good manners in Italian! We do not offer Italian classes throughout because there is not enough time.
  • Informal drawing sessions and there is usually an artist amongst the tutors to help people draw more: we consider draughtsmanship as another language.
  • Individual tutorials for students to monitor their studies and to encourage them so we are sure that everyone is getting the most from the course.
  • We consider history of art to include garden history, mosaics, textiles, the decorative arts, drawings and prints as well as art, architecture and sculpture.


AHA represents great quality, considerable character and inestimable value – above all AHA’s mantra is to be useful.

There is a lifelong value to AHA aside from the physical components of our courses described below.   In our view, an appreciation of culture is an enduring buzz, indeed, life would be a pale thing without it.  We also think it is good for a career because the more you know and experience of this wonderful world, the more you can connect with others.  Whether it be Fibonacci, Frank Zappa, Mozart or Michelangelo, everything is useful if you share experience with others and seek inspiration and use it.


On the one hand, the fees represent the costs of accommodation, breakfast and travel in Italy as well as museum entrance.  However, the added value of the course is represented by our excellent tutors and their development and training. Furthermore, private or privileged access to museums and sites make up value, as does the carefully thought through itinerary which makes the best use of your time. There are tutorials to shepherd the progress of students and a wealth of materials and media to frame our onsite teaching.


Aside from the unsurpassed delivery of learning, AHA’s tutors and UK office provide excellent care and support for students. With connections built over 30 years, AHA has the experience and versatility to provide an intellectual adventure which is comprehensive and stimulating.

AHA is a founding member of the Year Out Group (YOG), a body dedicated to the furtherance of best practice in the delivery of excellent courses abroad.


Read “A day in the life of an AHA student” to get a better idea of what an AHA day looks like!

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