Our Rome-Istanbul Study abroad students will have access to class and studio space at the newly-renovated ACCENT Rome Study Center in the historic Palazzo Banco S. Spirito in Rome’s historic district (images above courtesy of ACCENT International). Much of our coursework will be on site in and throughout the city itself, using the study center and Rome as our classroom and studio. The Rome Study Center has a fully-equipped computer lab with computers and free wireless connectivity. The center also maintains an extensive lending library with travel guides, reference books, and other works of literature which includes subscriptions to Italian and American newspapers and periodicals. The Rome Study Center also has several student lounges, and is located within a five minute walk of Bramante’s cloister and ten minutes from Piazza Navona (20 minutes if you stop for gelato).
ISTANBUL:Our Istanbul center is the culmination of six years of work. A collaborative project with ACCENT, The University of Minnesota and the College of Design, the Istanbul Center opened in March of 2013. We launched our inaugural study abroad program this past year and officially opened the building on March 16th, with visiting faculty, UMN Regents College of Design and administrative staff from the University of Minnesota, Turkish faculty and colleagues, students, and members of our local Istanbul design and professional communities. The building was renovated by the the well known Istanbul based office Erginoğlu and Çalişlar (www.ecarch.com). A former print shop, the building is now home to the Nedret and Mark Butler Design Studio, several classrooms, faculty offices, student lounge, gallery, computer lab and generous reception area. The center is about a five minute walk from the Galata Tower (20 minutes if you stop for Turkish tea or coffee), and has an outdoor terrace connected to the design studio. The building is sited in one of Istanbul’s most vibrant young neighborhoods – Beyoğlu (pronounced “Beyoh-lu”), and is located on a street that includes several art galleries, architecture and design offices, boutique shops, family and artisanal workshops, a community mosque, gym and several restaurants and cafes (including the increasingly well known “Galata Kitchen”). A few minutes away is the Galata Tower and neighborhood, well known for its art, music (the well known jazz club Nardis is located here) and community scene. There is a very embedded local community, with school-children going to school in the mornings, people sitting in cafes drinking tea, coupled with young professionals going to and from work. The center is also within walking distance of the overground tram (8 minutes) and the Karaköy Ferry station (15 minutes). In 25 minutes, students can be in the historic district, at the Hagia Sophia or Blue Mosque, across the Bosphorous to Asia or on a ferry up the Golden Horn.