School of Cortona Q&A with Ziwei Huang - Part 2

Art & Design student Ziwei Huang returns from the U of A School in Cortona to share his favourite experiences from the program, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Erik Einsiedel - 14 May 2019

On Friday, May 17, 2019, the University of Alberta School in Cortona program will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a special event featuring Cortona alumni, special announcements and many favourite memories.

Among those in attendance will be Art & Design student, Ziwei Huang, who recently returned from Cortona where he kept in touch with his own update from the road. Now back in Edmonton, we caught up with Ziwei to hear more about his experience abroad.

University of Alberta School of Cortona Ziwei Huang

What was your favourite memory of your time in Cortona?

My favourite memory is probably the food in Cortona/Italy: eating pizza under the Tuscany sun, with some gelato right after as dessert!

University of Alberta School of Cortona Ziwei Huang

What was the best part about the experience for you?

The best part about being in Cortona is being surrounded by all the cultural and historical landmarks. Cortona even though being a very small town, has beautiful renaissance and medieval architecture, paintings, books, as well as ancient Etruscan ruins dating back to the 6th century BC.

University of Alberta School of Cortona Ziwei Huang

How do you think the experience will influence your future plans?

As a history of art student, I might do more research about Italian modern and ancient art.

Why do you think the U of A Study Abroad program is valuable for students?

I think it is eye-opening in many different ways. We get to make friends across the globe, immerse ourselves in a totally different culture, and spend a good chunk of life as a local resident and scholar, as opposed a tourists for solely leisure purposes.

Any advice for students about to engage the Study Abroad program, or thinking about it?

Cortona would be an excellent choice: You don't need to worry about credit transfer, and you get to meet other like-minded students from the U of A campus!

University of Alberta School of Cortona Ziwei Huang

Ziwei Huang is the inaugural recipient of the Ernesto Rizzi Memorial Award, which will be presented to him at the School of Cortona anniversary event on May 17. See Part 1 of Ziwei's Q&A here.


Each year, students from all Faculties and disciplines travel to Cortona, Italy and enrol in courses that take advantage of this unique Tuscan location. UAlberta and local instructors conduct regular classroom lectures in English on diverse topics like Renaissance Art, Roman Civilization, Sociology and Political Science.

Instead of studying it in a textbook, students actually travel to see Michelangelo's David. Instead of reading about architecture of the sixteenth century, students live in a converted monastery dating back to the 1500s. Studying at the School in Cortona is more than just attending lectures - it's about immersing yourself in a cultural experience.

Learn more about the School in Cortona and other Study Abroad programs offered by the Faculty of Arts.