Faculty-led travel programs

Each summer and winter intersession, KCAI offers students the opportunity to earn credits studying off-campus with KCAI faculty.  

When you participate in a faculty-led travel program, you will study and travel with a group of fellow KCAI students in a unique program designed by the faculty members who are leading your program.  Previous destinations have included: Santa Fe, N.M.; New York; Florence, Italy; Hungary; Paris; and Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

An overview of the 2016 faculty-led travel programs:


Recently offered faculty-led travel programs:

Vietnam and Cambodia

New York

For more information about faculty-led travel programs, contact Bambi Burgard, vice president for academic affairs (816-802-3455), Julie Metzler, director of special programs (816-802-3357) or Nancy Noble (816-802-3438) in the academic affairs office.

Program requirements:
In order for your application for participation in an FLTP to be considered you must:
  • Be over age18
  • Have completed at least one semester of study at KCAI
  • Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Be a student in good academic and financial standing 

Faculty-led travel programs vary from year to year in order to provide students with a wide range of options and experiences.  Application deadlines vary from program to program, so please be sure to read thoroughly all of the information associated with a trip in which you may be interested in participating.  The deadlines listed in the information and application for each program are firm: Deadlines listed are the last possible moment when you can submit your application, program payments, etc. 

The Arcosanti Project: Paradise Valley, Arizona

January 4, 2016 – January 22, 2016

Home base will be Arcosanti, a prototype in arcology, urban laboratory and pioneer in green and passive solar technology. Hands-on participation in the Arcosanti Project will be the main focus of this course. Russell Ferguson will lead the course and students will produce a suite of drawings representing the unique views in and around the structures of the Arcosanti and Cosanti projects. As part of the studio course, students will go on optional excursions to Taliesin West, Walnut Canyon and Tuzigoo which will help place the Arcosanti project in historical context.
Students will spend half the daylight time (mornings), working on a Cosanti/Arcosanti project, i.e. building, excavating and surveying.  Visit to the drawings of Soleri and the histories of construction will take place mid days in the Archive and at Cosanti in earth house.  Afternoons and evenings will be devoted to drawing from the circular perspectives and working up a comic strip narrative dealing with the stories emanating from Arcosanti during its 40 year construction.
PLEASE NOTE: Living conditions at Arcosanti are adequate, but frugal. Much of the activity will be outside. Students should be prepared with proper footwear and clothing–rain gear, clothing layers for warmth as the desert can become very cold at night, sun cover and gloves. Sleeping bags and a day pack also are suggested.
January 4, 2016 through January 22, 2016
Academic credit:
Participants may earn up to three credit hours from the following course:
  • Drawing Seminar:  Drawing into the Circle a Circular Perspective, GEST 340-02, 3 credit hours – The buildings at Arcosanti have continued to be constructed in a hands-on manner by Paolo Soleri and over 5,000 workshop participants since 1970 and offer a unique chance to test the ideas of perspectival systems in relationship to circular forms.  You will spend 2 days on observational drawings devoted to each building, of which there are 6.  Each day will present an opportunity to try out a new perspective system.  Weekly reviews and running critique will finish in an exhibition gift to the Arcosanti residents.  Pertinent films, archive visits, special propositions in drawing, and discussions in the evenings will round out this course that will mesh in an interdisciplinary manner.  Grades will be assessed through an evaluation of daily participation, steady work, growth, and manifest quality and participation in the final exhibition
Grades will reflect participation in seminars, talks, hikes, walks and work on the coursework as well as a review of a log/journal containing the information imparted.
Instructor:  Russell Ferguson, Associate Professor, Foundation Department
Program cost:
  • 3 credit hours:  $2165
Cost includes tuition, dormitory housing with linens, food and ground transportation.  Airfare to and from Phoenix, Arizona is not included.
Nov. 2: Completed applications including all required accompanying documentation and a $250.00 non-refundable program deposit are due. Program deposits must be paid in the business office located on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall. Completed applications must be submitted to the academic affairs office on the second floor of Jannes Library.
Nov. 16: The first half of the total program cost is due in the business office.
Nov. 30: Payment for the final half of the total program cost is due in the business office.

June 1-30, 2016 - Paris, France

Program description:
This study abroad program, "A Moveable Feast:  Paris Study Abroad Program," will be conducted in Paris, France. As Ernest Hemingway once wrote to a friend, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”  Hemingway was one of many American writers, artists and intellectuals who felt the pull of “the city of light” and succumbed to its attractions and cosmopolitan environment. 
We will explore most of the major sites and museums of Paris with an emphasis on French art and culture. Classes will be conducted on-site in such places as the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Carnavalet, Shakespeare & Co., the gothic cathedrals of St. Denis and Notre Dame de Paris. Some class sessions will also be held at the Fondation des États-Unis, where we will stay.
We will savor regional French cuisine, explore the neighborhoods of the Left Bank and take walking tours of Montmartre and Père-Lachaise Cemetery. Two excursions outside of Paris are planned — one to Nantes and one to Fréjus. In Nantes we will see, among other things, the “grand machines” of the Royal de Luxe Company, such as the 40-foot tall Sultan’s Elephant, as well as take a behind-the-scenes tour of the studio where these machines are designed and built. We will also take the Saint-Nazaire river cruise up the Loire estuary to see spectacular, site-specific artwork.
While staying in Fréjus, located on the beautiful Côte d’Azur, students can choose to visit such attractions as the ancient Roman ruins, the Matisse Museum in Nice and the Picasso and Napoleonic Museums in Antibes. The faculty will conduct informal classes in French prior to departure so that students will be able to navigate Paris with some essential language skills. If you have any questions about this study abroad program, please contact either Dr. Moore at pmoore@kcai.edu or Dr. Anderson at sanderson@kcai.edu

* Cost:
$5,555 for 6 credit hours
$4,235 for 3 credit hours 
Cost includes:
  • Tuition fees (six hours of tuition for the $5,555 amount or three hours of tuition for $4,235)
  • Lodging for the entire month of June at the Fondation des États-Unis, located on the campus of the Cité Universitaire de Paris
  • Navigo metro pass for the entire month of June (can be used on metro, bus and trams)
  • Museum passes for the month of June
  • Two bateaux-mouches (fly-boat) rides on the Seine – first and final nights
  • Ground transportation and lodging for two excursions outside of Paris (Nantes and Fréjus)
  • Miscellaneous activities: special exhibitions such as the Monumenta 2016 at the Grand Palais, a tour of the Catacombs, a ride up the Eiffel Tower, regional French cuisine dining at L’Ambassade d’Auvergne, a tour of the medieval Tour Jean Sans Peur, a historical lecture on the formation of the Mediterranean and nearby regions by sailboat in Fréjus, followed by a Provençal dining experience at Autres Ray’son, as well as various other activities (perhaps a visit to the Opera Bastille or the Palais Garnier, concerts in cathedrals, recitals, picnics, etc.) yet to be determined.
* Please note: this price does not include airfare or meals.  
A note on airfare and meals:  Students need to plan to arrive at CDG (Charles de Gaulle airport) in Paris the morning of June 1, which is a Wednesday, and to depart on Thursday, June 30.  We have to be out of our rooms by 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 30.  On the morning of June 1, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Moore will pick you up at the airport and take you to your new home at the Fondation.  As for meals, there is a kitchen on every floor of the Fondation, and students are welcome to cook their own food.  There is also a cafeteria on campus.  Dr. Moore, as part of her travel writing course, will be taking students to local markets to experience the freshest and the finest (and the cheapest) food Paris has to offer!
Two courses are offered on this program:  Dr. Anderson’s art history course and Dr. Moore’s travel writing course.  Here are the particulars: 
AHS 3407-01 - A Moveable Feast:  French Art and Culture, 3 credit hours
Instructor:  Dr. Reed Anderson, sanderson@kcai.edu, 816-802-3341
(This course can count for 3 hours of art history credit, 3 hours of liberal arts elective credit, or 3 hours of open elective credit.)

Course description:  
"A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of Life."
             — Thomas Jefferson, United States Ambassador to France 1774-1779
Thomas Jefferson’s description of Paris, France, still rings true today. Consider for just a moment the history that has been made since Jefferson resided there in the late 18th century and the countless civil improvement projects that have transformed the French capital into a dazzling, multifaceted and ever-changing work of art. Ernest Hemingway followed Jefferson to Paris several generations later and in the 1920s launched his career as a writer. In his final book, "A Moveable Feast," completed in Cuba in 1960, Hemingway recalls his life in Paris as a young and ambitious, though at times struggling author, and how that experience would resonate with him the rest of his life. References to Hemingway’s early life in Paris can be found in several of his books, beginning with his first novel. In those works Hemingway confirms Jefferson’s contention that history, beauty and the meaning of life are to be found in the “city of light.” With its many world-class museums, which house objects that span the entire history of art, its abundance of cultural landmarks, its many grand chateaus nearby, Paris has become a pilgrimage site, a Mecca, for any serious student of the visual arts. Students taking this study-abroad course will receive an in-depth introduction to the art and culture of France and, perhaps more importantly, the city of Paris, with its embarrassment of riches. This will be accomplished through daily site visits, various cultural activities, assigned readings and a variety of writing assignments. Our walks about Paris will emphasize the cultural, historical and political significance of the art and architecture we will explore. And we will walk, for as Edmund White wrote in The Flâneur, “Paris is a world meant to be seen by the walker alone for only the pace of strolling can take in all the rich (if muted) detail.” 
CRW 3506 - Writerly Nonfiction Workshop:  Travel Writing, 3 credit hours
Instructor:  Dr. Phyllis Moore, director of the School of Liberal Arts and program head of the creative writing program, pmoore@kcai.edu, 816-802-3388. 
(This course can count for 3 hours of literature credit, 3 hours of liberal arts elective credit or 3 hours of open elective credit.  If you are a creative writing major or double major, this course can count for either literature  or workshop credit.) 

Course description: 
“Travel,” says Pico Iyer, “is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places, and saving them from abstraction and ideology.  Here’s a good example of what Iyer is talking about:  Travel writer Bill Bryson tells a story about his guide, Saintil, who informed Bryson that his favorite actor was Shaquille O’Neal.  He particularly loved O’Neal’s work in the movie "Steel." Saintil, his wife and eight children lived in a two-room apartment in which they had electricity about four hours a day, powered by a rusty generator.  “The world,” says Bryson, “never quits growing on us. It’s just as vast as ever, and it reinvents itself every day. The job of the travel writer in the 21st century is the same job that it was in the time of Herodotus or Marco Polo or James Boswell or Charles Darwin:  to chart his new world in all its rich detail, then report back. That is why travel writing remains as popular as ever with readers.”   
Though much of what is called “travel writing” is mere “and then, and then” listings of place-names or lackluster recitals of adventures met along the road, spiced with local “characters” and littered with descriptions of local meals (“I swallowed the sheep’s eye in one gulp, washing it down with a gourd of tingling arak . . .”), we, in this course, aim for a higher caliber.
“The best travel writing,” says Jonathan Raban, “offers the writer the opportunity to be a novelist, an essayist, a sociologist, a historian, an autobiographer, a literary landscape painter, all in the same breath, on the same page. He or she is free to improvise — to catch life on the wing, to ruminate, observe, weave stories, step in and out of the narrative at will. No holds are barred; there are no formal rules. So long as the writing sustains the reader, the writing can go anywhere, do anything. It is a wonderfully plastic medium in which to work.” 
In this course, we write essays about places — real and invented. We consider the qualities of travel itself and its particular role in the lives of artists and writers, deepening our understanding, as temporary wanderers, of what is home and what is homelessness. We read a wide array of travel writing — essays, short stories, book excerpts, poems, blogs — and listen to radio pieces and song lyrics. We read writers from George Orwell to George Saunders, from Marco Polo to Italo Calvino, from Stein to Sedaris. We process our daily experiences living in France — art, language, food, money (and the lack thereof!) into three essays, three pictures of France, three pictures of you in France.  

Where we stay:

Located across the boulevard from one of Paris’s most beautiful parks, the Parc Montsouris in Paris’s 14th arrondissement, the Fondation des États-Unis is a private student residence and cultural center within the international community of the Cité international universitaire de Paris. The Paris metro station, “Cité Universitaire,” is right across the street. Tram and bus lines are also conveniently within a stone’s throw of the Fondation’s entrance. With the Navigo metro pass students are given, the cost of which is included in the program’s fee, students can get around Paris for free for the entire month of June, via metro, tram or bus. 

Pictured above: Parc Montsouris 

Where we go: To the museums!

Your Paris Museum Pass (included in the cost of the program) gains you entrance to more than 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris, including the Centre Pompidou, the Musée des Arts décoratifs, the Musée du Quai Branly, La Cinémathèque française, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, the Musée du Louvre, the Cité de la musique, Notre-Dame, the Musée d’Orsay, L’Adresse Musée de la Poste, the Musée Rodin and others.  Above are KCAI students in front of I.M. Pei’s entrance to the Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2009. 

To the art!

Stephen Proski (painting and creative writing) finds his Doppelgänger at the Musée du Louvre

Andy Davis (painting and art history) finds his Doppelgänger at the Musée d'Orsay

To the food!

Roast chicken and aligot at l'Ambassade d'Auvergne

Happiness is l’aligot at l’Ambassade d’Auvergne


L'As du Falafel - The finest 6-Euro falafel on earth!


Berthillon’s best!

Shakespeare & Company in Paris!

Our first travel-writing workshop will take place upstairs at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris.

Our excursion to Nantes!

Come see the mechanical elephant from a performance by the Royal de Luxe company of street performers based in Nantes! 

Important dates and deadlines: 
Feb. 12, 2016 (Friday by 4:30 p.m.): $250 nonrefundable deposit is due in the Business Office, located on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall. This $250 deposit will be credited toward the total program cost. If you are not selected to participate in this study abroad program, you can ask the Business Office to refund you the $250 deposit.
Feb. 12, 2016:  Application is due. Attached to the application must be the receipt from the Business Office, showing payment of the $250 nonrefundable deposit. Submit application with this receipt to Dr. Phyllis Moore, Liberal Arts Office, Baty House, second floor. Her phone number is 816-802-3388 and her email address is pmoore@kcai.edu. Feel free to call or email her with any questions, large or small. 

Feb. 14-19, 2016: Interviews. As part of the application process, students applying to this program will be interviewed by Drs. Anderson and Moore. Applicants will be contacted via email to set up these 30-minute interviews.
Feb. 22, 2016 (Monday): Selections will be made by 5 p.m.; students will be informed via email.

Feb. 26, 2016 (Friday by 4:30 p.m.):  One-half total program cost due to the business office; $2,777.50, if you are taking 6 hours of credit and $2,117.50, if you are taking 3 hours of credit.
March 11, 2016 (Friday by 4:30 p.m.):  Remaining balance due to the business office; $2,777.50, if you are taking 6 hours of credit and $2,117.50, if you are taking 3 hours of credit.
June 1, 2016 (Wednesday): Students are to arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG). Dr. Anderson and Dr. Moore will be there to greet you and take you to the Fondation des États-Unis, your home-away-from-home for a month.  Book your flight so as to arrive before noon on Monday, if possible.
June 30, 2016 (Thursday):  We will need to vacate our rooms by 9 a.m. You will not be able to stay in your room after 9 a.m. today. 

Download an application

You can also pick up a hard copy of the application from Dr. Phyllis Moore, whoseoffice is located in Baty House, on the second floor, in the liberal arts office. She would also be happy to email you a copy. Her email address is pmoore@kcai.edu. Or you can speak to her with questions large or small by calling 816-802-3388. Allons-y, y'all!

May-June 2016 - Florence, Italy


KCAI at SACI: "Immaculate Immersion in the City of Florence"

A 6-credit collaborative summer program in Florence, Italy                       
For information, contact Misty Gamble, assistant professor in the School of the Foundation Year, at mgamble@kcai.edu.
Program length: Five and a half weeks
Program dates: May 18-June 25, 2016
3 credits KCAI drawing course: "Composition, Form and Content from the City of Florence"
3 credits SACI course: Student choice from SACI offerings| late spring term 2016
Estimated cost (not including airfare): $6,090

SACI | Studio Art Centers International  

"Immaculate Immersion in the City of Florence: KCAI at SACI"
This five and a half week program, led by Misty Gamble, associate professor in the School of the Foundation, will immerse the student in the art, history and culture of Florence, Italy.
Students will live in apartments in the cities historic center, attend classes at the Studio Arts Centers International, Florence (SACI) and have dedicated studio spaces at the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Arts.
This program takes place from late May to the end of June 2016 and consists of a 3-credit interdisciplinary class taught by Assistant Professor Gamble, with an additional 3-credit course of the students’ choosing from the late spring curriculum of SACI.
Students will be integrated into the student body at SACI to study with artists from all over the world while still functioning as a KCAI program in every respect.
Upon arrival, SACI offers the students a three-day orientation to acclimate students with the city, housing and facilities. Transportation from the Florence airport to SACI, welcome and farewell dinners, mid-term dinner parties, transportation to sites outside of the city, admission to museums not on the card list, evening critique meetings. There are no visa requirements for this program.
Studio Art Centers International is a directly accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and a United States nonprofit 501c(3) educational entity established in 1976 by painter Jules Maidoff to facilitate international artistic collaboration and production in Florence, Italy. SACI offers semester abroad programs, full-year abroad programs, late spring and summer sessions and a post-baccalaureate certificate program though a dedicated and full-time faculty, including unique programs in conservation, fresco, Italian fashion design, the history of Italian opera and marble carving. SACI has recently become the only NASAD accredited full-time institution to offer an M.F.A. program in studio art in Europe. SACI also offers an M.F.A. in photography and is currently working on the accreditation process for an M.F.A. in conservation and art history.

Important dates and deadlines:
Feb. 15, 2016:
Applications and $250 deposit due
March 1, 2016:
One-half total program cost due
April 1, 2016:
Remainder of program cost due to KCAI
April 15, 2016:
Remainder of program cost due to SACI
April 2016:
Students register with SACI and make refundable housing payment


Program Itinerary:
May 18:  Leave Kansas City.
May 19
Arrive in Florence, get keys, move into apartments, welcome dinner.
May 20-21
Orientation, course and city tour and intro.
May 23
Classes begin
June 24
Last day of classes, SACI Garden Party
June 25
Departure date, housing closes, leave Florence, return keys, deposits are returned to students via check or credit.
The classes
3 credits: “Composition, Form and Content From the City of Florence” with Assistant Professor, Misty Gamble

This 3-credit studio course will be an open elective where the instructor will operate as a guide to the student’s discovery of form and research in the City of Florence. Students will work in a variety of media in the designated studio in addition to using drawing and photography at on-site locations. This course would focus on the student’s independent and guided research in Florence using multiple medias as a vehicle to create both form and content.

SACI can arrange for students to have the appropriate supplies and tools, but students will have the option of bringing their supplies with them. A camera is mandatory. Perceptual studies, both two and three dimensional, will be encouraged as well as lens based work. The focus of this course is not as much on a specific media as a tradition but on a contemporary interdisciplinary approach that the student will help to realize. In addition the SACI designated studio space operates as an investigative space to experiment and synthesize the experience of being a student in Florence.

In the field, we will use the City of Florence as our studio and source. Students will visit sites and study work to appropriate and bring back into the studio experience. Students will be evaluated through individual and group critiques and are expected to maintain a consistent studio practice that will culminate in a final project. Students will be expected to work outside of class during provided hours.

Students will additionally have an Art Historian led trip each Sunday to the following venues in Tuscany: (1) Fiesole, (2) Siena and San Gimignano, (3) Pisa and Lucca, (4) Sansepolcro, Montercchi, and Arezzo, which will be integrated into the course content as these cities play a particular role in the development of what we have come to know as the Florentine Renaissance.

The city
Florence, Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance and perhaps the most influential city in the development of Western aesthetics and Humanist philosophy, will immerse the student in Italian culture through an intensive synthesis of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and cultural artifacts experienced in their original context in museums, churches, villas, monasteries, piazzas and gardens, which will serve as an extension of the studio.
This historically intact city, a work of art in itself, provides the student with an experience and awareness of not only artistic precedent but of the symbiotic relationship between tradition and innovation that make its Mannerist movement a counterpart for the contemporary practice of making "art about art." The Florentine environment and the student’s integration into the Studio Art Centers International community will provide the student with a lived education that will broaden their worldview as well as provide an example of the heights of human aesthetic achievement.

The city is at the core of the political philosophies of Niccolo Machiavelli; the ecstatic fundamentalism of Savonarola; and the dramatic dealings of the Medici family as nascent Mafioso and supporters of the arts. The city houses innumerable masterworks by its Medieval and Renaissance inhabitants, including Giotto, Cimabue, Dante Alghiari, Giorgio Vasari, Alberti, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Verrocchio, Fra Fillipo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, Luca della Robbia, Paolo Uccello, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Andrea del Sarto, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo Bounarotti, Galileo Galilei, Agnolo Bronzino, Pontormo and Perugino to name a few. We will stroll by Alberti's masterpiece of Humanist architecture, Santa Maria Novella, which also houses the first use of scientific perspective in Masaccio's Holy Trinity.
The SACI school itself is the former house of the model who posed for the Mona Lisa. Raphael, Perugino, Leornardo daVinci and countless others arrived in Florence to complete feats of Humanist painting, sculpture and architecture. The collections of the Uffizi and the Palazzo Pitti run the gamut of Italian painting and sculpture, including works by Fillipo Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto, Bronzino, Pontormo, del Sarto, Raphael, Canaletto, Carracci, Mantegna, Bellini, Duccio, Giotto, Perugino, daVinci, del Piombo, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Giovanna Garzoni, Parmigianino, Canova, Boldini and Gentile de Fabriano. Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Chardin, Durer, Cranach, van der Wyden, van der Goes and van Eyke all find homes there as well.
All of this is in a setting that is a synthesis of science of science and perception - a walkable city that offers aesthetic splendor at every turn. In addition to the immense collection of masterworks in the 74 major museums on the city, the markets, the rose gardens on the walk up to San Miniato, the cappuccinos, the sunsets, the Giardino di Boboli and the Opera Festival will create an unforgettable experience that will follow you for the rest of your life. In addition to the curriculum and experiences that come along with a travel program in this inviting, accessible and safe city, Florence offers a remarkable range of cultural and popular events and activities during the summer months, such as late evenings at the Uffizi, the Palazzo Strozzi and the Accademia Museums; The White Nights Festival; the famous Calcio (soccer) in Costume, during which the different quarters of the city compete in this well-known game; the Maggio Musicale, a series of outdoor and indoor events ranging from ballet to opera to symphony concerts; outdoor evening film festivals; and the Estate Fiesolana, which includes concerts, film and theater held in a Roman amphitheater. During the last week of the program the entire city will celebrate St. John’s Day with elaborate processionals and a fireworks display over the Arno River. 
*Price Includes: 6 credits' tuition; apartment in Florence with free wi-fi; dedicated studio spaces for KCAI students; four SACI field trips led by art historians to Tuscan towns including Fiesole, Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa,Lucca, Sansepolcro, Montercchi, and Arezzo; use of SACI computer lab with free printing; access to SACI classrooms and facilities including open model drawing sessions and movie nights; exhibition programming at two SACI galleries; fully staffed administrative support and 24-hour emergency services and a three-day orientation program hosted by SACI. Transportation from the Florence airport to SACI, welcome and farewell dinners, mid-term dinner parties, transportation to sites outside of the city, admission to museums not on the card list, evening critique meetings. There are no visa requirements for this program. SACI additionally requires a $400 refundable housing deposit returned to you after completion of the program.

Recently Offered Faculty Led Travel Programs:

Winter 2014-2015 - Vietnam and Cambodia: Art on the Edge of Politics 

Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan. 20, 2015

Dr. Hal Wert and Molly Kaderka want to take you to Vietnam and Cambodia during winter intersession 2015.  Make plans now to participate in this marvelous ASIAN ADVENTURE. The trip will commence on Dec. 29, 2014 and end on Jan. 20, 2015.  The focus in Vietnam will be on the Viet Minh War with the French (1945-1954), the Vietnamese War with the United States (1954-1975), the ethnic groups of northern Vietnam, art, Buddhism and modernization.  We will begin our journey in northern Vietnam visiting remote villages along the Vietnamese and Chinese border. Then, following the Ho Chi Minh Trail down from the northern mountains to the south, we arrive at the Mekong river delta.  In southern Vietnam we will visit the famous Can Tho floating market, Chu Chi Tunnels, and the Cao Dai Temples.  We will travel to Cambodia by speedboat, passing through the Sam Mountains, and the Tra Su forest.

The focus in Cambodia will be to familiarize you with the country as well as its ethic groups, Buddhism, art, and the history of the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge.  We have put together an exciting itinerary that includes the spectacular temple ruins of Angkor Wat, visiting an orphanage, a traditional Cambodian shadow dance performance and fabulous museums!

You will be required to get a number of vaccinations, bring your vaccinations up-to-date, and receive a malaria prescription that you will take as prescribed while on the trip.

You must have a passport by Oct. 15, 2014 or sooner and it must not be within six months of the expiration date.

Estimated trip cost:
$8,240 for six credit hours
$6,920 for three credit hours
$6,000 for no credit hours

Faculty: Dr. Hal Wert, professor of Liberal Arts, and Molly Kaderka, instructor

Important trip deadlines:

Sept. 19, 2014 (Friday by 4 p.m.): Application and accompanying required documentation must be submitted to the Academic Affairs office in the Jannes Library, second floor no later than 4:00 p.m.PLUS a $250 non-refundable deposit is due in the business office (located on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall). If the student is not accepted into the program this deposit will be refunded.

Sept. 22, 2014 (Monday): Student selections will be made and students will be informed via email.
Oct. 15, 2014 (Wednesday): A non-refundable payment, half of the TOTAL trip fee is due to the business office.
Nov. 26, 2014 (Friday): Full payment of the total trip fee is due to the business office
Dec. 29, 2014 (Monday): Depart USA. Return to USA Jan. 20, 2015.  

Summer 2015 - Hungary

May 18 - June 21, 2015

This study abroad experience offers students the chance to experience living and working in Eastern Europe. Our home base for the trip is the International Ceramics Studio, a center that features comfortable lodgings and excellent studios: ample workspaces, numerous kilns and a mold-making facility. A special translucent porcelain clay is available for use. The studio museum houses an extensive international collection of contemporary works in clay, providing an excellent on-site study resource.
Hungary has a long tradition of ceramics from folk art wares to the exquisite art nouveau luxury wares of Zsolnay and the Herend Porcelain Factory, as well as examples of historic and architectural ceramics in Kecskemet, Budapest, Pecs. This is an amazing, month-long adventure!
Cost includes tuition, single room lodging, studio and materials fees, visiting artists' demo fees, museum fees, day trips to Budapest, Herend, Pecs and Tihany, a four-day trip to northeastern Hungary and Austria and transportation to and from the Budapest airport. A trip to Szalafo will be centered around Eastern European architecture and outdoor adventures. It includes a visit to the Riegersburg Castle in Austria and a tour of the Zotter Factory, the best chocolate makers in Eastern Europe. This tour will include sampling of the delicious merchandise and a history of the franchise, a destination not to be missed for locals and visitors of the region.

Neither airfare nor meals are included in the price of the trip.
Students will purchase airline tickets to Budapest, where they will meet the entire group and take a bus to Kecskemet.

On the way to Austria we will stop at the Lenti Thermal Water Park to enjoy its many thermal baths. These baths are a traditional part of Hungarian culture, a unique experience hard to come by in other parts of the world.

We will stay in Szalafo, Hungary, near Studio 8 — the International Studio for Art and Ceramics. We will also tour this new residency to inform the students of opportunities in the future. While in Szalafo, Orseg, we will visit the Magyarszombatfa Pottery Museum, the Pityerszer Museum, the Albert Attila Pottery, the Reformat and Velemer churches and the unique architecture of the Owl House as a continuation of the study of Hungarian architecture.

We will also include a day trip for a white water-rafting adventure. The timing is perfect, as the high waters are swift and refreshing. It will be a nice break from studio work as the final kiln is being fired back at the ICS in Kecskemet. 

Due to the nature of this program, all participants are required to register for 6 credit hours. 

Faculty: George Timock, professor of ceramics, and Aaron Blumenhein, contracted instructor in architecture

Important trip deadlines:

Feb. 6, 2015 (Friday) - Application and required documents must be submitted to the academic affairs office, in the Jannes Library on the second floor, no later than 4 p.m. Additionally, A $250 non-refundable deposit is due in the KCAI business office, located on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall. If the student is not accepted into the program, this deposit will be refunded.

Feb. 9, 2015 (Monday) - Student selections will be made and confirmed via email

Feb. 25, 2015 (Wednesday) - A non-refundable payment of half of the total trip fee is due in the KCAI business office.

March 9, 2015 (Monday) - Full payment of the total trip fee is due in the KCAI business office.

May 18, 2015 (Monday) - Depart USA. Arrive in Budapest May 20, 2015. Return to USA June 21, 2015.

Journey to the East: Chinese Art, Culture and Ceramics

July 6 - Aug. 1, 2015

Download an application

Program Description:

Our journey will begin with a stay in Shanghai, exploring the city for four days before we venture on to Jingdezhen. 

Shanghai is a vibrant cultural center of China, embracing its past as well as its present. This port city, located on the Huangpo River, has a long history, but became known for the influx of Western culture in the early part of the 20th century leading to the city’s nickname, “Paris of the East.” From the mansions, social clubs and cathedrals built by westerners to the ancient temples, gardens and residences of old China, Shanghai displays is a distinctive blend of cultures. Students will learn of Shanghai’s cultural and artistic past through visits to the 400-year old Yuyuan Garden, the 3rd century Jing’an Temple and Qibao Ancient Town (established during the Northern Song Dynasty, 960-1127), which provides insights into China’s cricket culture and famous shadow puppet theater. 

The Shanghai Museum will offer an exploration of ancient Chinese bronzes, calligraphy, paintings and especially the rich history of ceramics witnessed through their expansive collection. The study of the history of Chinese ceramics in Shanghai will be continued during visits to the Historical Kiln Museum and the Ceramic History Museum later in Jingdezhen. The arts have been a defining element of Shanghai, especially from the Qing Dynasty until the present day. The “Shanghai School” in the late 19th century and early 20th century challenged traditional Chinese painting, while the Shanghai Animation Film Studio produced innovative and memorable works in the following decades. Students will witness the vitality of the contemporary art scene in Shanghai, which is known for its many galleries and museums highlighting emerging and well-established contemporary Chinese artists. Visits to the Shanghai Animation and Comics Museum, the China Art Museum as well as the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) will underscore the innovative and engaging nature of modern and contemporary Chinese art.

In the second leg of the trip we will travel to Jingdezhen, China, the “porcelain capital of the world,” where ceramics have been produced for about 2,000 years. While there, students will participate in a two-week “hands on” studio program located in the Education Center at The Pottery Workshop. The Pottery Workshop is an International Residency organization that hosts artists, students and teachers to experience life in Jingdezhen while producing art, specifically ceramics. The program provides accommodations for students to explore traditional Chinese methods and materials within the scope of a personalized studio practice. 

During our time in Jingdezhen, students will have three weeks to design, produce and finish ceramic works inspired by their research during the first part of the trip to Shanghai. Studio work will be accomplished by actively working in the studio and by collaborating with area factories to prototype and produce self-directed artwork. Each student’s practice may take on a sculptural or functional format and will be guided through discussion with faculty in addition to individual and group critiques. Production methods will include throwing, mold-making and slip-casting processes with Chinese domestic Cone 13 porcelain, fired in a reduction kiln. There will be several workshops from area professionals demonstrating historical decorative techniques, such as blue and white cobalt painting and carving.  Additionally, students will travel to other areas of the city to learn more specialized methods of ceramic production, destinations will include: the big pot-throwing and slip-casting factories, large tile factory, the ancient hammer mills, Yaoli Historical Ming Dynasty Scenic Area, Sanqing Mountain Scenic Area, the Ceramic History Museum, the Sanbao Cultural Center and Gallery and the ceramic shard market.

Travel throughout China is integral to the course content. Students will immerse themselves into the cultural traditions and histories of China. They will experience working with one the most beautiful porcelains in the world while learning traditional Chinese techniques. The artwork produced will result from the dialog created when western concepts and art-making practices intersect with eastern perspectives and techniques. 


Jan Kennedy, assistant professor, art history, jkennedy@kcai.edu
Paul Donnelly, assistant professor, ceramics, pdonnelly@kcai.edu 

Course descriptions 

Art and Culture in China: Shanghai and Jingdezhen, 3 credit hours

This 3-credit liberal arts art history elective is taught by Jan Kennedy. In this course we will examine the art of China beginning with its emergence in the Neolithic period through modern times. We will discuss the great burial finds of the early dynasties in China through a discussion of bronze and ceramic art forms and see the development of art and architecture related to Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism). We will explore the variety of paintings and ceramics produced in the Song Dynasty and the periods that follow. Paintings, sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, jades and lacquerware will be examined as well as contemporary art and animations. We will take into consideration the various social, religious and cultural contexts under which the art was produced. This course will consist of lectures, readings, written assignments, and required visits to cultural sites and museums. 

This art history course will focus on the art objects and architecture seen in and around the cities of Shanghai and Jingdezhen. Students will explore the historical significance of primary examples of Chinese art and culture as well as learn about modern and contemporary forms of art. The first part of the course will involve some class lectures and discussions, but the primary emphasis will be on visits to important cultural sites in Shanghai and museums where significant examples of Chinese art can be found. During our stay in Jingdezhen, lectures, discussions and visits to area museums will continue, deepening our engagement with Chinese art and culture. Class lectures and discussions, independent reading, on-site discussions during field trips, self-directed museum experiences and written assignments will be required. 

Cultural Collaborations: Jingdezhen, China. 3 credit hours

This 3-credit ceramic open studio elective is a self-directed offering taught by Paul Donnelly and assisted by visiting and resident artists/teachers. This course will provide an introduction into the history and traditions of porcelain production in Jingdezhen, China, the Porcelain City. The class will be divided into two components: a “lecture” portion, which may include demonstrations, critiques, films and readings, and a “lab" component, in which students are engaged in the production of new work in the education studio at the Pottery Workshop and the Jingdezhen Sculpture Factory in China. Introductory ceramic experience is desirable but not necessary. This class will be conducted in English, and translators will be available to students while in Jingdezhen.  

This course examines both the past and present history of ceramics and porcelain in China. Focus will be placed on creating a small series of porcelain work at the Education Center at the Pottery Workshop. This facility is located in a city that has been producing porcelain for almost 2,000 years through small, individualized factories employing specialized artisans with a diverse range of skills. Students will produce work on their own in addition to learning how to outsource and work collaboratively with artisans and specialists to produce artwork utilizing Jingdezhen’s vast resources. This class will also focus on different methods of glaze and surface treatment, along with a variety of building techniques. Students will spend two weeks in Jingdezhen working in the Sculpture Factory, meeting with local artists and designers, visiting museums and galleries, and attending weekly lectures and workshops taught by local artists. Concepts will be developed utilizing traditional techniques and processes to create dynamic sculptural or functional pieces. These pieces will be evaluated in both individual and group critiques throughout the semester. Students will also be exposed to historical and contemporary ceramic history through class presentations and readings, field trips and weekly artist lectures. 

Total trip cost: $4,800 (6 credit hours)
(Students must take 6 credit hours due to the nature of this trip).) 

Costs include tuition, lodging, material fees, museum fees, excursion/day trip fees, airfare in China and meals while in Jingdezhen. Students will be responsible for some travel costs while in China.

Important trip deadlines and additional inforomation 

Friday, March13, 2015

Application and accompanying required documentation must be submitted to the academic affairs office in the Jannes Library, second floor, no later than 4 p.m., and a $1000 non-refundable deposit is due in the business office, located on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall. If the student is not accepted into the program, this deposit will be refunded.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Student selections will be made and confirmations via email. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Full payment of the total trip fee is due in the business office. 

Monday, July 6, 2015: depart USA.

Aug. 1, 2015: return to USA

Passports and Visas:

If you are even thinking about going on this travel program and you do not have a passport, apply now. The process is presently taking six weeks or more for a passport. Once you have your passport you will need to secure a visa. This process will also take an additional six weeks.   No passport/visa=no travel. 

Eligibility criteria

In order to be considered for the faculty-led travel program you must:

  • Submit the completed application by the specified deadline.
  • Students must have completed at least one semester at KCAI.
  • Freshmen are eligible for participation in this program.
  • Have at least a 2.0 minimum GPA.
  • Be in good standing and not currently on disciplinary probation.
  • If the applicant’s academic or behavioral record is such that it would not be appropriate for the applicant to participate, the applicant’s deposit will be refunded to them. 

The number of students who can participate in this program is limited to 12. It is therefore in the best interest of all applying students to do their best work in filling out their application. All application materials must be turned in to the Academic Affairs Office by the deadline. (Incomplete applications will not be considered.) Course deposits must be paid to the business office by the deadline. There will be no exceptions to these conditions. As representatives of KCAI, students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature and respectful manner. If a student is in good standing when accepted into the program but jeopardizes that status through inappropriate conduct prior to the start of the program, the student may be precluded from participating in the program. This prohibition may include forfeiture of all program fees previously paid. 

Financial aid opportunities 

The Kansas City Art Institute is pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to participate in travel programs. As a participant you may receive a total of six hours of academic credit. Federal funding is available for this program through the Federal Stafford Loan Program; you must be admitted to the KCAI B.F.A. degree program and participate in the program for 6 credit hours in order to qualify. In addition, private alternative loans are available to those who qualify. In order to qualify for a Federal Stafford Loan you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For more information or details, stop by the financial aid office or contact Lori Baer at 816-802-3558 or lbaer@kcai.edu

Tips for international travel 


  • Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least six months past the dates of your trip.
  • Make sure you have signed your passport.
  • Make sure to fill in the Emergency Information page.
  • Make sure to make photocopies of your passport prior to departure. Leave one copy with a friend or family in U.S. or scan an image of your passport and email it to yourself prior to departure, and keep one stored with you on your trip in a separate location from your actual passport.
  • Make sure to procure any required visas for entry into the countries you will be traveling to prior to departure. 

Pre-departure preparation  

You will meet with Paul Donnelly and Jan Kennedy several times prior to departure to complete all of your paperwork and prepare for travel in China. Below is a list of useful travel links. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a friend or family member in the U.S. so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. 

  • Review the country specific information posted by the U.S. Department of State for the country/ies you are traveling to prior to departure. This information can be found at: http://www.state.gov/p/eur/ci/hu/ 


  • If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should carry a letter from your attending physician describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic names of prescribed drugs.
  • Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled.
  • Carry medications in your carry-on luggage so you will have them with you in case your checked luggage is lost.
  • Check with the foreign embassy of the country/ies you are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics.
  • If you have allergies, reactions to certain medications, food or insect bites, or other unique medical problems, consider wearing a “medical alert” bracelet. You may also carry a letter from your physician explaining required treatment should you become ill. 
  • If you wear corrective lenses, be sure to pack an extra pair in your carry-on luggage so you will have them with you in case your checked luggage is lost.


  • Do not leave your luggage unattended.
  • Do not accept packages from strangers, don’t wear conspicuous clothes or expensive jewelry, and do not carry large amounts of cash or unnecessary credit cards.
  • Cash machines will be accessible on our trip and will give you a preferable exchange rate. You will need Chinese currency BEFORE you leave.  
  • If you are arrested in transit outside of the United States, contact the nearest American Consulate.

 More information about consular assistance for victims of crime abroad can be found at:


The U.S. Department of State has also developed a travel website specifically geared towards U.S. students studying abroad. You can peruse their Student Study Abroad site at:  http://www.studentsabroad.state.gov/

If you have any further questions about the program, please contact Jan Kennedy or Paul Donnelly.

Mapping The City: New York Summer Studio Intensive

July 4-26, 2015

This course is an intensive three-week studio immersion in the urban fabric of New York 
City. Because the class will be composed of students from across KCAI disciplines, 
varied media, materials, readings and strategies will be used toward engaging the New 
York environment.
Mapping as a practice compels and expands visual art making. In this course, students 
will investigate the fundamentals of drawing as a conduit to a greater understanding of 
New York as a living map. As Jonathan Raban states, the city “invites you to remake 
it, to consolidate it into a shape you can live in ... Decide who you are, and the city will 
again assume a fixed form around you. Decide what it is, and your own identity will be 
revealed, like a map fixed by triangulation.” Through a series of observations, exercises, 
materials and projects, students in this class will create a body of work that responds to 
the possibility of the city as a living map that both informs their histories and identities 
and is imprinted by their engagement with it.
Corey Antis, assistant professor of painting
Jonah Criswell, painting instructor
Feb. 20 - Application and $250 deposit due date
March 6 - First payment of $1,398.50 due
March 20 - Second payment of $1,398.50 due (final payment)
Total cost: $3,047
Program travel dates: July 4 to July 26, 2015

Application checklist, agreement and release form 

Student handbook

Download the student handbook for information about student services, degree requirements, the grading system, course reservations, academic appeals and academic standings.