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Beyond The Classroom


Community Service

While studying abroad, students have the option to integrate an experiential learning opportunity and become an active participant during the semester in the Florentine and NYU Florence community through various volunteer and internship activities. Placements vary based upon the student's availability, academic interests and language skill level:

  • Teaching Italian high school students about American culture, while also greatly improving their English language skills.
  • Hosting tours at some of Florence’s most important churches, museums and historic sites -- there are opportunities to do guide tours in English or Italian!
  • Helping to prepare and cook weekly dinners where any international student is asked to come; this is an opportunity to meet lots of students from around the world.
  • Selling Candygrams for the Italian Cancer Society; one semester, students raised over 200 Euros!
  • Helping in the production and performances of Italian plays at a well-known Italian theater.

These are just a few of the ways to get involved. Even if you participate in a few one-day volunteer opportunities, the experience is well worth it.  For more information contact

English Language Service Options

NYU in Florence offers placements in local kindergartens, elementary, middle, and high-schools. Students work closely with the English language instructors to improve (Italian) students’ comprehension, writing, and speaking skills. Students are often asked to create lesson plans, and lead class discussions. As native speakers of English, NYU in Florence students are a valuable resource in the language classroom!

Ars et Fides is a Catholic organization (created by the archdiocese in Florence) that invites student volunteers to learn to be tour guides in 5 of the major churches in Florence. The churches include: Duomo, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo and Santa Trinita. Students receive a packet of information about the church they are interested in, and are scheduled to follow a more experienced guide. Once they are comfortable enough on their own, they start giving their own tours.N.B. Students are invited to give tours in any languages they speak. If you speak a language other than English, you can use it for tours.Schedule: students may give tours from 10am to 12pm or from 3pm to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. Minimum commitment is 1 two-hour block a week.

Florence International Theatre Company intends to create a renaissance of theatrical tradition in Florence which reflects the city's international status. Embracing, celebrating and exploring the differences of two influential world cultures as they come together in a theatrical context, FITC will develop an approach to performance that marries the techniques of American and Italian theatre, creating works of art, primarily in English, and sharing this work with the Tuscan community, building a significant relationship through artistic productions, and outreach programs. FITC plans to become a center of inter-cultural exchange and communication - a shining light for Florence - through the art of theatre

Student volunteers can help out with stage management, theatre management, scenes and costume making, theatre business, and publicity.


St. James is often referred to as the “American Church” in Florence because they offer services in English. Each semester St. James organizes a program of International Student dinners in which a speaker is invited to give a short presentation and an informal discussion follows. Student volunteers are invited to help with the preparation of the meal, set up, and clean up. In addition, St. James organizes a weekly food bank, where student volunteers are invited to help distribute food and clean up.

Schedule: International student dinners – Wednesdays from 4:30pm to about 9pm. Food bank – Thursdays from 9am to 12pm. 

This organization, run out of a nearby high school, was created in an effort to educate the public about human rights issues and peace. Student volunteers are invited to help in the development of educational projects. 

Schedule: Monday – Thursday 8:15am – 5:30pm. 

Canadian Island is a day care center for children from 3 months to 3 years of age, and also a center for English language activities for children from 6 to 10 years of age. Student volunteers are invited to help with the organization of English activities and with daily responsibilities. 

Italian Language Service Options

Auser is a completely volunteer organization dedicated to helping the elderly. Students can help by going to do grocery shopping and delivering it to the homes of elderly people who have requested the service. They can also be sent to visit with elderly people in their homes, and accompany them on short errands in their neighborhoods.Schedule: Grocery shopping & delivery: Monday – Thursday mornings (8am – 12pm), visiting with the elderly: Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons.

Located in the center of Florence, the Jewish Community Center offers a wide variety of possibilities to students who wish to volunteer. The Center has a day care on the premises where student volunteers are invited to play games and interact with the children in English, a museum where students can give guided tours, a rest home for the elderly where students can visit and help out, a library where students can assist in cataloging and archiving materials, and offices where students can be involved in public relations and events planning. 

Schedule: Day care: Mon-Thurs. 9am-5pm, Museum: Nov-Mar 10:00-3:00, Sep-Oct 10:00-5:00, Rest Home: Sun.-Fri. 9:30am-6pm, Library: Tues. & Thurs. 9am-12pm, Offices: Sun.-Fri. 9:30am-12:30pm. 

Caritas is a nation-wide organization that helps underprivileged people. In Florence, they run 2 Case Famiglie, or shelters for single women with children where student volunteers are invited to help take care of the children, a shelter for AIDS patients where students can help with daily activities, and a soup kitchen where students can help cook, distribute food, and clean up.

Schedule: Case famiglie: Monday – Thursday afternoons, Shelter for AIDS patients: Monday – Thursday all day, Soup kitchen: Monday – Thursday 10am – 2pm. 

Angeli di Firenze is a local organization that assists homeless people. Students can help by collecting and distributing food and clothing for the homeless.

Schedule: Food distribution: Wednesday 12pm – 2pm & Thursday 8pm – 10pm. Food collection: Wednesday 6:30pm – 8:30pm. The schedule for clothing collection and distribution varies. 

Alma Edizioni is a local publisher that specializes in Italian Language instructional materials. Student volunteers are invited to help by promoting their new Italian Language course and materials to American Universities.

Schedule: Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm. 

This organization is the only to hold film festivals of Indian films in Florence. Student volunteers are invited to help with daily office responsibilities, and to coordinate various art directors and shipments of prints.

Schedule: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 1:00pm / 3:30pm – 7:30pm. is the website with all of the goings on in Florence. Student volunteers are invited to help create web pages for the English version of the site, as well as to translate into English some of the existing pages in Italian.

Schedule: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 1:00pm / 2:00pm – 6:00pm. 

NICE organizes annual film festivals to promote new Italian cinema. Their most famous festival takes place in New York in November. Student volunteers are invited to help with office work, and to collaborate on the English version of the catalogue of the event.

Schedule: Monday – Thursday 3:00pm – 7:00pm 

Apply Now!
Jessica and her students, NYU in Florence student

"I volunteered at a school where I taught 5 year-olds basic English. I fell in love with these kids. They were adorable and grew to love me in return. I learned so much from them."

- Jessica, NYU Florence student

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