NYU Florence offers students the option to integrate an experiential learning opportunity and become an active participant in the Florentine community through various off campus volunteer activities. Placements vary based upon the student’s availability, academic interests and language skill level.
Students can participate in Community Engagement in two ways:
Some students choose to do both! The experience is well worth it!.
NYU in Florence offers placements in local 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 blocks per week.
A.N.I.M.A. is a place where children can do gymnastic activities under the supervision of qualified instructors. At the ANIMA center, children with and without disabilities do exercises and play together, thus conquering their insecurities and learning to trust other people. The NYU Florence student volunteers play with the children in order to establish a friendly relationship with them.The activities take place in the afternoons from Tuesday to Friday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The student volunteer needs to select a day when he/she can perform this activity. Only two to three volunteers per day are accepted.
An urban volunteer project for the care and decorum of the city of Florence, the Angeli del Bello volunteers care for the green areas in the city, clean graffiti off the walls, and give support to those who take care of our public spaces. NYU Florence does a lot to help in the community and the current project is tidying up the close-by Stibbert Park on Monday afternoons, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
HOLI is a nonprofit association started by a group of parents and friends of children with autism in order to help them become independent and autonomous.
DANZA MOVIMENTO (“Movement Dance”): The workshop is designed to promote the physical, emotional, and cognitive integration in children with autism.
When: Tuesday afternoons from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Estimated number of minimum hours per week: 1 hour, 1 day a week.
Flexibility and ability to work with people with disabilities are required.
Le Curandaie is a non profit association and well-established meeting point for children and parents living in the nearby Le Cure neighborhood (a 5-minute walk from the NYU Florence campus). Le Curandaie is a project aimed at social innovation, as well as a place that provides services to the local community. It also assists women looking to enter or re-enter the workplace.
Drawing and painting course
Le Curandaie is looking for a small group of NYU students (2-3) to join “Immaginando”, the association’s Creativity Lab. Activities range from art and hand-crafting to games and the Lab contributes their creative production to and helps organize some of the association’s most important community events. Students will engage in dialogue and exchange with the Curandaie staff and participating children: each participant brings their abilities and skills to the table and shares them with the group.
When: Tuesdays 5:00-6:00pm
Animated reading laboratory in English for children
This activity is not about teaching per se but about playing with kids and helping them learn to read through fun activities such as singing, dancing, and simple theatrics. While reading a book, objects are used which represent the subjects in the story. This helps the child picture the story in his or her mind and encourages the child's participation in the reading process. Only one NYU student will be selected for this activity, he or she will actively assist the instructor.
When: Mondays 5:00-6:00pm
Archeology for children
Participants in this project will discover the past by creating tools and other objects as they did in ancient times with Archeologist Francesca Caporusso. Weather permitting, they will work in the Area Pettini, a community park in the Le Cure neighborhood next to the NYU Florence campus.
When: Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm
A strong commitment is required from students for all of these volunteer activities
A minimum of one day a week for one hour
Elementary Italian language level. However, the selected candidates must be willing to work with Italian-speaking staff.
A site for immigrant and Italian women in precarious situations and/or victims of domestic violence where they can regain better autonomy.
Activities with young children and their mothers:
The Choir of the University of Florence is a mixed choir of about 40 student and university staff singers with an almost exclusively a cappella repertoire.
Thanks to the quality and excellence of its activity, in December 2011 the Choir obtained its recognition as Coro di interesse nazionale (“choir of national interest”) from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
The choir rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 9-11pm in via Leonardo da Vinci, 1 (near Piazza della Libertà). Student volunteers are required to attend both rehearsal sessions every week.
For this volunteer activity, a strong commitment and a basic knowledge of the Italian language are required from students.
The Meeting Point Firenze Studenti association helps Italian middle and high school students with their homework. The sessions are in the afternoons, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in Borgo Pinti 64 downtown Florence.
This help isn’t about teaching to a class, but rather assisting students with the study of the English language. Volunteers help small groups of 2 or three students with their homework and with explaining particular subjects. Estimated number of minimum hours per week: 2 hours 1 day a week. A basic knowledge of the Italian language is required.
The Misericordia of Florence is a Catholic volunteer association that dates back to the Middle Ages and since its inception it has been housed right in Piazza del Duomo. With its centuries old tradition, it has grown to be a very modern and efficient organization staffed by both employees and volunteers who provide medical care, social services and various types of assistance to the local population and visitors of Florence. The Misericordia is considered to be the oldest existing private volunteer association that has been operating since 1244 AD.
A basic knowledge of the Italian language is required for both activities.
The Jewish Community Center offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Students who enjoy working with kids can assist kindergarten teachers and educators with their regular activities for children (18-36 months and 3-5 years old).
Students with Italian proficiency can volunteer in the nursing home where they converse and entertain the elderly (i.e., taking people out for a walk or coffee, reading them newspapers, listening to their stories).
A strong commitment is required from students for both volunteer activities.
Formal screening of applicants is done by both NYU Florence and the site staff of the organization based on the skill sets necessary for projects in a given semester.
If you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org attaching your resume
A basic knowledge of the Italian language is required for both activities.
The Confraternita della Misericordia di Rifredi in Florence’s Church of Santo Stefano in Pane, which dates back to the late thirteenth century, is one of the city’s main Catholic volunteer associations.
The Senior Center at the Misericordia di Rifredi is a day center for the elderly open in the mornings and afternoons that can host up to thirty people. The Center's Welcome Group is made up of six socio-health operators and about a hundred volunteers who, in rotation, take care of the center's guests.
The NYU Florence student selected for this activity will entertain the center’s guests, for instance by engaging in conversation with them, listening to their stories, and assisting with projects.
Activities take place Monday-Friday 3-6pm. The one selected student volunteer must choose a day when he or she can perform this activity.
A strong commitment is required from students for this volunteer activity
A minimum of one day a week for 2 to 3 hours
Intermediate Italian language level
Florence’s annual 5k walk/15k run to cure breast cancer started in 2003 to raise funds and awareness of breast cancer, with the collaboration of the Italian Cancer Association – Florence. Every year, tens of thousands of Florentines raise money for breast cancer research and patient assistance. It's easy to participate in this fun event!The proceeds are divided between projects and the main portion of donations goes to the Public Health Department of Florence for breast cancer patients. Be a part of an NYU Florence tradition and join our community for this important cause!
Each year hundreds of Florentine families come together to celebrate the most popular event in the Le Cure neighborhood right next to NYU Florence: the Festa di Primavera, or “Spring Party”.
The Festa di Primavera is organized by a number of associations operating within the neighborhood and is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
NYU Florence students will be organizing many different games for kids aimed at raising funds for local projects, for example, funding the community garden at the nearby elementary school.
The international Half Marathon Firenze takes place every year on the first Sunday of April. Runners from all over the word, enthusiasts, and families participate in this classic sport event that winds through the beautiful streets of Florence.
NYU Florence student volunteers will unpack and distribute medals as participants cross the finish line.
These are a sample of our Community Engagement offerings. We are updating our lists each semester. If you are interested in learning more about Community Engagement please contact The Study Away Admissions Office.