Community Engagement at NYU Florence
NYU Florence offers students the opportunity to engage with the Florentine community through off campus volunteer activities and placements which vary based on the student’s availability, academic interests and language skill level.
There are two levels of participation:
- Short-term, single day, community-wide events
- Sustained weekly interaction with a local school, or nonprofit association
Some students choose to do both! The experience is well worth it!.
Weekly English Language Service Options
NYU in Florence offers placements in local elementary, middle, and high-schools. Students work closely with the English, French, and Spanish language instructors to improve the comprehension, writing, and speaking skills of Italian students. Students are often asked to create lesson plans, and lead class discussions. As native English, French, and/or Spanish speakers, NYU Florence students are a valuable resource for language instruction.
Ars et Fides
Ars et Fides is an association of volunteer guides offering free guided tours in the main churches of Florence to Florentines and tourists. All year long, Ars et Fides volunteers are placed in some of the most important churches of Florence to welcome visitors and help them discover the meaning of the religious art they are viewing. This semester student volunteers can choose between Santa Maria Novella or Santa Trinità.
Ars et Fides volunteers are of all ages and include university students. Tours are offered in the various languages of the guides. Before starting, all volunteer guides receive an initial training.
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.
Angeli del Bello
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.
Three options for you:
Tidying up the nearby Stibbert Park on Monday afternoons (3-5pm) and Thursday and Saturday mornings (10am-12pm). Typically, students choose to volunteer for this activity once a week.
Cleaning up the Area Pettini Burresi park on Tuesday mornings from 10am-12pm, a popular public garden located in the residential neighborhood of “Le Cure” at a walkable distance from NYU Florence.
Clearning up the Giardino dell'Orticoltura on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-4:30pm, a popular public garden at walking distance from NYU Florence.
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.
There are two placement options:
Workshops with Children
Le Curandaie welcomes kids from the schools in the Le Cure neighborhood and organizes labs and workshops for them. Many of the children are in situations of social disadvantage or are from immigrant families
Mondays – Music Lab: music games: rhythm, movement, and emotions along with music teacher Gaja Pietraszewski
Tuesdays – Animated reading laboratory in English: this activity involves playing with kids and helping them learn to read through fun animated activities
Thursdays – GIOCHEDì: a lab dedicated to socialization and fun
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.
Curemake Thrift Store
Curemake is a vintage shop that supports social inclusion projects through the sale of objects donated by the local community to Le Curandaie association:
You can help by tidying up the items and the games on the shelves
You can help the other volunteers who work in the shop by creating objects using reused materials
Bambini in Movimento
NPM Bambini in Movimento provides support, therapy, and inclusive recreational activities for children, adolescents and their families in the communities they operate in, with the goal of improving their health and wellness. The cooperative is founded on the conviction that it is not the individual that must fight for the freedom of choice and the right to participate, but, rather, the environment that must guarantee it. That is the reason that NPM Bambini in Movimento offers and promotes an inclusive approach in all of its activities.
Therapy and inclusive activities for local children, teenagers and families, to improve the level of people’s health and well-being.
NYU Florence student volunteers will assist the trained staff in their work with participating children, which includes sessions of play therapy.
DANCE LAB: dance games are used as a meeting place for music and the movement and expressive potential of kids;
MUSIC LAB: music is used as an instrument in order to rebuild or reinforce one’s interactive competencies with oneself, others, and the environment;
THEATRE LAB: theater games that explore listening and trust in others and oneself help participants discover the multiple forms that the relationship with others can take through complex storytelling.
Activities will take place in via delle Cascine 13, Florence
Elementary Italian language level is required.
Weekly Italian Language Service Options
Choir of the University of Florence
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 at Aula Battilani in via Santa Reparata. 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.
Meeting Point Firenze Studenti
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.
Volunteers help small groups of two or three students with their homework in specific subjects. This activity isn’t about teaching a class, but rather assisting students studying English.
A basic knowledge of the Italian language is required.
Caritas Firenze Soup Kitchen
The Fondazione Solidarietà Caritas is a non profit organization created to support the Caritas Diocesan of Firenze in the realization of projects in support of economically disadvantaged and fragile persons. The foundation pursues civic objectives of social solidarity promoting the diffusion of a culture of support, integration and voluntarism.
The San Francesco soup kitchen has been active in Florence for many years. It is part of the “Mense Diffuse” project that the Caritas Foundation manages in close collaboration with the City of Florence. The project supports the needs of destitute citizens in the city and organizes seven soup kitchens across the city’s territory.
The volunteer will participate in activities like the preparation and setting of tables, the serving of meals, and post-meal clean up. During lunch it is possible to interact with guests in full respect of their particular circumstances.
Activities will take place Monday-Saturday from 11:00am-13:30pm. The student volunteer must select one day a week to assist with the above mentioned activities.
Misericordia di Rifredi
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 in the Florence area.
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
Single Day Service Options
Corri La Vita
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!
Le Cure dell'Horto
Le Cure dell'Horto is a shared and accessible community garden project in one of the most popular parks in the Cure neighborhood in Florence: the Pettini Burresi Area (a walkable distance from NYU Florence).
The idea was born from NYU Florence partner association Le Curandaie and other local associations and groups that have been working for some time on urban regeneration processes, awareness raising, and community participation in the care, management, and respect of the environment.
Volunteers will help take care of the community garden spaces on Wednesday afternoons for two hours. Elementary Italian language level is required.
How to Apply
These are just some examples of our Community Engagement offerings. We update our list every semester. Students will receive information about the program and how to apply upon arrival at NYU Florence.
Please note that Community Engagement is a volunteer program and not a non-credit internship program. NYU Florence does not permit non-credit internships. If you are interested in a for-credit internship at NYU Florence, please visit the NYU Florence Academic Internship webpage for more information.
To learn more about Community Engagement at NYU Florence please contact Enrico Buonincontro, the NYU Florence Community Engagement Coordinator, at email@example.com.