During their time studying abroad, many of our students regularly volunteer at institutions throughout Florence. As this semester comes to a close, we're highlighting the projects our Fall 2019 Student Volunteers have accomplished while at SACI.
At SACI, connecting with the community through volunteerism is an important part of the study abroad experience! Our students have the chance to help teach English at elementary schools, serve as English-language museum guides, assist with the installation of SACI Gallery exhibitions, work on creative projects with healthcare providers and patients, and more! Take a moment to read about what our students have been up to this term.
SACI Fall 2019 Student Volunteers:
Marissa Condie - Marissa volunteered for Ars et Fides as an tour guide in Santa Maria Novella Church.
"As an English speaking tour guide, the people on my tours are usually from a non-Italian culture. I'm able to bridge the gap, not only in language but also in context. It's pretty easy to become lost in the myriad of art in Florence. In my role, I can help unscramble the pieces for a foreign visitor.
Returning routinely to the same site has allowed me to observe progress on conservation projects, the ebb and flow of tourists from different nationalities, and how the changing weather of the seasons' effects the space of a museum.” - Marissa Condie
Lily Alexandroff - Lily taught English to fifth graders at Scoula Torrigiani elementary school, where they read books, played games, and talked about their different cultures – learning English through storytelling and conversation!
“I have really enjoyed watching Monica's students learn and grow over the weeks. They are bright, engaged, and motivated. I am lucky to have had the time with them that I did, and I can't wait to see what they do in the future.”
Maria Centrella - Maria volunteered for Ars et Fides as a guide at the Cathedral del Santa Maria del Fiore - the Florence Duomo!
"At the Cathedral del Santa Maria del Fiore I gave free tours of the church to anyone who approached me with interest for two afternoons a week. Occasionally, I shadowed another tour guide's tour, especially if they were a seasoned guide, to glean even more information that I might not otherwise have known! My tours were usually about 15-20 minutes, and I’d walk from the front of the church, down the nave, and end under the dome's frescoes.
Overall, my favorite part about being a tour guide at one of the world's most famous churches is watching people's eyes light up, especially as they step under the beautiful dome." - Maria Centrella
Lillian DeHart - Lillian taught English to fifth graders at Scoula Torrigiani elementary school! She worked with the kids to stage a school play – Peter Pan! For the play, they not only learned and performed their lines, they also drew their characters and created backgrounds, props, and costumes. They also put on a spooktacular Halloween Party!
Jordan Van Savage - Jordan volunteered at Made in Sipario, a social organization based in Florence that provides people with disabilities with social and work opportunities in the community.
"Volunteering with Made In Sipario was an incredible and enriching opportunity that added a lot to my experience abroad. Working with the artists at Made in Sipario was really fun, and it helped me get to know a brilliant part of the community in Firenze!
Overall, working with Made in Sipario helped me further realize that you truly never know who you're going to meet or who you'll see succeed, and those beautiful possibilities are what make volunteering so beneficial and important to not only you but the community you live in." - Jordan Van Savage
Kara Harley - Kara volunteered for BHMF Black History Month Florence, a cross venue initiative designed to highlight the cultures of African Diasporic communities in the city of Florence and throughout Italy! She was part of creating the BHMF Recovery Plan exhibition at SRISA's 3D Studio. The exhibition shows what BHMF has accomplished for the past 5 years, and provides a glimpse of what is to come this upcoming year (the theme being "OBLIGATO").
Kirra Browne - Kirra volunteered at Scuola La Montagnola elementary school, teaching English to third grade students through various Content and Language Learning (CLIL) projects such as planting flower bulbs and creating compost (soil) in the school garden. She led the children in creating and decorating papier-mâché balloons, helped translate science lessons, and presented a drawing lesson and demonstration to help the children draw the Florence Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. Kirra also assisted in the translation of an Italian children's song for an eTwinning (school resource platform) project, and helped the kids create Christmas decorations and paintings.
Delia Hannon and Kaitlin Morris had the opportunity to volunteer at Florence's Santa Croce Church!
"Volunteering as a tour guide at Santa Croce has truly enriched my study abroad experience. I had the rare opportunity to able to learn about the history and art within a 12th century Franciscan Catholic church as well as meet people from all over the world. Learning the history of the church not only taught me about Santa Croce, but I also learned about Florence itself. I definitely feel like a part of the Florentine community because of my time spent within Santa Croce. At the same time, it gave me a little taste of home, for I had many Americans on my tours as well as people who even lived near me in New York!
Though it was a lot of work, I am glad I spent my mornings volunteering for Art Et Fides, because it was such a unique and fulfilling experience." - Kaitlin Morris
Learn more about volunteer opportunities at SACI.