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Life in Florence - Volunteer Opportunities

Public service activities are one of the most rewarding ways to integrate into Florentine life, perfect your Italian, meet Italians and give back to the community and city that graciously host our Program.  Stanford students can choose from a number of volunteer opportunities at museums, schools, hospitals, daycare centers and not-for-profit organizations.   Because public service is such an integral part of our Program, we also offer a Service Learning in Italian course in the winter quarter which is taught by our Language Resource Person, Fiorenza Quericioli.

"The first time I sat in front of a small class of students from India, Sri Lanka, Albania, Peru, and the Philippines to teach Italian, I knew that I was in the right place. Through the Service Learning in Italian course I’ve been able to work at Arcobaleno which is an organization that provides educational, health, and other services for immigrants. No other volunteer position has ever been as important to me because I know that my students need to learn Italian in order to work and support their families. The best part of my experience is that I’m not just teaching them the language, I’m helping them to feel more confident and secure in a country that is not their own; for me, there are few jobs that are more rewarding than that." - Shantelle Williams, Winter 2009.

Public Service Activities

The following is a list of the Volunteer Associations with which we have a working relationship. Although it is not a complete list, it does give an idea of the type of public service activities that are of interest to our students and for whom they have worked in the past. 

Organization Description
L.I.L.A. Toscana This AIDS awareness association provides psychological support to and work placement for those who are HIV positive. L.I.L.A. also  organizes a number of important national and international awareness activities, conferences and fundraising events.
Centro di Ascolto – Chiesa di San Lorenzo Located in the heart of downtown Florence, this association offers assistance to the poor, the homeless, and the elderly through a number of specific programs and social activities. 
UISP – Solidarietà regionale Federale One of the most important points of reference for all team sports in the city.  This is a great opportunity for those who wish to play a sport, help in the organization of sporting events  or coach young children.
Amici dei Musei Organizes guided visits to museums and collections which are often inaccessible to visitors, provides security services at exhibits, and publishes informative materials and teaching aids to help make Florence’s hidden artistic patrimony known to the general public.
HELIOS – associazione di volontariato ospedaliero (hospital volunteer association) An association that provides a number of services to the disabled, particularly those who are in dire need of assistance and also a social life outside of the hospital or rehabilitation center setting.  It also has a division that deals with hospitalized children (Ospedale Pediatrico Meyer) and offers support to their parents.
Asilo nido L’AQUILONE This daycare center mainly hosts children of immigrants and of families in need, offering very high quality educational services and care almost free of charge.
Baby Parking IL CUBO MAGICO This daycare center accepts children from just few months old to three years of age; some of them stay for a few hours only while others stay there for the whole day.
Scuola materna IL GIROTONDO A private nursery school; the children are between the ages of two and a half and six.
Istituto degli Innocenti A public institute that provides support and assistance to children, single mothers, and families in need. 
W.W.F. The Florence chapter of the W.W.F. deals primarily with the protection and upkeep of a natural wildlife reserve located just outside of Florence.
PROGETTO ARCOBALENO This organization offers assistance to those in need and provides recovery programs and social reinsertion for drug addicts and prostitutes. They also organize a number of activities dedicated to raising social awareness and sensibility to key issues such as the integration of immigrants.
MANI TESE This association deals mainly with recycling goods and with helping developing nations through a number of awareness activities. 
EMERGENCY- Florence Dedicated to a “culture of peace” this association organizes events and protests against war in general and provides support to countries currently at war.
LA CASA DEI FOLLETTI Daycare This daycare center organizes a number of rather interesting extra-curricular events for children of various ages in addition to its normal educational activities. 
Florence Dance Center It is possible to attend classes free of charge in exchange for a few hours of office work.  Students who are qualified dancers might also be able to teach classes. 
Liceo Linguistico Pedagogico N. MACHIAVELLI – G. CAPPONI Students may work as T.A.’s to English teachers at this High School located close to the Ponte Santa Trinita and to the Stanford center.
CIRCOLO DIDATTICO (Scuole elementari) di Pontassieve (FI) This association organizes English classes for children between the ages of 8 and 11.
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