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Notes From Campus: Florence

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What’s going on in Florence? So much. Yes, there are classes, excursions, weekend travel. But our staff in Florence work hard to ensure students get the most out of their time there by constantly offering new and different opportunities. We just got the November newsletter so read on to find out what our program has to offer.

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Gran Gala Lirico: The Orchestra of Tuscany will perform an exclusive concert for Oxfam Italia, with selections from The Barber of Seville, La Traviata and more. Proceeds will assist ongoing efforts in Cambodia as well as victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

Student led tour of Machiavelli’s House: Students enrolled in the Italian Literature in Translation course will lead a visit to the house of world famous Florentine political thinker, philosopher and historian Niccolò Machiavelli.

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Volunteer at Santa Maria Novella: Students interested in interning or volunteering have many options in Florence. Chelsea volunteered at Santa Maria Novella last spring and had this to say:

I never once thought that my study abroad experience would include working in one of the most important churches in the world. For years, I studied art and architecture and it was an honor to have been awarded the opportunity to work in Santa Maria Novella. I admit, at first it wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be. The    first few weeks were slow but I became more prepared and experienced more of a cultural interaction with the guardians of the church. I began to give about two tours each morning. I enjoyed talking with the families and couples, getting to know about their visit, and sharing some of my favorite places to go around town and stories about my time abroad. It was an amazing cultural and educational exchange opportunity that enhanced my visit to Italy far more than I could have asked for.

Lecture on Arts Funding: In the US, organizations receive a small amount of funding from the government and a large amount through donation. In Europe, organizations receive a large amount from the government and a small amount through donation. Which system works best? Who should pay for the arts? What can Europe learn from America and vice versa?

Christmas Market at Piazza Santa Croce: Nothing can get you in the mood for Christmas quite like the Italian Christmas Market and the eating, exploring and shopping it offers. There are local sweets and treats, traditional foods from different European countries, hand-made soaps, beautiful knitted items and countless tents filled with Christmas ornaments. You can’t miss it!

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