My time volunteering this semester while abroad in Florence has been an amazing experience. I volunteer quite often at home to gain service hours for my sorority but also just because it makes me feel good to do acts of service and to know I am helping at least one person if not multiple. When I found out about this program through SAII wanted to get involved. Since school does not take up as much of my time here I needed to find something else to help keep me busy. Volunteering was a way to do that but it also provided me with a sense of purpose. I think volunteering has opened my eyes to a side of the community in Florence that most students abroad do not see. Volunteering at Don Milani school and with Angeli del Bello really pushed me outside my comfort zone since little to no english was spoken.Most of my time here I have been catered to with everyone knowing at least some english. Being at the school I saw a whole different world almost. Starting off with just riding the tram for the first time to go to the school and the tram was filled with mostly locals. I have always enjoyed my time around children and love being creative with them. Don Milani was a great opportunity to be creative when planning their english lessons and activities. There are many differences from the elementary schools here and back home, it is a lot more laid back it seems. My time with Angeli del Bello was very laid back also, they just appreciate anyone that comes out to help. Everyone there has the same purpose of just wanting to give back and help the community in the free time they have.
Written by: Rachel, Spring 2023 FUA student from University of South Carolina.