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This activity is designed to both enhance cultural awareness and to guide students through the study abroad experience in order to maximize their educational outcome and personal growth during their time in Florence. Through Connecting Cultures, students have the opportunity to interact with the Florentine community through programs such as Community Outreach, Italian Family Club and Chat Pal, as well as participate in City Walks to engage with the city.



Italian Family Club

The Italian Family Club gives students an in-depth, direct opportunity to get truly involved with the Italian community through an adoptive Florentine family. By joining the Family Club, students get an up close and personal view of a typical Italian family through interaction with the members, while discovering and observing habits and customs that may not be so familiar to them. Students with Italian origins will have the chance to experience first hand what they may have only heard through stories passed down to them by aunts, uncles, parents or grandparents. Students of non-Italian origin will also have an opportunity to evaluate the Italian family lifestyle beyond what is generally portrait at “typical” by the media. Students and families will be matched according to the characteristics and requirements of both parties, with the intent to build a two-way relationship that will develop over the semester through mutual and productive exchanges. The intent is for the students is to become a member of the family and to partake in everyday functions such as family meals, conversations, cultural exchanges or even assist with errands, baby-sit, or care for pets. The affection, empathy and emotions shared by the students and families will become a special treasure that all will cherish in their hearts for time to come. The families will have a reference point abroad, and the “adopted” kids will leave Florence knowing that someone will always be here to welcome them back!


Community Outreach

Student Life and Development offers students the unique opportunity to go beyond the everyday interactions with Florentine residents by participating in the Community Outreach program. This experience allows students to give something back to their host city, by offering their time and services to various social and cultural organizations, such as museums, canteens, churches of various denominations, associations such as La Tinaia Center for Expressive Arts or even teaching language in local schools. Community Outreach is an exceptional opportunity for students who want to be actively involved in the everyday life of the city during their studies in Florence. It is also an enriching experience that will contribute both to personal and emotional growth as well as cultural consciousness, in order to create global citizens that are sensitive to the needs of others. Most of the organizations that collaborate with FUA do not require particular skills or ability to speak the Italian language, but  all require a weekly commitment from students; one shift, typically 2-4 hours per week, depending on the association's needs.  Space is limited; therefore must be seriously motivated in order to be considered for the program.


Chat Pal

What better way to learn a language than to use it in a practical manner? The Connecting Cultures Chat Pal program is a non-credit conversation exchange designed to connect Italians with FUA students, with the intent to improve Italian language skills and to create a connection with a members of the community. Each student is paired with a language partner; partners are expected to meet for at least one hour, once a week, and to divide the time equally between Italian and the student's mother tongue. Conversation Exchange partners can meet at a time and place of their own convenience.

For further information and an application form, please contact the Student Life Office, Corso Tintori 21, or email:

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