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Students spend day in service to Florence, Italy community

A hallmark of the Lipscomb community is serving others … even when studying thousands of miles away from campus

Cate Zenzen  | 

Groups of students in t-shirts on service day.

Lipscomb students partnered with students from James Madison University to serve this neighborhood in Florence, Italy.

The Global Learning  programs at Lipscomb University provide students with experiences of a lifetime. Not only are students studying and learning about new cultures, they serve the communities where they live for a semester — just like students at the university’s main campus in Nashville serve others.

Each semester, students have the opportunity to express their gratitude and love for the city they temporarily call home in a service project. On Oct. 2, students who are studying in the fall 2019 Lipscomb in Florence, Italy program participated in a service day organized by James Madison University called Fall 2019 Big Event. 

Two girls cleaning bikes.

Two Lipscomb students in Florence on a recent day of service at Basilica di Santo Spirito Firenze.

Since 2014, the James Madison University campus in Florence, Italy has partnered with the Associazion Via Maggio to teach students of their responsibility towards the city and the environment as a whole. Once a year the collaboration presents the Big Event, a day of service projects in the Santo Spirito neighborhood of Florence. These tasks include washing off illegal graffiti and vandalism, collecting trash in the streets, and removing stickers from street poles. Lipscomb in Florence partnered with JMU to serve others.

“The idea was to do something to give back to this beautiful city, and its citizens, that hosts our students, showing them some positive efforts by study abroad students,” said Emily Woodroof, resident director of Lipscomb in Florence. 

This year, a city-wide invitation was sent to other American university study abroad programs to join them in a community clean up project in various areas. While each school was responsible for organizing its own project, these separate tasks made a big impact as a whole on the city. US Consul General Benjamin Wohlauer also participated in the event as the representative of all the American universities hosted by the city of Florence. 

Girl smiling and cleaning pipe

Service is a hallmark of Lipscomb University at home and abroad.

Lipscomb in Florence runs both in the fall and spring semesters. Each group consists of approximately 30 students along with Lipscomb faculty and staff members. Students may take 12-18 credit hours. 

Learn more about Lipscomb’s global learning program in Florence, Italy here.