New ISB CEMI: Pomario
The Pomario Botanical Retail store is FUA-AUF’s most recent CEMI (community engagement member institution) initiative. Pomario is operated by students and faculty members of the School of Business at FUA-AUF, where students are given the opportunity to learn about urban ecology in both the classroom and through a hands-on professional approach as well. Pomario allows students to interact with the local community to educate residents through botany, sustainability, and horticulture.
At its core, Pomario aims to support and spread knowledge on how to lead a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. Much like many of FUA-AUF’s CEMI initiatives, Pomario is built on the institution’s commitment to education through experiential learning.
Some of the services and products offered by Pomario are:
- Ongoing selection and curation of plant varieties
- Special expansion of vegetables
- Collaborations with other local entities
- Development of events that feature hands-on learning experiences
- Green retail management
- Sustainable marketing and promotion
- Involvement in green/sustainability events hosted at the Palazzi Community Center
Pomario offers a vast selection of plants and gardening items; however, it is much more than just a retail store for purchasing plants. With a focus on supporting community seminars that place emphasis on horticulture themes, Pomario organizes multiple sustainably-friendly initiatives and activities that are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Thanks to the store’s Via Ricasoli location at the Palazzi Community Center, students, faculty, and visitors alike can benefit from the center’s Cafaggio del Vescovo gardens featuring citrus trees, herbs, and plants of many varieties.FUA-AUF is constantly redefining and reinventing what it means to learn in an international setting. Going beyond the classroom and immersing students in the community, FUA-AUF cultivates and helps to develop students’ global perspective by exposing them to new ideas, issues, and solutions through the city of Florence. Through an experience-oriented approach, FUA-AUF students are transformed into citizens of the world with a greener global outlook.
Gap Year in Florence
FUA-AUF Gap Year Programs go beyond the concept of “spending a year abroad” by offering options that are both focused and flexible for diverse participants.
With the aim of different needs and interests in mind, the following programs are an opportunity to enhance and internationalize college pathways, careers, and volunteer experiences in the stimulating environment of Florence, Italy.
- Break Year for high school students transitioning from graduation to college, with fully transferrable credits.
- Gap Year for college students wishing to design a yearlong curriculum abroad. Career Break Year for individuals seeking to explore new fields or deepening their
- Service Year for participants of any background who want to be involved in volunteer service and community-oriented experiences.
The FUA-AUF campus and Florentine community are a dynamic extended network of learning and experience-building spaces. The unique educational model ensures that all Gap Year participants, while participating in the above tailored options, are fully involved in program activities leading to cultural integration, community engagement, and experiential learning.
Further details can be found in the Gap Year Program prospective students page. For information requests please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost Nothing: Faculty Exhibit
The “Almost Nothing” exhibit by Nicoletta Salomon opened on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 6 pm in Via Ricasoli 21, and showcased 23 contemporary art pieces.
The artworks were exhibited at the Corridoio Fiorentino, which collects, preserves, exhibits, and showcases artwork by FUA-AUF students/faculty and professional artists. Nicoletta Salomon is a writer, painter, and faculty member of writing and fine arts at FUA-AUF. Salomon said that art is a way of life and a way for her to communicate with others. Her canvases and paintings depict her thoughts, emotions, and memories. Salomon created her pieces for the exhibit during COVID-19, and they represent her thoughts and feelings from that time spent in isolation. Her main inspiration for this project was the silence experienced during the pandemic’s lockdowns and limited interaction with others.Though she is used to working from home in her home studio, Salomon shares that this experience was different. She was deeply affected by the silence around her, and concentrated on the feeling of stillness. The sense of solitude was not physical because she had her family with her, but rather, it was a spiritual solitude to which she eventually became accustomed. She is unsure of whether enjoyment can be located at all within the experience, but she definitely became accustomed to it out of necessity. Salomon’s depiction of inner silence and the feelings associated with are evident throughout the exhibit. The absence of stimuli changed her perspective on her art and taught her how to concentrate more on her inner self.The background to these paintings is lighter than her usual darkness, and the colors used are more subdued – there is a calmer, quieter sense to them, making them lighter overall. She chose to combine this lighter palette with unprimed linen to eliminate the duality between color and canvas, for them to be one unified element. "I didn't want my canvas to be just a supporting[base], something that passively bears the colors," said Salomon.The works could be interpreted as landscapes. Salomon used squares and horizontal lines, with a frontal perspective of air and water in them. They don't touch, but instead, they float in proximity to each other. This certainly not the only interpretation, and the works can be seen figuratively or non-figuratively. She enjoys how her painting can be read differently by each person.Her feelings toward the solitude experienced while creating these paintings can also be seen in the brushstrokes on the canvas. There is a movement to her brushstrokes that is varied and shows that they are not peaceful. They sometimes show quiet movement, at other times they are rushed. What emerges is her changing relationship with solitude during the pandemic, and the peace and struggles she faced.
The title "Almost Nothing" refers to how Salomon stripped the paintings down to their bones.
This project allowed her to experience painting with a limited palette and a bare canvas, and the
name refers to the creative process rather than the outcome.
Though the thoughts and emotions portrayed in these works of art are her own from the
lockdown, Salomon’s overall message for exhibit viewers is the "freedom to project their own
views and emotions" onto her paintings.
The exhibit can also be viewed online at the Corridoio Fiorentino digital gallery.
By Cristina Gallè - Journalism Student at Humber College, Canada
FUA-AUF Course: Special Project: Experiential Learning in Journalism - Iconic Florence Remote Learning Student - Summer 2021
WWAC: Walks Without a Classroom
WWAC: A Unique Methodology Beyond the Classroom
Learning takes place in many shapes and forms.
The standard approach adopted by many institutions is classroom-based lectures, in which the learning path is guided by the instructor and textbook. Going beyond the classroom eliminates potential constraints in separation between students and the subject, and helps foster a student's innate sense of curiosity and discovery. Ultimately, a stronger bond with the subject taught is possible through diverse learning methodologies. This is especially true for international students who juggle the challenges of coursework and living in a new culture and environment.
At FUA-AUF, courses are constantly designed to inspire and challenge students through both content and delivery through immersive and experience-oriented approaches. The institution’s unique course methodology WWAC - Walks Without A Classroom - allows students to experience coursework fulfilled outside of the classroom space through engagement with a local environment.
This innovative style of teaching and learning encourages a more active participation in course topics. For each lesson, students are introduced to an academic theme elaborated through various locations, spaces, and sites in the city of Florence. Lectures are delivered directly within the context represented by the topic, and encourage students to discover the depth of the place-topic connections covered.
The result is a hands-on learning journey supported by the rich background of Florence from its culture and history to societal structures, economy, and architecture. Complemented by course readings, research, journaling, and mapping activities in addition to standard assignment and exam requirements, WWAC courses provide a robust education that deepens knowledge and an international student’s personal connection with the hosting environment.
WWAC courses cover diverse disciplines including literature, philosophy, fashion, art history, and food.
Upcoming course offerings may be viewed at the academic course schedule.
For further information contact: email@example.com