International arts, culture and language school Accademia Europea di Firenze has announced plans to plant a tree for every new student who arrives in Florence. Ground was recently broken for the first 35 saplings in the San Bartolo a Cintoia park to the west of the city centre.
“With this initiative, we want to establish a positive relationship with our host community and give back, albeit only partly, what the students receive from Florence,” comments Elisabetta Santanni, director of student life at Accademia Europea di Firenze. “Our wish is that we will map the trees that are donated in order to maintain the bond with the students once they return to their home countries.”
“When Elisabetta Santanni of Accademia Europea di Firenze contacted me to put forward this project, I immediately welcomed it with the utmost enthusiasm and worked to ensure that it would happen,” remarks Elisabetta Meucci, city councillor for universities and research. “Not only because of its environmental importance, but also for the positive social inclusion of Florence’s study abroad programmes. This project will also benefit from the support of the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI), which will give it an even greater boost.”
In addition to being one of Elon University’s Centers Abroad, Accademia Europea di Firenze hosts about 400 international students every year, especially from universities in the United States, Mexico and Brazil.