Syracuse Florence seeks to promote international education through sustainable living practices. We believe we can only help students grow to be more responsible citizens of a globalized world if we ourselves implement ecology-friendly practices and provide opportunities for students to engage in activities that contribute to environmental sustainability and multicultural engagement.

The Mary Jo Kitchen Garden

Mary Jo Weinig

In response to a generous gift from program alumnae Mary Jo Weinig, Syracuse Florence inaugurated its first edible garden in July 2013. The project began in 2012 when Prof. Richard Ingersoll and a group of 14 students planted a small nomad garden, which has since become a large permanent garden. The tomatoes, eggplants, beans, chick peas, rocket greens, herbs, and cabbages are used for the preparation of fresh and delicious Tuscan dishes in Syracuse Florence’s professional kitchen.



Healthy Monday

Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are just some of the ways we can contribute to a healthier planet. With this in mind, Syracuse Florence kicks off the week with Healthy Monday during the fall and spring semesters!

  • Free fruit available throughout the day in the Limoniaia next to the coffee bar/cafe.
  • An e-newsletter with practical exercise and nutrition tips, as well as suggestions for healthy study habits.
  • Free exercise classes are offered by local instructors and/or current students in the Villa Rossa, Villino or garden. Just show up!

Sustainability in the classroom

Syracuse Florence offers courses and experiential-learning opportunities that focus on sustainable living. These courses invite students to imagine the world and their relationship to it differently by learning to improve human well-being and preserve the life support systems of the planet.

Sustainability in the workplace

The staff and faculty are committed to making their work environment as ‘green’ as possible. That means we print double-sided documents, recycle bottles, turn off lights we’re not using and only turn on heating or cooling systems when absolutely necessary. However, we know there is always more room for improvement. Please let us know if you see anything we could be doing better to ensure our campus is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Mindful travel

While living in Europe, do as the Europeans do! Take a mindful approach to the travel that will be filling your free time by choosing the more sustainable options, such as riding a bike or taking a bus instead of a taxi; taking a train instead of a plane. Not only is it the responsible thing to do as an engaged global citizen, but it also tends to invite romance and adventure (think pedaling over the Arno as the sun sets, figuring out how to reach off-the-beaten-path destinations like a local, or writing in your journal as the Alps stretch beyond your train window).

Food for thought: A Community Project

The Italian Language & Culture Department organizes free language instruction for members of Florence’s immigrant community. Conversation is organized around gardening activities and the preparation of meals using the produce from the Mary Jo Kitchen Garden. These non-credit classes not only help the outside community but give you the opportunity to practice your Italian language skills and become exposed to the challenges and opportunities of multiculturalism in Italy. Language, gardening, and food, therefore, become the channels through which learning takes place, environmental awareness is sustained, and diversity is embraced.