Grow, Cook, Heal: Therapy for Wellbeing - Service Learning

Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Grow, Cook, Heal: Therapy for Wellbeing - Service Learning

  • Host University

    Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

  • Location

    Florence, Italy

  • Area of Study

    Agriculture, Health Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    The garden is a space traditionally associated with food cultivation and recreational activity, both are known to have an influence on well-being. This course explores a culture of wellness based on the fundamentals of horticulture therapy and the use of plants and green spaces, as well as horticultural and culinary activities to promote well-being. Students will explore the traditions related to garden activities to foster cognitive, social, emotional, and physical well-being for individuals and specific groups (i.e. the elderly, children, and individuals with special needs) in a variety of settings. Adapting horticultural therapy in diverse site conditions from sowing to cultivation and the preparation of food products from the garden harvest will be a focus of this course. Course topics will include principles of horticulture, soils and soil cultivation, plant propagation, and harvesting, and the therapeutic potential of farm-to-table practices. Students will experience first-hand the restorative powers of green spaces through garden management and cooking labs to examine the benefits of the natural environment as a fundamental outcome of this course. This course includes an Experiential Learning Project with CEMI. This course includes service learning hours within the Florentine Community. Service learning is a method that incorporates intentional learning with service to the community, in which the service component functions as a reflection on classroom learning for all tasks performed. In addition to regular class hours, students will be involved in a volunteer project for the entire session that integrates them in the local community in order to remove barriers and gain a sense of social responsibility. The acquisition of new skills and knowledge obtained in the service learning environment outside the classroom will enrich the learning experience and contribute to personal and emotional growth, as well as cultural consciousness, to develop a greater sense of global citizenship and sensitivity to the needs of others. Students are guided through the experience by the non-profit association supervisor and the service learning coordinator to enhance outcomes both inside and outside the classroom. The contribution to the association is not only crucial to a deeper understanding of course topics but also allows for a greater sense of belonging in the community, allowing students to acquire a heightened awareness of emotional intelligence that enhances the classroom learning experience.


    This course features a mandatory SL project at Pomario Retail Store.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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