The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers a wide variety of Italian courses, ranging from beginning language and intermediate language courses to advanced literature, culture, and cinema courses. The department offers two different options for an Italian minor and opportunities for internships in Italian.
Why Study Italian?
1. Italy has a rich cultural heritage
Over 60% of the world's art treasures are found in Italy and Italian literature boasts some of the world's most famous writers, thinkers, and Nobel Prize winners from Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch and Machiavelli, to Verga, Svevo, and Pirandello. Knowledge of the language is essential to fully appreciate the richness of Italian literature, theater, opera, and films.
2. There is a demand in the workplace for Italian language skills
Six of the 100 biggest global companies have their headquarters in Italy, and Italy is the world’s fifth largest industrial producer of goods. In the fields of diplomacy and trade, the federal government is always seeking qualified applicants with Italian language skills. Knowledge of Italian is not only helpful, but often necessary for academic, business, or social research.
3. Contemporary Italy has a vibrant global presence
Today, Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment. Speaking Italian is essential to travel to Italy and experience the essence of its culture. How can you savor a gourmet Italian meal in a Tuscan restaurant if you can't read the menu?
4. Studying Italian helps to build your knowledge of other languages
With approximately 70 million first-language speakers, Italy is the official language of Italy and parts of Switzerland, and there are Italian-speaking communities in other parts of the world, including Malta, Libya, Somalia, Slovenia, Croatia, the United States, the UK, Argentina, and Australia. As a Romance language, Italian has close ties to Portuguese, Spanish, and French, and your study of Italian will make learning another Romance language significantly easier. In general, your study of Italian will enable you to gain communication skills, reflect on your language usage, and improve your writing and speaking skills in English as well. In addition to providing students with great satisfaction and added confidence, the study of Italian greatly enhances skills in analyzing, discussing, and categorizing information and ideas.
"How Good is Italian for Business?" (British Council)