Proficiency in Italian is a marketable skill which, by itself or coupled with another skill, can open doors to diverse career opportunities. The value of studying Italian is, generally, not readily seen. If you stop to consider, however, you might be surprised to learn how important it really is. If you study Italian, you will be able to take advantage of opportunities in a growing number of fields: import-export, interior design, home furnishing and accessories, and apparel manufacturing. But Italy is not only fashion, leather couches, shoes and wine. Other fields, with a very high technology content make it one of the most advanced countries of the world.
An understanding of the language and culture of Italy is essential for a greater appreciation of such celebrated figures in Western civilization as Dante, Petrarch, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo, Vivaldi, Verdi, Pirandello, and Fellini. Italy possesses one of the major literature and historical and legal traditions in Western Europe and has played a unique role in the development of fine art, architecture and music. From Roman times, the Italian contribution to world culture has been enormous. Italy has been a principal contributor to the evolution of the arts, sciences, and ideas for the greater part of the last 700 years, therefore, knowledge of the Italian language is an invaluable tool for acquiring a truly complete liberal education.
Nowadays, such an education is becoming a desirable prerequisite for employment by the business community.
The Italian language and culture have had a tremendous impact on many countries worldwide because of the country’s past emigration. Apart from a conspicuous Italian presence in various European countries, there are five million people of Italian descent living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for example, and Italian is the second language spoken in Australia, after English. All this offers a wide variety of options in the job market for Italian speakers worldwide, and partly explains why Italian is growing in popularity as a language to study.
The goal of the Minor in Italian and cross-disciplinary Major, in Italian Studies is, first, to give students a solid grounding and a good fluency in the Italian language and, second, to give them a basic familiarity with various important aspects of Italian culture and society. Together, these will enable them to continue to pursue their interest in Italy and in Italian.