Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with Italian studies as a major opens many opportunities for the graduate in careers as diverse as international organizations, export and import trading, diplomatic service, publishing, fashion, education, and television.
Proficiency in the Italian language and literature requires the student to learn major skills such as critical thinking, analytical writing, historical perspective, and cultural understanding. You might think that an Italian language degree is useless but wait until you find out what doors open for those who speak, write, and understand it like a native. To be able to relate across international boundaries is an asset if you want to literally go places.
Careful planning and wise selection of courses can help develop your aptitude and hone your skills for use in a wide array of careers. Your Italian language degree will teach you creative problem-solving, how to formulate clear and persuasive messages, critical thinking and analysis, strong written and verbal skills, cross-cultural appreciation, and interpersonal skills.
The core curriculum for the Italian language program educates the student on the historical and contemporary elements not only of the language but of the Italian culture as well. The program is interdisciplinary in form and orientation, and includes examination of Italian art, literature, history, music, and film. Some programs require immersion components, meaning a year of study will have to be spent in Italy.
Some students in a liberal arts program choose Italian as a major but some choose it as a minor within a larger context that includes another foreign language like French or Spanish. A bachelor’s degree is required for a student’s admission to a graduate school program and those who want to obtain a doctorate in the Italian language or studies must already have a master’s degree in the language.
Jobs for Italian Language Graduates
Graduates of an Italian language program can become diplomats, foreign correspondents, intelligence officers, attaches for trade, cultural, and economy, interpreters, language researchers, translators, travel writers, film writers, professors, museum curators, television news anchors, international business consultants, librarians for Italian language centers overseas, and teachers of Italian as a second language.
Additionally, Italian language graduates are sought after by the international banking community, multinational corporations, performing arts companies, telecommunications agencies, advertising companies, and practically all kinds of businesses in Europe, North America and Asia. Most Italian language degree holders opt for further or advanced studies to increase their chances of landing well-paying jobs.
Choosing a School
Most states have good Italian language degree programs as well as Italian language courses. Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University are Ivy League schools which offer Italian studies. While not considered Ivy League, schools such as Duke University, the University of Southern California, and Fordham University also offer excellent Italian language degree programs.
There are also Italian language schools throughout the U.S., the best of which include the Italian Language School and the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, the Filitalia International in Pennsylvania, the Casa Italia Chicago, the Penobscot School in Maine, the Lucca Italian School in Colorado, Italiano Language Center in Georgia, the WisItalia in Wisconsin, and the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles.