Italian Studies

Lake Maggiore, Italy

The AU Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a range of courses in Italian, from introductory language study to advanced topics. The elementary and intermediate courses emphasize a communicative approach. Advanced language courses emphasize the acquisition of thematic vocabulary and more specialized grammatical structures within a cultural context. Topics courses offered in the spring provide students an in-depth study of modern Italian society. Italian internships and independent study courses are available for academic credit under the supervision of the Italian faculty. 

Italy has the 8th largest economy in the world, it is a founding member of the EU and the G7, it has the most United Nations UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world (58 sites), its language is the 5th most studied foreign language at all USA colleges, and it is the host country with the 2nd highest number of study abroad students coming from the United States. Many employers in both North America and Europe seek people who speak English and Italian. Italian is greatly beneficial in several professional fields, including the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, furniture design, graphic design, oenology, construction machinery, electromechanical machinery, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, shipbuilding, and transportation equipment.  

The study of Italian is enjoyable on its own because the language is one in which quick progress is made in the early stages. The phonetics of Italian are remarkably consistent: it is a highly approachable foreign language that allows for easy pronunciation, reading, and writing. Italy has the aesthetics, culture, and history to provide a lifetime of future inquiry. Learning Italian will also enhance your ability to analyze, categorize, and discuss ideas emanating from the Western experience.  

Students can become proficient in Italian and study at one of the following AU Study Abroad sites: 1) The American University of Rome; and 2) John Cabot University, also in Rome.

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Course Spotlight

Italian 230: Italian Culture and Society

A study of the arts, food, history, and writings of Italy from its diverse origins to the present. The course examines primary works of literature, visual art, music, and film in the context of contemporary culture. ITAL-230 is a Cultural Inquiry course in the Habits of Mind part of AU CORE, offered every other spring and taught in English!