Italian majors learn how to read, write and speak the Italian language. To receive a well-rounded and diverse understanding of the language, they also study Italian literature, culture, and history. Students typically begin their education by taking introductory and intermediate Italian classes to learn the grammar, composition, and conversation of the language. Italian culture is rich in art and Italian artist, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, have had a profound impact on the world, therefore classes focused on Italian art and film are usually required. Also, great writers, such as Machiavelli and Dante, have come out of Italy, so literature courses focusing on Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature as well as modern Italian literature and poetry are common. Studying abroad in Italy is often encouraged so students can experience speaking Italian fluently and learning about the culture firsthand.
The communication skills and knowledge one acquires from completing a degree in Italian can be applicable to many different career paths in communications, business, and education. Italian majors have the opportunity for careers as foreign correspondents, international relations specialists, foreign diplomats, translators, travel agents, and professors. Employment opportunities are typically available at travel agencies, international businesses, universities, and government agencies, such as U.S. diplomatic service and the U.S. Information Agency. Those who are passionate about art, possesses excellent communication skills, and are interested in Italy’s influence on modern culture, may want to consider majoring in Italian. A degree in Italian is also useful for anyone who wishes to continue their education in areas such as international relations, education, or art.