Italian is one of the major European cultural languages. Throughout the centuries Italians have made a fundamental contribution to the development of Western civilization in such fields as literature, architecture, painting, sculpture, music, philosophy and the sciences. A student intending to devote his or her career to the study of these disciplines will find Italian very important. Since Italy is the cradle of Roman civilization and also heir to part of Greek civilization (in Magna Graecia), Italian is also indispensable for the study of Greco-Roman history, art and archeology.
Students interested mainly in contemporary life and culture will, however, find that the study of Italian will open the door to one of the most exciting countries of Europe. The Italian scene of today is extraordinarily rich in such fields as literature, performing arts, cinema, design, politics, sports, fashion, and industry. In today’s open world of business, the importance of Italian can hardly be overestimated. Hundreds of American companies, from those dealing in high technology to those dealing in household products, from banks to travel organizations, operate in Italy or base their Mediterranean operations there, just as hundreds of Italian exporting companies operate in the U.S. In the past, in fact, many a student with a major in Italian has gone on to join firms on this or the other side of the Atlantic.
Students interested in the Italian diaspora will also have ample opportunity to explore the Italian American heritage and the issues of racial stereotyping, community life, inter-ethnic relations, and gender roles that have characterized social experience in the United States.
A student undertaking a college education should also remember that many professional graduate schools are open to language majors. In the recent past, students with an Italian major have successfully enrolled in Law schools, schools of International Affairs or Diplomacy, etc.
It should also be noted that students studying Italian can take advantage of the option to pursue a double major (e.g., Italian and Political Science, Italian and Business Administration, etc.), thus enhancing their prospect of success in their future professional life.
The Italian Studies Program at the University of Connecticut is one of the most respected in the nation. It offers a full range of courses, from elementary language up to graduate courses in literature and critical.