The World Languages and Cultures Department offers a range of courses in Italian, from introductory to advanced levels. The introductory courses emphasize a communicative approach that stresses familiarity with the language structure, and the cultural context provides the students with a critical view of Italian and American cultural traits from a comparative viewpoint. Advanced courses emphasize the acquisition of thematic vocabulary and more specialized grammatical structures in culturally authentic contexts through speaking, reading, writing and listening. Additionally, Italian internships 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 G8, and 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 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 AU Abroad's sites including the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in 1175), the American University of Rome, and John Cabot University.
Participate in internships and become eligible for scholarships with DC area institutions such as the National Italian American Foundation and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington. Become an active member of the AU Italian Club and participate in cultural activities sponsored by the Italian Cultural Society of Washington, DC and Italians in DC.
Minor in Language and Area Studies: Italian/Europe
The AU Italian/Europe Area Studies Minor enables its students to gain valuable language skills in intermediate and advanced conversation and composition Italian courses, accompanied by interdisciplinary work that creates a dialogue between Italian linguistics and the cultural production of art, history, literature, music, and political science. An Italian/Europe Language and Area Studies Minor provides Italian proficiency credentials to graduate school, especially in the departments of art, art history, fashion design, film studies, history, international studies, classical studies, Romance literature, music, and theology.
Please see the Italian/Europe Minor page for details.
Spring 2019 New Course Highlight
Italian 196: Italian Culture and Society
A study of the arts, food, history, and writings of Italy from its diverse orgins to the present. The course examins primary works of literature, visual art, music, and film in the context of contemporary culture. Taught in English!