Study Italian Language and Literature (in Universities), Italian Language and Literature (in Universities) Schools
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Many people dream of taking a vacation in Italy–wandering the hills of Tuscany, exploring Roman ruins, or drinking fine wine in a restaurant in Venice. But have you ever considered living and working there on a long-term basis? If so, majoring in Italian language and literature might be a good choice. Like any other modern-language major, this course of study will take plenty of hard work and determination, but it is possible to attain fluency in Italian within the space of 4 years. Those who have chosen this route often report that Italian is easier to learn than many other European languages.
- General language skills – strong grasp of grammar in English is a plus
- Desire to travel, especially in Italy
- Curiosity about other cultures and ways of life
- Patience and willingness to spend plenty of time memorizing vocabulary
Italian programs are slightly less common than those in French, Spanish, or German, but they can still be found at many colleges. In most cases, 4 full years of language instruction are required for the major, so it's important to get started right away if you plan on completing a degree in Italian. in addition, the majority of college Italian programs require at least a semester of foreign study. Fortunately, study abroad programs in Italy are extremely common, so this will be an easy requirement to fulfill – not to mention enjoyable!
Although it is possible to major in Italian by itself, it is generally a good idea to consider choosing a 2nd major or a minor in order to round out your course of study. For example, people who hope to live and work in Italy often take courses in business administration, hospitality, or ESL ("English as a Second language," a standard degree for traveling English teachers), which helps to prepare them for work in a specific kind of job once they arrive in Italy.
As with any other major modern language, majoring in Italian will provide you with a versatile degree that can be applied to a wide range of careers. Of course, translation and interpretation stand out as obvious choices–this is an excellent way to travel around the world and apply your skills in Italian, English, and whatever other languages you may know. If you enjoy the nuances of language, and especially if you enjoy writing on a wide range of topics, a career in translation and interpretation might be worth considering.
Italy itself is one of the world's major economies, and is an important center of commerce, politics, cuisine, and tourism. In any one of these sectors, there will be numerous employers who are looking to hire English/Italian bilingual workers. Choosing a double major or major/minor combination will make you especially appealing to these employers.
Finally, don't forget that many people major in Italian purely out of passion for the language. Because Italian is such a versatile major, it's not necessary to pick a career ahead of time–in fact, it might be smart for prospective Italian majors to keep their options open throughout their early college years.