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Italian is the fourth most studied language in the world and Italy’s cultural importance spans from antiquity through the present, from the Roman empire to the Renaissance to the worlds of fashion, design, and culinary arts. The natural and artistic beauties of Italy are alone sufficient to fill a lifetime of exploration. In any context, having studied Italian language, literature, and culture gives you a solid vantage point on the history of Western culture, the origins of the modern world, and the position of Europe in a global world.
What are your reasons for studying Italian?
The goal of the Italian major is to develop educated speakers and readers of Italian with significant cultural competence in Italy’s present and past.
Why an Italian major?
Learning Italian is not just about being able to communicate in a foreign language; it is about being conversant with the story of civilization. And that is always something that will make you stand out. Graduates with a degree in Italian have gone on to work in any number of fields such as art and design, fashion, business and finance, health, education, telecommunication, tourism and government.
Italy has the fourth largest economy in the EU. An estimated 7,500 American companies do business with Italy and more than 1,000 U.S. firms have offices there, such as Adobe Systems, American Express, Apple Computer, AT&T, Avon Cosmetics, Bank of America, Bausch & Lomb, Berlitz Language Centers, Bristol-Myers, Estée Lauder, Federal Express, General Motors, Honeywell, Proctor & Gamble, Sheraton, Tiffany & Co, Twentieth Century Fox, and Xerox. Right here around the corner from U of M, in the Metro Detroit area, there are also numerous Italian companies. Think about the fact that Fiat of Turin now owns the Chrysler corporation.
When trying to choose a career path for their degree, students are encouraged to take advantage of the academic and career co-advising appointments that are available throughout the year. Students unable to take advantage of co-advising are encouraged to contact the University of Michigan Career Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the Career Guide for a list of possible career options for students