Why study another language?
One aspect of a general education requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences is for students to challenge their own preconceived personal and cultural frameworks, as well as to further their intellectual development and personal growth. To this end, the study of a language beyond one's native tongue pushes students to communicate through different sounds, words, and structures, and it provides an opportunity to gain deeper insight into the practices of one's own and other cultures. Furthermore, empirical research in recent years suggests that language learning is related to improved cognitive abilities such as attentional control, memory, problem solving, and verbal and spatial abilities.
Why study Italian?
In addition to the academic, cognitive, and social benefits to learning another language, there are definite benefits to learning Italian. For example, consider the following facts:
- Italian is spoken by almost 60 million people in Italy and over 62 million around the world.
- Italy has the 7th largest economy in the world and is the 5th largest industrial producer of goods; indeed, 6 of the world's biggest global companies have headquarters in Italy. This means that jobs in Italian business can be lucrative!
- Italy is also a major political force in Europe (and the world). For this reason, knowledge of Italian can lead to jobs in diplomacy and trade.
- Italy is at the heart of Western culture and civilization (think Rome, Renaissance, Galileo, Michelangelo, Verdi, Fermi….). So, Italian is often useful (if not necessary) for research and future study in many fields, including art, music, business, and sciences.