Italian Department.



The Italian faculty at Drew is committed to providing a rich and stimulating curriculum through the latest pedagogical and multimedia tools. Our courses (language, literature, culture and cinema) are taught entirely in Italian.

Our major in Italian Studies and minor in Italian provide opportunities for students to acquire both proficiency in the Italian language, and a good knowledge and appreciation of Italy’s rich cultural tradition. We also offer courses in English on Italian culture and on the representations of the Holocaust in literature and films. Our alumni tell us that a major or minor in Italian always makes a difference in the job market and have found opportunities in very diverse areas of employment.

We strive to create a cultural and global awareness to make students appreciate the language and the culture of another country, in order to strengthen the intrinsic value of an undergraduate liberal arts education.

Thanks to the vicinity to New York City, students have the possibility to participate in community events (conferences, films, music and exhibitions) related to Italy, and our very active Italian Club organizes field trips, film screenings and lectures with international guests. The weekly Italian table provides another opportunity for students to practice their language skills outside the class. We have also an Italian Theme House, Piccola Italia, for students interested in living in an Italian-like setting.

Finally, students who want a full immersion in the language and culture of Italy can participate in the summer programs in Orvieto and in Cilento or apply for a study-abroad semester in Italy through the Center for Global Education.

Top 10 Reasons to Study Italian

1. Italy has played a major role in the cultural and social development of the whole Mediterranean area, deeply influencing European culture. Italian is the language of culture, art, music and knowing Italian gives you the possibility to understand masterpieces of Italian literature, opera, cinema, and theater.

2. Throughout the world, Italian is the fourth most taught non-native language and about 90 million people world-wide speak Italian as their first language.

3. The Italian language is also used as a lingua franca in some environments. For example, in the Catholic ecclesiastic hierarchy, Italian is known by a large part of its members and is used in substitution of Latin in some official documents as well.

4. Italian is derived from Latin, and knowledge of Italian will help you to understand the English language, which has a very large percentage of words derived from Latin.

5. Today, Italy has the seventh-highest GDP and the 17th-highest Human Development Index rating in the world. It is a member of the G8 and a founding member of the European Union, having signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957. Italy was also a charter member of NATO.

6. Italian is a scientific language and may be teamed with the physical sciences and mathematics.

7. A UNESCO study placed over 60% of the art of the world in Italy. No other country in the world has such a rich heritage of artistic creativity. More than thirty million tourists visit Italy every year.

8. Some Italian Nobel Prize winners include writers Grazia Deledda, Luigi Pirandello and Dario Fo, physical scientists Enrico Fermi and Carlo Rubbia, inventor Guglielmo Marconi, doctors Renato Dulbecco and Rita Levi-Montalcini, and economist Franco Modigliani.

9. Research shows that it is easier to learn Italian than English.

10. Italian combines well with studies in other foreign languages, history, political science, international relations, international business, communication, film studies, medicine, as well as the sciences.