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Italian
LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

Italian

Italian

Since the beginning, Italy has been at the center of Western civilization, absorbing, transforming, and innovating all cultural aspects of the ancient, medieval, and modern eras. According to statistics compiled by UNESCO, the Italian peninsula has produced at least 70 percent of the so-called treasures of humankind. Italian, by far the closest Romance language to Latin, provides extraordinary opportunities for English speakers to better understand their own language and enrich their active vocabulary, as 70% of the words in the English dictionary come from Latin.

Italian

Why Itaian?

The study of Italian provides you with the analytic and creative thinking skills to engage a multimedia world of fraught complexities and exciting opportunities. In our program at Clemson University students develop advanced fluency in Italian and are exposed to all aspects of Italian culture – literature, visual art, film, music, business, etc. You will gain tremendous perspective by studying one of the world’s most influential cultures, which is at the crossroads of the world’s eastern and western hemispheres. When it comes to future opportunities our students excel in medical, legal, trade, and public service careers because our program requires rigorous study of core societal issues concerning culture, politics, language, and history. We prepare our students to be responsible colleagues and global citizens through sustained study of these issues with a focus on inclusion and diversity. In fact, studying Italian will open a gateway for you onto one of the world’s most beautiful languages and one of its richest cultures. 

Because of the history of the country, Italian is not just the language of Italy but of the world: it is the spoken language in the Vatican City, headquarters of the Catholic Church, and is still spoken in many Italian emigrant communities around the world. Dating from the period of the ancient Etruscans and Romans and including the magnificence of the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque (Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bernini), Italy possesses one of the world’s most important artistic and historical patrimonies: UNESCO estimates that over 60% of the entire world’s art treasures are in Italy. Renowned authors and directors from Dante, Pirandello, and Gramsci to Fellini, Pasolini and Sorrentino continue to fascinate as they reflect the rich cultural history of the country.Also, many students also elect to study Italian to reconnect with their family heritage. 

Italy is also a country of business, international organizations, and innovation: studying Language and International Business with an Italian concentration is a very smart and strategic choice students should make while at Clemson University.

This is because Italy is the eight largest economy in the world and the third in Europe, it has more than one hundred million speakers worldwide and hundreds of millions of Euros are invested by Italian companies in South Carolina alone. Italy is one of the US & Canada’s major trading partners and is a leader in various industries, with world renown brands such as Ferrari, Ducati, Armani, Bulgari, Ferrero, MSC Shipping Company, Azimuth Yachts, Luxottica and many others.

The Italian Section of the Languages Department at Clemson is vibrant and connected to business both in the US and Italy and in the recent past students have been hired by Italian owned companies in the South East USA. The Italian Professional Society, a student ruled branch of the Italian Section, allows students to create a network with other language and L&IB vibrant professional societies, exchange ideas, experiences, information and skill because your classmate today can be your colleague tomorrow and forming stable, respectful and fruitful relationship now can enhance your career in the near future.

The L&IB Italian partners with a former CEO and current Expert Consultant in offering our students seminars on CV and Resumés writing with personalized meetings and mock job interview specifically organized for students of Italian who apply for positions in which the knowledge of the language, the culture and the business of Italy are required or perceived as a plus.

Not only that: the whole experience of studying Italian and specializing in business Italian is a rich and fun journey towards the job market: fun, informative and rigorous classes, a vibrant and active Italian Professional Society that organizes seminars, meeting and symposia during every semester, a group of dedicated professors with personal and professional ties to business in Greenville, Columbia, Atlanta and Charlotte. Visits to companies, seminars, curriculum developments lead to internships and internship lead to entry level jobs with a skillset already in place in an environment, Italian business, based on friendliness, professionality, elegance and above all opportunities. And not only business: graduates of Clemson’s Italian program are currently pursuing successful careers also in journalism, diplomacy, automotive engineering, archeology, fashion, music, tourism and travel, publishing, international education, as well as the burgeoning food and wine industry.

What Does It Offer?

  1. A flexible Modern Languages major that perfectly lends itself to a double major in another field.
  2. A Modern Languages minor that can be a real asset to any resume in today’s global economy.
  3. Classes that range from beginning and intermediate language courses to courses on Italian conversation, composition, literature, culture, cinema and business.
  4. A variety of affordable and high-quality opportunities for academic credit in Italy through summer, semester and year-long programs in Florence, Rome, Venice, Tuscania and Urbino.
  5. A series of extracurricular activities, including the Italian Club, the annual Italian Studies Summit, the weekly conversation hour, film screenings, lectures by guest speakers, peer tutoring, and more.

The Clemson Italian program is intended to prepare students for a wide range of careers in the international arena as well as for the kind of graduate programs that are an appropriate starting point for such careers. Italy has the seventh largest economy in the world, is one of the US & Canada’s major trading partners and is a leader in various industries, with world renown brands such as Ferrari, Ducati, Armani, Bulgari, Ferrero, MSC Shipping Company, Azimuth Yachts, Luxottica and many others. Additionally, since in recent years Italian enrollments in the US have risen in percentage more than in any other European Language, there is great demand for Italian teachers in certain parts of the country. Graduates of Clemson’s Italian program are currently pursuing successful careers also in journalism, diplomacy, automotive engineering, archeology, fashion, music, tourism and travel, publishing, international education, international business, as well as the burgeoning food and wine industry.

Contact information

Roberto Risso
301 Strode
rrisso@clemson.edu 

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