The study of Italian language and culture offers a unique opportunity to delve into a civilization that is at once very old and very young. The territory that is Italy was at the center of Mediterranean civil development long before the Roman Empire, and while Italy is a pervasive presence that dates back to the origins of western civilization, the nation state that we know as Italy was officially born not that long ago, in 1861.
Here at Colby we believe strongly that the acquisition of a foreign language is a fundamental component of education and of the college experience in general, as is the close examination of a culture other than one’s own. In order to provide our students with the best and greatest possible exposure to the language, we offer numerous courses taught exclusively in Italian, from elementary Italian all the way through our upper-level literature seminars. Recently, our Italian studies program added English-language courses to the curriculum that examine the rich tradition of Italian cinema, from Neorealism to Comedy Italian Style.
The study of Italian can open doors to a variety of professional opportunities. All over the United States, students with degrees in Italian pursue careers in music, art history, museum work, business, and diplomacy as well as many other fields.