Italian studies is offered as a major in combination with another language as part of our Dual Languages major or as a minor in Italian Studies on its own.

Students majoring in political science and international studies or business administration, the Italian Studies minor is an opportunity to better understand Italy's people through work and study abroad in three of Italy’s cosmopolitan treasures: Florence, Rome and Perugia.

Interdisciplinary Minor Built Around Your Interests  

The minor in Italian Studies is an interdisciplinary minor and requires the completion of six courses determined in consultation with the departmental minor advisor. Students can take classes in Italian as well as approved courses in other disciplines such as art history, history and American studies.

Beginning with Intermediate Italian, the language instruction students receive employs a variety of communicative strategies designed to achieve proficiency.

These include:

  • Conversation tables to practice speaking Italian with other students and native speakers
  • Film showings organized by the Italian club
  • Discussions of contemporary life and customs
  • Cultural events posted on the Italian Studies Facebook page
  • Technology gets you there faster

In addition to classroom instruction and the other tools listed above, you are also aided by Quia, an interactive language lab that allows you to work online outside class. All lectures in the program are technology-enhanced.

Italian Studies Competitive Advantages

Because of Stonehill’s size and its exclusive focus on undergraduates, students in the Italian Studies program enjoy extensive access to faculty. In addition to the courses offered in the course catalog, many students take advantage of Directed Studies, which enable them to pursue a specific area of interest and inquiry. Examples of Directed Studies offered include surveys of Italian literature, Italian poetry, Italian women-writers and many others.

Italian studies minors are encouraged to spend a semester abroad in an approved international program of study or in one of the international internships sponsored by Stonehill College, including programs in Florence, Rome and Perugia.

Interning in Florence

The Italian Studies program at Stonehill maintains a relationship with the American Institute For Foreign Study that allows students to participate in a part-time internship while in Florence. Students who intern in Florence are connected with employers that are relevant to their area of study and their language competence.

While in Florence, Stonehill students attend the renowned Instituto Lorenzo de Medici, taking two courses of their choosing relevant to Italian Studies (focusing on such topics as language, history, art, anthropology and many others). Students also complete work toward their respective majors.

Most classes take place in beautiful and historic buildings and students are accommodated in centrally located apartments, some of which afford breathtaking views of the Duomo, Florence’s storied basilica. It’s an enriching and exciting experience that will immerse you in the culture of Italy and provide a unique opportunity for personal growth.

Stonehill Italian Club

This student-run organization, established in 2011, helps create a sense of community on campus for those with Italian heritage as well as those who simply love Italy, its language and culture.

The club meets at least once a month. Each year, it plans a schedule of events that can include guest speakers, Italian movies and other events.

Sample Courses

Elementary Italian I

ITA 131
Elementary Italian I is a course intended for students with no previous study of Italian or with very little knowledge of the language (no more than 1 year of Italian). Students who have taken Italian in high school are required to take the placement exam before enrolling in the class. Class work focuses on the acquisition of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings on topics in Italian culture as well as frequent writing assignments are also an essential component of the course. ITA 131 is taught primarily in Italian. Out-of-class homework requires work with the Quia lab manual.

Contemporary Italy Through Film

ITA 337
For students who continue to study Italian after ITA 232, or ITA 252 or who are placed beyond the Intermediate Level. This class provides an understanding of contemporary Italian society and culture by viewing, reflecting on, and discussing Italian films of the last sixty years. The class will analyze 8 films, learning their context and through them the key events that have shaped the national identity of Italy. Students will read a selection of essays on Italian cinema and complete writing assignments and oral presentations.

Italian Culture and Civilization

ITA 338
A broad overview of Italian culture from the Middle Ages to the present, highlighting key historical and literary developments of each century with an interdisciplinary perspective. Students in ITA 338 become familiar with a variety of texts from different fields of knowledge, including art history. Class work entails class presentations and research papers in Italian.

Contact Information

Daria Valentini, PhD.

Professor of Italian, Italian Studies Program Director
Interdisciplinary Studies