The Italian Studies major and minor, alone or when combined with other major programs, can set students up for success in careers, graduate school admission, and national fellowship programs.
Students who have completed a major or minor in Italian Studies, and, especially, if they have studied abroad in Italy, very often wish to use their knowledge and skills in the "real world," whether in the U.S. or in Italy, whether for a few months or for years to come. In certain cases, pursuing Italian beyond Holy Cross means enrolling in an M.A. or Ph.D. program in Italian.
Access to information about postgraduate scholarships and graduate programs at appropriate academic and professional schools is readily available through the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies. The Center for Career Development offers a variety of suggestions for more immediate opportunities after graduation.
Francesca Bruzzese ’11
Programme Assistant – XV World Forestry Congress Secretariat
Forestry Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
“My study of Italian at Holy Cross has very much impacted and shaped my post-college life. As an Italian major I greatly improved my language skills, which allowed me to successfully study abroad in Bologna my junior year; my experience abroad was incredibly positive and solidified my desire to live in Italy after graduating. The College offered great support and assistance with my successful application to the Fulbright program in 2011. As a Fulbright scholar, I was sent to Rome, Italy, my home to this day.”
Caroline Quinn ’14
Senior Italy Specialist at Audley Travel
“My study of Italian language and culture has had a great impact on where I am today in both my professional and personal life. After my junior year abroad in Bologna, I knew I wanted to find a job that would incorporate my passion for Italy. Shortly after graduation I found myself in the travel industry. For the past 5 years I have been traveling back to Italy every year and creating custom vacations for my clients so they can experience what amazing things it has to offer. Holy Cross ignited my passion for Italy and travel and led me to where I am today!”
Kate Goza ’20
Graduate Student, University of Chicago Divinity School
“I can’t put into words how my experiences in Holy Cross’s Italian program and at the Università di Firenze have positively impacted my life. By immersing myself in Italian language and culture, I’ve met many lifelong friends, both on campus and abroad, and I’ve become a more confident communicator (in English too). The opportunities I’ve had at Holy Cross to integrate my religious studies major with my passion for Italian have also uniquely prepared me for my next chapter in life as a grad student.”
Riccardo Marcangeli ’18
Ph.D. Candidate at University of Wisconsin - Madison
“The Italian program at Holy Cross has been an extraordinary influence in molding me into the academic professional that I am today. Not only has this field broadened my cultural and social outlook, it has made me extremely cognizant of understanding and applying languages in multicultural contexts. After graduating from Holy Cross with a double major in Italian and psychology, I was accepted into the M.A. program in Italian Romance Languages at Boston College. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. My career path would not have been possible without the rigorous education and support that the Holy Cross community has provided me.”
Emma Pcolinski ’15
Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University-Bloomington
“I am a doctoral student of Italian Studies, which not so long ago seemed an impossible feat! Studying Italian at Holy Cross opened the door to a lifelong passion for Italian language and culture. The welcoming community and weekly coffee hours fostered my language skills and confidence. Spending a year abroad in Bologna, stepping outside of my comfortable sphere, I made lasting friends and became fluent. Soon, I hope to work to serve students in their Italian study abroad experiences, exploring beyond themselves and growing in their resilience.”
Vipsania Pimentel ’14
Marketing & Event Manager
“My decision to major in Italian has certainly had an influence in both my personal and professional life. My year studying abroad in Florence helped me master the language, and fall in love with the culture, which influenced my decision to later move back to Europe. Learning the language has also helped in regard to my professional life as I was able to use Italian on a daily basis in my previous job. Deciding to become an Italian major was definitely one of the best decisions I made while at Holy Cross.”
Fourth-year students and alumni may also apply for a Fulbright award, whose recipients spend a year in Italy either teaching English or conducting research.
Learn more about the Fulbright program.
Graduate Degrees in Italian
Students who wish to pursue an M.A. or Ph.D. in Italian are encouraged to meet with a faculty member in Italian to discuss the selection of a program.
To select the appropriate program, it is important to consider:
- what kind of job the student hopes to find after completing the degree
- what specific field s/he wishes to study (e.g., contemporary literature, cultural studies, Dante, cinema)
- if there is a professor/scholar with whom the student would like to study
- if s/he would like to study in Italy or in the U.S. (and where, specifically, in these countries)
- what financial resources the student has available
Jobs and Internships
Jobs and internships, in Italy and the U.S., that require a knowledge of Italian language and culture are not plentiful, but they are most easily found if students, 1) think creatively, and 2) use the resources at their disposal.
In the first case, students should think in terms of fields in which Italian is important, if not essential (e.g., the arts, fashion, and design; international relations or business). In the second case, they should seek information from the Italian Consulate in their vicinity and other Italian cultural centers or institutes.
For example, the Italian Consulate in Boston, Massachusetts, provides current and complete information on work, training, and educational opportunities for students offered by the Italian government. Interested students should contact the Italian Consulate of Boston.
The following is a list of both specific opportunities and more general ideas for work or internships in Italy and in the U.S. Students should keep in mind that, in most cases, such positions are highly selective and that near-native fluency or high proficiency in Italian is required.
Jobs in the U.S.
Holy Cross graduates have worked at the following:
- Teaching Italian in private schools
- Fashion houses in New York
- Italian American non-profit organizations
- Italian Trade Commission
- Italian textbook publishers
- Travel agencies that specialize in Italy
To work for an Italian company in the U.S., it is useful to have an Oral Proficiency Interview score through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
Jobs in Italy
Holy Cross graduates have worked at the following:
- American companies
- Italian schools, as English teachers
- American universities abroad, in administration or teaching
- Tourism (food, cycling, ecotourism)
Opportunities for teaching English in Italy
- Teaching or Research Fulbright in Italy
- Internships (S.I.T.E. program)
- Private English language institutes
- Italian Consulates (internships, scholarship information)
- National Italian American Foundation (NIAF)
- Italian Cultural Institutions