Students of Italian are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Holy Cross offers rigorous, full-year programs at two prestigious Italian universities, one in Florence and the other in Bologna, where students study a variety of Italian subjects. Over the course of the year, students significantly improve their proficiency in Italian language and deepen their understanding of Italian culture through firsthand experiences.
Foreign Language Assistants
Students enrolled in Italian language courses reinforce their classroom learning through small group practice sessions led by foreign language assistants (FLAs) from Italy. These FLAs, who come from the College’s study abroad sites in Florence and Bologna, bring the textbook to life through creative and communicative activities, offering students invaluable insight into contemporary Italian culture.
Outside the Classroom
The Italian program offers a range of cocurricular programming designed to engage students more deeply in their study of Italian language, literature, and culture beyond the classroom. Throughout the year, students may attend regular events, such as the coffee hour, Italian table, and radio show, along with occasional special events, such as film festivals, lectures and dinners.
In addition to the traditional major and minor, students have the opportunity to design an Italian Studies major or minor through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS), which enables them to expand their knowledge by combining Italian language, literature, and culture with other disciplines, such as history, art history, political science, and music.
Scholarships and Honors
Outstanding fourth-year Italian majors are invited to join Gamma Kappa Alpha, the Italian National Honor Society, which recognizes the academic achievements of students who have devoted much of their undergraduate career to the study of Italian language, literature, and culture. All students of Italian may apply for scholarships, including National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Scholarships and the Pescosolido Family Scholarship, and compete for the Vannicelli Prize, which is awarded annually for the best essay on a theme of Italian literature or culture. Learn more here.
The Italian faculty members advise and offer resources to students interested in pursuing an Italian or Italian-related degree or career after graduation. Opportunities, which exist both in the United States and Italy, include M.A. and Ph.D. programs, jobs and internships in a range of fields, including teaching. Fourth-year students and alumni may also apply for a Fulbright Fellowship, whose recipients spend a year in Italy either teaching English or conducting research.