College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > Italian


Italian language, literature, and culture lies at the very heart of Western civilization. From Greco-Roman antiquity to the rise of Christianity in the Middle Ages and the towering achievements of the Renaissance, Italy, its peoples have been center stage. Italy's influence on the world extends to all areas of human endeavor-- art, music, language, literature, film, business, technology, fashion and, of course, cuisine. Contemporary Italy is a proud member of the European Union among the prosperous of industrialized nations. Chicago boasts a particularly vibrant Italian and Italian-American community. America was, after all, named for an Italian, and the Italian experience in America has produced a rich and vital culture all its own. To study Italian is to discover the world past, present, and future. The Italian program at DePaul gives students the opportunity to begin and develop their language skills using some of the very latest materials and learning strategies. Our instructors are passionate about Italian and sharing that passion with students.

DePaul offers both the Italian major and minor with flexibility in completing program requirements. Students need only reach out to the Italian faculty to discuss their interest in Italian and how they might be able to complete the program requirements.  DePaul is also one of a handful of officially-designated testing sites for Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language or CILS, a proficiency exam awarded by the Universit per Stranieri in Siena and recognized by the Italian Government.  The DePaul Italian Program has also recently signed a unique collaborative agreement with RAI Italian television that makes their extraordinary archive of materials available to our instructors and students.  Upper-level offerings at DePaul include advanced language and culture courses that focus on Italian geography, food and wine, and contemporary culture; courses in linguistics, translation, business Italian, and a CILS preparation course; and courses in all periods of Italian culture and literature, as well as some focused on a single author or text, from Dante to Pirandello and Dario Fo.  DePaul is also one of very few schools in the area to offer a concentration in Italian for Education students interested in pursuing a teaching career.  Many of the Italian teachers currently teaching in the Chicagoland high schools are proud DePaul graduates, and the Italian program works closely with the Education Office of the Italian Consulate and many area programs to promote effective teaching.
Italian is popular with DePaul students from a wide variety of backgrounds and divergent interests.  Some are Italian-Americans eager to learn about their family heritage and gain a fuller appreciation for the brilliance of their rich culture.  Others hope to travel, live, work, and/or study in Italy.  Many DePaul students choose the Italian minor or a double-major as the perfect complement to disciplines such as Art, History of Art & Architecture, Music, International Studies, or Political Science, to name just a few. 

Many plan on advanced study or graduate work in literature, philosophy, or linguistics.  Our recent graduates are now enjoying many different sorts of careers and a variety of life experiences.  Some are pursuing careers in education in Italian and related fields.  One recent graduate as joined Teach for America in New York City.  Several have gone on to prestigious graduate programs both in Italian and other fields.  Italian is a valuable humanities degree for many students who then move on to further study and careers in law, business, advertising, journalism, or consulting.  Others find opportunities to return to Italy to live, work, and study.  One recent graduate is a web-designer with close ties to Italian business; another is living in Rome and editor of a popular magazine for American tourists abroad; others have found positions teaching English while continuing their own studies.  Possibilities abound!

Practically anything!  One of the many benefits of a language major is the flexibility afforded to you. You can work in whatever areas you've gained experiences in while in college through part-time jobs, internships, and student organizations.  If you are interested in working in hospitality, for example, you can major in Italian and complete hospitality courses for your open electives while also working a part-time job in the hospitality industry.  If you are interested in working for the government, you can begin as a volunteer in a government office, apply for City of Chicago internships, and work part-time as an office assistant or desk receptionist for an alderman's office.  Working on campus in an administrative capacity can also provide you with excellent experiences in an office setting.  For more information regarding major/minor selection and career options, please review our home page.

Language Proficiency Development

  • Submit a translation, creative writing paper, or research paper you wrote in an Italian course.
    • LAS Undergraduate Research Journal Creating Knowledge (proposals are due in middle April; Selected manuscripts are due by late May; please write Prof. Mongiat Farina for more information)
    • Global Voices, the journal of the CMWR (Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research; Proposals are due by middle April; Manuscripts are due by middle May)
  • Check out the museum, library, activities, and volunteering opportunities of Casa Italia, a center that fosters Italian American Culture in Chicago and beyond; Casa Italia | 3800 Division Street | Stone Park, IL 60165 | Tel. 708.345.5933; Italian Cultural Center at Casa Italia | 1621 N. 39th Ave. | Stone Park, IL 6016
  • Eat at an Italian restaurant in Chicago that earned the Ospitalit italiana authenticity seal from the Italian government. Among other things the seal requires at least one staff member to speak Italian, a menu written in Italian, and half of the dishes must be distinctively from the Italian tradition. Please note that some are very expensive while others are more affordable, so check the menu and prices before you plan your meal!
  • Participate in the Italian Club! DePaul's Italian Club "Tutti Insieme!" sponsors social and cultural activities during the year for anyone who loves Italian. Please call 773.325.1870 for more information.
  • Attend the weekly Italian Table at DePaul (check out the MOL Newsletter or email Prof. Caterina Mongiat Farina or Prof. Gary Cestaro for more info.
  • Attend an event (cinema, architecture, art, philosophy, photography, philosophy) at the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago.
  • Become an ISEE peer mentor of an Italian student at DePaul.
  • Study weekly with an MOL tutor to use, improve, and refine your language skills (make an appointment through the Language Learning Center 773-325-1888)
  • Visit the Chicago Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art (both free on certain days of the week) and experience Italian art!

  • Treccani online Encyclopedia, Vocabulary, Thesaurus, and Biographical Dictionary of Italian People

Employment Opportunities

  • Consider this to be a list of possibilities ~ Bi/multilingual students have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. The key is to gain experiences relevant to your future career so that employers don't have to spend more time and money to train you.  
  • Find additional internship/job options through Handshake. Once you log in, click on jobs/internships and review the jobs/internships that have been posted.
  • Gather additional information about the types of internships that are available with the companies you're interested in, research intern applicant requirements, and gain perspective on what employers are looking for in job applicants so that you may work to gain those skills. 
The posting of an internship or job does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the internship or job.  Students should understand that DePaul University does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding internships and jobs included here.  Students are responsible for requesting additional information from a potential internship site or employer as necessary to make internship or employment decisions.
  • Italian American Chamber of Commerce ~ Throughout the year, various volunteer opportunities exist with the IACC. The IACC also needs assistance in hosting networking events, the annual Italian Expo and Gala & Awards Dinner. Please contact the IACC for more information about volunteering opportunities at (312) 553-9137 or email
  • RAI Corp., headquartered in New York City, is the American subsidiary of the Italian public broadcasting network. Unpaid internships are available throughout the year in client services, production, accounting and finance, and journalism.
  • Italian Trade Agency ~ The ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency is the government organisation which promotes the internationalisation of the Italian companies, in line with the strategies of the Ministry for Economic Development. ICE provides information, support and advice to Italian and foreign companies.
  • Study, Intercultural Training and Experience (SITE) Internship to teach English in Italian high-schools (paid internship)
  • Teach English to children in Italy through the Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (ACLE paid internship)
  • Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational (A.C.L.E.) ~  Opportunity for native English speakers to spend a summer as a camp counselor in Italy. Summer camp program is geared toward teaching English through a variety of songs, games, and drama productions. Counselors earn 245 euro a week or 225 euro a week  if they teach in a city.  Program fee covers room and board (homestay, flat, or hotel), travel between camps, and on-the-job insurance. Those with acting skills can apply to work for 5 months with the Theatrino program, which tours Italian schools to present interactive shows and workshops in English. Pay is 250 euro a week with accommodations and transport provided.
  • The Met, Cloisters Summer Internship for College Students ~ A nine-week summer internship for college students that focuses on conducting gallery workshops for children about medieval art. Interns work full-time, five days a week for a stipend of $2,925.
  • WorldChicago
  • Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago - DePaul University has worked successfully in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, the premiere cultural venue for Italian in the Midwest. This Italian government agency offers lectures, films, concerts, exhibits and other activities of interest to the community. The DePaul Italian program provides information on these activities. 
  • Sito delle ONG (organizzazioni non governative) riconosciute idonee dal Ministero degli Affari Esteri
  • Volontari per lo sviluppo - Sito con svariate informazioni sulle ONG italiane
  • Per orientarvi consultate il sito dell’Associazione delle organizzazioni italiane di cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale (AOI) raccoglie rappresentanti delle varie ONG italiane

Financial Support

Fulbright, Boren, Marshall, Rhodes, Carnegie, Truman information for DePaul students can be found on the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Scholarship site

Summer language study grants to Italy are available through the Istituto Italiano di Cultura
LAS Undergraduate Summer Research Grant to research more in-depth any aspect of Italian Studies

Study Abroad

For information regarding how to apply study abroad credit toward degree progress, please visit our advising FAQ webpage.
  • Rome - typically one A&L (course taught in English) + 3 ITA language courses at the student's level of proficiency (one of which should also satisfy JYEL).  If students have already completed up to ITA 106 and/or tested into 200 level ITA courses, all three ITA language courses completed through this program will satisfy ITA major/minor requirements. Students may also be able to apply the A&L course toward ITA major/minor requirements per faculty discretion. Students should email Dr. Mongiat Farina to discuss this possibility.
  • Milan, Bolgna, Parma and Modena, Italy: Fashion, food and language - for beginner Italian students. Contact Dr. Clara Orban regarding details of this program and when it may next be offered.
Please note that the following is a list of ideas, not recommendations. Students should thoroughly research their options and consult the Study Abroad Office before making any study abroad program decisions. Please also note that the number of credits/classes students may complete in a winter/spring quarter vs spring semester may not be the same. Please review information about study abroad and degree progress provided under advising FAQs and plan accordingly.