Tulane's Italian program, offering both a major and a minor, is a solid one of long standing whose dynamic faculty is on the cutting edge of developments in research and pedagogical technique. Student preparation begins with thorough linguistic training in the four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). The latest technology allows access to native materials including an Internet news service, RAI cable news, videos, and computerized language and culture programs. The film library contains a number of classic and contemporary Italian films which enhance course work on all levels. The large and vibrant Italian-American community of New Orleans provides a number of cultural activities such as exhibits of medieval flag-throwing. In upper-division courses, small in size and taught by senior faculty or native speakers, students pursue their interests in Italian literature and culture. Their work is supported by computer links to the library's on-line catalogues, which provide valuable assistance in locating materials. Students participate in internships on campus in such areas as developing a rare book exhibit and working with unique archival materials. Off-campus internships have involved developing course materials and language tutoring at local schools, as well as helping at local cultural institutions. Tulane offers several Study Abroad programs allowing a semester or a year of study. The premier program is available through the Bologna Consortial Studies Program headed by Indiana University and provides courses through its own Center and through the Università di Bologna. A program in Rome is available through IES, also offering courses at a program center and through the Università di Roma. A program in Milan emphasizes courses in music and business.
The Italian program is well integrated into the university curriculum at all levels. Many students choose Italian as their foreign language because of its importance to their major or minor in fields such as art, music, architecture, political science, political economy, international relations, history, communication or another foreign language. ITAL 3250 Italian Language and Culture enjoys a position on the exclusive list of courses fulfilling the Foundations of Western Culture requirement. Upper-division Italian courses have also been offered for the fulfillment of requirements in other majors, such as Film Studies. Italian is one of the majors in which students can be certified to teach. Graduate students in English, French, and Spanish enroll in Italian literature courses, choose Italian as their reading language or Ph.D. minor field, and pursue interdisciplinary degrees with an Italian literature component. The School of Law and the A.B. Freeman School of Business have instituted study programs in Italy.
The Italian Prize is awarded to outstanding graduating seniors by the faculty.Tulane's Italian students have pursued a variety of exciting goals after completing their degrees. They have undertaken graduate work in international affairs at Georgetown University, in political economy at the University of Chicago and in business at Loyola University of Chicago. They have obtained positions in the Foreign Service, network broadcasting in New York, on the staff of a United States senator, in the Rome office of a major insurance firm, in the Milan office of an international business news service, in the fashion industry, on the translating staff of a major airport, with the administration of the Houston Opera, and in the film industry. One alumna has founded her own theater troupe in Italy. With a vibrant import industry of Italian goods to the United States and the European University's chief center for political science now located near Florence, the relevance of Italian to numerous undertakings can only grow.