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, and videos. The film library contains a number of classic and contemporary Italian films that 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, games of bocce, and a newly renovated museum on the Italian contribution to the city of New Orleans. In upper-division courses students pursue their interests in Italian literature and culture. Students may also participate in internships on campus or off campus, in such areas as rare books, archival materials, language tutoring, or helping at local cultural institutions. Tulane offers several Study Abroad programs allowing a semester or a year of study. The Bologna Consortial Studies Program, headed by Indiana University, provides courses through its own Center and through the Università di Bologna. Programs available through IES in Rome and Milan also provide the opportunity to attend courses both at their own centers and at Italian universities. The Rome summer program available through the Tulane Office of Study Abroad also includes courses on Italian topics.
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. The upper-division courses satisfy one or more of the following Tulane General Education requirements: Textual and Historical Perspectives; Global Perspectives; Western Traditions; Writing Intensive. Upper-division Italian courses have also been offered for the fulfillment of requirements in other majors, such as Cinema Studies. 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 annually to outstanding graduating seniors. 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, in the film industry, and at the American Italian Cultural Center in New Orleans.