Foreign Language Opens Doors To Various Career Paths

A Visit to CSI’s Italian Open House

By: Olivia Frasca 

Students gathered in the language lab to learn about Italian Studies at CSI.
Photo Credit: Olivia Frasca

There is no better way to connect with someone and understand their lifestyle than through language. This past March, CSI’s foreign language department welcomed students to their Italian Open House.

The event introduced students to the Italian major and minor at the college.

New York contains the highest population of Italian-Americans in the country. Many of them live on Staten Island, so knowledge of the language and culture is certainly useful.

At the beginning of the event, the department provided Italian foods. Students enjoyed bruschetta, tiramisu, and pastries while chatting with faculty about their studies.

The students then gathered in the language lab for a presentation about the curriculum. Professors Paola Ureni and Chiara Ferrari shared that knowledge of a foreign language is a lifelong skill.

Employers value a candidate that can speak a language other than English, as this allows them to reach a new demographic.

The Italian Studies major is 36 credits after the language proficiency requirement. It’s easy to integrate the major into another field of interest, such as medicine, business, or government.

Students can double major in Italian Studies and another passion to diversify their coursework.

According to Masterstudies, “Because mastering several languages isn’t just about words; it’s also about an underlying cultural understanding that is particularly sought after in today’s workplace. This perspective can help you get ahead in a number of industries- from medicine and marketing to teaching and technology. In short, language skills don’t just open doors; they keep them open.”

Organizations need employees that can communicate with people from around the world. A language major or minor sets an applicant apart from others, especially in the medical or business field where patients and clients may not speak English.

The Italian minor at CSI is only three classes at the 200-level or above, one of which is already completed for students that reach language proficiency. Language proficiency is a requirement for most liberal arts majors at the college.

Students that have prior knowledge of a foreign language should take the Fast Track Language Proficiency test. The test will exempt students from either the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd level of a foreign language based on their score.

This is a great option for students that want to get ahead in their studies. The test is typically administered each semester after midterms.

Students can find a schedule for the Italian, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese placement tests on the CSI website. The test is held in the Modern Languages Media Center, Building 2S Room 114.  

John Dunleavy from the Center for Global Engagement spoke about the life changing experience of studying abroad. Florence is the most popular destination among CSI students; the school’s partner is Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute.

The college also offers Rome, Venice, Tuscania, and a new Bologna program as destinations.

“Study abroad programs at CSI enable students to explore the traditions and modern realities of the world from another perspective. Program requirements vary, with no previous language study required for most programs. A range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available,” according to the Center for Global Engagement website.

Current students in the major encouraged undergraduates to pursue the same track and join the Italian Club. In the fall semester, the department is offering Continuing Italian II, Advanced Communication Skills, Italian Civilization and Culture, and Modern Literature as classes.

Knowledge of a foreign language provides a student with many career opportunities at home and abroad. Majoring or minoring in Italian Studies is a promising option as globalization is more prevalent than ever.

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