In a world made small by sophisticated media and easy travel, it is our mission to initiate students into the Italian cultural context and help them broaden their views and acquire global awareness. Not only is Italy the cradle of the Renaissance and the birthplace of Neorealist Cinema, it is also one of the  most industrialized nations in the world (G8), a leading country for fashion and design, and a paradise for food lovers. Italian Americans contributed to shaping American literature, film, politics, finance, food, culture, and language. Thousands of American companies do business with Italy and have offices in Italy, and many Italian firms have offices in the U.S. (especially in the Chicago area).

The UIC program in Italian is designed to develop students’ proficiency in the Italian language and to promote the understanding of Italian life, society, and culture in a global context. We offer Italian language courses from the elementary to the advanced level and a wide range of Italian literature and culture courses from Dante to the present. In our language courses, you will find the most current, interactive techniques of language teaching and an innovative use of technology. In our literature courses, we foster a multimedia, interdisciplinary approach, so as to encourage students to establish connections between literature and other disciplines such as history, film, art, gender studies, sociology, and music. Courses on Italian culture are geared at promoting familiarity with the national debate on current events and knowledge of contemporary Italian society – including courses on regional food and folkore as well as geography – through a variety of media: film, literature, press, and TV broadcasts. Additionally, the Italian faculty's proactive mentoring has created a variety of internships and volunteering opportunities for students.

The Italian program at UIC is working closely with the Italian Cultural Institute and the Education Office of the Italian Consulate in Chicago to promote the knowledge of the Italian language and culture. The Italian program has also established strong ties with the non-academic community, as demonstrated by its successful outreach and fundraising efforts. Over the years, the program has attracted numerous donations and financial contributions from private individuals as well as governmental institutions - a testimony to its local, national, and international visibility, effectiveness, and perceived strategic importance.

Highlights of the Italian program:

  • Experienced, award-winning faculty. Most current techniques in language teaching, with a communicative, interactive approach and an innovative use of technology.
  • We care for our students and help them build their future and explore their options: University of Illinois Alumni Association Leadership Award; Chancellor's Student Service and Leadership Awards; Best Essays Monetary Awards; Siena and Dante Alighieri Scholarships; Internships at the Italian Cultural Institute, Italian Trade Commission, Italian American Chamber of Commerce, Whitney Young High School to mention but a few.
  • A wonderful Italian Club where you can make friends and practice leadership skills/enhance your curriculum by giving public presentations and organizing events.
  • Free tutoring and conversation hours, lots and lots of cultural activities for all tastes: from cooking classes to yoga and karaoke, invited lecturers, field trips, film clubs and much more.
  • Study Abroad in Siena, with our faculty-lead program, or in other beautiful Italian cities.
  • Italian at UIC is a COMMUNITY!!!

Why students enjoy studying Italian at UIC

Find all you need to know to Minor in Italian!

Our Best Students Get Recognition

University of Illinois Alumni Association's Student Leadership Award
  • Edgar Rafael Tovar, 2011
President's Volunteer Award

  • Alessandra Arreola, 2014

Chancellor's Student Service and Leadership Award

  • Nicholas Gross, 2018
  • Adam Guidarini, 2015
  • Eric Cramer, 2015
  • Evan Ostrega, 2014
  • Hamlet Fasiu, 2014
  • Alessandra Arreola, 2014
  • Alexandra Savoia, 2013
  • Jorgena Kosti, 2012
  • Edgar Rafael Tovar, 2011
  • William Biancucci, 2010
  • Rachel Turkowski, 2009

Monetary Award for Basic Language Program

  • Melissa Morales, 2014
  • Mark Bissonetto, 2014
  • Thomas Ruiz, 2013
  • Jacqueline Fuentes, 2013
  • Anna Baykova, 2012
  • Gabriela Acosta, 2011
  • Luis Rodriguez, 2011
  • Fabian Davalos, 2010
  • Antony Panzani, 2010
  • Rosanna Aliperta, 2009

Luca Bonomi Scholarship

  • Daniel Maldonado, 2013
  • A. Velazquez, 2012
  • David Baeza, 2011

Dante Alighieri Society Scholarship

  • Samantha Ally, 2013
  • Rebekka Duffy, 2012
  • Rossie Rangel, 2011
  • Allison Whalen, 2011

Italy Scholarship

  • Omar Maradiaga, 2016
  • Jayson Esparza, 2014
  • David Maya, 2013
  • Somidie Dylan, 2013 
  • Elward Zane, 2013
  • David Maja, 2013
  • Alessandra Arreola, 2013
  • Karina Hurtado, 2013

Siena Scholarship

  • Christopher Russell, 2012
  • Jennifer Tanglao, 2012

Prestigious Italian Internships

  • Adam Guidarini, Jackson Academy Elementary School, 2016
  • David Molina, UIC Athletics (Italian Tutor)
  • Gaetano La Corte, 2016 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Cristina Romagnolo, 2016 (Scuola italiana Enrico Fermi)
  • Jagoda Jurewicz, 2015 (Italian American Chamber of Commerce)
  • Emily Dion, 2014 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Julia Larmon, 2014 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Jose Ramirez, 2014 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Emily Dion, 2013 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Julie Larmon, 2013 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Zoey Keeney, 2013 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Olga Johnson, 2013 (Italian American Chamber of Commerce)
  • Rebekah Ciribassi, 2012 (Whitney Young H.S., Italian AP Tutor)
  • Monica Rafacz, 2011 (Italian American Chamber of Commerce)
  • Natalie Del Percio, 2010-present (Italidea)
  • Rebekah Ciribassi, 2011 (Italian Cultural Institute)
  • Eva Bici, 2010 (Italian Trade Commission)
  • Jorgena Kosti, 2009 (Italian Trade Commission)

Other Notable Awards:
  • Adam Guidarini, 2017 (Honors Council Award); currently translating a war diary from Italian to English "Pedevelago during WWII, 1943-1945" under the supervision of Professor Chiara Fabbian
  • Several students were accepted to the "VoluntarItaly" program in Lombardy