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Italian Culture & Language


Italian Culture & Language
Solisti Veneti
I Solisti Veneti in concert at the Embassy April 25, 2018

Cultural relations between Italy and the United States find fertile ground in a multifaceted network of partnerships between government, universities, research institutions, cultural institutions, associations, schools, and enterprises of the two countries. These are all collaborations which the Italian diplomatic network in the U.S. has helped build and strengthen throughout the years. The large and accomplished community of Italian Americans has also been an active force in expanding cultural relations even further.

Cultural cooperation activities coordinated by the Embassy in Washington draws support from the network of Italian consulates in the U.S. And the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Starting points for a trip to discover Italy are:

Language: cultivating heritage and enjoying the Italian lifestyle

The number of students in Italian classes in U.S. universities has increased from almost 50 thousand in 1990 to over 71 thousand in 2013. (data from Modern Language Association – MLA). Of the major modern languages taught in U.S. universities, Italian is in fourth place. Also on the rise is the number of students in primary and secondary schools who are studying Italian (103,598 in 2013). Italy is the second most popular destination for U.S. students in study abroad programs (following Great Britain), in numbers reaching 29,848 in 2013. (statistics from the Institute of International Education).

Among the reasons for this success are the presence in the United States of a large community of Italian descendants who wish to learn more about their heritage and the recognized link between the Italian language and culture and its function as a gateway to the "Italian lifestyle."

Useful Information

  • Scholarships: Below is a partial listing of associations that promote Italian language and culture through scholarships:
    • AATI – American Association of Teachers of Italian
    • ILF – Italian Language Foundation
    • NIAF – National Italian American Foundation
    • OSIA – Order Sons of Italy in America
    • UNICO National
    • NOIAW National Organization of Italian American Women
    • LIDO CLUB Lido Civic Club of Washington DC
  • Schools offering Italiana as part of the curricula:  click here.
  • Universities with Italian programs and/or courses: more information is available at the website of the Modern Language Association – MLA.
  • Advanced Placement Program Italian (AP-Italian): high school students can earn university credits through the AP-Italian program. For more information: click here.

Student Affairs Offices and the Enti Gestori:

  • A Student Affairs Office is present at the Embassy and at each Consulate. They are supported in their work by the Enti Gestori, local non-profits that receive funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to establish Italian programs in schools. For contact information: click here.
  • Language Observatory: agency whose purpose is to establish and monitor strategies to promote the teaching and learning of Italian (including AP Italian) in the USA. For more information: click here.
  • FAQS: would you like to teach Italian in the USA? Are you looking for a school where your children can learn Italian? Are your educational credentials valid in the USA and vice-versa?. Click here.

Contact information for the Student Affairs Office at the Embassy of Italy. Click here.