"Considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza".
"Consider your origin:
You were born not to live like brutes
But to follow path of excellence and knowledge".
(Dante, Inferno XXVI, 118-120)
There are innumerable reasons why people should learn Italian. Italy is one of the founders of the European Union, it enjoys the world's sixth-largest economy and plays a very prominent role in certain sections such as in the fashion and design industries. Its geographic position in the Mediterranean has a strategic role in worldwide diplomatic and political relations.
The Italian language is not only a means of communication, but it also expresses the soul of a people, its roots, its history, its culture. In the modern world where globalization tends to level and homogenize different cultures, it is vital to keep alive, through the study of the Italian language, a culture that has always played a prominent role in the Western culture.
Italy has always been the country of la dolce vita, of a relaxed life style, of natural and artistic beauty, of superb regional cuisine. Italy is the ideal place to enjoy a vacation. Therefore people study Italian to visit its beautiful cities, to know its enormous artistic patrimony, the richest in the world, to find a more humane dimension in this chaotic, frenetic, materialistic society. Italian is the language of Dante, Petrarca, Machiavelli, it is the language of poetry, music and opera, of dolce far niente. That's why it is the fourth most taught language in the United States and the fifth in the world.
The Italian program at the University of Dallas is particularly important for the students who choose to spend a semester of their sophomore year in Rome. Our permanent campus at Due Santi has brought to our university many students from all over the United States and gives them the most memorable experience of their formative years.