Why Study Italian?

You already know about the ancient Romans, the glories of the Renaissance, art, fashion, food, wine, and "la dolce vita"--all great reasons to learn Italian. But did you also know that personal economic gain might be the best reason of all for someone to learn to speak and write Italian?

According to the fall 2005 issue of Primo Magazine, more than a million Americans speak Italian. Italy and the U.S. are major trading partners, with Italy ranked sixth by the International Monetary Fund's tabulations of the world's largest economies today. Italy's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $1.6 trillion--larger than China's. After the European Union, the U.S. is its biggest market, and there are over 800 Italian companies with offices and factories located throughout the US. 

Italy makes up 20-40 percent of American imports in the beverage, jewelry, fashion, optics and medical instruments, ceramics, stone and cement, and machinery industries. Proficiency in Italian also enhances your opportunities with American companies that want to sell goods or services throughout Europe; more than 1,500 companies employing over 300,000 workers operate in Italy, especially in the field of information and communication technology.

Closer to home, Italian is the second largest foreign language program at SRJC. Did you know that Sonoma State University has no credit course offerings in Italian?

At SRJC we offer 4 semesters of 4 unit courses using a comprehensive approach to developing your reading, speaking, writing, listening, and comprehension skills: ITAL 1, ITAL 2, ITAL 3, and ITAL 4. These courses are University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) transferable.

SRJC also offers 2 semesters of 3 unit courses with a conversation emphasis (i.e., speaking and listening) that transfer to California State University: ITAL 50A, ITAL 50B.

All of our Italian courses are applicable to the associate in arts degree; courses in the comprehensive series may also be applicable to General Education (GE) degree requirements, depending on which GE option you choose to complete your degree.

Students seeking a more intensive study opportunity are encouraged to take both a comprehensive (i.e., grammar) course and a conversation class during the same semester. The increase in the number of weekly hours of exposure to the language and culture will help them to more rapidly and fully develop their skills in the various facets of the language. This strategy is particularly recommended to students who will be participating in the Study Abroad program.


Summer 2024 (Coming Soon)


ITAL 1 Elementary Italian - Part 1
ITAL 2 Elementary Italian - Part 2
ITAL 3 Intermediate Italian - Part 1
ITAL 4 Intermediate Italian - Part 2
ITAL 50A Italian Conversation for Beginners-Part 1
ITAL 50B Italian Conversation for Beginners-Part 2

For past course outlines, visit SRJC Course Outlines.


SRJC sponsors a program in Florence during spring semesters. Florence is a unique city in which to live and study. In Florence, students see for themselves the taste, elegance, and aesthetic sensibility that marked the Renaissance. Living and studying where the rebirth of creativity began five centuries ago is inspiring. History and language come alive. Nearly every street is a showpiece and an adventure in Italy's architectural cultural center. It is a busy city bursting with Italian vitality, a city for all ages with caf├ęs, art, museums, shops, and cinemas. Student life is very much in evidence.  Visit the Study Abroad Program Home site for additional opportunities.