Choose Italian

People Featured in the Video

Daniel

I’m a final-year student of Italian. I got interested in learning Italian because I used to play the video game Assassin’s Creed quite a lot and it was set in Renaissance Florence and Venice. I spent part of last year studying at the University of Viterbo, near Rome, as part of the Erasmus Exchange Programme. The university is absolutely beautiful. We had lectures in churches, and the courtyard was like Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Viterbo is an amazing walled city, which hasn’t really changed in 800 years. I made great friends with Italians and other foreign students. I played five-a-side football and did a lot of travelling because Italy is really cheap. You can go up to Milan or Florence for less than €50 return. When I finish my degree, I’d like to work in journalism or translation.

Gabriella

I spent the third year of my degree working as a British Council Language Assistant in an Italian high school in Portici, near Naples. I spent twelve hours a week assisting with language side of the English classes in the school. I helped with the pronunciation, the cultural differences, the sorts of the things that only a native can really bring to the lessons. Being the only English person in a very dense and populated town was a new experience as everybody is fascinated by you. It was a bit sink or swim at first, but I just had no other choice than to speak Italian every day. This is one country where I feel they really appreciated the effort to learn their language. I was working in a school, five days a week, so I was living the life of a teacher, doing all the bureaucracy behind the scenes.  It gave me this little trial run of a career in teaching.

Chris

I’ve just come back to the UK to finish my degree after spending last year studying at the University of Florence. I chose to go to Florence, as I wanted a city with a mix of metropolitan and classic Italy. I loved being not a tourist, but a resident, someone who was privy to all Florence’s little secrets, like night time bakeries and hidden palace libraries! I got a lot more for my money in Florence than I would do in the UK. I paid the exact same for an entire apartment in the historic centre of Florence as I spend for a room at my university on campus in the UK. Italian is such a beautiful language – it’s the language of art, it’s the language of culture. As part of my degree, I study history, politics, literature and cinema. The degree is aimed at giving students a real understanding of Italian culture and what has shaped Italy as a country today.

Emily

During the third year of my degree, I lived and worked at a 5 star hotel on the shores of Lake Como, near Milan. I worked at the front desk, welcoming guests, meeting them, checking in, checking out. There were lots of other young people, and I made some great friends. Lots of celebrities come to the hotel. George Clooney comes for dinner quite often, as he has Villa just up the lake, so he would arrive sometimes on his speed boat! Working with Italians was brilliant. I had no qualms about asking if I needed any help or didn’t understand something. They are always so grateful that you are learning their language that they are really willing to help you. I improved my Italian dramatically and I also got experience working in a different country in a real business in the real world. Hopefully that will shine through and help me when I look for a job once I finish my degree (Modern Languages and European Studies).

Eleanor

I am in the final year of my degree in Italian. Last year, I lived and worked in Italy for six months in Bra, not far from Turin. I did an internship at the International Office of “Slow Food”. “Slow Food” is a food movement in Italy, born in Bra, that promotes good, clean and fair food for everyone. It was born out of a little rebellion against the rise of fast food chains like McDonalds in Italy and has a presence in 150 countries and has over 100,000 members. During my internship, I did translations from Italian to English, and I looked after the social media communications (Facebook and Twitter) for the youth branch of Slow Food. I was able to go and do everything that Slow Food promotes, so I went to a local cheese producer and a local vineyard. I found Italian young people to be very enthusiastic and politically minded. They’re engaged with what matters and how we should do things and how we should change the system.

Nazia

I started studying Italian when I came to university and now I’m in my final year. I chose to spend my year abroad in Viterbo, at the University, to improve my language. I grew up in a multilingual household, so I’ve always had this passion to learn languages and to appreciate languages, and learning Italian was part of that. My dream job for the future is to hopefully one day work for the United Nations or a charity or a big organization like Amnesty International. With organizations like that in general you need to speak at least a few languages, so I feel speaking Italian, as well as other languages, will make my application stand out from the crowd.

Rebecca

I studied Italian at university in the UK and I graduated in 2007. I moved to Italy as soon as I finished my degree and then did a Masters in Marketing and Communications at Bocconi University, Milan. I worked for a while in marketing but then a couple of years ago, I got a job working as an assistant to the Governor of the Bank of Italy in Rome. I live just outside Rome in Ostia. I can see the sea from my bedroom window, I get up in the morning and go jogging on the seafront. Rome has so much to offer that even if you live here you can never quite discover everything. Studying Italian definitely changed my view of myself and of the world. It brought out different sides of my personality because in Italian it’s very difficult, I think, to be shy and reserved. It’s a much more expansive language.

Colin

I studied Commerce International with Italian and graduated in 2012. Now, I working as a Trade Development Executive in Milan as part of Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate Programme. Enterprise Ireland is an Irish government agency which looks after the promotion of Irish industry. I was seconded to the Milan office, so, I deal with the promotion of Irish industry in Italy. My job is to act as an intermediary between Irish companies and Italian companies, which involves translating, interpreting, market research, legal research, organizing events. Milan is a really vibrant city and is the motor of the Italian economy. There is a supply and demand issue with Italian. There aren’t too many English native speakers who study Italian and who speak Italian to a high level. Considering how important Italy is as an international marketplace, the demand for native English speakers who speak Italian as well isn’t being met by the supply, so there are opportunities open to me that other people wouldn’t be able to exploit.