Taking Italian at Wake?

<p>Does anyone have any advice or information about what it is like to take Italian at Wake Forest? It would be a new language for me and I'm interested in learning it but concerned about the difficultly. </p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>I took Italian at Wake and loved it. Spending a semester at Casa Artom was fantastic. What language have you taken before this? I think that people coming from Spanish had an easier time with the vocabulary, but I think that people coming from French (which is what I was doing) had an easier time with the grammar.</p>

<p>At the time, the Italian department had a reputation for being kind of hard graders. My lowest grade in college was in my first Italian class, but that was likely because I signed up for the course that combined Italian 111 and Italian 112 into one semester. So I was doing two semesters of work, in a language that I'd never taken before, in one semester. I think that I would've done much better if I'd taken it at a slower pace. And I've heard that there have been some staff changes in the Italian department, so only one of the professors that I've actually had (on campus and not in Italy) is still at Wake.</p>

<p>And when all else is said and done, I feel like I know Italian pretty well, which should be what's really important.</p>

<p>I took Latin for three years ( somewhat of a regret :-\ ) . Do you know how those who took Latin did?
When you said you studied abroad at Casa Artom, was that only offered to those studying Italian? Could you tell me more about that opportunity. It sounds interesting.</p>

<p>Thank you for your help!</p>

<p>I'm not sure how much Italian you have to have to do the semester abroad. There were rumors that they were going to drop the requirement that students have the equivalent of two semesters of Italian before spending the semester at Casa Artom, but I don't know if they have dropped that requirement. Either way, you'll take a semester of Italian while you're there.</p>

<p>Wake Forest owns houses in London, Vienna, and Venice. I don't know as much about the London and Vienna houses, but each semester a professor (and often his/her family) and 15-20 students go to Casa Artom. While there, the students take an Italian language course, an art history course (with field trips!), and two courses from the Wake Forest professor's discipline. You'll know well in advance what professor is going from Wake, so you'll know what courses you'll take while you're over there. The house is right on the Grand Canal. It's about a ~15 minute walk from Piazza San Marco, and it's about 20-25 minutes from the train station and the bus station, so you can travel to towns outside of Venice very easily.</p>

<p>You're considered to be attending Wake Forest and living in Wake Forest housing (it's the best dorm you'll ever live in), so all your tuition payments and things like that work just like they would if you were doing the semester in Winston-Salem. Inside the house, there are two classrooms, a library, a living room, dining room, and kitchen, so there's plenty of space to hang out and study.</p>

<p>There's no end to the wonderful experiences that I had abroad. In addition to getting to see a lot of Italy (and some of the rest of Europe) and learning Italian pretty well, all the students got to be really pretty close. By far my best experience of college.</p>

<p>As for studying Italian after studying Latin, I don't actually know anyone who did that, but I can't imagine that it's going to be a lot more difficult than coming from either French or Spanish. The cognates that exist in those languages still exist, of course. It might feel odd for you at the beginning because there's naturally going to be a lot more emphasis on speaking the language than there was in Latin. Other than that, I don't think it would be much of a problem.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. The trip sounds amazing and I'm definitely considering taking Italian.</p>

<p>I took Italian and honestly regret it. The only reason I took it was to go to Casa Artom*, but for the last few semesters they have loosened up the requirements and Italian is not necessary to study in Venice.</p>

<p>Unless you really want to study Italian or have a specific reason to do so (ie: graduate work, pursuing a Fulbright in Italy, business in Italy, etc.) I would recommend doing Spanish, Mandarin, or Arabic. Honestly as someone who just entered the "professional" world, Italian is largely not very useful. Besides Italy and Switzerland, no notable** country has it as an official language.</p>

<p>Lastly, the Italian program at Wake Forest in my experience was just uneven. It was either insanely hard (in which a quarter of my class had Ds and Fs and one girl made a B I believe) or very easy. However, in the latter instance our class did not learn much.</p>

<p>If your goal is to go to Italy or Venice, you probably do not need to take Italian. Syracuse and NYU have programs in Florence which do not require previous knowledge. And as I mentioned before, as of late, Casa Artom has not either. </p>

<p>Take a long hard look at what you want to get out of Italian. Unless you are wed to taking the language I would suggest going a more practical route. </p>

<p>*I wound up not going to Venice. Got mono, got violently ill, missed my semester, etc. etc. etc. so I am kind of still sad about that. I will never have that opportunity again, but I digress.</p>

<p>**Technically San Marino, parts of Slovenia and a few others have it as their "official" language.</p>

<p>Thank you Willmington. I'm glad I have two perspectives to look at. You're right. I will need to figure out what I would want out of taking Italian. I have some thinking to do before orientation! </p>

<p>Thanks again to the both of you!!</p>