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The relevance of Italian culture, both past and present, is readily apparent. Dante, Galileo and Michelangelo are household names, signifying the highest achievements in the arts and sciences, the influence of which has extended across time and space, deeply influencing European culture. Studying Italian is thus a gateway to understanding masterpieces of Italian literature, opera, cinema and theater, but it also means becoming a part of the global community. With Italy one of the top five economies in the world and given the growth of American ties with Italian companies, studying Italian also opens up opportunities in international business and trade. Although a traditional major in Italian is not feasible, students may complete a minor in Italian or Italian Studies and in conjunction with these, are encouraged to spend a summer or semester abroad in Italy.