Global Italy is a track designed for International Studies majors who are interested in developing in-depth knowledge of Italian language, literature, and society with specific focus on Italy’s political culture in a trans-historical and transnational perspective. Students have the possibility to double major or major/minor in International Studies and Italian.

From being the core of the Roman Empire to its impact on today’s food culture worldwide, from the ambitious courses charted by its many explorers across the oceans to its outstanding role in artistic culture well beyond its borders, Italy’s very nature has always been global. With its complex and multifaceted history, which has always been deeply influenced by its peculiar geography, Italy has lived – and is still living – many lives. Sitting at the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, the peninsula has been the home of a number of different populations across the ages. The often-conflicting interactions of Italy’s inhabitants have fostered both turmoil and splendor. The many facets of Italian history, which affect in many ways the relatively recent existence of Italy as a unified country, provide us with a most fruitful lens through which to look at the place of Italy in a globalized world.

Along with a rigorous training in Italian language, the Global Italy track offers a variety of courses on Italian culture ranging from political history and thought to cinema, literature, and music, as well as courses on Italian culture in international contexts, including fields such as migration studies and translation.

How to Declare the Global Italy Track

International Studies students wishing to declare the track must complete the following steps:

  1. Meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Italian and the International Studies Program Director or Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies to let them know your intent to pursue the double major or major/minor track.
  2. Declare Italian as your second major or minor by completing the electronic major/minor declaration form located in SIS under the Registration tab and Online Forms.


Along with the International Studies major requirements, students following the Global Italy track must complete the following:

Italian 2nd Major

  • Language proficiency through Advanced Italian I & II
  • 2 courses from the “Italian Journeys” series
  • 4 electives (or the equivalent of 12 credits) designed for the Global Italy track

Italian Minor

  • Language proficiency through Advanced Italian I & II
  • 1 course from the “Italian Journeys” series
  • 3 electives (or the equivalent of 9 credits) designed for the Global Italy track

Study Abroad

Students in the Global Italy track have many opportunities to study in Italy during their time at Johns Hopkins, including the intersession program in Florence (6 credits) and the SAIS Summer Academy at SAIS Europe in Bologna (4 credits). Please note that courses taken in Florence and Bologna count towards the satisfaction of the requirements for both the major and the minor.

Students are also encouraged to spend a semester or an entire academic year in Italy. Options include Bologna, Milan, Rome, Florence, and Siena. Juniors in International Studies or Political Science can elect to spend a semester or Junior Year Abroad at SAIS Europe in Bologna.


Students have the opportunity to earn honors in the Italian major by successfully completing an honors senior essay. Majors who select this option may enroll, during either fall or spring semester of their senior year, in a credit-bearing independent study dedicated to the preparation of the honors senior essay.


Dr. Alessandro Zannirato
Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Italian Program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
[email protected]