Whether she’s watching “Life is Beautiful” in its original Italian, discussing the plays and novels of Luigi Pirandello with her aunt in Naples, or learning about the social and political issues facing modern Italy, Maria Di Costanzo always feels inspired in the Department of Italian.
“It’s a total life experience,” says Maria, a junior. “I’ve learned so much in this department — with this beautiful language at the center, extending into literature, film, and culture.”
She has also learned a lot about herself. When this Piscataway, N.J. native started taking Italian classes at Rutgers, she was hesitant to even speak in class, wondering if the Naples dialect she learned from her family might hinder her ability to speak standard Italian. Now she’s mastered the language and is president of the Italian Club. Adult students auditing courses seek out her help to fulfill their dream of learning Italian.
“I feel I’ve been transformed from someone insecure in their ability to speak the language to someone who helps others grow and become more confident in the language,” she says.
With her Italian major, and her minor in international and global studies, she’s also feels ready for her future.
“I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of working at the United Nations,” she says. “I feel the options are limitless.”