professor
Nicola Di Nino

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Mar 2013

Professor Di Nino is excellent at keeping subject matter interesting and fresh by integrating media and visuals into his coursework. He is energetic and brings out the same enthusiasm from his students. His exercises are appropriate, effective, and directly related to the material on quizzes. They are also obviously put together with consideration for his current class. He is a great person and a great instructor! He is thoughtful, and he genuinely cares about the success of his students. I went to his office hours (but he actually receives you anytime you need him) and he was incredible helpful. He remembered pieces from my compositions and reminded me of them to hel me understand concept.

Mar 2013

Nicola was the best and most engaging Italian professor I’ve had during my four semesters of Italian at Columbia. He didn’t give us any unnecessary work, and in class made sure to cater each and every lesson to our individual needs. He didn’t stop until everyone understood exactly what he was teaching, and encouraged us to all ask questions. He is such a nice guy and he is always helpful. He made class fun and a great learning environment It was a treasure having him as a professor!!!

Sep 2012

This is honestly the WORST class I have ever taken in my time at Columbia. If you want a professor who picks a few favorites from the beginning and is outright rude and demeaning to everyone else, take this class. Nicola would pretend to snore during students' presentations, stand over students while they were taking quizzes even though he knew this made them nervous and give students nicknames that were blatantly rude. Your grade was a reflection of how much he liked you and no matter how hard you tried to make your grade better, it stayed the same because of his ridiculous subjectivity. Some grades were never handed back and he had to be asked after the course in order to get them. Every single day I dreaded going to this class. This professor befriended students and talked about everyone in the class to them, saying things that completely ridiculous and even if they had been true they should have never been said to a student. He was condescending and outright mean and good luck if you aren't picked as one of his favorite students because your grade will not be pleasant.

Apr 2012

I've had Nicola for the entire year so far in Intermediate Italian. Honestly, he's probably one of the best professors I've had a Columbia thus far. He puts a ton of energy into class through preparing extensive and elaborate handouts and activities for us to do in class. He expects us to work, obviously, but makes it pleasurable by making class fun. He's funny, charismatic, and really wants his students to succeed in learning the language. I'd definitely recommend him for any student who wants to be challenged to actually learn how to speak Italian.

Oct 2010

Best language professor I've ever had. If you are stuck with one of the other professors in the department who learned their italian in america, then try to switch to his. I am not sure why an ivy league school is hiring non-native speakers to teach their language courses, but regardless, Di Nino saves is the best option we have for the beginner level. I hated languages and became proficient enough in italian to communicate well when I went over to Italy for vacation. Great teacher and an even cooler guy.

Jun 2010

Nicola Di Nino was the best language teacher I've ever had. Hands down. I do not consider myself a language person by any means. However, he made Italian so fun that I even considered making Italian my major or at least a concentration. Di Nino's goal is to make Italian interesting and to make sure you speak real Italian. An Italian native, he often corrects the book and explains that in Italy people would say something else instead. He makes sure you speak REAL Italian. Di Nino is also a person you're going to like. He's understands we have a lot of other classes and a lot of work. He will give you extensions if you explain your situation. He will give you points back on your quiz if you explain your reasoning for an answer. Di Nino wants you to succeed. He's the type of professor that rewards creativity. If I made my compositions funny or my answers on the quiz funny he really respected that. Most teachers would shrug it off, but he made a note of the extra effort. All he asks of you is that you try hard in class and try to love Italian. If you can do both these things, you're going to succeed and really speak Italian. Take this professor.

Nov 2009

I loved this class with Di Nino! He's from Venice, so he's obviously a native speaker, and I think it really helped me learn the language. This was my first exposure to Italian, and I found it very easy to learn. The class was somewhat fast-paced, with a quiz/homeworks due every Tuesday and learning a new chapter every week, but he presented the material in a way that made it fun and enjoyable to learn. I did all the homework (the answers are posted online so it's easy to learn from your mistakes) and I payed attention in class, barely studied and did well on every quiz and exam, between 88 and 95. He makes lots of jokes in class; and some of the stories he tells and vocabulary he teaches makes the class quite entertaining. Also, he was very good about answering any questions, even if you ask them in English (which is rare for an Italian professor). The only thing I would say is he was extremely unavailable for extra help. I wasn't particularly in need of any, but if I had to ask a question I would need to come just before class to do so; he has "office hours" but I had class during those times, and he could not meet any other times. Other than that, he is a great professor and this was an easy class.