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The Breakdown

Maybe it began the moment you had your first bite of paella. Perhaps it was when you set eyes on Picasso’s Guernica (or Antonio Banderas). Or it could be the simple fact that the siesta is a concept you’d like to fully embrace. Whatever the reason, you are taken with all things Spanish and thus should consider this as a possible course of study.

As a Spanish major, you’ll certainly have your fair share of classes focusing on conversation, composition and grammar. Fortunately, studying a language at the collegiate level goes far beyond those brick and mortar lessons. Indeed, you will be exposed to the culture, art and history of a number of Spanish-speaking countries. You’ll be able to study everything from the films of Luis Buñuel to the literature of Gabriel García Márquez (in the original Spanish of course). Perhaps most exciting, you will likely have the opportunity to study abroad. And there’s no better way to learn a language than total immersion!

Should you decide to study Spanish, you’ll need the patience and the fortitude required to achieve proficiency (not to mention fluency) in a foreign language. It also helps to have a good ear for accents and an appreciation for the nuances of grammar. Moreover, when studying another culture, it’s best to maintain an open mind. Finally, we recommend practicing rolling your “Rs” whenever you get the chance.

Nuts and Bolts

Don’t fret; Spanish majors don’t spend all of their time conjugating verbs. While grammar is certainly a part and parcel for the department, you’ll enroll in a variety classes designed to address all aspects of Spanish and Latin American culture and history. Courses might include: Phonetics, Business Spanish, Don Quixote, Grammar and Composition I, Latin American Narrative and the City, Islamic Iberia, Cuban Culture through Cinema, Professional Writing, Spanish for Health Professionals, Death and Dying in Hispanic Literature, Spanish Creative Writing Workshop, Translation from Spanish to English and Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics.

Decisions, Decisions

Spanish majors love to learn about different countries and cultures, from languages to literature and all topics in between. Therefore, they might also think about studying French, Italian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, English, Hebrew, Portuguese, art history, international business, political science, East Asian studies, international relations, Slavic studies, Latin American studies, African studies and anthropology.

What's Next

You might not believe it but as a Spanish major you’ll be well-positioned to land a job. Indeed, the writing and critical thinking skills you’ll hone coupled with the international savvy acquired through studying another culture make you quite marketable. And while teaching and translation are common, noble and attainable positions, you will discover that you are not limited to those two professions. Certainly, many graduates find positions with Spanish and Latin American-owned companies involved in a variety of different industries. Others might seek employment in international education or with study abroad companies. A handful of Spanish majors also land jobs with NGOs, doing aid work within Spanish-speaking countries in the third world. The foreign service is another attractive route as is international business. Lastly, the tourism and hotel industries are popular, as they allow for a high degree of interaction with international clients.


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