There are more native speakers of Spanish in the world than of any other language except Mandarin. Spanish is the first or second language of more than 500 million people and is the most widely spoken of the Romance languages. It is the official language of Spain, Equatorial Guinea, and 19 countries in the Americas.
Students of Spanish learn to communicate with millions of people whose language and culture are different from their own, and they better understand the relationship among thinking, social behavior, and language use. As a Spanish major you will develop stronger literacy and communication skills, greater awareness of human diversity, and a deeper understanding of your first language, all of which are essential building blocks for any career.
As a liberal arts college, Luther has a vital interest in other cultures and their languages. The goal of the Luther Spanish program is to help you develop your language skills and understand and appreciate the diversity of Hispanic cultures.
In Spanish courses you will work with expert language instructors devoted to teaching students in small classes (in Spanish!) and engaging them in challenging and meaningful assignments. You will begin your studies at the course level most appropriate for your experience, then take courses in culture, translation, and professional uses of Spanish. Students can also collaborate with faculty on research projects in their areas of specialty.
The Spanish program offers a variety of study abroad experiences for students to improve their language skills. Each year in January-Term professors lead courses to Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Perú, Spain and other countries where students live with host families and immerse themselves in the language and culture. Spanish majors spend at least twelve weeks living and studying abroad in Spain or Latin America.
Both before and after the study abroad experience, you will be part of a Spanish-speaking community at Luther that includes faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds. You can practice your Spanish at the conversation table that meets daily in the Cafeteria, perform volunteer service with our student organization HOLA-Enlaces, or seek help with class projects at the Language Learning Center.
Luther Spanish majors participate in internships and volunteer work both during and after studying abroad, and a few pursue prestigious post-graduate fellowships, such as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Most Spanish majors and minors pair their study of language and culture with another discipline to prepare for graduate school, professional work in government or business, or teaching and volunteer service abroad.