Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies Major and Minor
Explore the diverse cultures and histories of Latin American societies and the Latino/a communities of the United States, while gaining the necessary skills to effectively communicate in spoken and written Spanish. The Spanish Program welcomes students at all levels of fluency and from all backgrounds. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, heritage, or a native speaker, we are excited to have you join our community.
Why Study Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies at Albion?
Spanish is not a foreign language in the United States. Not only does the U.S. have the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world (after Mexico), but the language has been spoken in this country for a longer time than English has. In the Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program you will not only improve your communication skills in the language, but you will also learn about the interconnected cultures and histories of Latin American societies and the United States–itself a country with its own Latino/a heritage.
On campus, you will experience the richness of Spanish-language cultures by interacting with our Native Speaker Teaching Assistants, living in our language-learning house (I-Space), and attending our yearly events and festivals. You will also have the opportunity to study off campus and participate in internships in Spanish-speaking countries, or in Spanish-speaking communities in the United States.
If you are a Heritage or Native Speaker of Spanish, this program will give you the opportunity to pursue a multilingual course of study: you can choose to take some electives in English about Latin America.
What Will You Learn as a Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies Major?
The Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program has been designed for students who wish to better understand the complex cultures and diverse identities of Latin American societies and of the Latino/a population in the United States. The program explores topics relating bilingualism, the history of immigration (to and from Latin America), the cultures and literatures of U.S. Latinxs, as well as that of ethnic and racial minorities in Latin America. This program is designed for students at all levels of language-learning: from students wishing to learn Spanish from scratch, to those who are already fluent.
If you grew up speaking Spanish, you can read more about our Heritage Language Program.
By learning or improving your Spanish, you will not only be acquiring an essential skill for careers in a globalized world, but you will also better understand the multicultural realities of life and work in the United States—the country with the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world.
At Albion you will have plenty of opportunities to practice and master your Spanish, and to interact with people from Spanish-speaking countries. Some highlights include weekly meetings with Native Speaker Teaching Assistants, living in I-Space, off-campus study, internships, as well as yearly events and festivals.
A semester or even a year studying off-campus can be a life-changing experience. Through the Center for International Education, Albion offers a wide range of well-established programs and will help you every step of the way in choosing the right program for you.
If you are a Native or Heritage Speaker of Spanish, we particularly recommend doing a bilingual Internship at The Philadelphia Center. Your internship will count towards your Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies major or minor.
Scholarships and Awards
Students at all levels of study can participate in the Jean Keller Writing Contest. Every spring we offer writing and performance contests and give awards to the following:
- The best three essays written by students enrolled in a 100-level course.
- The best three poetry performances by students enrolled in a 200-level course.
- The best three essays written by Second Language Learners enrolled at the 300-level.
- The best three essays written by Heritage Speakers of Spanish.
Spanish: Latin American and Latino/a Studies majors who are also members of the College’s Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program can construct an original research project as a capstone to their undergraduate studies at Albion. Eighty percent of Honors students go on to graduate or professional school after graduation.
Careers & Outcomes
Your knowledge of Spanish and Latino/a cultures will prepare you for all kinds of careers at home and across the globe. Today more than ever, there is a great need for individuals who can speak Spanish and English. Students with a broad range of academic interests often double major, given that a major in Spanish is a useful complement to all other majors.