Why study Spanish?
Spanish is spoken in Spain, Central and South America, Equatorial Guinea, the Sahara, and parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Philippines. The cultural wealth and vibrancy of the Spanish-speaking world is increasingly acknowledged for its diversity and unique contribution to civilization.
In 2019, 7.6% of the world population was Spanish-speaking. Forecasts estimate that the number of Spanish-speaking people in 2050 will be higher than that.
Of the over 400 million native speakers of Spanish in the world, over 38 million live in the United States. In fact, according to the most recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States is the world's fourth-largest “Spanish-speaking” country, with over one person in ten who speaks Spanish as his or her native language. In 2060, the United States is forecast to be the second Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico: almost one in three Americans will be Hispanic.
The study of Spanish-speaking cultures helps students better understand the historical and cultural contexts that form part of today's world.
Close to 22 million students studied Spanish as a foreign language in 2019. Knowing Spanish can make your travel experiences more enjoyable. It is estimated that U.S. citizens spend more travel time in Spanish-speaking countries than in any other foreign countries (excluding English-speaking countries).
The Spanish program offers a major and supplementary major, as well as various forms of specialization in conjunction with other fields of study, such as international economics/Spanish and the Romance Languages Major.
You will be part of a lively academic community: many lectures, conferences, film screenings, social events, concerts, and cultural experiences take place each year. You can also join the student-run Spanish Club and CEL related events. As a senior, you’ll have the opportunity to become a member of the National Spanish Honor Society, to be recognized in the Spanish Service Learning Awards, and to be considered for the Walter J. Langford Award for Excellence in Spanish.
Studying Spanish at ND opens the door to a variety of possibilities and unique experiences-locally and globally. There are multiple opportunities to travel, study, and work in a Spanish-speaking country or community:
- Locally—Spanish Community-Engaged Learning (CEL)
- Globally—study abroad in Chile, Mexico, or Spain. There are also summer language abroad programs in various Spanish-speaking countries.
For more information, contact Professor Katie Oswald Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Spanish, or any faculty member in Spanish.