There are 40 million Spanish speakers in the United States, and the Spanish-speaking population is growing rapidly. With over 400 million speakers, Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. Spanish is an official language on four continents and is a native language in 21 countries, including the United States.
About the Major
As a Spanish major at Ohio Wesleyan, you will acquire the ability to read, write, and converse in Spanish at a proficient level, while also gaining an understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures that make up the Hispanic world. At the advanced level, you will have the opportunity to take courses that delve deeper into a variety of topics related to the Spanish language, cultures, literatures, and cinemas, in their specific sociohistorical and geographical contexts, and in dialogue with other languages spoken in Latin America and Spain. In some courses you will learn to analyze and interpret authentic cultural materials with an awareness of the sociocultural, historical and political contexts in which cultural and artistic productions take place. In other courses, you have the chance to think about language scientifically as you study topics in linguistics ranging from the sounds and structures of Spanish to language acquisition and bilingualism.
All Spanish majors must satisfy an immersion requirement. This can be done in one of the following ways:
- Complete an accredited Spanish study abroad program approved by the department. Currently OWU offers programs in fall, spring and summer. It must be a minimum of 8 weeks in length and transfer at least one unit of credit at the intermediate level or above to count toward the Spanish major or minor.
- Show that you have studied an academic year (at least 9 months) in a Spanish-language high-school or university.
- Document that you lived for one calendar year (12 months) abroad in a Spanish language immersion environment.
- Be a heritage Spanish speaker who can show, by assessment, to possess an intermediate-high level of Spanish proficiency.
- Demonstrate that you are a native Spanish speaker having grown up speaking Spanish as your primary language, either in the U.S. or in a Spanish-speaking country.
- In special circumstances, you may submit a formal petition to the Spanish faculty for exemption from this requirement. Petitions should include official documentation that explains why you may not be able to adequately fulfill the immersion requirement during your time at Ohio Wesleyan.
The Value of Study Abroad
The study abroad connection experience:
- leads to significant improvement in language proficiency
- increases employability and career skills
- fosters intercultural understanding, and transforms you into an global, engaged citizen
- improves grade point averages
Every year, more than 300,000 American students study, intern, or volunteer abroad for academic credit on programs ranging from two weeks to a full academic year. An international experience should be part of your education, whatever your goals, socioeconomic status, or field of study. As a future global leader in a fast-changing world, through this immersive experience you will gain new perspectives and learn to navigate different cultures, work with diverse peers, and communicate in other languages. Whether you are a future innovator, entrepreneur, engineer, scientist, doctor, journalist, teacher or diplomat, these are the skills that will prepare you to solve the world’s toughest challenges, make you more competitive in the job market, and transform you into a responsible, engaged citizen.
Most Spanish majors fulfill the immersion requirement by spending a semester abroad. Many of them do so by participating in OWU’s signature study abroad Pamplona program in Spain, either in fall, spring and summer. If interested in studying at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, contact the Program Director Eva Paris-Huesca, email@example.com. If choosing a program other than Pamplona, Spanish majors must first make an appointment with the Chair of the WLC Department and complete the academic guidelines for study abroad. Detailed information about approved off-campus study programs, financial aid, and billing is available in the Office of International and Off-Campus Programs.