About the program

Spoken by approximately 475 million people, Spanish is the fourth most commonly used language worldwide. With a major and minor in Spanish, as well as a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Roanoke's Spanish program prepares students for an increasingly global future.  

Mission Statement

The mission of the Spanish program reflects that of the department. Furthermore, our aim is twofold: to develop linguistic and cultural skills as well as to apply them in professional life, the community and to foster a life-long commitment to learning in a globalized society.

  • To advance proficiency and accuracy in speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the Spanish language as well as mindfulness of cross-cultural professional etiquette appropriate to different contexts of the Spanish-speaking world in the United States, Latin America, and Spain.
  • To apply language Spanish skills to one’s professional career.
  • To show interpretative, analytical and critical thinking skills with respect to cultural, literary, and linguistic manifestations from the Spanish-speaking world.
  • To identify and value traits of linguistic variation between the different variants of Spanish.
  • To understand the history, the role, and the impact of Spanish in the United States.
  • To explore and evaluate one’s cultural identity in relation to others in a global community.

Why study Spanish at Roanoke?

It's your choice. Roanoke's Spanish program allows students to pursue a range of interests through interdisciplinary investigations of the Spanish language, literature, linguistics, history, art, film, architecture, economics, and politics.

It's your world. Spanish students actively explore the world through international travel, with options ranging from intensive INQ Intensive Learning three-week travel courses to semester or year abroad programs.

Immerse yourself. Full language immersion in upper-level Spanish courses significantly improves student comprehension, speech, and writing.  

Explore Spanish firsthand

International travel, independent research and internship opportunities offer students the chance to gain extraordinary real-world experiences while developing their Spanish language skills. Learn more.

Emma Clarke I had a wonderful time in Merida! This was my first time traveling abroad and staying in one city for over a week, and I felt like I was able to absorb the culture of the Yucatan better that way.  As opposed to spending the majority of my time in the classroom, I got to actually interact with the people of Merida and learn in a more hands-on way as opposed to taking notes and tests.  I loved exploring the city, and I always felt safe whether we were with Profe or not.  This trip also did a great job of balancing our time in the workplace and time relaxing and adventuring.  I am already trying to figure out when I can return to Merida to explore the places we were not able to get to. -Emma Clarke

Study Abroad Programs

Spanish majors are required to complete a departmentally approved course of study abroad as part of their major. Appropriate periods of study include an Intensive Learning travel course to a Spanish-speaking country or a summer, semester, or year abroad with a department-approved program such as ISEP or another college-approved program.

Recent Internships:

 Johnson"Despite being small, having roughly the same surface area as lake Michigan, Costa Rica is a world leader in environmental sustainability and eco-tourism. I learned about those industries firsthand this summer while working as a media & marketing analytics intern for Outward Bound Costa Rica (OBCR). OBCR is a non-profit that takes groups into isolated islands, mountainous jungles, and sea turtle-filled beaches to assist conservation efforts and serve the local indigenous population. My work with OBCR entailed analyzing trends in our media data to create more effective marketing campaigns and working with the Costa Rican staff to coordinate group transportation. If Spanish were a swimming pool, I jumped straight into the deep end! Thankfully, my classes here at RC provided me with metaphorical floaties. This opportunity would not have been possible without the help of the Spanish department. I am incredibly grateful for this experience. Pura Vida!" - Johnson Mihaly 


I learned to have self-confidence, now I can talk to everyone. I’m not afraid to say something wrong or that they wouldn’t understand, I think I can talk pretty well with everyone in the office. I’m more confident working with a team and doing things at work. I’m not afraid of graduating and start a new job. I developed more confidence in myself.” -Tatiana Cherry-Santos, Comisión de Derechos Humanos de Yucatán (CODHEY) 

For more information on recent internships please click here!

What's next?

Work. Spanish students are primed for a wide range of careers in business, international relations, healthcare, education, social services, criminal justice, and political science. Recent modern language graduates are working both domestically and abroad in a range of positions, including as the vice president of a bank, a consular officer for the US State Department, a caseworker for child protective services and a cultural advisor for the Spanish Ministry of Education. 

Graduate studies.  Spanish students are well prepared for a range of different graduate school programs. Recent modern language graduates have gone on to advanced studies in law, medicine, international relations, international development, speech-language pathology, Iberian studies, Latin American studies, community development and planning, counselor education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Graduates have attended Columbia University, Ohio State University, University of Richmond, John Hopkins and the University of Denver.   

Courses in Spanish

Program checklists

Puentes Culturales is our first professor-hosted show and our first show in Spanish on WRKE 100.3.
Puentes Culturales es nuestro primer programa de radio con profesores Y nuestro primer programa en español.


See our faculty page.