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.

“I studied at La Universidad del Salvador (La USAL) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was studying education and the Spanish language. Living in the language for 4 consecutive months showed me the beauty in communication with people I otherwise would have never been able to talk to.”
-Autumn Goff

Sophia Kachur

I am a Political Science-Spanish double major with a focus on local government and community organizing. As a kid I attended a Spanish magnet school and I’ve been interested in the language ever since. While I enjoy speaking Spanish in my free time, and I love learning about the varying cultures in Spanish speaking countries, I also hope to use it in my job in the future. The U.S. has a large Hispanic population and I want to make sure that I help facilitate their involvement in local government through my work. I also think that Hispanic and Latin American culture has a lot to offer the U.S. in terms of reworking public spaces, creating close-knit relationships, and welcoming diversity into our communities. Studying a different culture and language has made me a more resilient, open-minded person. Classes at Roanoke have introduced me to new ways of thinking about society, relationships, and government, while studying abroad has given me the opportunity to interact with a different culture personally.

 -Sophia Kachur

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.

Universidad Pública de Navarra - Pamplona, Spain

ISEP Programs

May Term

Recent Internships:


Calynn Trent

Throughout the course of this past summer, I had the pleasure of interning at the Bradley Free Clinic in Downtown Roanoke. During my time spent at the clinic, I often used my Spanish-speaking skills to better serve the Hispanic patients of the Roanoke community. Due to a shortage of bilingual staff at the clinic, my ability to speak Spanish was even more vital to the health of these individuals. I often triaged patients; meaning that I reviewed their health histories and changes before consulting with the doctor for their appointment. Additionally, during the annual pediatric clinics, I translated for children and their mothers to help them better understand vaccination processes, lab procedures, and further needs for appointments. Not only did this experience allow me to practice my Spanish and meet a class requirement, but it also gave me a unique, charitable experience of what it means to help people in need.

-Calynn Trent Summer Internship 2022

Emma Richard

Initially, I was worried about being judged for being the sole American in the veterinary clinic

 I decided to study abroad at in Mexico.  I know there is a certain stigma regarding American travelers, and there are foreign opinions of our country, but luckily this wasn’t the case. During our breaks between surgeries, my colleagues and I were able to talk about where we were from, the state of things across the world, and our hobbies outside of work. While I had the chance to observe some surgeries this past winter with a clinic in my area, this trip gave me a lot more up-close work with spays and neuters, as well as som

e orthopedic procedures.  During the orthopedic surgery I got to help with, and then later working hands-on with the cadaver, I really felt confident in place at work.  These were some of the most in-depth experiences I had with surgery both on the trip and in my time at college, and it really helped me feel like this was what I wanted to do.  I was fascinated with the work, I felt like I fit, and I had no shortage of opportunities and support to keep learning and working while at the clinic. Although my desire to go into veterinary work is to generally help pets and animals of all sorts, a part of me also enjoys the opportunity to learn and grow every day on the job, while gaining more experience and figuring out as much as I can about what studying in different areas has to offer.

-Emma Richard

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

Description of the Spanish Major 

Courses Offered in Spanish

Program checklists

Spanish major checklist

Spanish minor checklist

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Concentration checklist

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. Puentes Culturales with Delmy Palmer and Lesley Vera: Spanish Heritage Language Students                                                                                                              


See our faculty page.