Spanish and Hispanic Studies

The Spanish and Hispanic studies program at Earlham teaches you to analyze the cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world and navigate the diverse perspectives of Spanish speakers in the US and abroad. While most programs teach you to communicate in Spanish, we will teach you to think in Spanish!

Regardless of your initial level of Spanish, we will help you develop cultural and linguistic competence in the language through semester-long immersion programs, research experiences, and interactions with the Spanish-speaking community here in Richmond.

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Top ranked
Earlham ranks in the 96th percentile among U.S. colleges and universities for the percentage of our graduates who go on to earn doctorates in Spanish.

Many of our graduates have gone on to become lawyers, some specializing in immigration; work in human service positions such as community organizing, psychology, child care or medicine; or attend graduate school.

Explore the rich diversity of the Spanish-speaking world

You will participate in and also create for yourself numerous opportunities to develop your cultural and linguistic competence. These experiences prepare you to conduct research in Spanish and navigate bilingual settings in the U.S. or monolingual Spanish-speaking contexts as interns or employees.

Hands-on experience

There are numerous internship and volunteer opportunities for Spanish speakers in our local community. Amigos, the Richmond Latino Center, also offers leadership positions to bilingual students who demonstrate commitment to their programs.

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Off-campus study

Through off-campus study, you’ll learn not only in a classroom setting but also through immersive experiences in the region you visit. We offer both semester-long programs in Ecuador, Spain, and the US/ Mexico border. Shorter research-focused programs have been held in Bogotá, Colombia and along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.

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Our faculty

Our faculty are from the U. S., Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. We will teach you how to be culturally and linguistically competent to ensure you are equipped to successfully communicate in a foreign language.

Frequently asked questions

Earlham’s Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies believes that education should be experiential, socially responsive and responsible. Through collaborative student-faculty research, internships, off-campus study and other extracurricular opportunities, you will gain abroad and deep understanding of Hispanic culture and society.

Yes! In fact, we strongly encourage you to plan for off-campus study in order to make the most of the major. We offer both semester-long programs and shorter, intensive classes in a variety of Spanish-speaking parts of the world.

After one year of Spanish, you have the option to study a semester abroad. During that semester you will continue language training, while also taking part in volunteer work, extracurricular activities, living with a host family, going to events with your host family and taking a basic history class with an Earlham faculty member.

Semester programs: During semester programs, students take a full range of classes, from history to art to language to politics, live with families, and engage in some type of internship or field study research. Our semester programs include:

  • Ecuador — every fall
  • Spain — spring in odd-numbered years
  • U.S./Mexico Border — fall and spring programs

Summer experiences: Some of these courses are offered on-campus, but many require travel to on-site locations. A sample of recent off-campus summer courses includes:

  • Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
  • Archival research in Bogotá

Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.

Through our 3+1 Education Program, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and teaching license—all in just nine semesters.

You’ll leave Earlham with two degrees, licensed to teach grades 5-12 in Indiana. (And it’s easy to transfer your license to other states—many of our graduates do!)

Learn more about our 3+1 program.

Commanding a second language is not only a skill every Spanish and Hispanic studies major, minor or occasional visitor will use throughout their life but is also an opportunity to experience different cultures and societies that will enrich and expand one’s own perspective of the world.

If you want to acquire a sophisticated level of writing, critical thinking and text analysis in Spanish and want to become fully bilingual, this program will be a great fit for you.

In the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies, you may have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with the language through the exciting adventure of being a teaching assistant.

What are the requirements to be a TA?

  • Possess an advanced knowledge of Spanish as either a senior Spanish major or native speaker of Spanish
  • Participate in an oral interview with a member of the Spanish department faculty
  • Be enthusiastic about guiding other students in their study of Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures
  • Submit an application via Handshake

What are the responsibilities of a TA?

  • Supporting professors in their classes:
    • Making presentations.
    • Helping students with exercises.
  • Grading papers and homework assignments.
  • Holding TA conversation hours, serving to help students with grammar as well as pronunciation.
  • Sharing your experience with the language and the challenge it represents to learn a second language.

What are some benefits of being a TA?

Besides having the chance to enhance and deepen your understanding of the language, you will be able to develop fundamental soft skills that would serve you in any setting at any time. As a TA you’ll:

  • Manage your time more efficiently.
  • Polish your public speaking skills.
  • Develop empathy.
  • Work and perceive nonverbal communication cues.
  • Receive and listen to constructive feedback for the bettering of your skills.

How do I get started?

Learn more about getting started.

For additional information or/and questions regarding TA employment, contact Liarucha Zahnke Basuki.

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.