Spanish is the native language of 406 million people worldwide: That’s 71 million more than native English speakers!*
The areas of human endeavor where Spanish is used are endless: Business, international trade, health care, education, publishing, the visual and performing arts, gastronomy, architecture, environmental science, tourism, sport, law enforcement, government agencies, international organizations ... Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
The economic weight of the Spanish language in the United States and across the world is enormous. Invest in your future: choose Spanish! You will discover the rich cultural heritage of Spain and Latin America, and the beauty of their language.
*(Source: Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 17th ed., 2013. www.ethnologue.com)
Interested in Degree Programs?
Interested in Latin America?
Combine your Major with an interdisciplinary Latin American Studies Minor.
Testimonial of Former Student Cameron Murray
Whenever I had studied Spanish in my undergrad years, I always found myself wondering, “How the heck am I going to use this Spanish without being a teacher?” Dr. Routt and other professors in the Foreign Language Department said that I will be able to incorporate the language anywhere that I go. I couldn’t help but think that was too vague of a response. I wanted to know what I would have been doing with my Spanish. But what I learned was a little different than I expected.
I currently work for State Farm Insurance as an Auto Claims Representative in the Total Loss department. My “zone” handles vehicles that are total losses in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. When I applied for this job, the interview team saw my resume and that I noted that I studied Spanish and had it as a minor in college. They saw too on my resume that I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. The job posting didn’t say they were looking for Spanish speakers, nor did it say that they preferred them. To my delight, in my interview, they inquired about it, and said they drastically need Spanish speakers in the department. All I would have to do is pass an oral proficiency exam and I would be full time on the Spanish Claims Team for my department. How cool!
Since then, I have helped out with claims in my department whenever there are Spanish speakers that prefer to handle their claim in Spanish rather than English. I have found much joy in assisting those who need Spanish speakers to handle their business.
I think it’s fascinating that I have been able to incorporate the language I love into my career, which makes it very rewarding for me. To hear the relief that comes from the people I assist while speaking Spanish is a clear indicator that I’m helping them through a difficult time in a way that they feel comfortable. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I hadn’t studied Spanish or studied abroad in Spain.
Since being here in the company, I have learned that because I speak Spanish, there are more opportunities for me than those who speak just English. Not only are there more opportunities, but there are more people reaching out to me simply because I speak Spanish, and that in itself is a good sign that whatever my future holds, I know that I will be able to use my Spanish, and maybe even more than my English.
Get involved in our Spanish Activities and Organizations!
Earn credit through guided and reflective service learning projects and internships!
What would you prefer: spending Spring Break in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua, Guatemala; a summer in Argentina’s heartland, Córdoba; four weeks--or a semester--in tropical Costa Rica; a semester or even an entire year in the venerable medieval intellectual hub that is Salamanca, Spain? These are only a few of the many study abroad options across the Spanish-speaking world offered at EIU. Earn credit towards a Spanish major or minor while having the experience of a lifetime! Study Abroad scholarships available.
Develop real-world speaking proficiency in our small classes.
On the 3000 and 4000 level you will find courses such as...