A Northwestern professor lectures during class.

Learning a language opens doors to new ways of listening, experiencing and thinking about your global neighborhood. It’s good preparation for teaching, employment in another country, or a career as a translator or interpreter. In fact, being bilingual boosts your job prospects in almost any field. In addition to a Spanish major, Northwestern is the only Christian college or university in the U.S. to offer a Spanish-English translation and interpretation major. This degree enables students who are fully bilingual to work in this growing and well-paying profession, providing translation and interpretation services in government and diplomatic offices, courts, hospitals and elsewhere.

Academic programs

Whether you're studying Spanish or another language or are a bilingual student interested in our Spanish-English translation and interpretation major, your language study at Northwestern will include cross-cultural opportunities around the world and outside your door. In addition to spending a semester abroad, you might accompany professors as they translate in the courtroom or hospital. You can also participate in Spanish Chapel, volunteer among our area's Hispanic community, and attend Amistad Cristiana, a local Spanish-speaking congregation. Explore programs


Northwestern’s full-time language professors have all spent significant time living in Spanish-speaking countries. In addition to teaching at Northwestern, they also are part of Sioux County’s Hispanic community. One, Professor Piet Koene, was the first Northwestern teacher to be named Iowa’s Professor of the Year. Explore faculty


As a language learner, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore other countries and cultures close-up through semester and summer study abroad programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and elsewhere. You can also travel on short-term mission trips to Spanish-speaking countries like Nicaragua. Explore opportunities

Trey Harms

Relationship builder

Trey is preparing for a career in missions by enhancing his language skills and building relationships with students from all walks of life.

Trey's story

Laura Hurley

Preparing to serve

Laura was a triple major at Northwestern who took advantage of cross-cultural experiences in Nebraska, Nicaragua and Ecuador. She is now pursuing a joint M.D. and master’s degree in public health with a goal of becoming a family medicine physician.

Laura's story

Rebeca Wagner

Medical liaison

Rebeca serves Spanish-speaking patients and their families, helping them communicate with the medical providers at Omaha Children’s Hospital so they receive the best healthcare possible.

Rebeca's story

Olivia Iekel

Mission minded

Olivia has a passion for missions. At Northwestern, she was supported, encouraged and equipped to pursue that dream and follow God’s call to Nicaragua.

Olivia's story

Lindsey Lopez

Language bridge

As a Spanish major at Northwestern, Lindsey found learning a language came easy and that she looked forward to her homework. Now she’s a nurse and medical interpreter at a major hospital.

Lindsey's story