Spanish language study

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

Ella Van Zee

Learning en comunidad

Ella’s study of the Spanish language has opened doors to new relationships and opportunities to share the gospel.

Ella's story

Michelle van Beek

Found in translation

Michelle’s experiences serving as an interpreter for her parents sparked her passion for providing quality interpreting and translation services for Spanish-speaking families.

Michelle's story

Ginny Kjer

Bridge builder

Ginny’s Spanish degree has helped her build relationships with Spanish-speakers across the globe—in mission settings and in her PE classroom.

Ginny's story

Laura Hurley

Future Family Physician

Laura was a triple major at Northwestern who took advantage of cross-cultural experiences in Nebraska, Nicaragua and Ecuador. She went on to earn an M.D. and a master’s degree in public health and is now a family medicine resident.

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