Northwestern students work on an assignment 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.

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. 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. Explore opportunities

Austin Warren

Leaping over language barriers

By studying both computer information systems and Spanish, Austin is poised to be proficient in a variety of languages, both human and digital.

Austin's story

Olivia Holt

Mission minded

Olivia came to Northwestern with a passion for missions. During her four years at NWC, she was supported, encouraged and equipped to pursue that dream and follow God’s call.

Olivia's story

Lindsey Lopez

Language bridge

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

Lindsey's story