Language and Culture

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or minor in Spanish is ideal for students who are looking to work and serve in our changing world. Our program focuses on the acquisition of language and appreciation of different cultures. We have faculty members who are international speakers of Spanish.

Interpretation and Translation, a course taught within this major, is a course not often found in other baccalaureate programs. In this practical course, students can gain rudimentary experience in how to translate and interpret.

The United States is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Speaking and reading Spanish fluently is now a marketable job skill. Students learn from Spanish-speaking professors who focus on the necessary skills and practice for learning to speak of Spanish. They also provide students with many opportunities to learn about the culture, lifestyle and values of the Hispanic people.

Becoming bilingual in a global society is important and versatile for any career. As a Spanish major, students must take a language proficiency exam recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. This is a national exam that certifies language proficiency for a professional level.

Spanish Careers

Social worker, counselor, educator, missionary, business, government employee

A Unique Area of Study

Olivet Spanish students gain experience in interpretation/translation and complete a practicum experience in local churches, schools or courtrooms. Students have opportunities to use their Spanish to help Hispanic populations in our community.

In addition to the practice they will receive on campus, students of this major are required to study abroad. There, students will study language while experiencing the history and culture of the country. Students will have the opportunity to live with native speakers, fully immersing themselves in the language. They can also participate in mission and service projects while abroad.

Advanced Spanish courses include practice in using the language in various settings and in serving the Hispanic community in our local area as an extension of our faith integration.



Study Abroad

More than a dozen study abroad programs provide opportunity for experiencing languages in other cultures and countries.

Learn More about Study Abroad

Speaking Spanish Outside the Classroom

Spanish students have many opportunities to volunteer, participate, and learn such as:

El Cafecito (Spanish speaking and coffee), Hispanic ministry, Noche de Alabanza (Spanish worship night), native Spanish-speaking tutors, interpretation at local Parent-Teacher conferences, and MIA trips.

Exposure to World Languages

At Olivet, students can study Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic and Chinese.

Double Majoring in Spanish

Spanish is an excellent choice for double majoring with business, social work and other majors.

A Future with French

For students who plan to work in government or business with French-speaking societies, a French minor is important.

Meet the Faculty

Nancy Bonilla

After college graduation, Nancy Bonilla worked as a missionary and later as a teacher for Niños de Mexico in Mexico. Her husband, Jorge, is a native of Mexico. Her doctoral research focused on foreign language pedagogy and oral proficiency development.

Modern Languages Faculty

Alumni Careers in Modern Languages:

High school teachers
Teachers of English or Spanish in other countries
Government departments 
Nonprofit organizations
English as a Second Language teachers

Modern Languages with a Christian Purpose

The best way to see if Olivet is a good fit for you is to visit the campus. We offer unique, customized visit days every weekday, and special Purple & Gold days, too, where you can get up close at all things ONU.

Schedule a Visit