The study of a language leads to a greater understanding of the civilizations, cultures and literature of the countries in which the language is spoken. Language study is a traditional and integral component of a liberal arts education. It is basic to cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity, and it aids in an understanding of multiculturalism and diversity. Increasingly, in a global economy, the ability to speak and understand a world language is an asset that provides important leverage in both obtaining employment and career advancement.
About the Spanish Program
The Spanish major consists of 30 credit hours of study at the 300 level (or above). Students must obtain 12-15 credits of semester study abroad from Spring Arbor University Guatemala. During their semesters abroad, students will live with Spanish-speaking families, study advanced conversation and grammar and take other courses taught in Spanish that are relevant to the country of study, covering such topics such as civilization, art, history, literature and current events.
The Spanish minor consists of 24 credit hours of study at the 300 level (or above). Students must obtain 3-12 credits of Spanish study abroad by spending either three consecutive weeks in a Spanish-speaking country (as part of SAU’s Cross-Cultural Studies program) or a 12-week semester at Spring Arbor University Guatemala. During semesters abroad, students will live with Spanish-speaking families, study advanced conversation and grammar and take other courses taught in Spanish that are relevant to the country of study, covering such topics such as civilization, art, history, literature and current events.
Learn more about the Spanish program at Spring Arbor University: view course descriptions and requirements in the undergraduate catalog.
Other programs offered through the Department of World Languages include:
Why should you choose one of SAU’s world language programs?
Language study encourages a cross-cultural approach to learning. The small class sizes in SAU’s Department of World Languages allow students many opportunities for oral practice and performance with their professors and peers.
Our elementary and intermediate language courses make use of audio and video programs that focus on lifestyle and culture in addition to the development of communication skills. Language students also have independent use of computer learning software and online workbook/lab activities, which are integrated into courses as tools for developing listening and speaking skills.
Language skills are useful in a variety of career fields, including education, business, finance, trade, social services, medicine and missions. Language study is recommended for students planning to pursue graduate or advanced professional studies.
To learn more about how Spring Arbor University helps graduates prepare for their careers, visit Career Development.
Spring Arbor University offers a wide range of activities that give language students opportunities to apply what they’re learning in the classroom in real-world contexts.
- Communidad Aqua Viva – This Free Methodist church for Spanish-speaking residents of the Jackson area was established in 2003 through the work of SAU students and Jackson residents. Communidad Aqua Viva allows language students to minister to the Hispanic people of Jackson while practicing their Spanish.
- Interfaith Shelter Ministries – The Interfaith Shelter is a homeless shelter located in downtown Jackson. SAU students spend one day each week serving food and visiting with the people of the shelter. They also lead small group fellowships and organize an annual food and clothing drive. For more information about volunteering at the Interfaith Shelter, call 517.789.8735.
- Model Arab League – At this event, sponsored by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world as they study and prepare to represent a particular Arab nation at a mock Arab League summit. Every year, SAU sends a team to the Model Arab League convention, held at participating Michigan universities. Learn more about the related political economy major and political science minor.
- Multicultural and Intercultural Student Organizations – Students of all colors and backgrounds are celebrated and supported on Spring Arbor University’s campus. There are over ten organizations dedicated to fostering dialogue between ethnicities and promoting multiculturalism on campus. Learn more through The Office of Intercultural Relations.
- Deutsch Klub – The German Club of Spring Arbor University actively promotes German language and culture by offering screenings of German films, taking trips to Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt, supporting German companies, practicing Kaffeestunde, and hosting guest speakers.