The Department of Modern Languages is proud of its majors and would like to introduce some of them to you. They would be happy to hear from you if you have any questions regarding language study at Hanover or international study opportunities. You may read comments from students majoring in Spanish or German.
Upon entering Hanover, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the Medical Field, so I was taking Biology and the other pre-med courses. I continued with my Spanish classes because of the Modern Language requirement for graduation, but after taking my first Spanish class at Hanover, I knew I wanted to continue my studies with the language. Not only would I be able to communicate with my future patients if needed to, but also the professors were so passionate about the material they presented that the classes became my favorite, so I was delighted with my choice to become a Spanish Major.
Initially my primary motivation to study Spanish was because I believed I would be more marketable in the career field if I did not require an interpreter to work with me, but now three years into my studies, this has definitely changed a bit. I would no longer say that I study Spanish to prepare myself for a career, rather, I study Spanish because I love learning about a culture that is for the most part, close in location to the United States, yet is so different in tradition and society. I thoroughly enjoy learning about the colonization of the New World from another perspective, and find it interesting to read about historical events taught from a viewpoint differed from that taught in United States History Classes. I enjoy reading Spanish literature because it allows me to think creatively, which is a nice break from my other science classes.
During the month-long Spring term, I traveled to Ecuador and Peru with a conversational Spanish class. While in Ecuador, I lived with a host family in the city of Quito. During the day, we attended various museums, churches, plays, and historical sites throughout the city of Quito, and in the afternoons, we attended classes at La Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE). On the weekends, we went on excursions in various cities. During this time, we visited San Clemente, a community of Indigenous people in the Andes Mountains, Mindo, a city on the outskirts of the jungle, and Guayaquil. We also traveled to Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu in Peru. Overall, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and has inspired me to continue my travels!
Paige Spalding, a classmate, and I at Machu Picchu, Incan ruins in Peru.
Majoring in Spanish has been a great decision for me. I have been very fortunate to have professors who are so passionate about what they do. I have learned a lot from Spanish classes at Hanover because the professors are from many different Spanish-speaking countries, and they have traveled to many different places; this means that their students can learn about the culture that the professors have experienced first-hand. Being a Spanish major does not mean that I only learn how to speak the language; it means that I learn about literature, history, music, food and so much more.
During the winter semester of 2012 I was able to study abroad in Spain. I wasn’t originally planning on going for the entire semester, but after speaking with a professor about it I realized that I could not pass up such an opportunity. Instead of being just another tourist in Spain, I was a student. I lived in a dorm with all Spaniards; I attended classes with Spanish students at the University of Castilla-La Mancha and lived in Ciudad Real. Whether it was learning how to travel around another country on my own, making friends in another language or trying food that I never thought I would try, like octopus or cuttlefish, I gained so much from the experience. Not only did I learn about Spain, but I also learned a lot about myself. I became more open-minded and interested in other cultures, and I was able to understand more of the complexities of learning another language; not everything can be translated. After studying abroad I can honestly say that the only true way to understand another culture is to be immersed in it.
Visiting the city of Toledo (Spain) during my semester abroad program at the University of Castilla-La Mancha