Students who study Spanish become explorers in many dimensions. They discover, among other things, that Spanish represents less an alternative means for expressing what we see and think, than a cultural lens predisposing and empowering its speakers to see and think in unique ways.
On looking through this lens, students diversify their perceptions of the world and multiply their opportunities to interact with it. These opportunities may include experiencing the tragic ferocity of the Spanish Civil War in the pages of Sender’s Réquiem por un campesino español, serving as an interpreter for a Latino family in Northfield, teaching art to the children of imprisoned women in Quito, Ecuador, speaking with indigenous people on the shores of Guatemala’s beautiful Lake Atitlán about their struggle to preserve the land, probing the imposing complexity of Latin American life within the mythic dimensions of García Márquez’s Macondo, debating politics with impassioned university students in Seville, Spain, or talking into the night with a roommate from Costa Rica in the Spanish House. Whatever the channels opened- and they are countless- students who become proficient in Spanish discover that “Quien sabe dos lenguas, vale por dos.”