Spanish Language and Cultures

Spanish is no longer a “foreign” language — it’s the second most common language in the United States after English. It’s also spoken in nearly 30 other countries around the world. With the high demand for bilingual speakers in today’s global marketplace, your knowledge of this fascinating language and culture could be your passport to increased job opportunities and marketability in a number of fields. Research shows that learning another language strengthens your problem solving and creative thinking abilities, and these skill sets will serve you well throughout life.

Do you enjoy meeting new people and experiencing different places and cultures? Do you love language in all its forms? Do you thrive when faced with a mental challenge? Then consider adding a support in Spanish Language and Cultures. This support is also an excellent option for native Spanish speakers who want to deepen their connection to their heritage while bolstering their résumé.

Hands-on, interactive learning
Instead of repetitive memorization of new Spanish vocabulary, you might make a traditional Hispanic dish and host a cooking show in Spanish. Service learning is also an essential element of our program, and you’ll spend 8-12 hours volunteering with the Spanish-speaking community. This gives you valuable opportunities to practice your conversational skills with native speakers while giving back to our community.

Study on a culturally diverse campus
You can get involved with one of the many student organizations that celebrates diversity, including the Hispanic Nurses Association, CHICA (Cultura Hispana e Idioma en la Comunidad de Alverno), the campus chapter of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee and the Global Studies Club.

Study abroad
The best (and most fun) way to put your language skills to work is through an immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking country. Though not required, we strongly encourage students to study abroad for at least four weeks. You can choose summer or semester-long programs or take a short-term travel course taught by Alverno faculty in Latin America. Scholarships and financial aid are available.

Connect with the community
Alverno’s campus is located near predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s south side, making it easy to practice your Spanish. Try stocking up on authentic and unique ingredients at an ethnic grocery store, sampling Mexican cakes and cookies at a local bakery or browsing family-owned shops where you’re just as likely to hear Spanish as English. You can also make valuable connections with on-campus conferences and events, such as FLESFEST, an annual conference for K-12 foreign language teachers from across the state.

Internships for the Spanish speaker
Past students have used their bilingual skills to assist victims of domestic violence at the Latina Community Center, work with mental health providers at the Walker’s Point Community Clinic, translate materials for University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and help care for Spanish-speaking patients during nursing clinicals.

How you can use your language skills
No matter your field, this minor will give you the tools you need to thrive in today’s culturally diverse environment. Even if you don’t regularly use your Spanish skills for work or travel, you’ll still benefit by deepening your appreciation of Hispanic culture.


Have questions about studying Spanish Language and Cultures at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Jennifer FlamboeJennifer Flamboe
Chair of World Languages