The most impactful and life-altering memory: a semester in Merida, Mexico offered through the Spanish Department. My experience abroad was nothing short of all the clichés on the benefits of cultural immersion.
Kim Stoutenburg ’09
President, On-site Operations, Wilson-Bennett Technology
  • About: Spanish
  • Meet the Faculty
  • 3 Things: Spanish
  • Career Opportunities
  • The Costa Rica Experience
  • The Siena Effect: The 'Taco Challenge'

The Siena Heights Spanish program doesn’t want its students to just “learn” Spanish; students will be able to speak it. In fact, students will start speaking Spanish their very first day of class. The program features a “flipped” classroom format, meaning grammar is no longer taught in the classroom, but as an online lecture.

The project-oriented program focuses in on the liberal arts of communication, technology and creativity.

Another unique aspect of the program is the Costa Rica Experience. Faculty accompany students for a three-month study abroad trip that allows students to immerse themselves not only in the language, but in the culture as well. While taking Spanish classes, students will also be to take courses like marine biology.

Spanish is a skill that can accompany any major and allows our graduates to be independent, cross-cultural and adaptable in their careers.

From day one, the Siena Heights Spanish program strives to speak Spanish. Students will spend as much time as possible using the target language.

We do this by removing grammar lecture from the classroom thus allowing more time for activities. Students can see the kinds of videos that we use here

We work closely with academic advisors so that students can pair a Spanish minor/major with a business major or a communications major to name a few. After completing intermediate Spanish, students have the option to spend three months living with a Costa Rican host family while attending Veritas University in San Jose, Costa Rica. While abroad, students live with families, travel on the weekends, and take five classes (three Spanish classes and two electives). 


Spanish Major

Spanish majors have the opportunity to earn money as Spanish tutors, volunteer as translators and interpreters and be involved in the Latino community.
Course Type
Required Credit Hours
Course Type COGNATE
Required Credit Hours 38Credit Hours
Required Credit Hours 35Credit Hours
Course Type REQUIRED
Required Credit Hours 47Credit Hours
Total for major
120Credit Hours
Course Name
Course Type
Credit Hours
Course Name Culture & Civilization of Latin
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Culture & Civilization of Mexico Education
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Culture & Civilization of Spain Technology for Students w/ Disabilities
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Intermediate Spanish I
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 4
Course Name Intermediate Spanish II
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 4
Course Name Literature of Latin America
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Literature of Mexico
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Literature of Spain
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Senior Seminar
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name SPA Conversation & Grammar II Students w/ Disabilities
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Spanish Conversation & Grammar I Special Education
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3
Course Name Spanish Phonetics & Phonology Learning Disabilities
Course Type REQUIRED
Credit Hours 3

Meet the Spanish program faculty.

Associate Professor of Spanish
#1. We incorporate the flipped classroom to spend more time speaking Spanish instead of talking about Spanish

#2. Most courses incorporate a technology-based final project that is posted to YouTube

#3. Work to send all Spanish majors and minors to Costa Rica for a semester

Learn about the career opportunities you can have with a degree in Spanish.

A major in Spanish increases your job opportunities, employability, and marketability. Employers seek people who can speak a second language. People who study Spanish at Siena Heights University understand how cultures interact with one and another and are able to apply those skills in future jobs. Some career opportunities include:

  • Advertising
  • Bilingual Education
  • Consultant
  • Cultural Officer
  • Customs and Immigration
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Health professions
  • Interpretation and Translation
  • Law Enforcement
  • Lawyer
  • Nursing
  • Politician
  • Reporter
  • Research
  • Social Worker
  • Travel Agent
  • Teacher
  • Volunteer Agencies

Follow SHU student Julie Bonk as she chronicles her 2017 Costa Rica experience:

The Costa Rica Experience

As part of the Spanish major and minor, students now have the opportunity to study abroad in San José, Costa Rica at Veritas University. 

Specifically, we have partnered with their Center for International Programs which brings students from all over the world to learn Spanish. 

While there the students will take classes in Spanish (for the major-minor) and classes in English (liberal arts). This allows them to stay on track while abroad. Students live with Costa Rican families and can either walk to school or take the university shuttle. 

On the weekends, the students travel all over the country with the university. From rain forests to volcanoes to the Caribbean and pacific coasts, there is an infinite number of things to experience. 

Students can study in fall, winter or summer, but our biggest group of students student from January to April.

In Spring 2014, a group of SHU Spanish students and Maestro Nick Kaplan were  featured in the Chicago Tribune after completing the Fox River Taco Challenge. Maestro Kaplan and Siena alumnus Lee Rincon invented the challenge based on an article written by Tribune writer Kevin Pang. Following a map of taquerías (taco restaurants) along the Fox River (west of Chicago), the students ate one taco at each of the 11 restaurants before returning to Siena Heights. 

Additional Info


  • Bachelor of Arts


  • Division of Humanities



Interested in attending Siena Heights University? Fill out this brief form, and you'll receive an email with log-in information to your very own User Portal with additional information about Siena Heights University and the application process.


Oop, looks like you have previously requested more information. Please contact the Admissions Team if you have any questions!

Adrian (main campus) Undergraduate Programs

Are you a high school student looking for the traditional college experience?

Adult Undergraduate Programs

Do you have some credit from previous college experience and need to complete your bachelor's degree?

Master's Degree

Do you have your bachelor's degree and looking for an advanced degree?

Not Sure? Transferring?

Explore to read more information about our programs or schedule a personal visit.