Why Study Spanish

Spanish is spoken by over 400 million people around the world while 21 countries list it as an official language. The growth in trade agreements and political relations between North America and Spanish- speaking nations, as well as the global importance of the Spanish language, open up an array of career opportunities in international trade and development, global affairs, education, and many other professional fields.

In today’s increasingly interconnected global economy, a Spanish degree connects you with any professional field requiring international communication. It is not just about learning the language; it is about deeply understanding the cultures and societies of some of Canada’s key partners. A university degree in Spanish means developing analytical skills and abilities to communicate on a professional level. It makes you more marketable: many of our graduates pursue careers in government departments and organizations, international trade, publishing and professional writing, translation and editing, education, and other professional fields.

Study in Canada’s Capital

The University of Ottawa is located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a short walk from Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the Byward Market, and some of Canada’s most prestigious cultural institutions, such as the National Library and Archives, the Canadian Museum of History, and the National Gallery of Canada. Our students also enjoy privileged access to Canadian organizations dealing with Latin America such as Global Affairs and Export Development Canada, as well as to embassies representing Spain and Latin American nations in Canada.

Intercultural Awareness and Global Communications

Our program’s holistic approach encourages the development of intercultural awareness, a skill essential to functioning professionally in different spheres of international activity. In order to achieve this goal, our program combines the study of literary, artistic and cultural traditions (authors, representative works, time periods, etc.), and Hispanic linguistics (syntax, varieties of Spanish, contrastive grammar, and language acquisition). Delivered primarily in Spanish, the courses are interdisciplinary in nature, while highlighting socio-cultural aspects found in literature (fiction, testimonials, memoirs, etc.) and in audio-visual representations (film, media, visual arts, etc.). The linguistic component examines current phenomena facing Spanish in the global context, such as language acquisition, languages in contact, and teaching Spanish as a foreign language.

Our program also provides solid training in analytical and research skills, which are fundamental in processing information in today’s global communication.

Small Class Size and Personalized Guidance

Classes are kept as small as possible to encourage a collaborative learning environment and to improve the student learning experience. The average for our language classes is 25 students, while our disciplinary courses (culture, linguistics and literature) average 20.

Professors are committed to fostering and supporting students through personalized mentorship and guidance in order to help them achieve their academic degree.

Research

In order to become independent scholar-researchers, students are encouraged to participate in research projects led by professors through the UROP Program (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program), and the oral presentation of papers at our Department’s Annual Undergraduate Symposium. Professors also submit their students’ best essays for the Canadian Association of Hispanists’ annual award. Most of our faculty research relates to literary and cultural studies, feminism and gender studies, film and media studies, Hispanic linguistics (language acquisition, languages in contact, sociolinguistics), and teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Given our commitment to inter-disciplinary research, we promote initiatives associated with fields such as philosophy, communication, history, anthropology, and translation.

Thriving Student Life

During the academic year, we organize a wide range of social and cultural activities such as movie nights, lectures, book presentations, conferences, and conversation groups. These activities are often held in partnership with embassies and relevant organizations in the National Capital Region, and the support of the Entre Amigos Spanish Club.

International Experience

Students are encouraged to study abroad at one of our Latin American or Spanish university partners (scholarships are available, for more information contact the International Office). In order to gain professional experience, they may also consider applying to teach English or French in Spain’s national school system or become involved in a humanitarian project through the Centre for Global and Community Engagement (CGCE). Moreover, our campus facilitates an on-site international experience through its multicultural environment and activities organized in partnership with local Hispanic organizations.

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