Northwestern students work on an assignment during class.

Learning a language opens doors to new ways of listening, experiencing and thinking about your global neighborhood. It’s good preparation for teaching, employment in another country, or a career as a translator or interpreter. In fact, being bilingual boosts your job prospects in almost any field. In addition to a Spanish major, Northwestern is the only Christian college or university in the U.S. to offer a Spanish-English translation and interpretation major. This degree enables students who are fully bilingual to work in this growing and well-paying profession, providing translation and interpretation services in government and diplomatic offices, courts, hospitals and elsewhere.

Academic programs

Whether you're studying Spanish or another language or are a bilingual student interested in our Spanish-English translation and interpretation major, your language study at Northwestern will include cross-cultural opportunities around the world and outside your door. In addition to spending a semester abroad, you might accompany professors as they translate in the courtroom or hospital. You can also participate in Spanish Chapel, volunteer among our area's Hispanic community, and attend Amistad Cristiana, a local Spanish-speaking congregation. Explore programs


Northwestern’s full-time language professors have all spent significant time living in Spanish-speaking countries. In addition to teaching at Northwestern, they also are part of Sioux County’s Hispanic community. One, Professor Piet Koene, was the first Northwestern teacher to be named Iowa’s Professor of the Year. Explore faculty


As a language learner, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore other countries and cultures close-up through semester and summer study abroad programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain and elsewhere. You can also travel on short-term mission trips to Spanish-speaking countries like Nicaragua. Explore opportunities

Izaac Green

Open doors to the world

Izaac’s world has been opened through his Spanish classes, but also by attending Spanish-speaking churches and spending a semester abroad.

Izaac's story

Kailee Jenness

Unsung hero

Just two years into her career, Kailee received the Unsung Hero Award from the Iowa Primary Care Association.

Kailee's story

Michelle van Beek

Found in translation

Michelle’s experiences serving as an interpreter for her parents sparked her passion for providing quality interpreting and translation services for Spanish-speaking families.

Michelle's story

Ginny Kjer

Bridge builder

Ginny’s Spanish degree has helped her build relationships with Spanish speakers across Iowa and around the globe.

Ginny's story