We are a diverse group of faculty that come from China, Ecuador, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Senegal, Spain, The United States, Ukraine and Venezuela, and we would like to invite you to come and explore the world with us!
The Modern Languages and Cultures Department is committed to educating the whole person. Our mission is to create future professionals concerned with social justice and equip them with adequate skills for its practice domestically and abroad.
Our programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese and Spanish provide students with:
Our curricula are the gateway to cultivating citizens of the world. We seek to educate multicultural, responsible leaders, who are engaged with empowering traditionally-marginalized communities and pursuing the common good of diverse peoples.
Learning about other cultures and civilizations through their language leads to a better understanding of one's self and the world in which we live. This process has a profound impact on its learners as:
When I first began my time at Seattle University, I knew that I would study Spanish. Prior to my time in the University I had studied Spanish for a cumulative 7 years, but I had not yet achieved anything close to fluency. The Spanish major at Seattle U really changed that for me. I spent four years doing my best to grasp at something that would be close to fluency. The caring and familial nature of the Spanish department allowed me to grow. Of course, this started with basic Spanish courses that covered simple grammar, but eventually I found myself going abroad to expand my skills.
The Latin American Studies Program is unique in that it connects our university with a sister university in Puebla, Mexico. La Universidad Iberoamericana was an essential part of my Spanish speaking journey. In the beginning of my time in Mexico, I could barely hold a conversation with some basic grammar structures and vocabulary. In hindsight, the program was rigorous. In the end, we were giving 30-minute solo presentations and having lengthy discussions about history, politics, and culture all in Spanish. After the program ended, I had an opportunity to accompany one of my professors on a research excursion in Guatemala. I conducted interviews, transcribed meeting notes, communicated with a partner university, and made friends all in Spanish. After those six months abroad in Puebla I was communicating on a level that I had never dreamed of before. This skill stayed with me through my professional career as well.
As someone with a deep interest in learning languages, I did not want to stop my usage of Spanish after coming back from being abroad. I continued taking high level Spanish courses to improve upon my ability to discuss and connect with diverse groups of people. Eventually, this led me to a six-month long internship at an NGO; where I did grant research and wrote grant applications in Spanish and English. In addition to my interest in Spanish, I have gone on to do summer programs in Japan to continue expanding my interest in Language and connecting across cultures. My major in Spanish also led me to winning a Fulbright to teach English in Mexico. I aspire to work for the foreign service as a diplomacy officer. I aim to bring an intersectional perspective to all of my future positions, and I could not have done that without the love, support, and knowledge from the Spanish department.
(The photo is from my time in Japan)