Robert Butler discovered the Spanish major in an unconventional way. He transferred to the College as a junior, and almost right away, the Hispanic studies department caught his attention. It began to give him a new appreciation for the world – and he’s been thriving in that ever since.
Robert actually spent his first months as a Cougar living and studying in Santiago, Chile. “I had to talk my way into the College’s study abroad program there, but ultimately I ended up in Santiago. And that was amazing. Now, when I talk with younger students, I encourage them to study abroad. It can set you forward academically, and your language skills just explode while you’re there.”
His experiences in Chile solidified Robert’s interest in the Spanish major. “By the time that semester was over, I had fulfilled the requirements for a minor in Spanish, and I just wanted to keep going.”
So, he took courses such as Current Issues in Spain and Latin American Literature. He also branched out and started studying Portuguese, and later added a minor in linguistics. He was named to the Global Scholars Program and inducted into the Spanish Honor Society. On top of that, Robert was invited to teach conversational Spanish to first-year students.
I’ve discovered that I truly love learning about languages. I just connect with everything about them, and the professors in the Hispanic studies department are really helpful and cool. All of them maintain an open-door policy, which is awesome.”
In a sociolinguistics course, he was required to do research at a local school. “I surveyed these elementary school kids to find out what slang they knew in English and Spanish. Half of those kids were Hispanic. It turned out to be an intense experience, but also one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever done. I think I can see myself becoming a teacher.”
Home to the largest and most comprehensive undergraduate Spanish program in the Southeast, our department is unique. We have a dynamic, engaged faculty whose expertise spans the spectrum from linguistics and translation to literature and film.
❱❱ We offer a variety of studyabroad programs in Havana, Cuba; Trujillo, Spain; Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Spain.
❱❱ Recent graduates have entered careers in medicine, education, counseling and journalism.
❱❱ Students can live in the Casa Hispana for an on-campus immersion experience.