Currently a second-year medical student at Yale University, Gal graduated summa cum laude from WU in 2008 with a double major in Spanish and Chemistry. Gal studied abroad in WU's summer program in Quito, Ecuador. Although as a pre-med student Gal took a heavy load of science courses, she dedicated time to Spanish, including as a volunteer for La Clinica and WU’s outreach Latino Youth Tutoring program Cambio. Her Spanish continues to serve her well. Noting that "in many places around the country, the lack of translators completely prevents communication between the doctor and the patient," she feels that being able to speak Spanish "has been immensely useful in medical school,” where she often uses Spanish with patients.
Growing up in Miami, Rachel always had what she describes as a "strong passion for Latin American culture." She graduated summa cum laude from WU in 2010, majoring in Spanish with a concentration in Latin American Studies. As a bilingual kindergarten teacher for Teach for America, she now speaks Spanish on a daily basis. Rachel believes that her studies in Spanish language and culture have had a significant impact on her work with the Mexican American population she serves in Houston, where she also serves as a bilingual educator on parent education days and leads Spanish seminars for parents on children’s education.
Marie is completing a double major in International and Area Studies and Spanish, with a concentration in Latin American Studies and a minor in Political Science. As a student in the WU summer program in Puebla, Mexico and then on the WU semester program in Chile, she benefitted greatly from the warm relationships that she established with her host families, exposure to new cultures, and extended travel. She describes her experiences abroad as "unique and eye-opening." Marie continues to utilize her Spanish, both as a Spanish 101 and 102 subsection instructor at WU and at her part-time job, where she communicates with many Spanish-speaking employees and customers. Marie's future plans will allow her to continue to apply her language skills. She is considering work with non-profits, politics, and diplomacy--all careers with an international dimension.
Elise started learning Spanish at WU during her sophomore year and she went on to complete a major in Spanish, with a minor in Latin American Studies. She also studied abroad in the WU program in Santiago, Chile, an experience she describes as "an incredible way to grow as a person." Her semester-long study in Santiago has made her eager to give back to her community. When she returned to campus, she did an internship with the International Institute of St. Louis, where she interpreted a job-readiness class into Spanish for Cuban refugees, and assisted them in completing job applications, resumes, and tax forms. Elise's research interests include Chilean political literature and the transition from a military regime to democracy from a legal perspective, a subject she decided to explore in her Honor thesis.
Along with his Spanish major, Ben graduated from WU summa cum laude in 2011 with an International and Areas studies major and an Art History minor. Ben studied in the WU program in Madrid, Spain, an experience he describes enthusiastically: "It taught me a lot of things about the way I operate as a scholar and a person. I learned so much about Spanish culture, being totally submerged in it, both in my classes and in a day-to-day city life." The language abilities he gained through his Spanish major, Ben says, are some of his "most valued and important skills." He is currently working as a curatorial research assistant at the Kemper Art Museum at WU, and he expects to pursue a graduate degree in art history with a specialization in modern Latin American art.