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The Latin American Studies (LAS) program is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to develop a high proficiency in Spanish through core language courses and an immersion/study abroad requirement, similar to what is required of students majoring or minoring in Spanish. Because the Latin American Studies program is interdisciplinary, however, students also gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of Latin America and Latinx/Hispanics in the United States through an array of courses taught in English from a number of different disciplines and perspectives. Let LAS be your [AND]!Contact Info:
Starting salaries for students graduating with proficiency in one or more languages are at least 20 percent higher than for students who speak English only!
Morgan Gerke, '15 LAS graduateWithout a doubt, my internship and cultural immersion experience was the most powerful component of my college career.
The significant Latinx/Hispanic population in the United States and the increasing social, cultural and economic interconnectedness between the countries and peoples of the hemisphere will increase the demand for professionals who are both proficient in the Spanish language and prepared to work with Latinx/Hispanics and the people of Latin America.
The unique Spanish language requirement in the LAS program provides students with the skills necessary to effectively communicate with Spanish speakers. Students must spend a minimum of six weeks of language immersion either abroad in an approved program in Latin America or participate in an approved alternative intercultural experience. UW-Eau Claire offers a Spanish Living Learning Community to introduce students and the Eau Claire community to the various aspects of the Spanish-speaking world.
Latin American Studies graduates work in a spectrum of fields including language interpretation and translation, international business, domestic and international non-profit organizations, K-12 Spanish and bilingual education, government agencies, and/ or further their education through a master’s or doctoral degree.
Since the 2007-2008 academic year, six students in the Latin American Studies program have received the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student award. Fulbright recipients represent the United States as cultural ambassadors overseas.
Our faculty offer top notch advising and include students in a variety of research opportunities. For example, students may engage in faculty/ student research collaborations, international or domestic internships, diversity mentoring projects, the International Fellows Program and student-designed independent studies.
The interdisciplinary Latin American Studies major and minor programs include extensive coursework in Spanish to provide students with the proficiency necessary to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers. Students are also required to take LAS 150 – Introduction to Latin American Studies, along with relevant courses in art, anthropology/geography, history, economics, political science and other disciplines. Students majoring or minoring in LAS also cover many of their liberal education requirements through the LAS core curriculum and electives.
Many students find completing an LAS and Spanish major/minor combination to be a logical combination very complementary, though LAS students also major or minor in Social Work, Chemistry, Political Science and many other disciplines.
Students are strongly advised to enroll in Spanish courses during their first semester or year at the university so as to not lose practice in the language and continue developing their proficiency. They are also encouraged to start thinking early on about when and where they will do their study abroad or other immersion experience in a Latin American country.
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