Spanish Studies Student Profile
Name: Sophie Campbell
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2017
Hometown: Brainerd, MN
How and why did you choose your major?
Choosing a major was not an easy process for me. I searched high and low for something that I was passionate about, only to find that my passion for Spanish was there all along. To choose a major, I shadowed many different careers, visited CAPE, talked with friends/family, and did research. I ultimately decided to major in Spanish because it is something I love learning about, and it is also something that will benefit me as a health care provider one day. To study something that you enjoy and that is also beneficial to your future career is the best of both worlds!
Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.
I have honestly learned so much from each Spanish class I have taken here at the University of Minnesota. Each class has taught me something different about the Spanish language and culture, and I have no doubt that I will carry the things I have learned along with me throughout the rest of my life. Spanish Studies does not only teach you the Spanish language, it teaches you the culture, linguistics, and literature that are such a vital part of the language. One of my favorite classes has been "Topics in Spanish-American Literature (21st century fiction)" (SPAN 3920). In this class we analyzed short stories each week and discussed the cultural themes each story portrayed. I loved this class because learning about the purpose behind each author's writing was very interesting to me. I think a challenge that every Spanish Studies major faces is practicing their Spanish. I still struggle with this challenge, but ultimately try to overcome it through listening to Spanish music, reading in Spanish, and attending Spanish & Portuguese Across Cultures Organization (SPACO) on campus.
What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)
As stated previously, I attend Spanish & Portuguese Across Cultures Organization (SPACO) here on campus. Attending this club helps me to connect with others who also share a love for Spanish, and it also helps me to practice my Spanish language skills. I also recently took SPAN 3404 (Medical Spanish and Community Health Service), which provided me with an amazing opportunity to interact with Spanish speakers in the Minneapolis community. This class meets once a week, and also requires a health-based volunteer component in the community. For example, I volunteered once a week teaching Spanish speakers about the health effects of lead poisoning. This experience was one of the best parts of my undergraduate years, without a doubt!
In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?
One piece of advice I have for other students pursuing my major is to practice, practice, practice their Spanish. This is something I wish I had done more of. Don't be afraid to speak in class, attend SPACO meetings or their conversation hours, listen to music in Spanish, read in Spanish, watch TV in Spanish, study abroad, etc. Do whatever you can to help yourself become a better student of Spanish because it will ultimately pay off.