Hispanic Studies

On campus, you will find a diverse curriculum that includes Spanish language and Latin American, Spanish and U.S. Latino literature and culture. In Madrid, during the Academic Year In Spain program, you will have the total immersion in Spanish life and language no classroom can duplicate.

Bianca Buonaguro '14, right, and Sarah Kerr '14 

A student’s discovery: loving a new language

Bianca Buonaguro ’14 didn’t realize how much she loves speaking Spanish until she studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an experience that inspired her to take on Hispanic studies as a second major. (History was her first.) Buonaguro is aiming for a career in which she can use her Spanish.

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To that end, her time in Buenos Aries was challenging and worth it.

“In my program we had to take all of our courses in Spanish so we were pretty much exchange students directly enrolling in universities with native speakers. I mean all of our tests and all of the lectures – everything – were in Spanish,” she says. A year or so later, when she reunited with an Argentine friend in New York City, Buonaguro was pleased to see how well her Spanish held up.

In her experience, the emphasis Hamilton College puts on study abroad enriches the coursework back on campus.

“I think that Hamilton does a really good job of encouraging students to go abroad or supporting students who want to go abroad, so in terms of Spanish class, now that so many of my peers in my classes spent a semester or possibly a year abroad, the level of discussion is so much higher,” she says.

Amie Johnson '04 on a trip she took with her high school students to Costa Rica.

A graduate’s progress: teaching what she loves

Amie Johnson ‘04 studied Spanish at Hamilton College because language was something that she loved. Now, as a Spanish teacher at a high school just down the hill from campus, she tries to spread that love of languages to her students.

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She thought of her Hamilton professors when she made the move into teaching.

“My professors motivated me to do what I’m doing today,” says Johnson. “They were interesting and captivating and real.” 

After graduating from Hamilton, Johnson spent a year living in Mexico to do some soul searching. “My work there was incidental – I waited tables at an Italian restaurant,” says Johnson, “but my mission there was to continue figuring out my life’s path.”

When she returned to Central New York, where she grew up, she needed a job and went into sales in marketing. She enjoyed it but wanted to make a social impact. At the encouragement of her family, Johnson decided to apply to one of Utica College’s masters programs in education.

“I have never looked back,” she says.