As the Department of World Languages celebrates International Education week, Eastern Michigan University’s Spanish Club commemorated the occasion with their event Noche de Carerra, Monday Nov. 12 in the student center.
Noche de Carerra, or career night, was designed to allow Spanish club members to present their reasons for studying the language as well as discussing how learning Spanish can expand career prospects to those who become fluent. Spanish club members passed out informational flyers regarding the benefits of learning a second language and a list of many career fields where the need for Spanish speakers was in high demand; government jobs, travel and tourism, interpretation and translation, and arts, media, and entertainment among the list.
Senior Omar Davidson, treasurer of the Spanish club, explained the importance of learning a second language and how it can be used as a tool to connect with non-English speakers on a more personal level.
“You can learn a lot about people by learning their language”, Davidson said. “It’s important to reach out to others and learn their language, not force them to assimilate.”
Davidson expressed the need for fluent Spanish speakers in the medical field and in law, especially in states that border Mexico. He explained how many people who are injured go to the hospital and are unable to communicate their ailments effectively to medical professionals, leaving them unable to be properly treated. Davidson plans to pursue studying immigration law in order to help represent migrant children estranged from their parents in court, explaining how they would otherwise represent themselves or have a lawyer represent them that doesn’t speak their native language.
Sophomore Ian Cook, club historian of the Spanish club, said his passion for Spanish grew over the course of his formal education. He began taking Spanish classes in middle and high school, where he started to take an interest in the language. Cook continued on to study Spanish in college, choosing to complete a study abroad course in Ávila, Spain. He now is a secondary education major with a minor in secondary education for Spanish language, and plans to teach Spanish for his career.
For Cook, the sense of community that he found in Spanish culture with differences in daily routines, things to do for fun, and the different foods in Hispanic countries was his favorite aspects of experiencing the new culture.
“I really enjoyed learning about and experiencing the differences in culture, like how certain neighborhood communities have weekend outdoor party concerts called verbenas”, Cook said.
Cook emphasized the value of being bilingual when applying for jobs. Speaking more than one language can make a potential employee a valuable applicant. This is especially true if that second language is Spanish as it is the second most spoken language in the United States according to U.S. census information from 2009 to 2013.
To join EMU’s Spanish club or for further questions regarding the week’s meeting place and time please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Jadyn Guess, president of the Spanish club and primary contact.