Throughout high school, I was lucky enough to have wonderful Spanish language teachers who sparked my interest in both the language and the region of Latin America. I want to use my degree in International Affairs to pursue a career in development and policy work, and hopefully focus on underdeveloped nations and regions. Latin America has a long and incredibly interesting history, and a lot of economic and political reform is needed in many parts of the region. To be able to work with people from those countries, I need to be able to have a complete understanding of their language. Right now, I am taking a Spanish course, and after I complete it I will be done with language requirements. However, Northeastern offers a wide variety of advanced courses in the language, such as different electives, a Spanish class focused on global communication, and multiple immersion courses. I hope to continue my studies to a high level of fluency, that will allow me to do work in Spanish speaking countries. Of course, there is only so much you can learn in a classroom setting, where the lessons are planned out and tailored for the students. That’s why it is important to take full advantage of the study abroad programs, dialogues and co-ops available at Northeastern. There are many opportunities to study at Spanish speaking universities, such as the program at the Universitat de Barcelona. There is also a language based dialogue that goes to Argentina, and numerous co-ops in Spain and Latin America. The only way to raise your comfort in a language to the next level, is to spend an extended period of time, submerged in it on a daily basis, with native speakers. The co-ops, especially, would require me to use the Spanish language in a way I would never have to in conversation. I could be using it in a professional setting, and talking about work related things, as opposed to casual every day things. This would add another level to my understanding, one that would translate well into my future career. Outside of Northeastern, there are complete immersion programs that are offered for anyone who wants to become fluent in a short span of time. These programs would be perfect if I wanted to improve my skills quickly before a co-op started, where I would be expected to speak the language every day.