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Alison Ridley, chair, Modern Languages
Associate Professor of Spanish
(540) 362-6676

Hollins University
P.O. Box 9693
Roanoke, VA 24020

Learn the language. Experience the culture.

Are you interested in learning Spanish, or in improving your Spanish-language skills? Would you like to study the culture, literature, and even the business practices of the Hispanic sector of the global community? Does the prospect of studying in Mexico, Argentina, or Spain appear on your wish list? Do you thrive in small classes, in a challenging but family-like atmosphere? If your answer to these questions is yes, you should consider Hollins.


The curriculum

Hollins offers a wide variety of courses in Spanish. In addition to classes on Hispanic literatures, we teach Business Spanish, Advanced Conversation and Composition, Advanced Grammar, Cultures and Civilizations of Spain and Latin America, Special Topics courses, and a Senior Seminar.

Students in beginning, intermediate, and conversation/composition classes meet once a week for an hour in small groups with our language assistant for additional practice in conversational Spanish. The assistant also offers a language table once a week during lunch that is open to the Hollins community.



Spanish students have worked in a variety of internships, including:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce in San José, Costa Rica
  • American Embassy in Mexico City
  • Institute of International Education in New York City
  • Univisión TV Channel
  • Students Helping Honduras


Independent study

  • Researching how businesses operate in Bolivia
  • Serving as a translator with a medical team in Honduras and making a documentary of the experience
  • Working as translators and interpreters for refugee services
  • Attending language institutes in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain for a month-long immersion course
  • Volunteering to teach Spanish to first- and third-graders in elementary schools throughout Virginia
  • Reading and analyzing literary works by Alejo Carpentier, Juan Goytisolo, Manuel Puig, Antonio Buero Vallejo, and Julia Navarro, among other writers