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Spanish Activities

Going beyond the classroom

At Calvin, you will have the opportunity to learn by going outside the classroom...and your comfort zone. Whether you decide to live in a house that speaks Spanish 24/7, volunteer in the Grand Rapids community, or lead a Spanish communication group, you are sure to discover your place and your passion—and learn a little Spanish along the way.

Students at a Mexican restaurant downtownSpanish in GR

Interested in finding a place to worship? serve? eat? Check out our list of area Hispanic contacts to find what you're looking for.

Spanish House

Discover what it looks like to live in an intentional living-learning community in the Spanish House.

Weekly activities

Worship the Lord with other Spanish students, enjoy Spanish conversation over dinner, or explore the opportunities to work in the Spanish department.

Recent Events

Celebración de Graduados

In May, our professors and soon-to-be Spanish graduates gathered for a time of celebration, singing, reminiscing, and good food. Congratulations to all our 2014 graduates! Click here to see photos from the event »

Middle School Visitors

On April 22, we had the wonderful opportunity of welcoming twenty-one seventh graders and their Spanish teacher Señora Amber Kunnen ('10) from Rockford Christian Middle School. During their visit to the Spanish Department, they were able to hear about the semester abroad programs, attend Spanish chapel with Calvin Spanish students, and even participate in part of a Spanish 102 class. It was a fantastic chance to make connections between younger and older Spanish learners, and a great time was had by all! Click here to see some photos »

Taco Tasting Tour

In April, our students had the opportunity of going around Grand Rapids on a Taco Tasting Tour. Students and professors visited 5 local taquerías and rated each based on the restaurant's ambiance, the cost of the tacos, the taco flavor and freshness, etc. It was a great way to interact with the Hispanic community in our city!

Chávez March

This spring, a couple dozen Calvin students participated as flag-bearers in the annual César E. Chávez March for social justice in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The march commemorates and honors the late social activist and labor leader, César Chávez and promotes unity in the greater Grand Rapids community. Calvin students carried flags representing the United States, the United Farmer Workers Union (founded by César Chávez), and the Spanish-speaking countries of the Central and South America. The march was followed by a community gathering at Roosevelt Park CRC where speakers addressed the audience on the life and legacy of Chavez as well as this year’s topic, “Immigration Reform.” Click here to see photos from the day's events »

Student - Professor Research Opportunities

Student Brianne Dekker worked with Professors Marcie Pyper and Cynthia Slagter in the summer of 2013 on the continuation of their study on cultural engagement and language acquisition in the Spanish study abroad programs. They initially began this project with Katie Van Zanen during the summer of 2012.

Also during the summer of 2012, Julie Busscher (pictured below) helped Professor Marilyn Bierling continue her work started with Elena Brubaker on her research of the connections between Cuban refugees and the Christian Reformed Church. 

In the past, former student Megan DeMaagd worked with Spanish Professor Ed Miller on a research project involving the Afro-Hispanic Newspapers of Argentina and Uruguay. Student Jessica Koranda also worked on this project during the summer of 2014.

Additionally, Elise Ditta worked with off-campus director Don DeGraff and Spanish Professor Cynthia Slagter to do some research on the long-term impact of studying abroad.

All these students were able to partner with professors through the McGregor Summer Research Fellowship Program.