About the Department

The study of languages is considered the foundation of a well-rounded education. The language programs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney open the door to advanced study in the arts and sciences and prepares you for a rich personal and professional life in a diverse, interconnected world. Research shows many academic, cognitive, and cultural benefits to learning a second language. Advanced bilingual language skills are highly valued in today’s competitive job market, and are often a requirement for top-level employment.

We offer a variety of majors, minors, and teaching endorsements, as well as an online Master’s degree in Spanish Education. We also facilitate Experiential Learning opportunities like language tables, study abroad, and professional internships.

As language educators, we want you to experience the transformative power of language study. You will visit new places, discover new cultures, new modes of thinking, new ways of being yourself, and have a lot of fun along the way. Join us!

You are welcome to contact any of the faculty. For general inquiries please contact Jonathan Dettman or Cherie DeFreece.

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Jamie Vargas

"I graduated from UNK in Spring of 2019 with a degree in Spanish Interpreting and Translating—along with a minor in music. I believe UNK prepared me quite well for my job by giving me the opportunity to choose what I wanted to do for my internship and independent studies. Studying abroad through UNK was another benefit to me. Not only did I speak with and learn from native speakers in Costa Rica, but I also found that studying abroad forced me (in a good way) to be tough and independent."

Jamie Vargas

Spanish Interpreting and Translating

Beyond the Classroom

Through student organizations, scholarships, and study abroad programs, the UNK Modern Languages Department has many opportunities for its students to get involved and grow in their experiences and becoming well-versed in cultural diversity.
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Student Organizations

  • Alpha Mu Gamma (Foreign Language Honor Society) Alpha Mu Gamma is the oldest and largest national collegiate foreign language honor society in the United States. If you have received an "A" in two or more college language classes, you may be eligible for membership.
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Experiential Learning

Take your language learning beyond the classroom! We offer numerous opportunities, including:

  • Study Abroad in Europe or Latin America, where total linguistic and cultural immersion will take your skills to the next level.
  • Language Tables Join other students for informal conversation at our language tables.
  • Internships Develop your interpretation skills by working as an intern in a bilingual workplace.
  • Translation Team up with professors and classmates to translate documents for organizations like the YMCA, the Nebraska Safety Center, YRTC, and local businesses.
  • Tutor Work as a tutor or with a teacher in a K-12 classroom to transform yourself into a language teacher.