Alumni Advice

To get in touch with any of the alumni listed below click here.

To submit your advice for current students, email languages@westmont.edu.

Don’t just minor, dual major in Spanish, it’s not that hard. Study abroad and stay there as long as possible. While there, don’t make friends with the other Americans, just hang out with coffee shop owners, bartenders, local students…anyone that likes to talk and doesn’t speak English. Focus on perfection and one day you will find your mind all of a sudden works in Spanish and the pluscuamperfecto is just part of your life! You’ll know it was all worth it when you hear your 2 year old son yell “Venga Daddy! Come here.”
Jason Darrow, 1996

Spend as much time studying abroad as you can! Spend time abroad long-term (beyond a semester) and immerse, immerse, immerse yourself in the language and culture. There are lots of opportunities even here in Santa Barbara!
Lindsay Bailey, 1999

Study abroad!! Listen to music & read in Spanish.
Ryan Giusta, 1998

A liberal arts education with a Modern Language focus will prepare you for the world of business.
Michael Sheffey, 1993

Enjoy learning a language.
Carrie Steele, 1997

Live life to the fullest, and do what you most want to do now, and don’t worry about what anyone says. Be ready to deal with the consequences, though, look to the future, dwell on present.
Bryan Benson, 1997

Be flexible after graduating to God’s direction - it may be something unfathomable right now and will definately be extremely fulfilling!
Kari Opp, 1995

A major isn’t a life commitment - neither is your 1st, 2nd, or 10th job out of college! But English/Modern Language is a perfect starting point. All of my employers - past & present - have been impressed with my college resume from Westmont.
Alisa Hagerty, 1995

Take advantage of your semester abroad to really focus on the language…It is very easy to get distracted by hanging out with American students. Try to make as many native friends as possible; they will introduce you to the culture and language in ways that you will never find in a classroom.
Wendy Decker, 1996

Study abroad for at least 6 months to a year. Hang with the locals.
Staci Duncan, 1996

Studying abroad through my Westmont Spanish major really helped me understand what it’s like to be a foreigner and to empathize with the immigrant experience. I highly recommend that everyone spend at least one semester overseas, if not a year. I spent two semesters in Seville, Spain and a summer volunteering in Central America. The experiences have been invaluable in my life.
Leslie Faulkner, 1997

Do as much study abroad as possible - 1 year. Live with a native speaking family, practice orally with natives/locals.
Jen Gutierrez, 1997

I only got this job (and virtually every other job I had when I was teaching) because I am bilingual. (actually I wouldn’t have gotten it if I hadn’t been biligual. They also liked my other qualifications! Which are considerable - ho ho!) I preach and/or celebrate in Spanish at 12:00 every Sunday! Three fourths of our parishiones are Latins. I love it! VISITORS WELCOME!
Kathleen Farson West, 1977

Get some Spanish speaking friends and practice, hang out with them - travel!
Leslie Foster, 1998

Don’t complain too often, because Dr. Dr. is The BEST Language Teacher in the Country!
Tom Steller, 1994

Enjoy college and try to figure out what you want to do before you leave. But mostly it’s all about trusting in the Lord because things can change so rapidly.
Kara Zuzunaga, 1999

Travel!
Aileen Carroll, 1999

Be patient with your current rate of progress and never give up.
Colleen Howell, 1999