• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study

Foreign Languages and Cultures


Ripon College offers a major in foreign languages and cultures. The major enables a student to compare the structure and function of three different languages. With a focus on the breadth of applied skills and linguistic analysis, it differs from the traditional major of a single language where textual analysis, literary history and cultural concepts are studied in considerable depth.

Ripon College offers a major and minor in Spanish and minors in Classical Studies and Ancient, Renaissance, and Medieval Studies. In addition, classes are offered in French, German, Greek, and Latin.

Program Spotlight


Dominique Poncelet
Eddie R. Lowry, Jr.

Eddie Lowry Jr.

Professor of Greek, Professor of Latin, Marie Zarwell Uihlein Chair in Classical Studies

[email protected]
Geoff Guevara-Geer

Geoff Guevara-Geer

Associate Professor of Spanish

[email protected]
Jean-Blaise Samou

Jean-Blaise Samou

Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies

[email protected]
Timothy Reed

Timothy Reed

Associate Professor of Spanish, Chair of the Foreign Languages and Cultures Department

[email protected]


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

Foreign language study can lead to careers in a variety of areas, including: government, industry and commerce, travel and tourism, interpretation/translation, service, education, arts, media and entertainment.

Some French, Latin and Spanish graduates from Ripon College have gone on to graduate work in their languages, including Amanda McDonald, a Ph.D. student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Others have continued their studies in other fields: Lucy Burgchardt ’10 received a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in England and is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Theresa Kedinger ’10, is studying nonprofit management at Marquette; Katy Heng ’10 is working on a graduate degree in international relations; Cassondra Meyer ’10 and Rachel Resop ’08 are in medical school; Tanya Garret ’06 earned a graduate degree in public policy; James Hein ’08 earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary; and Shanna Bude ’10 has earned a master’s degree from Garrett Theological Seminar. Larry Honaker ’11 and Elizabeth Knauz ’10 are teaching English in France.

Those heading directly into the workforce have taken many directions, including teaching, the law, accounting, law enforcement, business, biochemistry, cancer biology, theology, and ; and careers as chemists, publicists, college administrators.

Off-Campus Study

For those who study French, Ripon College sponsors semester- and year-long study abroad experiences in Paris and in Montpellier, a smaller town in southern France. During these trips, students live with French families while taking university courses. Those students who study Spanish may choose from study abroad programs in Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Alicante, Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil.

Ripon College’s Bonn program assists students, regardless of their academic majors, in understanding Germany and its culture. Students with sufficient language skills can take courses in almost any field, while those who need it receive intensive training in German. Students may enroll for either one semester or for a full-year program. In either case, Bonn University’s Akademisches Auslandsamt ensures that they are fully integrated into university life. Ripon College’s International Study Program at Bonn is not your ordinary German program; you won’t be hanging out with a bunch of Americans taking American courses. But as Amy Letcher ’99 says, “It was the best time of my life. Not only did I learn to travel and become independent, I also learned German and made many wonderful friends.”

College faculty members regularly lead Liberal Arts In Focus study and other travel experiences, including recent trips to Castilla and León (Spain) in 2011 and Barcelona and neighboring sites in 2010.

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.