Hannah Huthmaker knew that she wanted to study abroad in Spain since her freshman year. She began her career at Heidelberg as a biology-Spanish double major, working closely with Julie Arnold (now retired) and Dr. Lepeley to make her future trip a reality.
When she decided to change majors to biochemistry her sophomore year, all of those plans were shared with her new professors at the get-go. Just like Hannah, her professors were determined to see her finish her Spanish major abroad. So with more careful planning, help and diligence, Hannah finished her biochemistry major this past Christmas – clearing the way for her fly across the Atlantic, and immerse herself in the culture of Sevilla.
The program in Sevilla was the best fit for Hannah’s skill level, and it didn’t hurt that “you can get to the beach in an hour,” Hannah shared. During her final semester of undergrad, she took courses in Spanish Language, Spanish Society, Spanish-American Literature and the Psychology of Learning a Second Language. “It was a lot of fun,” Hannah explained. “My favorite part was that everything was taught in Spanish.” As part of her program, the class visited Granada, home to the Alhambra. The Alhambra is an Islamic monument and palace, containing centuries of history and culture – and Hannah was thrilled to be able to observe and learn about it in person.
As fun as the coursework was, Hannah was quick to find fun beyond the classroom. She and three friends in the program joined her on a weekend trip to London, where they visited 16 places in a day, countless museums and the Sky Garden. She visited Morocco for a weekend, and when friends came to visit her, they traveled to Italy.
But for Hannah, weekend ventures were not nearly as satisfying as the simple moments of life in Spain. Although she’s too humble to claim fluency, she admits she “got close” to being fluent in Spanish through her trip – and was able to enjoy reading the Spanish books she bought while she was there. She won’t soon forget the joy of watching the sunset with friends and reading books in the language she loves. “I could live there forever,” she said, reflecting on one such moment.
Forever may not be so far away. This month, Hannah will be celebrating earning her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and Spanish. From here, she is headed to the University of North Dakota for a biomedical sciences graduate program. In anticipation of completing that program, Hannah has already begun looking for doctoral programs in Spain, where she hopes to teach and live happily in a world that is simply maravilloso.