The Spanish House is an academic Theme House, located in Newport House, on the Amherst College campus, which can accommodate about fifteen students plus three Spanish language assistants. It is chartered by the College Council, governed by the faculty of the Spanish Department, and administered by the Office of Residential Life. In addition to the Spanish House, Newport House also hosts La Casa: Latinx Culture House.
The primary purpose of the Spanish House is to provide its residents with a supportive and enthusiastic environment that encourages and facilitates the exchange of the Spanish language, and promotes the Hispanic culture. The House also seeks to enrich the life of the campus by serving as a forum in which all Spanish-speakers at Amherst can engage in activities that are conducted in Spanish and are related to Hispanic culture.
Residence in the Spanish House is open to full-time Amherst College students in their second, third and fourth year who are actively engaged in Spanish Department courses at Amherst College, speak the language fluently or are native speakers. Because the primary aim of the House is to create more opportunities for its residents to practice Spanish, and because residents need to be able to function at a certain level of competency in order to be able to carry on conversations with each other, proficiency in Spanish must be at least equal to two semesters of college-level. Students who do not have an intermediate level in Spanish are not eligible for residence in the House.
Residents of the Spanish House are expected to speak Spanish among themselves as much as possible according to their level of proficiency in the language. Spanish language assistants, native speakers, and advanced language students should take the initiative to uphold the purpose of the house and encourage residents who are less confident about their Spanish language skills. Residents are also expected to attend La Tertulia, which is a weekly informal gathering to speak Spanish in a relaxed setting, learn more about Hispanic culture, and meet students of all levels, Spanish House residents, Spanish language assistants, faculty, staff and community members.
Students interested in learning more about Spanish House are encouraged to read the Spanish House Constitution, and to attend the Open House event to meet residents, view the house, and ask questions. Open House event usually takes place in mid-February, during the application period. Specific date and time will be provided in early February.