Graduate Profile: Laura Riddering
Laura Riddering ’03 majored in Spanish because she felt it was important as a global citizen to know another language. She has been mastering the language—and the art of packing a suitcase—ever since.
“While working on a Spanish major at Alma, I was able to do a lot of traveling,” she says. “When I visited places like Ecuador and Mexico, I learned by seeing the world that exists outside of the classroom.”
Riddering, who also majored in biology, works in a local government office in Guatemala coordinating a sustainable community tourism project between many local non-profit organizations through the Peace Corps. When she’s not learning the local Mayan language, she uses her Spanish skills every day.
“Knowing Spanish has been a major asset in obtaining the jobs I’ve had,” she says. “Even if people do speak English almost everywhere, there is a lot more to gain by speaking the local language.”
But her love of linguistics doesn’t stop at Spanish. While working for an international non-profit organization in Switzerland, Riddering used the language acquisition skills she sharpened at Alma College to also become fluent in French.
“Studying Spanish as a major encourages all students to travel to one of the many Spanish-speaking countries in the world, which not only widens the horizons of the traveler but also allows Alma students to learn when the traveler returns,” she says.