La Casa Hispánica, officially known as Harvey House or Spanish House, is a themed-based residence hall on the Oberlin College campus for students interested in learning and speaking Spanish. This residence hall is closely connected with the Hispanic studies and Latin American studies departments and other related programs.
If you are looking for a place to practice and improve your Spanish, La Casa Hispánica is the place for you.
We encourage Latin American studies and Hispanic studies majors to live in La Casa Hispánica, where Spanish is spoken regularly and where they can plan and participate in extracurricular activities related to Latin America, Spain, and Latin@ culture. You can enhance your studies, practice your language skills, and increase your cultural knowledge through the varied academic and cultural offerings. These programs often include lectures, art exhibits, and exciting musical, dance, and theater groups from the region. Many of these activities take place in La Casa Hispánica.
Although La Casa acknowledges the multilingual and multicultural composition of Latin America, Spain, and the United States, in practice, most events at La Casa are conducted in Spanish, with occasional events organized in English. Most activities are open to the campus and larger Oberlin community.
How is La Casa Hispánica different from other spaces?
La Casa is a Spanish immersion environment. Students who choose to reside here have the opportunity to interact daily and converse in Spanish. Our residents communicate in Spanish in La Casa’s common spaces during formal and informal events such as guest lectures, concerts, debates, birthday parties, special meals, or just hanging out.
Who else lives at La Casa?
One faculty-in-residence and two teaching assistants live in Harvey House, with one resident assistant to supervise the students and help them plan activities and progress with their language skills. Each year, about 30 students live in the residence hall. This community, though small, is passionate about the Spanish language and all that comes with it.
It’s not all about the language …
At La Casa, one of our goals is to promote a cross-cultural exchange that engages all of the Oberlin community. In addition to the activities organized by the academic department, each resident is expected to organize, either individually or as part of a group, at least one cultural, academic, or social activity related to Latin American, Spanish, or Latin@ communities and cultures. The event may be conducted in English or Spanish.
Residents may also practice their oral skills in Spanish during lunch at El Rincón Latino in Stevenson Dining Hall. This space is reserved for students, faculty, and staff to talk and hang out during meals.
If you think you want to live for a time in La Casa Hispánica, you must complete an application, available through the Office of Residential Education. You also must be able to speak some Spanish. Whether novice or fluent, a resident or student visitor, all are welcome at La Casa Hispánica.
Photo credit: Dale Preston ’83, Kevin Reeves, Gary Cohen ’11