Famous non-Hispanic people that have studied Spanish

Spanish is one of the most popular choices for the study of a second language. Take a look at some famous people that have studied Spanish and discover how they learned the language, as well as how they use it in their lives.

gwyneth-paltrow- image by www.zap2it.comGwyneth Paltrow

While still a teenager, the Hollywood actress spent a year studying Spanish in Talavera de la Reina, in the province of Toledo. She has claimed that it was a life-changing experience and that she fell in love with the country and the lifestyle. She has kept in touch with her host family even to this day, and visits every single year.

Paltrow uses her Spanish skills in her line of work: she had a guest role on the American TV series Glee, playing a Spanish teacher (a role for which she won an Emmy), and also stars alongside Spanish actor Antonio Banderas in the film ‘33 días’, due to premiere this year. She also created a Spanish version of her famous lifestyle blog, goop.com.

Ben Affleck
Affleck spent a year living in Mexico as a teenager, during which he picked up the language. He gives press interviews and promotes his films in Spanish, and can be seen speaking it in films Argo and Runner Runner. He has spoken about his desire to film a movie completely in Spanish.

Freddie Highmore
The star of Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory studied Spanish at the University of Cambridge, spending his year abroad in Madrid. Although he has yet to showcase his Spanish skills on-screen, he has given interviews in Spanish.

Matt Damonmatt damon- image by en.wikipedia.org
Damon studied Spanish as a teenager in Mexico and Guatemala. He has stated that he took a language course, staying with a host family to ensure a more immersive experience, and then after several weeks, having gained enough confidence speaking the language, backpacked through the countries. Now married to an Argentinean, he has also expressed a desire to act in a Spanish film.

Jimmy Carter
The former US president studied Spanish at the United States Naval Academy. He occasionally spoke Spanish during his political career, for example during TV advertisements for his campaign. He also gave speeches in the language whilst in Latin American countries.

Inspired by this list? At UniSpain, we can offer you the chance to study Spanish in cities all over the country! You can stay with a host family, as some of the famous people mentioned above did, or we can offer apartments or student residences. Those on a gap year might want to consider Matt Damon’s example- combining a Spanish course with travel in Spain or in Latin American countries is the perfect mix of learning and adventure which will help you to make the most out of your break from education.

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