Spanish is a global language spoken by nearly 500 million in 5 continents - the second most widely spoken language by native speakers. It is an official language in Europe (Spain), South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay), Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama), the Caribbean (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico), North America (Mexico), Africa (Equatorial Guinea, Western Sahara). It is a minority language in the Philippines and the Pacific (Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Mariana Islands and Palau). It is the second language in the USA, with some 45 million speakers and large Spanish-language populations in New York, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida. Spanish is the language of more than 100,000 Australians.
Spanish is an official language of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Organisation of American States, the Organisation of Ibero-American States, the African Union, the Union of South American Nations, the Latin Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Antarctic Treaty. The Spanish language is regulated by the Association of Spanish Language Academies, which includes national academies from 22 countries - the oldest (Spain) founded in 1713, the most recent (USA) established in 1973.
The Spanish and Latin American studies program at The University of Melbourne offers language options at all levels together with a growing number of cultural studies subjects in areas as diverse as literature (from Don Quixote to contemporary classics), cinema, popular culture, food studies, gender studies, and area studies in both European and Latin American studies. The program has agreements with prestigious universities in Spain and Latin America, which allow students to undertake exchange and study abroad options as part of their Spanish studies. The program also runs a highly popular program of research and cultural events, including an annual Latin American Film Festival (in collaboration with Latin American embassies), a Public Lecture program (in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes), an Spanish Research Day (in collaboration with other universities in Melbourne), and a series of podcast interviews (Conversaciones en Melbourne).