Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Tips for a Successful Semester Abroad

Olivia is a senior Hunt Scholar majoring in Film and Media Arts, English and Spanish. She studied abroad with SMU-in-Paris and SMU-in-Oxford during summer 2012, followed by a fall semester in Madrid with the SMU-in-Spain program. Her love for travel took her abroad again in the summer of 2013, during which she worked in London for three months. As she prepares to graduate, Olivia is pursuing academic and employment opportunities abroad.

2014-02-17T10:57:56+00:00 February 14th, 2014|Olivia Abroad|


For the end of core course week, we journeyed to Sweden to see how a country similar to Denmark approaches immigration. Highlights from Sweden: -Exploring Malmö   -Visit to Ögardsskolan & Mosque in Malmö. The mosque is also a Muslim school.   -Visit to the Lindingsplan ghetto. Here we learned about one of the integration programs. -The cutest Bread and Breakfast place with the sweetest staff   -Exploring Gothenburg   -Visit with the Sweden Democrats Political Party. This was one of my favorite visits in Sweden. The Sweden Democrats want to limit immigration to Sweden. Our group did not hold back asking the representatives difficult questions. It was a very interesting session. -Visit to the Museum of World Culture. -Watching Yallahrup Færgeby with [...]

2014-02-13T16:55:15+00:00 February 13th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Adventure on the Equator

An update from Dr. Tom Tunks, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the RC 3 Community: My wife, Jeanne, and I had an outstanding adventure last month in Quito, Ecuador; it foreshadowed the kinds of things we will enjoy doing with members of our residential community starting in the fall. Not that we will be going to Ecuador with the RC, but living with, and doing things with students completely outside a class setting is something we’re looking forward to. The adventure was an Alternative Break trip sponsored by SMU. A group of nine students and the two of us spent about a week in Quito working with the children of people who are vendors in the various markets around the [...]

2014-02-12T11:06:12+00:00 February 12th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Diversity and The RC System

An update from Meaghan, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student triple majoring in Environmental Science with an Earth Science emphasis, Geology, and Chemistry, while triple minoring in Math, English, and Environmental Engineering: Diversity. It’s a word we use a lot when talking about the Residential Commons system, but what does it really mean to the future of SMU? There are a lot of ways a community can be diverse. Besides those more commonly referred to – race, ethnicity, major, hometown – there’s also talent, sexual identity, sexual orientation, music genre preference, favorite movie, favorite subject in school….well, you get the picture. Like many things at SMU, diversity isn’t just one thing or the other. Rather, it’s a [...]

2014-02-12T11:03:41+00:00 February 12th, 2014|Residential Commons Leadership Corps|

My Reflections

An update from Dr. Mark Kerins, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Morrison-McGinnis Residential Community: As I’m writing this, we’re in the middle of a rare Dallas snowstorm and the roads have been pretty bad – I have to say, right now I’m really wishing I was already on campus and didn’t have to brave the crazy Dallas drivers to get to and from work. So as you might guess from the previous sentence, I am not yet living in a dorm (or a Residential Commons, as they’ll all become next year), which makes me a little different from the past writers on this blog. I think all the posts thus far have been from colleagues who are already living [...]

2014-02-10T09:47:16+00:00 February 10th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Core Course Week

It is core course week, which means we spend the whole week with our core course in the classroom, on field study tours, and a weekend trip! In my core course, Cultural Diversity and Social Capital, we have been focusing on immigration in Denmark. Denmark is known for being a homogenous country (ethnically, religiously, culturally, etc.), and for its welfare state where Danes pay high taxes but receive many benefits. In recent years, immigration to Denmark has increased, especially from non-Western countries, where the culture is very different. The question we are exploring is whether immigrants and the cultural diversity that they bring threaten the nation and welfare state of Denmark. Why might immigrants threaten the nation state of Denmark? [...]

2014-02-13T16:53:38+00:00 February 5th, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

Happy Australia Day, Mate!

An update from Dr. Robert Krout, Faculty in Residence (FiR) for the Mary Hay/Peyton Residential Community: Australia Day is a national holiday down under and held each year on January 26. One Australian historian observed that the event has traditionally been celebrated with “merriment.” Despite its colonial associations, the occasion is still held on the day when Europeans first founded (conquered/invaded, really) the colony of New South Wales on January 26, 1788, the beginnings of what is now Sydney. Even today the event is celebrated with tall ships coming to Sydney Harbour followed by a grand array of evening fireworks. We celebrated Australia Day in my FiR apartment on the day, with food prepared by Visiting Professor of Music History [...]

2014-02-05T10:34:09+00:00 February 5th, 2014|SMU Faculty in Residence|

Community Starts Here

An update from Tien, a member of the Residential Commons Leadership Corps and a second-year student majoring in advertising and public relations:  To all of our active readers, thank you so much for joining us on our journey towards retiring the current residential system and bringing in Residential Commons. I know for some, this will be a tough change. For others, this is the change they have been waiting for. Nobody really knows how things are going to play out and which traditions are going to stick and which aren't, but it's important to remember that Residential Commons will only work if we all put effort towards making it a legacy. Let's make this a tradition that SMU students, faculty, and alumnae [...]

2014-02-04T13:59:00+00:00 February 4th, 2014|Residential Commons Leadership Corps|

Student Network Event

This weekend there was a network event where all of the homestays or students living in the folkehøjskole (A unique Danish learning and living school where students do not receive grades but “education for life”) in the northern area of Greater Copenhagen got together. There were icebreakers, bonding, and best of all, delicious homemade food! The event was a potluck lunch so we made many different types of smørrebrod. We were told there was also going to be a cake contest so my host family and I made a homemade cake, called a summer cake. Everything in the summer cake from the cream to the meringue was homemade! Our hard work payed off and we won the cake contest! [...]

2014-02-13T16:50:08+00:00 February 3rd, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|

A Walk Through Helsingør

Today Ainsley, my host mother, Mette, and I went on a walk through Helsingør. As we walked, Mette told us about different buildings and sites. The Little Mermaid is a famous sculpture in Copenhagen of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale and is a symbol of Denmark. In Helsingør, lies The Little Boy, a sculpture very similar to The Little Mermaid, but of a boy with legs. We had fun taking selfies and pictures through the reflective skin of the sculpture.

2014-02-13T16:48:57+00:00 February 1st, 2014|Lisa in Denmark|
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