Niki CarenzaThis past August I got to study Business Law and Outdoor Adventures at SMU’s second campus in Taos, New Mexico and it was absolutely one of my favorite SMU experiences so far! Our campus is about 20 minutes outside the town of Taos and is entirely SMU students and faculty living and learning on campus. Courses offered range from business to anthropology to biology. Every day, students are in class from 9 am until noon. Afternoons free to explore all Taos has to offer! We have hiking trails right on campus and tons of other trails just minutes away that can take you up the neighboring mountains and show you absolutely breathtaking views. Living in the beautiful mountains of Taos provided the perfect opportunity for going on a hike and getting lost in nature! In my  outdoor adventure sports class, we got to go hiking during the week and on the weekends we got to go rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, and horseback riding.

Another awesome part of studying in Taos was experiencing the local community. Every teacher made sure to take field trips to expose us to the local culture through visits to the local Native American pueblo, a sustainable living community called Earthships, and the Taos Ski Valley. Taos is a fun and funky little town with lots of art and music shops to explore, as well as some incredible restaurants that impressed us – even coming from all the delicious restaurants in Dallas! Taos locals rely on chile peppers in their cooking and it didn’t take us long at all to embrace their style of southwest cooking (even if Dallas Tex Mex will always hold #1 in our hearts!). Overall, the best and most memorable part of Taos was the instant community we all formed being on the smaller campus together and all the days and nights spent exploring Taos and enjoying everything it had to offer!

-Niki Carenza