I’m fortunate enough to be spending my fall semester in Madrid, Spain through SMU Abroad!

I'm lucky enough to be studying abroad with some friends from SMU; this is us at Oktoberfest!

As a Spanish and International Studies double major, I’ve had the most incredible experience so far practicing the language with my host family and traveling inside and outside of Spain. Even though I’m missing SMU life, I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything! There’s so much to learn about the world and all of the cultures within it, and it’s so awesome that SMU allows its students opportunities like this.

I spent this weekend in Munich, Germany for the authentic Oktoberfest and it was absolutely incredible. We spent our first day in the city of Munich itself, which is absolutely beautiful with its vibrant yet quaint city square and Disney-esque architecture. Don’t even get me started on the food. I probably ate my weight in pretzels, sausage, and strudel and it was wonderful. We also took a short train to Salzburg, Austria for dinner Friday night. However, one of the most interesting parts of being in Europe at this particular time is witnessing the current refugee crisis firsthand. We had a late train back to Munich that night which was actually canceled due to the refugee influx, as were all other trains back into Germany. After much frustration and slight panic, we got a hotel room for the night and somehow found a way to get back to Munich on a bus leaving at 5:30am.

It’s safe to say we got minimal sleep this weekend, but it was definitely an experience and the Oktoberfest was one of the most amazing events I’ve ever attended. I like to describe it as the State Fair of Texas on steroids with its carnival rides, authentic German food stands, and thousands upon thousands of people. I’m so humbled by the experiences I’m able to have through SMU Abroad and can’t wait to be back in Dallas for the spring semester!

-Nadine Kakish