Academics SMU Abroad Travel

Studying Abroad at SMU

Hey, y’all! My name is Jake Greene and I am a sophomore studying Finance and Markets & Culture. I am originally from Austin, Texas, but I am currently living in Richmond, Virginia with my family.

SMU is lucky to have a great Study Abroad office that encourages students to expand their horizons and take classes outside of Dallas. Students can pick from summer or semester-long programs to take classes for their majors/minors or fulfill UC requirements. There are programs across the world – from yoga courses in Bali to language immersion programs in Spain. Pick a place, and SMU can help you make it reality.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to study at University College (the oldest of the 39 colleges in the University of Oxford) for five weeks through the SMU-in-Oxford program. It was one of the highlights of my SMU experience, and I can’t help but think about a few things that I miss about England and the program.

The Classes

I took two classes on the University College campus – one class about European Diplomacy, and another about 18th Century England that was taught by a real Oxford professor. The classes were always interesting, as we took day trips to learn about history in the places where it actually happened (English landmarks like Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Westminster Abbey). Because of this unique class structure, I was able to develop closer bonds with my professors and better understand the material.

The Culture

Whether it be for a few weeks or a full semester, studying abroad allows you to become immersed in a new culture. By the end of the five weeks, I realized that I wasn’t just an American tourist in Europe – I was a real Oxford student. I knew the best study spots, I had a favorite grocery store, and the guy at the kebab shop even knew my order (shoutout to Ahmed). I still miss the English culture, and my experiences have inspired me to move abroad at some point in the future.

The Friends

Lastly, the incredible friendships that I made throughout the five weeks was one of the best parts about my time in England. We studied together, made memories in the Univ pub, and traveled on the weekends. Living together and studying abroad is a great bonding experience, and I am so glad that I was able to become friends with people that I still see at SMU.

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity. SMU students are World Changers, and studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to expand horizons and make unforgettable memories.

Pony up!

Academics SMU Abroad

My Semester Abroad in Copenhagen

One of the factors that drew me to SMU was the vast amount of opportunities to study abroad. I’ve always known that I wanted to study abroad at some point, but I was never sure where I wanted to go or for how long. After my freshman year, I had met friends who had studied all over the globe for as short as three-week programs all the way to programs that lasted a whole year! The program that continuously stood out to me was DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad), in Copenhagen, Denmark. The program drew a mixture of students from universities across America, offering classes that transferred for credit in nearly every major.

The spring semester of my junior year, I flew across the world to Copenhagen, my home for the next four months. I lived in an apartment with eight other students from all different universities whom I became friends with instantly! I also become friends with several other students from SMU that I didn’t know prior to going abroad. Immersing myself in Danish culture was the best part of living abroad, I experienced so much more than I could have possibly imagined in just four short months.

Every morning I rode my bike to class, which is by far the most common way to commute in Denmark. At school, I was able to complete my European Studies minor; some of the classes I took were Terrorism & Counterterrorism From a European Perspective, Danish Politics & Society, and The Holocaust & Genocide. My counterterrorism class traveled to London for a week where we met with a counterterrorism think-tank, a renown BBC reporter and other influential people within the political sphere. The classes I took abroad were the most interesting courses I have ever taken, largely in part because DIS enables students to use Europe as their classroom.

Between classes I studied in the coziest coffee shops known to man, browsed the cobblestone streets of the inner city and people watched with friends. On the weekends I managed to check a couple cities off my bucket list… London, Hamburg, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam, Budapest, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Dublin, Rome, Florence, Venice, Stockholm, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona and Munich to name a few.

While studying abroad I learned more about myself in four months, than I have my entire life. SMU is my home, but if I can give one piece of advice to a student, no matter where they go to school, it would be to abroad. Rachel Wolchin said,  “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” If not now, when? Just go.

Julia Traylor

SMU Abroad

The Benefits of Studying Abroad

kaleb-leeThis past semester, I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia at the University of Sydney. This was my third abroad experience and I could not have had a more enjoyable time. I lived in Newtown, Sydney right off of campus and was taking classes on Australian culture. I learned how to surf on Bondi Beach, ate tons of kangaroos and spent many afternoons by the Sydney Opera House. While living in Sydney, I traveled to Melbourne, Thailand, the Whitsundays, Singapore, Cambodia, and Indonesia. I joined a competitive lifting team and competed in an Australian fitness competition called “F45”.

I left Australia in May to travel to South America for an internship with an MBB consulting firm in Bogota, Colombia. I stayed in Colombia over three months before returning to Dallas in late August. These past few months were absolutely incredible and I encourage every student to go abroad, not just once… but as many times as possible. Living outside of America is the one of the greatest learning opportunities an SMU partake in and I definitely consider my experiences in Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Sydney and Bogota to be the highlight of my college career.

-Kaleb Lee

Academics SMU Abroad

Abroad in Copenhagen

10-16-nikki-carenzaHello prospective Mustangs! I can’t believe I’m writing my first blog as a senior here at SMU – The time has flown by way too quickly and I’m so sad I’ll be leaving the Hilltop in just a few short months. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all about my wonderful experience studying abroad this past semester (Spring 2016) in Copenhagen, Denmark. As everyone who goes abroad says, this experience completely shaped me as an SMU student event though I was thousands of miles away from Dallas.

During my time in Copenhagen, I had the opportunity to take classes that completed my Environmental Studies major: Sustainable Development in Northern Europe, Renewable Energy Systems, and Business Strategies in Green Industries. I would honestly say this experience was unbelievable because every day in class involved something new and exciting whether we were going to climb a wind turbine or visiting a wastewater treatment facility. My semester was jam packed with weekend trips to Scotland, Germany, Greece, and more, which made the time I was away fly by.

For me, the best part of my abroad experience was being exposed to so many new cultures and types of people. I traveled all across Europe and some of my favorite memories are just wandering the streets of cities soaking in the unique vibes of each one. Whether it was eating baked feta overlooking the Aegean Sea in Santorini or drinking sangria on the beach in Barcelona, each place I went is so vivid in my mind and will forever be filled with unforgettable experiences.

All in all, I wouldn’t change one part of my abroad experience whatsoever from meeting all new friends in Copenhagen to even getting lost repeatedly on the metro system of Berlin. I will say that I did miss my friends and being on campus at SMU (my Einstein bagels withdrawal was very real) so I’m thrilled to be back for my last semester and celebrating with long walks on the Katy trail, Thursday nights at Homebar, and of course fall Boulevard season!

-Nikki Carenza

SMU Abroad


03.16 Nikki CarenzaHello from Denmark! I’m officially halfway through my semester abroad in Copenhagen and I can’t believe how quickly my days here are flying by. These past two months have been an absolute blur of meeting new friends (from Danes to Americans to Jamaicans!), travelling all over Europe with my sustainability classes, and even climbing a wind turbine with my professor! While I’m here in Copenhagen I’m taking incredibly interesting classes pertaining to both my Environmental Studies and Finance majors at SMU. One of the most fascinating aspects of my program is having the opportunity to meet other American students from all across the US and hear everyone’s unique opinions. Of course, studying abroad means tons of travel and already I’ve been to 6 different countries and been able to experience such a wide array of cultures! Having caught the foodie bug in my first two years in Dallas, one of the best parts of being in Europe is trying all of the different cuisines; I’ve tried everything from tapas and sangria in Spain to pretzels and authentic beer in Germany.

I’ve had the most incredible experience getting the opportunity to study sustainability here in Copenhagen, a city that is consistently ranked one of the greenest cities in the entire world! It’s awesome to go running through the city and look over and see wind turbines lining the shore. Another one of my favorite ways to see the city is taking my bike out and riding through the many different neighborhoods of the city, always finding something new and exciting going on (just like in Dallas!). I’m so grateful I’ve had this opportunity to see so many new parts of the world and get to work towards completing my SMU degree at the same time. I’m loving my days abroad but also looking forward to returning to the Hilltop for many more Boulevards and Dallas days in the fall!

-Nikki Carenza

Academics SMU Abroad

Pancakes and Tulips and Human Rights, Oh My!

My class, jet-lagged but excited after just landing in Amsterdam. (From left to right: Back row: Arya McCarthy, Marcus Pinon, Dr. David Doyle, Kenny Martin, Terisha Kolencherry, Daniel Muerhing, Sam Coday, Joseph Di Pane. Front Row: Tyrell Russell, Courtney Tibbetts, Angela Wang, Olivia Nguyen, myself, and Sara Jendrusch)
My class, jet-lagged but excited after just landing in Amsterdam.

Picture perfect windows in picture perfect canal houses lined with picture perfect flower boxes.

This is what I was lucky enough to experience over Spring Break thanks to SMU and the University Honors Program (UHP). No Destin or Breckinridge for this gal; two weeks ago, I left the United States for the first time, essentially on the Honors Program’s dime. Amsterdam was where I landed.

The trip was a component of the course, “Sexual Minorities and Human Rights,” a UHP course co-taught by a member of the French faculty, Professor Maxime Foerster (who also holds degrees in Gender Studies) and History professor Dr. David D. Doyle. A course designed to take an insightful look into the history of sexual minorities in the United States, Europe and Africa, “Sexual Minorities and Human Rights” is divided into three sections— one for each continent. The beginning of the European section of the course coincided with this midterm trip to what is sometimes called “the world’s most liberal city.”

03.16 Blair Betik 2
A classmate, Courtney Tibbetts, and I at Dam Central, where the city began.

Amsterdam is a dream. Under slightly cloudy skies I strolled on cobblestone, crossing bridges over the canals in the city, and ate the most delicious and buttery pancakes you could possibly imagine. I sniffed tulips at the Bloemenmarket, a stretch of the Singel Canal in the city center. Bicycle wheels spun wildly around me, the row houses stretched on for kilometers. The air was just brisk enough for my Texas bones to be reminded that winter had yet to begin.

It was almost utterly picturesque. But where the idyllic ended, the education began.

My classmates, professors, and I (a group of fourteen in total) were lucky enough to take on the Dutch perspective of the topics we had been discussing for seven weeks. On the topic of sexuality, we spent an entire evening in the Red Lights District, touring with former sex worker and current activist for sex worker’s rights, Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Center located directly behind the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam’s oldest building and church. It was incredibly eye-opening experience to gain insight into the legal practice of sex work in Holland.

Also in the realm of our gender and sexuality topics was a day trip out to Rotterdam, to visit a non-profit community center specifically for LGBT youth in the heart of that incredible urban hub. This center, called The Hangout 101, was founded by Gert-Jan Vanboom, a hilarious man who welcomed us with jokes and warmth, but also information on the role being LGBT plays in being both a Dutch citizen, and also being a refugee in the Netherlands. We dined and spoke with LGBT refugees to Holland from Egypt, Armenia, and Jamaica, who told us their personal stories of persecution and immigration.

For the Human Rights perspective of our course, our group was also lucky to experience The Hague, the political capital of Holland. The Peace Palace, where the Nuremberg Tribunal of Post-World War II was held, was one of our stops, as well as a unique location called Humanity House. This was an interactive experience, where visitors take on the role of refugee in a educational simulation. It was an incredibly humbling experience, to feel the fear and anxiety that comes with seeking asylum.

Back in Amsterdam, between incredible lectures and educational field trips and pancakes, we were able to a number of other excursions. I walked through the Anne Frank House and saw where she had spent so many months in hiding before her deportation to Auschwitz. The art history major in me was moved at the Rembrandt home, the Rijksmuseum, and most of all, the masterpiece of an institution that is the Van Gogh Museum.

My friends and I in front of the Rijksmuseum.
My friends and I in front of the Rijksmuseum.

I was so incredibly lucky to get to learn and explore in Europe this Spring Break through SMU’s University Honors Program, with some of SMU’s brightest students and most dedicated faculty. My heart feels as full as the stalls and stalls of tulip shops, bursting with color and energy, now that I’ve had such an eye-opening experience.

-Blair Betik

SMU Abroad


Courtney DamoreI’m currently sitting in the Innsbruck, Austria airport awaiting my flight back to Copenhagen, Denmark where I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past 4 months studying abroad. To answer the typical question, “Why Copenhagen?” I’ll be honest and say it was the one program that had course options for both my Environmental Studies and Marketing majors. It was also the city I knew the least about and that excited me!

Through my three months and counting abroad I can easily say “Cope,” as we like to call it, is one of my favorite European cities. The city is modern yet charming, exciting but safe, and most importantly filled with AMAZING restaurants! As a self-proclaimed foodie, I have made Copenhagen my palette’s playground.

My personal favorite? Paper Island. What is it? An upgraded food truck paradise. Located inside a refurbished warehouse along the harbor, Paper Island is filled with only the trendiest and tastiest eateries. From pulled pork sandwiches that melt in your mouth to double fried, duck fat French fries, this place has everything you need to satisfy your taste buds. As for my friends and I, you can find us there almost every Thursday evening trying new dishes and probably playing with a deck of cards. The atmosphere of Paper Island is warm and inviting, making it a great place to hang out and enjoy a tasty treat!

Another personal favorite of mine is Kalaset’s brunch. Situated just off the main train station, Kalaset is a quaint, little restaurant that is known for their amazing pancakes and deluxe hot chocolate. When the fall gloom gets to my head and I need a pick me up, Kalaset is the first place I go. Their fluffy blueberry pancakes have never let me down. They even home-make their own Nutella and jam!

Although Copenhagen food is top-notch, I would have to say my favorite thing about Denmark is the vibe of the city and it’s people. For the Danes, atmosphere is everything. They even came up with a special word for it, “Hygge”! Although there is no direct translation for it in English, hygge represents the feeling of coziness. Whether it means inside enjoying coffee with friends or bundled in blankets on the porch watching the rain, you find traces of hygge all throughout Denmark. As temperatures drop and winter settles in, candles and wool blankets are seen in every shop and eatery around the city. Though the weather may be cold and rainy some days, Copenhagen remains warm and inviting.

I try not to think about the fact that I leave for home in exactly one month, but I’m lucky in that my departure from Copenhagen will be bittersweet. The friendships and experiences I’ve had abroad are going to be hard to say goodbye to, but at the same time SMU spring semester is right around the corner!

-Courteney Damore


SMU Abroad

Heading Down Under

I am super excited about going abroad next semester! I will be studying at the University of Sydney in Australia! This will be my second time studying abroad. My freshmen year I studied abroad in Paris, France, Oxford, England and Cambridge, England. I loved my summer abroad and I knew I had to go abroad again! Next summer I will be interning in Brazil (Rio), so I decided Australia was the next place to go.

Picture From:
Picture From:
I will be leaving for Sydney in February 2016 and will be staying there until June. I plan on traveling quite a bit around the surrounding countries. I have already purchased tickets to Vietnam, Bali, Fiji, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand! Next semester is sure to be an adventure. I would love to pick up surfing while living in Sydney and I have to go hang-gliding in New Zealand.
The University of Sydney has a very prominent business school and it was super easy to get classes approved through SMU’s Cox School of Business as transfer credits. I will be taking a few accounting classes and cultural classes while in Sydney. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the endless plane ride.
More than 50% of SMU’s students study abroad during their undergraduate experience and I think it is vital in order to have an all-encompassing undergraduate experience. Because I am working in Rio next summer, I will not be back in the states until August so it will be a stretch. I could not be more excited, I guess all that’s left to do…. is pack!
-Kaleb Lee
SMU Abroad

The Next Best Hogwarts

In my perfect world, Hogwarts would exist. However, this is not a perfect world and as such, my dream of attending Hogwarts died when I was 11 and September 1st came and passed with no acknowledgement from Hogwarts. Quincy Schurr

Luckily, the next best thing to studying at Hogwarts is studying at Oxford. This past summer, I had the opportunity to study abroad at University College at Oxford University in England for five weeks as part of the SMU-in-Oxford program. This program invites about 40 SMU students to spend the second half of the summer exploring the charm and history of one of the oldest college towns in the world.

During this program I took two history classes. There is something to be said about studying history thousands of years older than the United States itself in the place in which those historical events actually took place. I was able to take one of my two classes from an SMU professor and another from an Oxford tutor so that I was really able to experience the cultural differences between education in the U.S. and in England.

Quincy Schurr 2From the quiet afternoons spent reading at Turl Street Kitchen, to walking around Christchurch Meadow, to seeing the entire town of Edinburgh spread out below me from the top of Arthur’s Seat, to seeing a performance of Measure for Measure at the famed Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, to eating Belgian waffles in Brussels, I can truly say that my experience abroad was one of the best. I know that most everyone who goes abroad says that, but my experience was truly amazing and I am so happy I made the choices I did.

Your abroad experience is what you make it. Had I not made the decision to leave my comfort zone, I would not have had such amazing experiences. I put my fears aside and took to traveling and exploring on my own. I got to travel to 4 different cities and took it upon myself to explore the museums and cultural sites that are in abundance in Oxford. I reached out and made new friends on the program – friends I don’t know if I would have met on campus otherwise – friends who still meet for a cup of tea in order to catch up and reminisce about our Oxford days.

Even though my Oxford education didn’t include learning how to cast spells or fly on a broomstick, my experience was more than magical. I would encourage everyone to take part in an SMU Abroad experience if they can. Whether or not you travel to Oxford, I know that the friendships I made and the learning that took place during those five weeks will last long beyond the attraction of the world of Harry Potter.

-Quincy Schurr


SMU Abroad

Oktoberfest in Munich

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


SMU Abroad Uncategorized

Time in England!

Coming into college, I knew that studying abroad was something I wanted to do during my undergraduate career. As a double major, however, I was worried that it was going to be impossible. Thankfully, SMU made it possible for me to go to London, England this past summer.

During the three months I was abroad, I took four classes, completed an internship, and conducted research on immigrants. I worked in the middle of Camden Town at a community center called Castlehaven where I did public relations and event planning. Each day for lunch I got to explore the infamous Camden Market—just a block away from Castlehaven. With over 700 shops and vendors, the market is one of London’s biggest and most eclectic. In light of missing Dallas’ Tex Mex, I often found myself at one of the Mexican food stands for a burrito. Austin Whittle

Beyond my internship, I had some amazing experiences in London such as going to Wimbledon, the London Pride Festival, and seeing Fleetwood Mac at the O2. From London, I also travelled to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and more. But now that I am back in America, I miss the things that became a significant part of my English lifestyle: the pubs, the high tea, and the front row seat of the double-decker Tube bus to work. Although I had some of the best times of my life abroad, it’s great to be back at the place that made such opportunities possible!

-Austin Whittle


Academics SMU Abroad

August Term in Taos

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

Academics SMU Abroad

SMU in Brussels

When I started my first semester at SMU, there were two things that topped my list of “Things I Must Accomplish In College.” Yes, I wanted to discover my career path and have the best four years of my life; but without exception, I was determined to study abroad and learn another language. Thanks to the French Department here at SMU, I’m currently spending a semester in Brussels, Belgium and having the best experience of my life.

Here in Brussels, I’m a student with a program called Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE). Available in Brussels, Paris, and Strasbourg, IFE is a fairly small program that focuses on cultural integration, and fortunately for me, it also has a great relationship with the French Department here at SMU. This semester-long program consists of 5 weeks of courses that are all taught in French, one week of vacation time to travel, and then an interest-specific internship that continues until the end of the semester. Each student is also required to write a 30 page research paper in French which, contrary to my initial belief, is actually much more fun (did I just say “fun” with “research paper?”) than it might sound. I’m currently half-way finished with my internship with the Brussels branch of the International Federation for Human Rights where I work with communications between human rights organizations and the European Union.

Outside of the Belgian Federal Parliament (I'm second row, on the right)
Outside of Parliament (I’m second row, on the right)

Throughout the 3 months that I’ve spent in Europe, I’ve visited 7 countries, immensely improved my second language of French only to begin to learn another (Dutch), and eaten more Belgian waffles and fries than I care to admit. Aside from the numbers, however, I’ve learned more about myself and the world than I ever thought possible. I’ve always known that studying abroad would be an incredible experience, but I never expected it to change me as much as it has.

Even though I often find myself missing Dallas Hall Lawn and the incredible people that I left at SMU, I’m always grateful for this opportunity that SMU has provided for me. Aside from receiving academic credits from the other side of the world, I’m receiving an experience of a lifetime that I know will help me change the world.

By Katie Maiers

Ambassadors Life Around Dallas SMU Abroad

A Semester in Spain: Food I Already Crave

For those of you wanting to study abroad sometime during your four years in college, this one’s for you. Last semester I was fortunate enough to study in Madrid, Spain, through SMU-in-Madrid. Since returning back to SMU and being reunited with all of my friends, the first question I am obviously asked is, “How was abroad?” This question, although seemingly simple is actually hard to answer. It is difficult to answer because it is nearly impossible to convey with words how much I loved living in Spain for four months. Since to cover all of my experiences would take novels of great length, I will simply highlight the one universal that transcends any and all language barriers: food.
IMG_8341 The food in Spain was absolutely incredible. As instructed by our teachers and program administrators, I tried everything that was placed in front of me. Some of these things I will just keep in my memory (like “gulas,” basically fish in the form of spaghetti), while others I will continue to eat (like rabbit). Overall though, I loved the food. One of my favorite foods in Spain was the “jamón,” or in English, ham. But the jamón in Spain is by far superior to any ham we have in America. There are several types, ranging in price and quality, from Jamón Ibérico to Jamón Serrano. But regardless of the type or price, it is all cut fresh to order from the actual leg of the pig. It is paper thin, smooth, salty, and just absolutely amazing. If you see it on any menu, I highly suggest ordering it.

In addition to jamón being an integral part of the culture in Spain, tapas are another cultural aspect of Spain one is bound to encounter when there. Basically tapas are small plates to be shared among two to four people. The Spaniards spend a lot of time outside the home, as socializing over tapas is a tradition that dates back to the 13th century. One of my favorite tapas dishes is called “Patatas Bravas.” This dish is basically a mini pile of fried potatoes sliced into wedges, with a spicy red “salsa” (sauce) and a traditional aioli. It’s absolutely delicious and I recommend trying it. My other favorite tapas dish is “croquetas.” Croquetas are basically a compilation of potatoes, cheese, and usually some sort of meat, fried into cylinder shaped bite of gooey heaven. They are served warm, sometimes with an aioli, or sometimes served simply by themselves; regardless of how they come, they are most certainly worth ordering.

For a traditional Spanish restaurant here in Dallas where you can try all of the foods mentioned above, check out Café Madrid located right on Knox Henderson!

By Maggie Poxon

SMU Abroad

SMU Abroad: Bonjour from Paris

IMG_8258By Shauna Davis

To be honest, it wasn’t until seeing the Eiffel Tower and the city of Paris from thousands of feet in the air that it hit me: I would be living, breathing and eating in France for three and a half months. At that moment I freaked out.   Surely I must have said “this is by far the coolest thing I’ve ever done!” thirty times before touching the ground.  The same thought runs through my mind every day.  I’m constantly reminded of what an incredible experience it is to be here in Paris, learning a new language, studying, traveling around Europe, experiencing a different culture and being pushed out of my comfort zone.  I could write a book on all I’ve learned thus far.

I surely miss the boulevarding, my buddies and BROWN BAG, but this opportunity is one I am so happy not to have passed up during my four years as a Mustang.  As a dance major, there is no better place to spend time than one with a rich and diverse history of art.   I’ve found a local dance studio where I’m known as the American girl who speaks ‘Franglais’ and  I feel so much apart of the community here! Paris has made me a more independent, knowledgable and aware global citizen and I’ll carry that with me always. It will be bittersweet to say au revoir to Paris but I am so excited to be welcomed back into big, beautiful Texas in a few short months! Ah!  See you soon SMU.