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.
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.
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.
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.