SMU-in-Spain abroad program provides opportunties, credits for students
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 00:02
The deadline to submit applications of study abroad is quickly approaching, and many students may be wondering if this experience is for them.
“Plunge into it, just do it, you’ll never regret it,” Bree Ungar said, “Just seize the opportunity that is in front of you.”
Ungar is a junior Communications, Public Relations and Spanish major who just returned from her SMU-in-Spain semester abroad.
SMU-in Spain has been a SMU study abroad program since 1969. Students study in the Spanish capital city of Madrid at the Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset.
SMU’s new curriculum requires all students to take a language course, which can be done while at SMU-in-Spain.
Students can get credit for Span 1402 and Span 2401 in one semester, which is eight hours of credit. It also helps count toward the Global Engagement Proficiency.
“Learning Spanish abroad gives students an experience beyond a campus language class. They live that culture for four months with Madrilenos, eating tapas from Plaza Mayor and drinking espresso at Puerta del Sol late at night,” Deborah Tomlinson, marketing and financial officer of SMU Abroad, said.
For any students who are nervous that this program is not for them because they may not be familiar with the language, Ungar says not to worry.
“Not all classes were in Spanish. I took two Spanish classes and two Cultural Formations [in English], which was great,” Ungar said.
For any students who fear being homesick or leaving their comfort zone, Ungar simply says, “don’t be.”
“I recommend going outside your culture zone. I didn’t know a single person when I went,” Ungar said. “But I totally left my comfort zone and now I have a new group of 11 friends that I am really close with.”
In just one semester not only can students complete their language requirements, but they can be exposed to an entirely new culture through trips around Europe and within Spain.
“Classes are set up Monday through Thursday which is great because they give you time to travel on the weekends,” Ungar said.
She also travelled with the group of 11 SMU students to several other places in Spain where they were exposed to landmarks that they may not have otherwise traveled to.
“We went to the south of Spain and did a typical Spanish day. We went to a flamenco show, and then watched the sunset at Alhambra. All of us were so close in that moment,” Ungar said.
To learn more about SMU-in-Spain, and all the other study abroad programs, the SMU Abroad Summer Programs Fair is Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Commons.
SMU-in-Spain 101 is Tuesday Feb. 12 in the Laura Lee Blanton Building. The due date for Fall semester applications is Mar. 1.
“This is a great opportunity for SMU students to get a year of Spanish in just one semester in Madrid, Spain” Nancy W. Simmons, the Interim Director of SMU Abroad, said.