SMU-in-Spain explains program changes
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 00:02
“Atencion estudiantes: the deadline to apply to study in Spain for the summer or fall is March 1,” SMU-in-Madrid program director Olga Colbert, and study abroad advisors Lea Sarodjo and Cori Hill, reminded SMU students at the SMU-in-Spain information session Tuesday in the Blanton Building.
Aside from promoting the program and addressing students’ concerns, one primary purpose of the meeting was to inform students of a major change in the curriculum—the option to take Spanish 1402 and 2401 while abroad.
In the past, students were required to have already taken two full years of Spanish at SMU. This requirement limited the number of students eligible to apply.
Now, students are able to not only take their lower level Spanish classes in Madrid, but they also receive credit for both two courses in just one semester.
The curriculum is designed so that students take Spanish 1402 during the first half of the semester and 2401 at the second half, earning eight total language credits during a single semester.
In addition to Spanish, SMU-in-Spain offers a variety of courses including business, marketing, art history and more.
Course requirements and credits were a mutual concern for students at the meeting, so after a thorough explanation, the conversation grew livelier: what is Madrid like, where do students live and how is the food?
“Madrid is a fantastic, vibrant city, with lots of life, art and culture,” Colbert said. She added that the location of the capital city is perfect because it is in the center of the peninsula.
This, combined with Madrid’s “wonderful transportation,” makes it easy for visitors and locals alike to travel to other Spanish cities, which SMU students who study abroad do.
Students who study in Madrid travel all over the country visiting other cities, such as Barcelona, Seville, Granada and Toledo.
“Think of Madrid as a home base,” Colbert said.
This is an appropriate way to think about it because SMU students live in the homes of Madrid families during their stay.
Colbert believes this living arrangement is a major benefit to American students, as it serves as a “gateway into their culture.”
Another gateway into Spanish culture? Popular Spanish food, called “tapas,” which Colbert brought to the meeting to give students a literal taste of Spain.
Given America’s current economic state, along with Spain’s, students’ final concern is expectedly finances.
However, Hill said that any financial aid students receive through SMU will transfer over to their tuition abroad.
“Had I known that when I was in college, I would have been all over the country,” Sarodjo said.
For more information, visit abroad.smu.edu, or visit the SMU study abroad office in the Blanton Building.