Study Abroad enhances university experience

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Students mingle at the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday. (REBECCA KEAY / The Daily Campus)

After the first year of college, many students start to decide whether they will study abroad or not.

“A lot of people realize studying abroad is an important experience but are too scared to think about leaving SMU for an entire semester,” Taylor Goerke, a junior currently studying abroad in Copenhagen, said.

Goerke is among the many SMU students who are studying abroad with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) program this semester.

“Yes, the Boulevards and rush parties are a blast, but this may be one of the last opportunities you have to travel and see the world,” Goerke said.

Copenhagen is just one of the many study abroad locations SMU’s abroad office has to offer. Students have the opportunities to travel all across the world – South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Islands. There are more than 130 approved programs that SMU students can choose from when looking to study abroad.

Cori Hill, an advisor with the SMU study abroad program said that, “with adequate planning, almost any student can study abroad…our programs cover most of the majors available at SMU.” While students work towards finishing their majors and minors while abroad, they can also take courses that fulfill other curriculum requirements.

The SMU abroad office makes every effort to make sure students have the chance to study abroad. Hill’s key advice is to start planning early.

Studying abroad allows for students to learn in an entirely different way than they are used to at SMU. Devin Kerns, a junior who is currently studying abroad in Ferrara, Italy, is being completely immersed in the Italian culture. “Being in Ferrara is wildly enriching my study of the Italian language because almost nobody speaks a lick of English…No longer can I only turn my brain to thinking in Italian for only an hour every other day – I am literally forced to speak it all day, every day,” Kerns said.

Senior Mackenna Scripps went on the summer SMU-in-London communications program and along with getting six journalism credits to count towards her major, said she was able to “really feel like a true Londoner!”

To find out more about study abroad opportunities for a specific major or in a specific region of the world, attend one of the Abroad 101 information sessions. They are held every Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Laura Lee Blanton Building, room 211. Students can also attend one of the abroad fairs that are held each semester or visit the abroad website at smu.edu/abroad.

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