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Sizzling Summers Abroad

Imagine riding elephants through a jungle in Bali, then spending your afternoon on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Now envision yourself eating a baguette at the base of the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day. Take a flight to Italy to enjoy some of the best pasta in the world as well as some of the worlds most beautiful and historic places. Place yourself at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Now you are in China, hiking the biggest wall constructed by mankind. Take a ride on the double decker red bus through all of London, stopping to photograph Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Now finish the day off with a ticket to Spain to relax with the locals.

All of these opportunities and more are available through the SMU summer abroad office. The SMU abroad office offers two different summer sessions where students can further their education in arts, culture, language, music, communications, business, various internships and even engineering courses. SMU abroad also offers semester long programs.

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This summer, junior Shelby Crain traveled to Beijing, China to further her education in the Chinese language.

“My favorite part of being abroad was physically being in the country of which language I was learning. Immersion is one of the best and only ways to fully understand and grasp language and culture,” Shelby said.

A fun fact about Shelby’s adventure was the experience of tasting donkey for the first time. She also mentioned that in China it is not uncommon to see street vendors selling scorpions, snakes and pigeons on sticks.

Sophomore Elissa Evanich had a more tasty experience in Italy where she reflected on her delicious focaccia bread made in cooking class. Perhaps more delicious of an experience was the expanse of history Elissa learned abroad.

“The classes in Italy were the most interesting to me; There is no greater or more exciting place to study ancient art and history than in Italy,” exclaimed Elissa, “you get to physically visit so many places you read about in textbooks.”

Perhaps just as exciting as ancient times, junior Kathryn Dilligham “dove” into a whole new land of excitement through her internship in Sydney, Australia. Kat spent many of her days snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef and bungee jumping.

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When discussing her favorite part of being abroad besides traveling to New Zealand and Fiji, Kat exclaimed, “I love the Australian accent. The locals were all very friendly and my internship introduced me to lots of cool people.”

The connection with Australian language is easy for those who do not wish for a language barrier. London also offers the same luxury. Some students, however, believe the best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it.

So were the thoughts of sophomore Rachel Tagle in deciding to study abroad in Spain this summer. She said it was the best way to improve on a language. Her favorite part was being able to spend time with completely new people and travel with her family in Europe before her summer program began.

Another student who spent a lot of time traveling in Europe over the summer was junior Lindsay Barnes. Lindsay fell in love with Paris a long time ago. She traveled there again as a college woman to further her French language mastery and immerse herself in France’s art, architecture, culture and history.

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Lindsay says, “Going abroad was the best experience I’ve ever had and if you have the chance you should absolutely go abroad!”

A true believer in Lindsay’s “go abroad” philosophy is senior Katie Smith. Katie previously spent a summer studying in Italy and then decided to study again in Bali this summer.

“Having an opportunity to have a hands on experience and immersing myself in the Balinese culture was exactly how I wanted to spend my summer. When I met the professors taking us and saw their passion towards the program I knew I had to go,” said Katie. “I think immersing oneself into another culture and getting a hands on experience is a crucial part of education and growing as a person.”

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When asked if she fell in love in Bali, Katie replied, “I fell in love with Bali, does that count?”

Hello everyone!I am a senior at Southern Methodist Univeristy, studying for majors Marketing and Fashion Media. I have written for Her Campus SMU since 2013. I really enjoy the people it has brought me to meet as well as the fun articles I get to write!! My main interests include travel, fly fishing, tennis, writing, reading, styling, shopping and hanging out with my family, friends and boyfriend. I'm looking forward to graduation and a career in the real world! :) 
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