Rachael Rodgers, Class of 2018


Civil Engineering and Math majors, Spanish, Global Development, and Environmental Engineering minors



Rachael went on the SMU-in-Madrid Summer program in 2015. During her 5 weeks in Madrid, she took Spanish Conversation and Introduction to Hispanic Literature.


During her time in Madrid, Rachael spent a lot of time exploring the city and practicing her Spanish. She really loved using the metro to travel around taking walks in El Retiro, the grand city park. One time, while she was walking with one of her fellow home-stay students late in the evening, she got locked in the park by the security guards. Rachael didn’t realize the park closed and was stuck in the park until she found out a way to climb the fence. While you’re in Madrid, Rachael recommends checking out Museo Reina Sofía and El Mercado de San Miguel to learn more about Spanish art and culture. She also recommends La Bicicleta for a cool hang out spot and Cien Montaditos for an authentic Spanish meal. img_9942

One of Rachael’s favorite memories was her trip to Lisbon on one of her free weekends. She and her friend stayed in Baixa, the downtown area. Rachael recommends taking a tour with a local tour guide and trying the local cafés. While she was in Portugal, Rachael took a train from Lisbon to Sintra. Sintra is a really quaint storybook town that will remind you of all the Disney movies you watched as a child. The town is filled with museums and castles that were the getaways for the Portuguese royal family.

Rachael spent a lot of her time traveling before and after her study abroad. Before studying in Madrid, she traveled to Dusseldorf, Arnhem and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona. After her study abroad program, she went Oviedo, Gijón, and Bilbao in Spain before spending a few days in London before heading back home.

In addition to all the places Rachael traveled on her own, she also traveled to Granada and Córdoba as well as Toledo with her program. She loved visiting El Alhambra in Granada and Confitería Santo Tomé in Toledo.

You can learn more about SMU-in-Madrid here.


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