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Participant Comments & Blogs

As Executive Director Michael Adler puts it, "This is a place that changes lives for students, faculty and the community."

Find out what others are saying about their unique and diverse experiences at SMU-in-Taos.


Academic Experiences

  • "My time spent at the Taos campus will always constitute a special part of my SMU experience not only because of the great students and professors, but also the deep cultural history and breathtaking landscape." -- Kelsey, Management, '16
  • "I came into Taos as an art history major, taking an archaeology class simply to fulfill my ways of knowing credit.  Now I am leaving wanting to add the archaeology minor and pursue a career in the field.  The hands-on Taos experience was a huge factor in my decision to add the minor and begin looking at graduate schools." -- Sarah, Art History, '16
  • “January Term at SMU-in-Taos was not only an efficient and economical way to earn credit over winter break, it was an opportunity to explore and create in a truly unique setting. I have felt incredibly enriched by the time I have spent at SMU-in-Taos; my perspectives on art, society, and science have been broadened and I have grown in my connection to the natural environment and gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of the dynamic history of our country. SMU-in-Taos has brought me together with people I would have never otherwise had the opportunity to meet and has put me in challenging and rewarding situations that I would have not otherwise found myself in. I would not hesitate one moment to recommend SMU-in-Taos to anyone who seeks an immersive and adventurous academic experience!” -- Jack, Philosophy, '15
  • "The professors at SMU-in-Taos are all passionate about their respective subjects and encourage community engagement. By integrating coursework projects with the local Taos community, I retained meaningful experiences from my Principles of Marketing class. Overall, Taos is a vibrant and culturally-rich community that enjoys connecting with the SMU students and faculty." -- Elise, Marketing, '18
  • "I took Business Law in Taos and learned more in two and a half weeks than I ever thought was possible... I made so many friends and take away with me countless memories." -- Maggie, Accounting, '16
  • "It was a wonderful opportunity to learn and reflect on my first year in the beautiful and peaceful environment of New Mexico." -- Jacky, Dance, '18

Extracurricular Opportunities
  • "Everything about my experience at Taos was enjoyable.  The staff at the location were all so friendly and accommodating, the housing was comfortable, and the food was always delicious (the breakfast food is incredible).  But most importantly, the learning experience my professor and the other professors created for each of us was unique and hands on.  I recommend every student that is considering going to Taos, but is unsure, to just GO.  You will be so glad you did." -- Rachel, Environmental Engineering, '17
  • "Taos will be one of my most cherished memories from my time at SMU. I was totally immersed in the culture of Taos and the campus. From taking nature trails to class, hiking through Carson National Forest, or listening to local musicians, all my experiences in Taos were memorable." -- Dylan, Biology & Management, '17
  • "Pulling up to my casita on my first day, I couldn’t get over the distant mountains that surrounded our forested campus. It was so incredibly beautiful!  In the month of June term, I managed to see so much more of New Mexico’s diverse landscape; I went primitive camping in dandelion-filled meadows, hiked to frozen lakes at the top of snowy mountain peaks, and walked through the wind-carved rocks of White Sands."  -- Samantha, Dance & Sports Management, '17
  • "The Fort Burgwin campus is certainly one of SMU’s greatest assets... I used this opportunity to escape Dallas and clear my mind before my senior year and couldn’t have asked for better results. I’ve even decided that purchasing property in the area is in my future. Camaraderie is high at SMU in Taos, and the friendships formed certainly return to the Dallas campus." -- John, Economics, '16
  • "During June, I had the pleasure of interacting with other wonderful students on the Taos campus. We had countless adventures from attending Taos Plaza Live and dancing with locals to driving up to the Ski Valley for an amazing German meal at the Bavarian. I look forward to continuing my adventures with these friends upon my return to Dallas this fall.  Most importantly, this experience gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual in a very unique place. The rich cultural environment of Taos encourages students to be more observant, more inquisitive, and more interactive.  I cannot express enough how these experiences have helped me grow in my education and in my personal life." --Camille, Electrical Engineering & Mathematics, '17
  • "My Taos experience...where to start. It's hard to explain how amazing it is to be there. Mesmerizing is the word that comes to mind when looking back on my trips to SMU-in-Taos. In fact, I loved it so much I went three times!! Taos will go down as my favorite experience while at SMU." -- Chris, Business, '15
  • "I went to Taos having known no one going into the program and leaving with a close knit group of friends every time. Taos is something magical, where everyone can find something beneficial out of the experience... I’ve kept in contact with almost everyone in my casita since leaving Taos for both terms that I was out there. I don’t think any one of us would have met had we not gone to Taos, and we are all so different in our majors, activities and just who were are." -- Chelsea, Environmental Engineering & English, '17
  • "I still can't believe that SMU even has this program - it's as if our university has a summer home!" -- Evan, Biochemistry, '17


  • "When students get their hands dirty and their feet wet, they learn twice as much." -- Andrew Quicksall, J. Lindsay Embrey Trustee Assistant Professor in the Lyle School of Engineering at SMU
  • "Field trips provided a rich sociological experience for our students." -- Sheri Kunovich, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology at SMU
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Group & Retreat Participants

  • "Few places, just by nature of where they are and how they are arranged, give such an immediate sense of retreat and restoration.  SMU-in-Taos is the perfect place to ponder, recharge and explore." -- J. Suzanne Frank, Program Director for the Writer's Path at SMU
  • "SMU-in-Taos was even better than the perfect place for us to hold our weekend symposium workshop.  The staff treated us with exceptional kindness and the setting and the facilities positively delighted our guests from academic institutions from around the country and abroad.  We plan to make this a Clements Center annual event." -- Andrew R. Graybill, Director for the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU
  • "Since 2007, our Hockaday School middle school students and their teachers have spent five days at SMU-in-Taos each year.  The beautifully maintained campus, the attentive staff, the historic setting, the excitement and professional excellence of SMU’s professors and the culturally diverse array of learning and outdoor activity opportunities in northern New Mexico combine to make SMU-in-Taos the perfect setting for the kind of experience we strive to provide for our students." -- Linda Kramer, Head of Middle School at The Hockaday School in Dallas, TX
  • "I have been bringing my 8th grade students (approximately 50 students and 15 adults) from Christ the King Catholic School to Fort Burgwin for the past 15 years.  Our annual four day visit to Fort Burgwin is the highlight of our school year.  My students are able to experience the culture, history, geography, archaeology, and art of the America Southwest while basing out of historic Fort Burgwin.  The accommodations at Fort Burgwin are extremely comfortable and perfect for my students.  We are able to take day trips from Fort Burgwin and come back to the Fort at night to experience the New Mexico night sky with our telescope viewing, Indian dancers, s'mores and much more!  The staff at Fort Burgwin is extremely enthusiastic and accommodating to our every want and need - whether it be special diet requirements, extra blankets at night, or special technology needs.  They are willing to help in any way!   We keep coming back to Fort Burgwin because they are able to offer an experience to our students they couldn't get anywhere else!" -- Kasey Dow, Christ the King School in Dallas, TX


Participant Comments

"I’ve always disliked fishing. So when I went fly fishing [with my Wellness class in Taos], I found myself pleasantly surprised. I loved it! It felt like a dream to spend an entire day fishing on the beautiful New Mexico mountainside."

-- Monica, SMU Hunt Leadership Scholar, Unknotting the Line: A testimony to patience

"This month has been an amazing experience.  I came here knowing very little about nonprofit organizations – of which Taos has more than 200.  During my time in Taos, I have learned so much about the 501 c(3) filing process and the demands of running a not-for-profit organization.  Now I’m seriously considering pursuing future work in the nonprofit sector."

-- Peter, SMU Political Science Major, Working on Taos Radio