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20 January 2017

Week 13: Dublin, Ireland #HogsAbroad in Florence

I was told this is a major tourist attraction because of a scene out of the movie P.S. I Love You.
The famous “Temple Bar” street.
Dublin had a lot of old tales and songs about this statue of Molly Malone.
We also got to visit the Guinness Factory!
We saw many photographs similar to this one of famous celebrities and political figures from all around the world trying the “perfect pint” of Guinness from the factory.
Overlooking Dublin
We also visited the beautiful Cliffs of Moher
Read more from Braden at
Find out more about Braden's Lorenzo de’ Medici Italian program at
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Finding the Right Study Abroad for Me #HogsAbroad

Seize the opportunity to explore learning inside and outside of the classroom – collect soil samples in the South American rainforest, work in a Belizean health clinic, navigate the tube in London, trace Darwin’s footsteps across the Galapagos, fight the windmills in La Mancha that made Don Quixote infamous, excavate ancient Roman cities, or walk mile after mile on the Great Wall of China!

Study Abroad Program Models

There are two basic program types available for students to use: University of Arkansas administered programs and external provider programs. Below is a breakdown of student options:


U of A Rome Center

Founded as a center for architectural studies in 1989, the Rome Center now serves the full University of Arkansas community, offering a varied curriculum in U of A classes.  Read more....


U of A Faculty-Led Programs

Directed by U of A faculty who travel with students, these short-term programs offer experiences that help to make study abroad more possible logistically and financially for more students. Read more....


U of A Exchange Programs

U of A students exchange places with a student from one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia and Australia for a summer, semester or a year while paying U of A tuition, making these programs a very affordable way to go abroad. Read more....


Internships, Research and Independent Study Opportunities

U of A students work in close cooperation with faculty willing to supervise and assess their work for academic credit to offer hands-on immersive experiences in businesses, labs, and research institutions around the world. Read more....

19 January 2017

Week 12: Prague,Czech Republic #HogsAbroad in Florence

Trying out Prague’s famous hot wine
Can you guess what I am about to write on the John Lennon Wall?
Overlooking Prague
Prague’s famous St. Vitus Cathedral

Read more from Braden at
Find out more about Braden's Lorenzo de’ Medici Italian program at
Search for more study abroad opportunities like these in over 50 other countries:

What Are the Benefits of Study Abroad? #HogsAbroad

While available statistics on study abroad might still be limited, there are some notable studies on study abroad and careers, learning, academic performance, retention, and personality development. Here are some of the more remarkable findings:

Study Abroad and Graduation and Academic Performance


greater improvement in GPA post-study abroad. Student GPAs tend to rise as they approach the completion of their undergraduate degree. Students who studied abroad saw their GPAs rise twice as quickly as a result of going abroad compared to students who stayed in town, according to a Georgia study.*


more likely to graduate: that describes how much more likely study abroad participants are to graduate in six years than non-participants. Even in four years, study abroad participants are 15% more likely to graduate based on a University of California at San Diego study. University of Texas at Austin and Georgia data show a similar trend.*

Study Abroad and Personality


A University of Maryland study on IES Abroad study abroad alumni found that students attributed increased maturity to study abroad.*


of study abroad alumni claimed an increase in self-confidence as a result of study abroad.*


of study abroad alumni reported that study abroad facilitated a greater tolerance for ambiguity.*


A German study compared personality development and found that students who studied abroad showed improvements in five core traits compared to their peers who did not study abroad: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability.*

Study Abroad and Careers, Salaries, and Job Skills


of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period. That means they were twice as likely to find a job. Among study abroad alumni, 90% landed a job within 6 months. A UK study supports U.S. findings that study abroad returnees are more likely to find employment within six months.*


higher starting salaries: that's how much more study abroad students earn than those college graduates who do not study abroad. A British study found their study abroad graduates out-earned their peers by 17%. This equates to approximately $7,000 annually for U.S. students and £3,120 for UK students. Maintaining this earning advantage translates to earning an extra $567,500 over one's career in the U.S.*


of study abroad alumni who applied got into their 1st or 2nd choice graduate school.*


of study abroad alumni felt their studies abroad helped them build valuable skills for the job market. A second study confirms this at 85%.*


of study abroad students reported that study abroad allowed them to better adapt to diverse work environments.*


of study abroad alumni claimed that, because of study abroad, they were more satisfied with their jobs.*


of employers said study abroad would be valuable in an individual’s career later on with their organization.*


of study abroad alumni claimed that study abroad helped them choose their career field.*


lower unemployment rates were found among study abroad alumni according to a British study.*


A British study found the greatest increases in salary earnings among study abroad alumni (compared to their peers) were among seven majors: sociology, computer science, theology and religious studies, electronic and electrical engineering, and physical geographical sciences. *

*Statistics compiled by University of California, Merced 
Get started at and get going on your journey today!

18 January 2017

4 Things To Do To Get Started #HogsAbroad

Are you considering study abroad but don’t know where to start? Below are some helpful steps to move outside the classroom walls and into the world through study abroad.

Attend a HogsAbroad 101 session

Get all the study abroad basics through these peer-led information sessions, held Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the fall and spring from 4pm-5pm in the Center for World Languages (JBHT 207).


Meet with your academic advisor

Your academic advisor can help you look at your overall degree plan and see when it would make the most sense to study abroad and what degree requirements might be best met while abroad.


Meet with the study abroad office

Our office staff can help you narrow down your program options, provide an application process overview, show you how to navigate the website and answer your study abroad questions.


Have questions?

Check out our FAQs for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about study abroad.

What I Gained from Study Abroad and Some (Awesome) Advice #HogsAbroad

Rachel Rickenbach – China and England
            Study abroad caught my eye the instant I stepped foot on my first college campus. I thought “I could do that…” and in the summer after my junior year, I did! I went to China. Because someone who has never traveled internationally or been on a plane for more than 3 hours should go to the cultural opposite of the US spending nearly 18 hours flying, right?! Right. However, Chinese is my minor and logically, China was the best choice - soon to become one of the greatest experiences I’ve had to date. 

            A few things to keep in mind when you take those first steps into a new country is to most importantly - breathe, and then realize that it will all be okay, you will make friends, you will survive the language barrier (with trial and error), and you will adapt! After traveling for nearly a full day on a plane, suffering through 3 time zones of flight delays, and exhaustion I had never felt before, the only thing I wanted to do when I got to China was cry. I realized right then that I could either be exhausted and feel sorry for myself, or put into perspective that I MADE IT and suck it up!!!

Here’s me, a few hours later, with my now best friend and future bridesmaid on the Suzhou campus. I captioned this Instagram: “First day update: flew 18 hours, my luggage was lost, I haven’t changed clothes in 3 days, but walking around Suzhou University with cans of grapefruit vodka (for $1) is legal!” My point: if you make it through the tough part, you will get an amazing Instagram that breaks your likes record. Kidding…. 

            After a fantastic night of sleep I truly got to appreciate the beauty of seeing a new place for the next month. Take as many pictures as you possibly can!! One of my favorite pass-times is to return to my old albums and reminisce on how fun it was to be on a boat in the Hong Kong Harbor, climbing The Great Wall, or clubbing in Shanghai. I also highly suggest writing down what you did every day in a journal because as much as we hate to admit it, we forget even the best of experiences. A journal will help you keep those memories forever, and brighten your day when you go back to read! And reality. 

            Now that the most basic of advice has been given, I’ll try and get into specifics.
China: crowded, hot and humid, extremely difficult language barrier, questionable meats. There will be things in every culture you experience that you don’t like, and that is okay. Just remember, you don’t have to stay there forever if you don’t want to, and you chose to take this experience to learn about other cultures, not dwell on the things that are a little off from home. Some of the quirky things I did not initially like about China I found myself missing (getting my picture taken while trying to use the restroom), so try and be as open-minded as possible, take it with a grain of salt, and embrace where you are!! As I said earlier, China got hot and humid!! We packed lightly and re-wore things; you can also get your laundry done and it’s very cheap if you start to stink up a room. Don’t even think about just bringing your cute pairs of shoes. You will walk miles upon miles a day and your feet will bleed ~ personal experience. This goes for any country in any continent that you guys are visiting. 

             Your roommates, other people from university, or that random girl you became friends with on a bus will be your LIFELINES. Travel embodies glamorous, thrilling, and exciting feels, but being away from the people you’re comfortable around is hard. Especially hard if you are 13 hours of time difference away and you can’t pick up the phone to call your mom at all hours of the day. The people around you are there for that reason. Use them. Anyone that is on study abroad already has a similar mindset to you, and odds are, you’ll find someone great to be your new “go-to” and they will turn into a lifelong friend. By the end of not only my China study abroad, but after my England semester (info soon to come), as well, I had two study abroad families that were so special. Only they understand those inside jokes about the long nights, justifying that expensive cab ride, and breaking a few rules with along the way. 

Other random tidbits of advice, especially visiting a country that speaks another language:
  • Portable phone charger = friend. You’ll never see your phone die faster while taking photos/finding wifi and getting lost STINKS 
  • Always bring an umbrella in your suitcase 
  • If you can’t speak the language, have your hotel/other locations written down for cab drivers in the native language 
  • Having cash on hand is way more necessary abroad than in the US
Leaving China was extremely hard. I felt more confident, worldly, aware of how big everything outside of Arkansas is, and I enjoyed who I was.  I knew immediately upon return I had to go again. So, one year and a half later (yes, I’m in my 5th year of college) I found myself packing up my suitcase for a semester. England, here I come. 

I attended the University of Essex in Colchester, England, for the fall of 2016. Colchester is about 45 minutes by train outside of central London. WOW if I thought I was nervous for China, it had nothing on going for a semester. A list of thoughts running through my head on the plane:

  • Why did I do this?
  • A semester is a long time (it’s actually not)
  • England is cold and has constant rain, why did I do this?
  • What if British people hate Americans?
  • What in the world is the tube?
  • I won’t see my animals (and family) for months…. 
  • I’m so excited let’s do this
Soooo I came a few weeks early, traveled around with one of my high school mates, and my nerves wore off within a day. Maybe even faster. Europe was just as gorgeous as I had hoped. The architecture and history have so much depth. You can take trains through the countryside and can drink a beer at any point of the day and it’s totally acceptable. London was fast-paced, full of life, and jam-packed with people from all over the world – right up my alley. After exploring London, Bern, Switzerland, and Paris, France, it was time to move into my new home!

Moving into my flat in Colchester was…. interesting. I had 14 roommates and I believe my exact words were: “You’re kidding me, right?” I lived with 3 girls in Fayetteville and that felt like two too many. I now lived with 4 boys and 10 girls and I love each one of them more than I can put into words. As I said earlier, these people are your lifelines. Take that leap - be awkward and ask someone to go eat with you or walk to town! Sooner or later you’re going to feel like you’ve known them forever and will be sobbing into their arms when you leave each other ~ personal experience.
If you’re going to the UK or Europe for your study abroad, read this!! This article made me giggle on the way home because you will experience literally every single one of these things. It’s called: “17 Ways Americans Are Shocked by European Culture” – here’s the link. It’s awesome and 100% accurate.
Get used to saying the following slang words in England. And just know if you ask for Ketchup, you’ll probably be laughed at.
  • “Flat” = apartment/home
  • “Americano” = black coffee
  • “Keen” = the equivalent of an “I’m down, let’s do it” and can also be used in question form
  • “Hoover” = vacuum
  • “ten-ers” = 10 Pound bill
  • “proper” = the right way to do something i.e. “a proper meal” or “a proper nap”
  • “chips” = French fries
  • “on holiday” = vacation
Generally, in the UK as well as the rest of Europe, people dress a bit nicer during the day. You see less of the yoga pants + messy bun look and more of jeans + boots + stylish jacket + “I showered today” look. This was honestly one of those quirks that I initially wondered, “who cares if I don’t look as nice for class or errands,” but coming home I gained an appreciation for it. Why not dress nicer? It makes you feel better. Everyone wears dark colors all the time, as well, so if you are wanting to adopt the European look, bring all the black articles you own and the skinniest pants you can find. 
Lots of students also choose to study in Europe for the easy access it provides to travel around multiple countries! I did this and don’t think there is a cheaper or more comfortable way to see Europe. There are a bunch of budget airlines such as JetBlue, Ryanair, and Easy Jet; I personally used Ryanair only because it always worked out the best with my schedule. If you get on, you can search based on dates/countries and figure out where the cheapest places are to see! I got to visit Stockholm, Sweden (my favorite of all), Madrid, Spain; Dublin, Ireland, as well as The Cliffs of Moher; Edinburgh, Scotland; plus Bern and Paris previously!
I had wonderful experiences using AirBnB while traveling! All the hosts we had provided us with local suggestions as well as clean and properly furnished flats. I also used hostels from and did not ever encounter a sketchy or unsafe one. They are both cheap options, especially if you are traveling in groups. I packed only in a backpack on every trip I took and let me tell you, it is SO worth it to bring less. You usually have a lot of shuttling around to do and the less you must carry, the better. As you experience these new places, you will notice cultural differences. 

Some of the biggest ones I picked up on were:
  • You are not rushed to finish a meal; dinner is later and takes hours 
  • You don’t tip (usually)
  • Personal space in restaurants does not really exist – the tables are extremely close to each other 
  • In Spain, there is a dedicated period during the day called “Siesta” where everyone is supposed to take a nap and the city shuts down temporarily 
  • Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way; you will get run over so do not step into the road 
  • LOOK LEFT NOT RIGHT when crossing 
  • PDA is everywhere - just be ready for that 
  • Everybody smokes 
  • *** You will have a significantly less number of assignments that count for your whole grade*** 
I hope some of this advice will help bring clarity to some of you! Colchester became my home. I am sitting in the Atlanta airport writing this blog post upon my return to the US wondering how in the world to write sentences that could be used to describe my experience there. I am devastated to leave and I miss my friends so much already. 

If you’re reading this wondering if you should study abroad, do it. Dooooo it. I will keep those friends and those memories closer to my heart than most other things. The University of Essex showed me what college is supposed to feel like. I know what it’s like now to belong somewhere and to meet those friends you feel like you can’t live without. 
To find out more about the Exchange program with University of Essex, visit
If you need help getting started with study abroad, take a look at the first steps: