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12 August 2019

The Art of Teaching #HogsAbroad in Ireland

Hi Everyone! My name is Sarah Pannell. I am a senior in the College of Education and Health Professions studying Childhood Education. This summer I studied with the U of A Faculty-Led: Education in Ireland - The Art of Teaching.

Prior to leaving for our trip abroad we met once a month to discuss what we would be doing, what we would be teaching, and assignments we needed to complete before we depart. During a meeting we paired up and brainstormed what lesson we would be teaching while abroad. Outside of the meeting we had to complete a lesson plan which was adjusted up until the week before we left to make sure it was exactly what we wanted. Having these meetings helped calm the nerves of studying abroad because we had endless opportunities to ask questions and get all the answers we needed and more.

After months of preparation we finally made it to Ireland and it was absolutely incredible. We went to five different schools around the country. We visited two in Limerick, two in Galway, and one in Dublin. No school we went to was the same. We saw small countryside schools that had classrooms with students from two to three different grade levels as well as schools with three different classrooms for one grade level. My partner and I taught in classes ranging from Junior Infants (Pre-K) to third class (third grade). Our lesson we taught to the students was about the American flag; how it came to be and what it represents. All of the students were so interested in learning about the flag and were even more interested in learning about us and where we come from. It was so fun to teach them and be fully immersed in the schooling experience in Ireland. At multiple schools we were taught how to play hurling which is one of the most popular sports in Ireland. At one school we learned how to play Gaelic football as well as, how to Irish dance which was my absolute favorite. 
Irish people are the kindest people I have ever met. Everywhere we went we were always welcomed by them saying “you are very welcome here.” Anytime we went to a restaurant we were never rushed to leave or seen as an inconvenience when we showed up as a large group looking for a table. All of the workers or owners in the small shops would make conversation and ask about where we were from, why we were here, and were so caring and curious about who we were. I never felt uncomfortable around the Irish culture and community. It was such a great place to be and I hope to go back soon! 
Sarah spent the summer 2019 term in Ireland with our faculty-led program, Education in Ireland - The Art of Teachingwith the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship.

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16 July 2019

Teaching Projects & The Basket Market #HogsAbroad in Ghana

My name is Paige Deffenbaugh, and I am a senior honors nursing student in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. I am currently studying abroad for three weeks in Ghana, Africa with 14 other nursing students and two of our nursing instructors. The first two weeks we are spending in the northern part of Ghana in a city named Bolgatanga. The last week will be spent traveling to a city named Accra in the southern part of Ghana and stopping at multiple places along the way, including Mole Park, Kumasi, and Cape Coast. I’m going to share with you some highlights and pictures from my second week in Ghana!

To begin our second week in Bolgatanga, we actually took a short ride in the van farther north to visit a crocodile pond! When we arrived, one of the workers took us down closer to the pond so that we could see the crocodiles better. A few men began trying to coax two of the crocodiles out of the water using a chicken so that we could take pictures with them. The crocodiles were a little slow to exit the water and didn’t appear to be hungry at all, as we had been told that a bunch of people had visited the pond the day before. After a little while though, both of the crocodiles had made their way onto the land near us. First, the men taught us a little bit about what to do and what not to do around the crocodiles so that we wouldn’t get hurt. Then, we began taking turns taking pictures with the crocodiles and touching them. They were pretty calm and barely moved throughout the whole process. You could tell they knew the drill and had been around humans in this setting many times before. 
Yes, they are both real! The crocodile I am touching is over 100 years old. 
Along with my teaching project on respiratory illnesses that I mentioned in my previous blog post, I am also teaching about women’s health with my friends Maggie and Hannah. This week we had the opportunity to teach at a local girls senior high school. Along with our women’s health topic, choking, wound care, anemia, and sickle-cell anemia were also taught by some of the other nursing students. All of the high school girls were gathered in a big auditorium, which was a little intimidating to us all at first. There were close to 500 girls in attendance we were told! Most of the teaching projects we do here in Ghana are either individual or small-group teaching, so we just weren’t used to teaching such a large crowd. However, we got more comfortable as the time passed and successfully educated the young women about the different phases of the menstrual cycle, feminine hygiene, risks of infection, birth control methods, safe sex, and consent. Many of the young women came up to us afterwards with great questions, so it was encouraging to know that they were paying attention and wanted to learn more about the subject. After the entire teaching presentation, some of the girls received cosmetic bags filled with toiletries and feminine hygiene products.
Maggie, Hannah, and I teaching about women’s heath to hundreds of high school girls. 
Here in Bolgatanga, there is a basket market held every three days. This week was our third and final time to go to the basket market. On basket market day, we always woke up earlier than normal and were on the van ready to leave by 6:45 am. This was so that we could be some of the first people there and score the best baskets. We were all a little intimidated on our first visit to the basket market, as the people selling baskets began swarming up to us immediately trying to get us to buy their baskets. Before we knew it, we were all surrounded by a crowd of people coming at us from all directions. We quickly learned the best way to tell them no and to move on though. The exciting part is the bargaining. You never simply pay the basket sellers the first asking price for the baskets, you always bargain with them for the best price. We quickly caught on and were pros in no time. It became a fun little game for us all to play - who was the best bargainer and could get their baskets for the best prices? Going to the basket market was definitely something that we all looked forward to and will miss, so we had to get our fair share of it in. Most of us have accumulated quite a haul of baskets during our stay in Bolgatanga, as they make great gifts for family and friends. Now we just have to figure out how to get all of our baskets home!
Showing off our basket haul at our first basket market. It was a little rainy, but that didn’t stop us from going!
Another entertaining part of our trips to the basket market was figuring out how to get all 15 of us + our baskets into the van for the ride back to the hotel!
Those are just a few highlights from my second week in Ghana! Stay tuned for more updates.

Paige Deffenbaugh is spending the summer 2019 term in Ghana with our U of A Faculty-Led: Community Health Nursing in Ghana program.

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02 July 2019

Jambo! The tales from my African Safari #HogsAbroad in Tanzania

Hey there! My name is Emma Wiest and I am a junior Fulbright Honors Student who is studying Biology and German with the intent to pursue a career in human medicine. This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania with 12 other students to study ecology, evolution, and the peoples of East Africa for two and a half weeks! I’m the one in the back, by the way.

Prior to the start of the program there was a week of class aimed at educating us about the biology and anthropology of what we were about to see, including the East African Rift System, the various animals of Africa, the native tribes of the area, and tracking human evolution back to Africa. Throughout the program we had the opportunity to visit 12 different locations across the country and go on safaris, participate in traditional activities from the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes, examine dig sites, and explore the island of Zanzibar. While we were not able to spend long periods of time in any one of the locations we visited, the early mornings and abundance of traveling allowed us to experience each aspect of Tanzania.

Our cohort hit the ground running when we landed at Kilimanjaro, as we were all anxious to see the spoils of Africa. Our first day consisted of driving and hiking to Lake Natron, which is a shallow soda lake in Arusha that serves as a breeding ground for lesser flamingos. We were fortunate enough to be shown around by some Masai men who knew the area like the back of their hands.
While we saw some recognizable wildlife in the following days of safaris (giraffes, zebras, etc.), things really started to heat up once we arrived in the Ngorongoro crater. We were immediately welcomed by herds of gazelles and wildebeest, and even spotted Pumbaa and Simba as soon as we descended into the crater! The best part of this stop, however, was when my safari truck pulled over to stop and look at a rhino that even stood up and posed for us to take photos. And while I thought the crater was impressive, it was nothing in comparison to the Serengeti! From the moment we drove into Serengeti National Park, I was mesmerized. Upon our arrival, we were fortunate enough to see three cheetahs lounging under a young acacia tree, but the two cubs weren’t feeling too photogenic.

This was only the beginning. Throughout our time in the park our class was able to see hyenas, lions, the wildebeest migrations, leopards, and even a giant herd of elephants.

If seeing all of these incredible animals and how they coexist with each other wasn’t enough, we had the opportunity to visit the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes in the area and ask questions about their culture. The Datoga were split into a pastoral group and a blacksmithing group, meaning that one earned their livelihood from running cattle all day and the other from creating beautiful arrowheads and bracelets. The Hadzabe tribe is a group of hunter-gatherers and use many different types of arrowheads depending on the type of game being hunted. Members of our class were able to take part in various activities at each of the tribe visits and ask questions regarding daily life and culture.

Another highlight from the trip was our visit to Gombe National Park where Jane Goodall did her research with the chimpanzees. Normally, tracking wild chimpanzees would be exciting enough, however, while crouching down to take the perfect photo of a chimpanzee sitting ten feet in front of me, I was surprised by a gentle touch on the back of my arm. One of the chimps had walked up right behind me practically begging for me to take our photo, and when one of Jane’s chimps wants a selfie
with you, you take a selfie!
We were also able to see red monkeys and baboons on the beach, which wasn’t a bad way to wrap up our time on the mainland. After our trip to Gombe, all that was left was a quick trip to the island of Zanzibar, which was a great way to relax and reminisce on the past two weeks spent on the mainland. The amount of biology and anthropology that we were able to witness while in Africa was incredible, and we were able to see stuff that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else in the entire world.

I highly recommend studying abroad (in Africa especially) to anyone considering it. Not only will you gain vast amounts of knowledge, but you will experience things that you never thought you would be able to and create friendships that will last you a lifetime, as cliché as it all sounds. I now have an infinite supply of anecdotes to apply to the rest of my undergraduate education, and experiences that I’m sure have shaped who I am as an individual for the rest of my life.

Emma spent the summer 2019 term in Tanzania with our faculty-led program, Tanzania - Ecology, Evolution, and Peoples of East Africa with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship.

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28 June 2019

Five Questions for one of our Summer 2019 #UARK #GilmanScholars, Bridget Milam #HogsAbroad in Spain #FundingFriday

Nursing major Bridget Milam is spending the summer 2019 term in Spain with our U of A Faculty-Led: Spanish in Madrid program with the help of the Gilman Scholarship. We asked five questions about the Gilman Scholarship and the application process.

What do you want to do when you graduate from the University of Arkansas, and how will this study abroad or internship experience help you be better prepared for that? After graduating from the University of Arkansas, I want to serve as a bilingual nurse in a local Northwest Arkansas clinic focusing on prenatal care and sexual education. My study abroad experience is helping me develop my Spanish-speaking skills through immersive classes and cultural activities.

What will you be doing in the summer academically/on your program and what do you think made you a good Gilman candidate? Aside from living with a local Spanish family, I have been taking 6 credit hours (12 total by the end of this summer) in Spanish-language classes. These courses are taught completely in Spanish taught by local professors who enjoy teaching the material. I believe my ability to explain in my essays my goals and how I will achieve them (i.e., bilingualism) is what made me a good Gilman candidate.

What was the application process like? The Gilman Scholarship Application was thorough and intimidating—they want to know almost every detail about you. I am thankful for the countless advisors and professors who looked over my application with me multiple times.

What will your follow-up project be about? Since I am a Resident Assistant, I decided plan my Follow-Up Service Project as an all-hall Study Abroad + Gilman Scholarship program this fall. I hope to host previous Gilman scholars and current advisors who will converse with residents about study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship (oh—and there will be food!).

What tips would you give to others considering applying for the Gilman scholarship? Don’t let the complexity of this keep you from this amazing opportunity—start as soon as you can on the application and talk to your advisors and mentors for help along the way. You don’t have to do it alone!

Anything else to add? As a good rule of thumb, I spent around 40 hours total writing and editing both essays. Start as early as you can!

About the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program ( offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad. Such international study is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

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23 June 2019

Afrikids & Community Health Fair #HogsAbroad in Ghana

Hi everyone! My name is Maggie Temofeew and I am also a senior honors nursing student in Ghana for a few weeks! I am going to share some different highlights from my time here thus far.

I was at Afrikids for the first week in Bolgatanga. It is a clinic here in Bolgatanga. I have enjoyed it so much. My first day was spent with my friend Gracie in the maternity ward learning to detect a heartbeat, assess the position of the baby, and measure the fundal height! I loved this day because I have not had my OB clinical yet, so I did not know any of this before coming to Ghana. The women are so kind and eager to teach us as well as learn from what we know.
This is a picture of me finding fetal heart tones with Porcilla, a nurse at Afrikids!
A baby who was handed to me in the maternity ward—so precious!
One of my other favorite days at Afrikids was spent in the pediatric ward. I want to be a pediatric nurse someday, so this was an amazing experience. The matron, or charge nurse, showed me all of the supplies they use when starting IVs, what specific medication they use as protocol for malaria and other common diseases. They make do with so little in this country. It makes me so thankful for the resources we have in the US.
Here is a picture of the pediatric ward!
My specific project on this trip was to test for and teach about anemia. We had a health fair for the community and I tested around 130 people with the help of my group. Many people were dangerously anemic and did not know it! I enjoyed getting to talk to them about how to increase iron in their diets and even had to refer some to the hospital. Besides the health fair, I tested almost 70 more at Amiah’s clinic.
Testing blood out in the community for anemia.
Testing blood out in the community for anemia.
Maggie Temofeew is spending the summer 2019 term in Ghana with our U of A Faculty-Led: Community Health Nursing in Ghana program.

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22 June 2019

a list of things i’m homesick for #HogsAbroad in Italy

five weeks is a long time to be in a place so incredibly different than your home. it’s especially difficult because your setup is temporary and you’ve only packed what you could fit. you go without items you’re accustomed to having unlimited access to. adapting to this has been a really valuable experience and has taught me how to lessen my dependency on the material. i still miss my american things, though, and have kept a list of things i felt random longings for.

things i miss about america:
  • ice. it’s virtually nonexistent in italy and no matter how hard i try, i can’t get behind lukewarm water. i also miss iced coffee, but italy makes up for that in unmatched hot espresso.
  • air conditioning. another rarity due to a more limited access to electricity. we had days as hot as 99 degrees with no way to cool off. when a texan complains about the heat, you know it’s bad.
  • walmart. we’re spoiled brats thanks to the convenience of this establishment. an employee whose sole job is to bag our groceries for us? a one-stop shop for all of life’s necessities? italians don’t roll that way.
  • instant rice. the pace of life is very different here when it comes to food. it’s all about relaxing and connecting with people. that means that the markets here aren’t stocked in pre-cooked foods. as a college student, i’m having a bit of an identity crisis.
  • the ability to look up the menu before meals. i’m absolutely the type of person who already knows what she’s going to order before i even leave the house. most restaurants don’t have websites here, though, because they’re tiny, family owned joints. most don’t even have their hours of operation listed.
  • petting dogs. i learned the hard way that it’s not quite normal to pet other people’s dogs here. my theory is that they don’t treat their dogs like children, as we do in america. i actually catch myself pouting and reaching out toward cute dogs i know i can’t touch. it’s hard, okay?
of course, none of the things i miss are necessities and going without it is half the point of traveling and immersing yourself in a new culture. i’m breaking habits in order to step outside myself and gain appreciation for other ways of life. the italian way of life has tons of things they can boast over america, too.

things i’ll miss about italy when i’m home:
  • cheap coffee and pastries. most mornings, it costs me 2 euros or less for a coffee beverage. the drinks are smaller here but american coffees have more milk in them so really, you’re getting the same amount of espresso. and 6 chocolate-filled croissants for 1.80 euros? can’t wait to go back to paying $7 for a latte.
  • the emphasis on relationships. it’s so fulfilling to create meaningful connections with italians. i truly feel seen and valued by most people i interact with, especially when i wander around alone. italians are predisposed to help you when you’re not walking around with I’M A TOURIST stamped on your forehead.
  • pure foods. no gmos, no fake sugars, real fruit. i watched a waiter make my strawberry daiquiri with a handful of real berries and not a trace of syrup. it’s nice not having to worry about what’s hidden in the food i’m consuming.
  • the scenery. the weighty history of the buildings i walk past every day on my way to class will never be lost on me. there’s nothing in frisco, texas, as cool as the pantheon.
  • not having to tip my waiter. this sounds stingy, but the wait staff actually gets paid at or above minimum wage and so tips aren’t necessary to make sure they earn what they deserve. it’s nice knowing people aren’t solely dependent on other people’s generosity to make a living.
i could make each list go on forever, but you probably get the idea. there are so many things that i appreciate about my homeland and many other things that i’ve learned to love in my new culture. going back to america this weekend will require another adjustment on my part. i’m probably going straight to chipotle after deplaning, and i have a strange urge to sit and watch a load of laundry go through the dryer (we hang our clothes to dry here). it has been pretty cool, though, to see all the ways i’ve grown accustomed to living a different way.

Junior English/Creative Writing major Rylie Frederick is spending the summer 2019 term at the University of Arkansas Rome Center.

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