Search This Blog

14 February 2019

Meet One of Our Study Abroad Peer Advisors: Jon Douglas

Hello! I’m Jon and I’m a peer advisor at the Study Abroad Office. I first traveled abroad to Hangzhou, China where I took intensive Mandarin courses. We were able to travel to Shanghai for a day and went to Chengdu where we spent a week learning about Chinese culture. I ate plenty of food that I would have never thought of eating in America. The foods include duck tongue, cow stomach, rabbit, cow tongue, pig blood, and a few others. They might sound bad, but they were actually pretty amazing. For videos I made in China checkout Youtube.com/thejondouglas.
After this amazing adventure I was able to be an Exchange Student in Brighton, England. Being able to live by the sea for a few months was so nice, especially after only living in Arkansas. The only bad thing was the seagulls that would wake me up every morning. They also like to steal food, so we didn’t get along. During my time in Europe I was able to travel to Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Bristol, Bath, and Oxford. Safe to say I saw more than I thought in the short period of time. Each location has its own culture which I loved. Especially the clothing and stores. You never know what you might experience when studying abroad because everyone is different. You should get out and see the world because the stories that you will tell will be amazing.

--
Come meet Jon and the other peer advisors for a HogsAbroad 101 drop-in session at the Study Abroad House! Come to the office weekdays from 3-5 pm to get all the study abroad basics. Peer advisors are available to help you review your options for study abroad and start searching for a program.

07 February 2019

Featured Destination: Germany

Photo courtesy of Natalie Miller
Interested in study abroad, but don't know where to start? Each month we'll feature a new destination, and February's highlighted country is Germany!

Nestled in the heart of the European Union, Germany boasts a long and rich cultural history mixing the modern and the classic. Germany has been called “the land of poets and thinkers” and is one of the top destinations for study abroad. Program options are available for students from all majors. Additional funding is available for study abroad, and most semester scholarships and financial aid may be used toward study abroad.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Miller
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Sam M. Walton College of Business
College of Engineering
International Internships
View from the dorm, Regensburg
SCHOLARSHIPS
There are many resources and scholarships available for study abroad. Many scholarships and financial aid that students currently receive may be used to study abroad. There are also many scholarship opportunities specifically for study abroad available through the University of Arkansas and outside organizations. For more information visit studyabroad.uark.edu/funding. And, be sure to explore these scholarship programs:
WHAT FORMER STUDENTS HAVE SAID
Photo courtesy of Connor Heo
"I decided to work towards studying abroad in Germany due to their reputation in engineering sciences and also a wide range of student opportunities. There is a well established system for integrating students into the workforce, and companies are always looking for more minds to work with, so there are numerous chances for those willing to search for them. The culture shock is definitely something to consider, and it can become all to easy to just befriend other international students (which isn't a bad thing). Making friends with German natives is definitely not impossible, however, and finding a social place will provide ample chances to make new friends!

"For students looking specifically to study in Germany, I recommend pushing their language skills, especially with listening and reading. You'll find that people are generally willing to speak English, but there will be a lot of mail, bills, textbooks, etc. that will only come in German, and it's good not to feel intimidated by that. Also, it can be quite scary at first if you want to order food or just ask for directions and it all comes in German. I definitely had my fair share of "blackout" moments in my first few weeks! As a last piece of advice, I would speak with the faculty ASAP, as they love helping students study abroad!" -Connor Heo, senior German & Mechanical Engineering major, summer 2016 studying German at the Language Institute in Holzkirchen and Academic Year 2017-2018 studying German & Engineering through U of A Exchange: Technische Universitaet Darmstadt.

Photo courtesy of Natalie Miller
"I chose to go to Germany because I felt that my first experience abroad should involve quite a bit of culture and history. My host city was Berlin and it seemed like the city's history was never ending. Germany is a beautiful country, but I now know Berlin in the winter is not the same as Munich in the spring. I'm happy I chose Berlin for my first experience abroad because the people were amazing, the cultural experience I had really helped me grow and opened my eyes to how many cultures there are to experience and appreciate. If you're considering Germany, do your research! Know about the city or town you'd be staying in, what is near that area, and most of all while abroad take your time to experience your host town. When I went abroad I thought I'd be spending every minute catching planes and trains to other cities and countries, but in the end I took 2 weekend trips to other countries and I spent the rest of my time (I was there for 4 weeks!) in Berlin and I am so glad that I did!!" -Natalie Miller, senior Human Nutrition & Hospitality Innovation major, January Intersession 2018 studying sociology through AIFS Study Abroad in Berlin.

3 EASY STEPS TO STUDY ABROAD
So, what's next?
  1. Drop by Monday-Friday between 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. to learn about program options and funding opportunities.
  2. Meet with your Academic Advisor to discuss your academic plan. 
  3. Schedule an appointment with your Study Abroad Advisor. 
--
Check out these 5 Reasons to Study Abroad in Germany.

For additional information visit studyabroad.uark.edu or contact us at studyabr@uark.edu, or 479-575-7582.

25 January 2019

My Experience Studying Abroad with Type One Diabetes and Celiac Disease #HogsAbroad in Italy

I applied to the study abroad program in Rome, not really knowing what to expect and not getting my hopes up too high just in case I didn’t get in. However, I found out at the beginning of 2018 that I was accepted to the program, and I didn’t really know how to process it at first! I was so excited, but also unsure about a lot of things - I wasn’t quite sure if my family and I were going to be able to afford it, whether the dates were going to work out with my summer plans, and what I should expect as a type one diabetic going abroad. I’m definitely a worrier. Immediately I began to think about what I would have to pack, and what it would be like handling my blood sugars in a different environment. I discussed everything with my family, and despite our nerves, we decided that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up! So I packed up my suitcase with all of my clothes and toiletries and then I packed up another duffel bag full of my diabetes supplies which included test strips, about 25 insulin pumps (I have to change those every three days), insulin, syringes, a glucagon shot for emergencies, lots of juice and skittles for low blood sugars, and gluten free snacks (I also have Celiac disease so it was a little easier to bring some of my own snacks). I was so nervous about going through customs with lots of snacks and items with needles, but I didn’t have any problems at all!

The 10-hour plane ride was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be! Sometimes being up in the air affects my blood sugars, making them drop a little faster than normal, but I didn’t have a single problem. Once we got to Rome, it was very easy to settle in to our new apartment. Something that was very different than life back home was the amount of walking we did each day. We would walk an average of 8-10 miles every day, which I really learned to love! Sometimes, light activity like walking can lower my blood sugars a little bit without any insulin, so at the start of the trip, I decreased my insulin dosage. However, my body soon began to get used to the walking and I returned to my regular insulin dosage. There were a few times when we walked long distances before meals, and my blood sugars would begin to drop slightly, but I always had a snack on me for times like those. During the full six weeks that I spent abroad, I never had any serious low blood sugars and I was so thankful! It made me realize that living life in a different country was not some crazy alternate universe - it was the same life I lived at home. I went to school, I went out to eat and explore with friends, I spent slow afternoons reading at coffee shops - everything was the same besides the amount of walking I was doing and the amount of carbs I was eating living in a city like Rome; but the spike from the carbs was balanced by the excessive walking. For example, at home if I ate a few slices of pizza, my blood sugar would shoot up pretty quickly. But in Rome, we walked to dinner, making my blood sugar a perfect level right before dinner, and then we’d take a long walk back home after, so my blood sugar stayed much steadier since I was moving my body.

Another thing that I was a little worried about was having Celiac disease and going to a city that was known for pizza, pasta, and bread! I thought I’d be living off of salads during my whole time abroad. I was very wrong about that! Nearly every restaurant we visited either had gluten-free pizza, pasta, or both. And it was some of the best food I’d ever had! So much of a city’s culture comes from its food, so I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to experience that element of Italian culture, but every restaurant I went to catered to my dietary restrictions and used the most careful procedures to ensure that my food was prepared in a contamination-free zone. I even found an amazing gluten-free caprese sandwich at a small cafe in Capri, a very small Italian city! After Rome, I went to Paris for a few days, and I experienced the same availability of gluten free foods, and the same care and concern used to prepare it. I was so pleasantly surprised by the consciousness of these dietary restrictions and health concerns in both European countries!

I look back on my six weeks abroad in Italy and France as the greatest time of my life so far. I felt incredibly independent and I loved learning about different cultures through their art, the structure of their cities, their beliefs, their people, and their food. Those six weeks abroad really taught me never to let my health issues get in the way of living my life. If I had let my fears and anxieties take over my thoughts when making my decision, I would have never experienced the joy, adventure, and independence that I found abroad. My study abroad trip has already helped me make other decisions throughout my life; whenever even the slightest fear about something going wrong with my diabetes or Celiac disease pops into my mind, I just remind myself that I spent six weeks in places I had never been before and in places where I didn’t speak the language! I not only made it out without any issues, but I grew so much from my experience. From it, I have developed a huge passion for travel, and I hope to continue to explore the world without letting my health issues to get in the way!

--
Graphic Design major Nicole spent the summer 2018 term at our U of A Rome Center with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship..

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/

24 January 2019

Top 4 #HogsAbroad in Vietnam

I work up December 27th, 2018 at 3:30 AM ready for 30 hours of traveling to Vietnam. Although this seemed tiring at first, reality hit, and we ended up arriving 4 days later to Vietnam due to American Airlines canceling our flight. With that being said though, I am appreciative of the delays because I can now say I went to Japan and ate some good sushi. After spending two weeks in Vietnam, I can confidently say I understand the country fairly well. Below you will find the top 4 activities with pictures that made my experience amazing.

1. The Food (specifically pho)
After leaving the Saigon airport in Vietnam, our first stop was to get some dinner of course. We went to a small restaurant in Saigon and ate pho. I remember when I received the bowl of soup I was surprised at the size because I had ordered a large and it looked like an extra small bowl. The Vietnamese eat small amounts of food and this adjustment took a while but I think I lost some weight from eating vegetables all day for 2 weeks so that was nice. One of the important and funny things I learned was if you pronounce the soup name “pho” wrong, you could be saying prostitute instead of the actual soup. A lot of Americans say it incorrectly, so I will have fun telling them this story I feel like. 

2. The English Club (TEC)
After Saigon, our group traveled to Can Tho University. During the night, we were invited to TEC to help the students with their English. I would say it was more of a Karaoke night than anything. Everyone was giving performances, taking selfies, and Susannah and I even joined in the singing and sang Uptown Funk You Up. Great song by the way. This was such a great experience, because we were able to learn about different Vietnamese traditions and help them understand words that might have been too hard to pronounce in English.

3. Floating Market
When I heard about the floating market, I didn’t think it actually meant on water. Surprise! Our group woke up at 5 AM and got on boats and headed out on the Mekong Delta to buy fruits, vegetables, coffee, and pho. Of course, we had never experienced this before, so it was interesting seeing how farmers on boats would just come up to you and sell you stuff. There was a lady that was making pho on a boat. We were all astounded honestly. The coffee was amazing because it’s completely different from American coffee.

4. Phu Quac Island (Coconut Prison)
While on Phu Quac Island, our group took a trip to the coconut prison where the Americans teamed up with the South Vietnamese to capture the North Vietnamese and South Social Communist Vietnamese and brought them back to the prison during the war. It was overwhelming being at the prison, but I was thankful to have seen the place. I learned so much about the prison and the Vietnam War. 

--
Mariam spent the 2019 January Intersession in Vietnam with the U of A Faculty-Led: Global Community Development in Vietnam program with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Walton College of Business.

See more from the 2019 Global Community Development program in Vietnam on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VNHogs2019/

Get started today! Search for your study abroad opportunity at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/

18 January 2019

No Doubts in Doubtful Sound #HogsAbroad in New Zealand

Almost every day of this program, at least one of us has said, “I think this is my favorite thing we’ve done so far. But I say that every day!” And today at Doubtful Sound was no different.

Doubtful Sound is actually not a sound, but a fjord (or fiord, as it’s spelled in NZ). A fiord is a long, deep body of water with steep walls of rock on either side carved by glaciers. It’s the most inaccessible of New Zealand’s major attractions.

To reach it, we took a cruise over Lake Manupouri then bused through remote ranges before boarding a vessel on the water. Be sure to check out Olivia’s blog about our beautiful bus ride (on New Zealand’s most expensive road)!

Doubtful Sound is sometimes referred to as “Sound of Silence” because the lack of wind creates a quiet atmosphere, but honestly it could be because of how awe-inspiring it was — truly beyond words!

We boated past towering waterfalls, moody peaks, and mystic mountains. The neighborhood bottlenose dolphins came out to play, too, and one even jumped clear out of the water next to our vessel! There was a range of sun, clouds, mist, and rain, which made for an absolutely picturesque experience.

There’s no doubt about it, Doubtful Sound was my absolute favorite.

-Lydia Fielder

--
Read more from the 2019 Human and Animal Interactions students at https://uarkhumanandanimalinteractionsinnewzealand2019.home.blog/

Find out more about the U of A Faculty-Led: Human & Animal Interaction in New Zealand program.

Get started today! Search for your study abroad opportunity at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/

17 January 2019

Lake Pukaki #HogsAbroad in New Zealand

Before I even departed on this winter break adventure I was assigned to report on Lake Pukaki, a moraine dammed lake at the foot of Mt. Cook National Park. This lake is the largest of seven in the Mackenzie basin – a region that was completely dominated by glaciers 18,000 years ago. When these glaciers receded they scoured the earth and left behind large piles of moraine rock. Lake Pukaki is notable among these lakes due to its remarkable baby-blue hue. This coloration is due to the smallest moraine particles, often referred to as glacial flour. The lake is the headwaters of a massive hydropower scheme that powers most of the south island of New Zealand. Because of this, it was dammed to raise the elevation for energy storage and increased agricultural capacity.

My expectations of this lake were absolutely blown away. Its color is otherworldly and its size is a challenge to grasp. What made the lake all the better was the amazing backdrop of the Southern Alps and the mist shrouded peak of Mt. Cook at its Northern edge. I could harp on it all day, but pictures tell the best story. Enjoy!

-Zack Wofford

--
Read more from the 2019 Human and Animal Interactions students at https://uarkhumanandanimalinteractionsinnewzealand2019.home.blog/

Find out more about the U of A Faculty-Led: Human & Animal Interaction in New Zealand program.

Get started today! Search for your study abroad opportunity at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/