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09 July 2020

Vivere Come un Locale a Roma! #HogsAbroad in Italy #ThrowbackThursday

Ciao! My name is Mackenzie Patureau. I am a junior Studio Art and Art History major in the School of Art. This summer, I took two studio courses - Perspectives on Rome, History & Drawing, and Space, Light, & Points of View at the University of Arkansas - Rome Center.

During my stay in Rome, I lived in a three bedroom apartment with six other girls, some I knew before, others I just met. However, we all became immediate friends. It was located in the quaint neighborhood of Prati - walking distance to school and the Vatican City. The air-conditioning in our apartment, like most of Italy, was lacking. Therefore, we would open our windows for the majority of the time. The benefit to this was in the evenings we heard all the street musicians serenading. Living in a bustling, local neighborhood allowed us to get a feel of the Roman lifestyle.
We would buy our fruit and vegetables from a store down the street. Most importantly, the most delicious gelato shop was steps from our door. Frequently, after dinner, we would purchase our gelato and people-watch in our backyard, AKA the Vatican! We could not have asked for a better location - we were able to experience life in Rome like the locals.
Our first night in Rome, we ate at a restaurant right across from our apartment building and met the nicest waitress, Lori Donna. She helped us with our Italian by basically only speaking it to us. Being an Italian minor, I tried to pick up as much of the language as possible. I would start almost every conversation I had in Italian - some I could make it all the way through without any English but sometimes not so much! Often when local people realized I was American, they joked that they thought I was Sicilian because of my Italian! I do not know if they believed this, but it made me confident enough to keep working on my language skills.
Besides gelato, my favorite local treat was coffee! I will always recommend going to a hole in the wall kind of place and getting a regular cappuccino but it was HOT. I would opt for a Caffe Shakerato the majority of the time. This drink you can find on almost any Italian menu. It is coffee with a little cream and finely crushed ice shaken, it’s almost like a coffee slushy and a great way to caffeinate and cool down.

As you are reading this, you must think the only thing I did during my five weeks in Rome was eat and drink coffee - but this is not true! We would attend school four days a week at the beautiful Palazzo Taverna or around the sites of the city. During our class, we would take in popular tourist’s destinations like Borghese Gardens, the Colosseum, the Cat Pit (where Caesar was killed) and my favorite, the Roman Forum. We saw countless cathedrals, each one more breath-taking than the last. The church I liked best was the Contarelli Chapel. It is a French church that holds three Caravaggio paintings.
If you have the opportunity to study abroad - do not hesitate! Attending UARC (University ofArkansas - Rome Center) was the perfect way to experience living in a foreign country for the
first time. The familiarity of having professors and friends from Fayetteville made the experience
a little less intimidating. This will be a summer I will never forget!

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Studio Art & Art History major Mackenzie Patureau spent the Summer 2019 term abroad at the U of A Rome Center with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

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

02 July 2020

Conquering My First Trip Out of the Country #HogsAbroad in Spain #ThrowbackThursday #GilmanScholarship

I am Dayli Satterfield, a junior Communication Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Spanish. This past summer, I decided to study abroad in Spain to work on my Spanish language comprehension and to dive into the culture. I had always planned to study abroad and thankfully got the opportunity to do so for 6 weeks in Granada, Spain. Since I had never been out of the United States, I had no idea what to expect. I knew language would be a great barrier to overcome during my stay, but there were also many other obstacles on the horizon.

1. Traveling 10 Hours On My Own

I had never flown by myself or had to navigate an airport alone. Once my parents walked me in, helped me check into my flight and receive my tickets, I had to say goodbye. Security wasn’t so bad, but waiting almost two more hours until my departure was a very difficult time. It reminded me of being a little girl at the doctor’s office, knowing I had to get a shot, and having to wait for it anyway. I was fighting back tears of already feeling homesick, and I kept blowing up my friends’ and families’ phones, needing reassurance because I wasn’t sure I could do it. I tried reading a book at one point, which didn’t even help to calm my nerves. The time had finally come to board my flight, and that was when the true anxiety set in. I had always wanted to travel the world, and I was getting my chance, but I felt like I needed a familiar face to travel with me. It’s one thing to dream about something for years, and quite another to actually experience it. 

For good luck or superstition, I always touch the outside of the plane before entering and getting seated. I made sure I touched this one, especially since I was going to be on an eleven-hour flight by myself to a strange, new country! I placed my carry-on on the shelf above me, plugged my headphones in, and started watching any movie that caught my attention to ward off bad thoughts and nervous feelings. After the longest flight I’ve ever experienced, with no sleep, I finally landed in London.

2. Meeting Complete Strangers and Becoming Friends

Once the plane landed, I was directed to find my luggage and look for a tall man holding a sign with my program’s name on it. I was nervous, had just regained Wi-Fi, and was searching for a needle in a haystack. Luckily, I found the man and joined a circle of strangers meeting for the first time. We exchanged names, where we were from, and shared our nerves and feeling so out of place. After waiting for a few more people to land, we headed to the bus that would take us to a hotel about an hour away.

Looking out the window, I felt like I was in a dream. “Am I really in London?” It was a place I had only seen on TV and in pictures, and now I was sitting on a bus with strangers, ready to experience it! With two days to spend in London, our tour guide took us on a bus tour of the city to see Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Gardens, and the London Bridge. I had made some friends and was starting to feel more comfortable navigating this foreign area, and then it was time to leave. At least there was no huge language barrier in London; a fact I realized later that I had taken for granted.  
(A picture I took of a telephone booth near my hotel in London)
3. Traveling to a New Country All Over Again 

The London tour came to an end, and it was time for the reality to set in that I was going to be spending 5 weeks in Spain. The flight wouldn’t be so long this time, but the culture and language were about to change completely. I slept on the three-hour plane ride and was able to navigate the airport and find the meeting place for my program. At least this time I had a few familiar faces—the ones that I had met in London who were in the same program. We all met the woman that would be guiding us for the next few weeks and followed her around like lost ducklings. She guided us to our bus and filled us with information on the hour-long ride to Granada.

Once in Granada, some of us were separated based on homestay, apartment, or dorm living. My roommates and I followed another program leader to our apartment, and he showed us around the 5 bedrooms, living room, and kitchen that we would be sharing for the next 6 weeks. While there was no air conditioning, I did have the bedroom with a balcony, and there was Wi-Fi so I could call my parents to let them know I had made it. I felt stressed and quite scared. I had gone through so much in just a few hours and had already started to feel homesick, but I knew I had to power through.

4. Getting Adjusted to the Culture and Language

Before arriving in Spain, I had taken some Spanish courses in high school and three semesters throughout college. Even though I had some knowledge about the language, I was close to an intermediate level when it came to conversation. I thought it would be a breeze, but becoming fully submerged in the Spanish language in Spain was very intimidating. I had to ask my friends constantly how to order my food, find directions, and simply what to say to others to sound polite. My lack of Spanish and strong Southern accent made my friends and me seem out of place, but as the days went by, things progressively got easier. Besides the language barrier, the culture was like nothing I had ever experienced. There was a 7-hour difference in time zones and I quickly learned that Spaniards enjoy late nights and early mornings. Breakfast consisted of coffee and a croissant. They don’t eat an actual meal for lunch, it’s’ more like snacking on bread or toast and coffee in the early evening. Dinner doesn’t begin until around 9 p.m., and that was when all the night-life emerged. Bars, restaurants, and clubs opened and were ready for business. I feel like I never fully adjusted to the eating and napping or siesta times, but they were easy to adapt to for a short time

Culture shock is a real thing that many people think will never happen to them. I was one of those people in the beginning. London’s culture was different from the United States’, but it was easy to adjust to since I was only there for 3 days and felt comfortable because English was the main language. Spain, however, was completely different. A language I had only been somewhat familiar with was now required, and a culture that I had no idea even existed was where I was living. It made me feel discouraged when I could barely order my food at a restaurant or when locals came up to talk to me, and I had to reply, “No hablo bien Español.” I learned what I knew about the Spanish language in the United States from the Mexico point of view, but the Spanish spoken in Spain has many differences. They used a few different words for different items and used phrases differently than everything I had always learned. In the 6 weeks of being in Granada, I was able to learn the cultural differences and became aware of them. The culture and language is what I fell in love with.
(Me, standing at the top of a tower at the Alhambra in Granada) 
5. Feeling Like a Second Home

The homesick feeling came often, and I counted the days until my flight home, but the people I was surrounded with everyday made Granada feel like my second home. The more I walked around the city and went on group excursions with my program, I started to understand the history of Granada and my love for it grew. I made a wonderful group of friends that I spent almost every day with. We supported each other when we needed it. We formed an unbreakable bond that began with this shared experience, and we still talk in a group chat today.

I had class 5 days a week for hours on end, and that’s plenty of time to become good friends with classmates. My class contained 9 people, including myself, and we were all from the United States. When you’re out of the country for a while, sometimes that’s all you need to feel close to someone. For my main language class, we had two different teachers for the different sessions, with a 20-minute break in between. My classmates and I would always joke with our teachers and felt so comfortable with them that we were able to build a strong bond. Our teachers would introduce us to cultural norms in Spain, and in return, we talked to them about norms in the United States. Hearing Spanish throughout all times of the day and being forced to speak it helped alleviate some fears of not fitting in and helped me create a special spot in my heart for the city of Granada. The people I met there and locals I got to know shaped my perspective of Spain and sparked my love for the culture and language.
(My friends and I after dining at a famous Flamenco Show restaurant)
6. Time to Pack Up
I was afraid the 6 weeks would drag on, but they ended up going by too fast. Before I knew it, it was my last week in Granada, and I had to start packing my suitcases. I thought it would be impossible to pack up 6 weeks of belongings plus 6 weeks of souvenirs into one, big suitcase and a carry-on, but I somehow managed.

Deciding to study abroad was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned more things about myself than I could ever even imagine. I learned how to overcome my fears, be more outgoing in quiet situations, and to be myself in all situations. Becoming friends with complete strangers and being in a foreign country can add a lot of anxiety to the mix, but I learned to make the best of it. Spain helped me grow as a person, mentally and emotionally. The experience isn’t something I take lightly, because I am aware that not everyone is able to get the opportunity to study abroad. I was lucky to have that chance, and I made the complete best of it. Although it seems scary, it is a chance worth taking. I missed home, but I also didn’t want to leave Spain. It was not easy to feel at home in a foreign place filled with such new experiences, but making new friends made it so much easier. Spain has a piece of my heart. I learned about the country’s language and culture through being immersed completely in it, and the experience positively impacted the way I view my own culture. I am forever a Granadina.
(This was painting on a stair step in the city. “Granada, te amo.” ) 
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Communication Disorders major & Spanish minor Dayli Satterfield spent the Summer 2019 term in Granada, Spain with AIFS, with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Gilman Scholarship.

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

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About the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-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.

25 June 2020

New Friends, New Cities, New Experiences #HogsAbroad in Mexico #ThrowbackThursday

Learning to make black clay pottery in Oaxaca.
 Hi!! My name is Chloe Williams and I am in the School of Art studying graphic design. I am also working towards a Spanish minor which led me to dreaming about studying abroad one day. This summer I had the opportunity to study in Puebla, Mexico through the Faculty Led Program at the U of A. Being in the Spanish Language and Immersion program increased my confidence in the language dramatically. It also gave me a wonderful experience learning about the history of Mexico and its culture.
Our group visiting the pyramids
My first week in Puebla was a whirlwind of events. We arrived at the end of May and began an orientation session at UPAEP, my host university. The staff at the University had prepared us dishes native to Puebla such as mole poblano and frijoles charros for our first day. Traditional Mexican dancers came in and showed off their talent. They tried to teach us afterward even though we were all horrible at it! The best part about the first day was meeting other students. Our Arkansas group quickly became friends with a group from Colombia and enjoyed the challenge of speaking in Spanish with them from day one. We bonded over hilarious errors in communication and spent time with them after classes for the rest of the week.
A Baroque museum in Puebla
Throughout the weeks, I attended four hours of language class every day. My professor prepared us with writing and speaking practice as well as games so the time always went by fast. In the afternoons, our group attended cooking and dancing classes. It was such a fun way to experience more of Mexican culture and have a nice break from the intensive language course. Every day I went home to my host family and my two host “nephews” who were two little poodles! I adore the time I got to spend with my family there. Our nights were filled with deep discussions, games, and laughter. They helped me navigate the city of Puebla and gave me a deeper understanding of the Mexican lifestyle.
One of the many beautiful churches of Puebla
My favorite part of the experience was our weekend trips. We visited a new city at the end of every week so I was able to see more sights and variances in culture. I could never choose a favorite place because each one was so special from the waterfalls of Cuetzalan, a small town in the mountains, to Mexico City, one of the largest cities I have ever been to. There were so many foods to try, markets to walk through, and museums to visit. Seeing the art in Mexico and learning more of its history were especially exciting! My art history lectures came to life when we were shown pieces from the Aztec and Mayan empires. The colors of Mexico itself are an inspiration for any artist. Every building, piece of clothing, and artifact seemed to be alive with vivid color and energy. I cannot wait to return one day to visit my host family, try new foods, and take in the warmth of such a special place.
Delicious market food
Taking in the scenery
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Graphic design major & Spanish minor Chloe Williams spent the Summer 2019 term abroad with the U of A Faculty-Led program, Spanish Immersion & Service Learning in Puebla, Mexico, with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures.

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

18 June 2020

#Razorgrads Take on Ireland! #HogsAbroad #ThrowbackThursday

Hello! My name is Megan Still. I am a Graduate Student in Walton College of Business working on my Master’s in Information Systems. This summer, I was blessed with the opportunity to study in Ireland through the U of A faculty-led program. While abroad we visited businesses in Ireland to investigate E-commerce and the Innovative Technology they were working on. We were able to work with IBM, American Chamber of Commerce, Jet.com, SAP and Deloitte. 

Before the trip I did research on weather, currency, power adapters and our scheduled business appointments in Ireland, so that I could best prepare for the trip. I found that weather at that time was mild and did have the tendency to drizzle, so light raincoat was perfect! I also saw that there was a place on campus and at the airport to exchange our currency and Visa and Mastercard Credit Cards would be just fine at most locations. I also was able to purchase the right power adapter and converter to use.

And then the day for travel came!

One thing we learned early into our trip is that the people you are traveling with make such a HUGE impact on the experience. Our first day and a half could have truly ruined the rest of the trip. We had a cancelled flight in Chicago, then struggled to get a flight with all of us on it, missed the first day, plane with no AC…. And almost lost my luggage. BUT… the other students and professors were AMAZING! Instead of getting upset and testy we chose to crack jokes and keep the situation fun and light. No doubt we were tired when we arrived on Monday in Ireland and had our first business meetings just about 2.5 hours later. We stuck with it and kept positive throughout the day. One thing I learned is that in life you must go in with the understanding that you are not in control and when humans are involved things can get off track. But you can control your response to those situations. Reacting negatively doesn’t improve the situation it just ruins opportunities and creates tension.

Like I said, so Blessed with those who I traveled with.

In country we learned so much about the different businesses and how certain technology we are learning about is currently being used. Learning about how the culture in Ireland has impacted the growth of these companies and how they do business was fascinating! Everyone we met in Ireland was so accommodating and excited to share about the country and their business.

Our group also had the opportunity to go on a couple cultural adventures as well. We went to Teeling Distillery, Malahide Castle and Gardens, Howth, Galway, and Cliffs of Moher.


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Megan spent the Summer 2019 term abroad in Ireland with our program for graduate students enrolled in the Professional MIS program with the 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/

11 June 2020

Fun With Cultural Excursions #HogsAbroad in Spain #ThrowbackThursday


My name is Amanda Hayes. I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas. I am pre-med, majoring in biology and minoring in Spanish. I chose to study abroad in Barcelona this summer in order to improve my Spanish speaking skills.

While in Barcelona, ISA provided excursions each weekend to different towns outside of Barcelona. All of the places we went to were amazing, but my favorites were Valencia and Peñíscola. In Valencia we made our own paella and in Peñíscola we got to see the castle where some of Game of Thrones was shot!

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Biology major & Spanish minor Amanda Hayes spent the Summer 2019 term abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain, 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/

27 May 2020

Study Abroad 101 Virtual Info Sessions! #WanderlustWednesday



Are you interested in study abroad but not sure how to get started? Study Abroad 101 will help you understand your options, funding, and next steps. Info sessions are interactive, with plenty of time to ask questions. 

Summer sessions are hosted virtually on BlackboardCollaborate every Tuesday through Friday, at 1:00 pm CST.

Interested in reading more? Our Explore page is also a great resource for more help getting started!