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25 April 2017

Students Gain Global Insight On Agriculture #HogsAbroad in India

The Bumpers College group participating in the agricultural International Programs trip to India included (from left) Paul Wolf, Macie Kelly, Taylor Pruitt, Tara Harris, Steven Thao, Belkins Tejiera, Jordan Nichols, Molly Claire Laws and Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences professors Mary Savin and Vibha Srivastava.
The Bumpers College group participating in the agricultural International Programs trip to India included (from left) Paul Wolf, Macie Kelly, Taylor Pruitt, Tara Harris, Steven Thao, Belkins Tejiera, Jordan Nichols, Molly Claire Laws and Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences professors Mary Savin and Vibha Srivastava.
Students from various disciplines recently participated in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences' international experiential learning program in India.

Jordan Nichols, Tara Harris, Macie Kelly and five other students joined Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences professors Mary Savin and Vibha Srivastava on a faculty-led trip over the January intersession.

"India is nothing like any other culture," said Nichols, a master's degree student in agricultural economics. "India is a powerhouse in agriculture. It introduces students to the challenge of agriculture that you wouldn't see here in the U.S."

"They had such great hospitality," said Harris, a sophomore from Newport majoring in apparel merchandising and product development with a minor in agricultural business. "Everything they had, had some ornate design, and for some reason, they really liked taking selfies with us."

The Bumpers College program combines lectures with hands-on learning experiences to give students an understanding and practical knowledge of the lifestyles within India, and the different methods within agriculture and society India is using to further develop the country.

"India has an enormous, increasing and overwhelmingly younger population of 1.2 billion," Savin said. "Agriculture is an important sector of the economy, especially for rural citizens, and the country is an important exporter of agricultural products. Students gain a deep appreciation for the culture, challenges faced by Indians and approaches undertaken to meet challenges by going to and personally interacting with the people of India."

"Overseas, India was a very influential trip for me, my first influence experiencing another culture," said Kelly, an agricultural education major from Mountain Home. "You leave America, something you are accustomed to and the trends and modernism here, and you go to a culture such as India - it's honestly amazing to see the different ways people operate overseas."

"When I started this trip, my expectations were that India is dirty and overpopulated, but very rich in culture," Nichols said. "However, coming back, I have learned that the people there are unified in their pursuit to become a developed country. The people are very devoted. They finish what they start, and non-profits and religious groups are doing a lot of work to help."

The India program was one of the few Bumpers College offered during the January intercession.
"January was a good time," Harris said. "It was not too cold, and it was not too hot. It allowed us to experience things that we may not have gotten to experience in a trip during the summer."

Students were exposed to multiple cultural experiences, visiting Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

"I was very happy that we could provide a broad view of Indian agriculture and food industry by visiting big and small farms, research institutes and industries, and by interacting with farmers and their families, students and faculty, and industry professionals," said Srivastava. "Our students experienced urban and rural cultures and the hospitality of Indians at multiple locations. We also experienced the rich history of India by visiting several monuments and palaces."

"If you want a unique agricultural experience, this is the place to go," Nichols said. "This trip is perfect for agricultural economics students, plant science students, crop, soil and environmental science students, as well as agricultural communications students. If you want to learn about the world of agriculture, this shows scope, and that the dynamic is different from the U.S."

Experiences for the group included lodging at the Umaid Bhawan hotel, visiting the University of Delhi South Campus and Dayalbagh Educational Institute, touring an active sugar factory and a rug factory, visiting major landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and riding elephants to the palace in Jaipur.
"I would 100 percent recommend a study abroad program to anyone who is considering it," Kelly said. "Not only did I learn about the industry that I have selected for a future career, I have learned about agriculture and different practices, and how to put that in a worldly perspective. It's honestly an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone, no matter where you're going. I believe that if you're interested in a study abroad program, that worldly experience will only make you more prepared for your future."

"Participating in a study abroad program allows students the opportunity to experience first-hand what another country is really like, reflect on their per-conceived notions, build their knowledge base and develop interpersonal skills that allow students to interact successfully as global citizens," Savin said.

"Before returning home, we relaxed at the foothills of Himalayas by the river Ganges that descends from the mountains at that very place to start its long journey through the plains of India and into the Bay of Bengal," Srivastava said. "Overall, I feel the exposure to India, a vastly different country that has emerged as an important world economy, helps students develop a global perspective that will be helpful when they step into the real world."

For information about Bumpers College study abroad programs, go to Bumpers' international page. Bumpers College offers faculty-led programs to Belgium, England, China and Mozambique; courses and exchanges in France and Austria; internships in Greece and Scotland; and research in Brazil, the Philippines and Greece.

24 April 2017

4 Budgeting Tips for Your Time Abroad #HogsAbroad #DiversityAbroad

Article courtesy of  
Financial stresses can really detract from your experience abroad. In particular, I struggled because I studied abroad via the multi-country program, Semester at Sea. Because we were in a new country every week, I had to constantly adjust my budget to new currencies and exchange rates. As challenging as this was, it is absolutely worthwhile because by budgeting properly, I was able to minimize nagging worries about my expenses, and was able to fully embrace my experiences abroad. With that, here are some tips for how you can budget for your study abroad program.

Have an Emergency Fund

Picture this: It is midnight and I am alone in a foreign country. I had foolishly decided to split from my travel buddies while in Marrakesh, Morocco to explore the winding alleyways and twisting corridors of the city on my own. The soothing sun has descended and now a chilling moonlight descends, covering me in cold. I needed to get back to the hotel - fast. I checked my wallet. All out of Dirham (the local currency)! Thankfully, I had put aside money for an emergency such as this, and only needed wifi to transfer the funds into my account. As a result, I made it back safely.  Preparing for inevitable unexpected crises by having a financial backup plan is essential for study abroad success. I recommend saving up or storing a few hundred dollars in case of emergencies that arise. You'll be thankful you did!

Establish a Monthly Budget

By creating a monthly spending budget, you will start to notice if you are on track to spend every dollar you have before your trip ends. For instance, while in Hong Kong, I went to a world famous tailor suit shop called Apsley Bespoke Tailors. I entered ready to confidently bargain for a perfect price...and ended up spending $600! Not only had I bargained terribly, but I had also blown my budget. Buying this suit was definitely a splurge, but because I had established monthly spending budget and tracked my expenses, I simply updated my budget sheet and knew exactly how much I had swayed off track. I was forced to adjust my spending for the future, and as a result cut future expenses so that I could stay on track in the long run. For me, having a custom suit was worth it, but that's a decision only you can make!

Split large expenses with friends whenever you can

While in Vietnam, my friends and I rented out a small luxury villa and shared it among 20 students total. It was the most fun I had in years! The total bill for a week of accommodations per person: $8!! Simply by splitting expenses you can make awesome experiences more financially feasible for everyone.

Research Hostels, Transportation, and Tourist Traps prior to arrival

One of my friends got stranded in India. She was trying to make it to the Taj Mahal, but the bus transportation she was relying on dropped her off at an abandoned station with thirty strangers. She was understandably worried and because the buses failed to help, and she ended up paying over $500 in rupees to take a taxi for six hours just to get to the Taj Mahal. Although she couldn't have known the bus would leave her stranded, that extra expense and dangerous situation could have been avoided had she researched the bus company ahead of time, and instead chose a mode of transport that was safe, reliable and affordable. Spending the time to do your research will save you more money in the long run above all else. Plus, it's a life skill that you can continue to use anytime you decide to explore someplace new. Be an informed global citizen and check out resources like the Diversity Abroad Community Forums or wikitravel to find out as much information as you can ahead of time.

BONUS TIP: Have A Recurring Source of Passive Income

If possible, try to secure recurring passive income before you go abroad. This will help you worry less about money and truly enjoy your experiences abroad. For instance, by renting your on-campus housing to someone while you are gone, earning royalties for something you created and published, or investing in high-return stocks with dividends you can create consistent passive income. However, the process can be risky. I invested in stocks prior to traveling in the hopes of using the return on investment to fund my travels. Instead I lost several hundred dollars. So choose wisely!

In conclusion, budgeting can be a tricky process. Do not overcomplicate it. By simply,having an emergency fund, tracking your monthly spending, doing your research and splitting expenses with friends, you will alleviate the majority of your financial stresses, allowing you to delve into your life-changing experience abroad without any distractions!

austin joseph
About the Author

Austin Joseph is a study at Morehouse College, and a Diversity Abroad Campus Fellow during the 2016-17 academic year. He set sail with Semester at Sea, and volunteered during the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil!

If you need help getting started with study abroad, take a look at the first steps:


20 April 2017

Adventures in Teaching #HogsAbroad Internships in Peru

Hi! My name is Chelsea Theodore. I'm majoring in Elementary Education and finishing up my final student teaching placement in Lima, Peru. This is my third week here in Peru and I'm absolutely loving it! Every day is a new adventure and I'm soaking up each experience! Here are some pictures of my trip so far! 
We went on a dune buggy ride and went sandboarding in Huacachina, Peru.
 A typical school lunch. This cost $3 for students and $2 for teachers.
We went on a boat tour to Isla Ballestas and saw lots of sea lions and penguins in Paracas, Peru.

For more information on these international teaching opportunities in Belize, Peru and Sweden, please visit  

18 April 2017

Taking Teaching Overseas #HogsAbroad Internships in Peru

Sand boarding in Huacachina (that is me I swear)
Hey everyone! I am honored to be part of the first group of elementary education students from the U of A to take on Lima, Peru! I have been abroad in the past, but never have I seen anything like the country of Peru. 

The only word that ever comes to mind when I think of Peru is... wild. The food is wild, the geography is wild, the traffic is wild, the population is wild. We do not attend classes here: we only teach at an IB school in Lima. Because of this, the friends we make are from our travels and hostel stays outside the city. At the hostels, we have met people from all around the world.

Boat ride to the sea lions in Paraccas (we saw some penguins too):
Host dad wearing the Texas shirt I bought him
The cost of living is incredibly reasonable here. A meal from a nicer restaurant will only put you back about $7.00. An uber ride is on average $4.00. An additional cost you must take into account is water. You must buy bottled water, and you will need a lot!!!!! It is rare you will find someone who actually speaks English in Peru: not even all the teachers at the bilingual school I am at speak English. 

Overall, this is the most beautiful country I have ever seen and the food here is the most amazing cuisine I have ever had the privilege of trying. It is going to be very hard to leave...... maybe I wont!
For more information on these international teaching opportunities in Belize, Peru and Sweden, please visit