Search This Blog

10 December 2018

LESS THAN 3 WEEKS LEFT!! #HogsAbroad in Sweden

So it has been a while since the last time I posted. I’m so sorry the last 2 months have been so busy!

In the past 2 months I took my first round of finals (they went great), went to Denmark, Russia, Estonia, Finland (TWICE), and now this weekend I’m going to Scotland!! I am actually currently writing this on the bus to the airport.

It is so crazy that I only have 2 and a half weeks left here. It is very much a bittersweet feeling. I have made so many great friends here and I think that saying goodbye to them will be the hardest part of leaving. I am very happy to get to go home and see my family, friends, and especially my dog. This has been the best 4 months of my life and I’m so grateful I got this opportunity. I’m also so beyond grateful for the study abroad funding I got through the University of Arkansas Study Abroad Office and the Walton School of Business Global Engagement Office. If you are planning on studying abroad anywhere, apply for funding. The time you put into essays will be worth it.

Some advice to anyone thinking about studying at Jönköping University:
  • If you only have the money to go on one of the school trips, I recommend the Norway trip. I went on all 3 and while I recommend all of them, the Norway one was by far my favorite.
  • Travel a lot, but don’t fall behind on studying because it’s hard to catch up.
  • Everyone here is so stylish so your wardrobe game will increase so much.
  • If you’re thinking about studying here 100% do it. It has been the best decision.
  • If you’re debating about what housing you should live in, I recommend 1. Råslätt -> it’s a little bit further out so you’ll have to take the bus to and from school, but the community vibe is amazing. 2. Match House because it’s close to campus and Aka. It is a community kitchen and bathroom, but having that is a great way to meet people. 3. Beta House or Vilhelmsro. Beta House is close to the city center, but Vilhelmsro has a pretty view because it overlooks the lake.
I stayed at Backdal and while it was nice because I was so close to the university, it didn’t have a community feel which sucked at times. I did get my own bathroom and kitchen (I just shared with one other person).

Here are some pictures from the past 2 months. Thanks for reading!


--
Accounting major Arielle Amburn is spending the Fall 2018 semester in Sweden with our U of A Exchange program at Jonkoping University with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Read more from Arielle at https://ariellessemesterabroad.wordpress.com/

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

06 December 2018

Regrets? #HogsAbroad in England

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and did plenty of Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping! I don’t think Black Friday is a big deal here; some stores had sales, but I didn’t go to see if it was crowded or not. As far as updates go, this week is just same old, same old. I can feel the end of the semester approaching quickly, so I am scrambling to keep up with readings, finish my London ‘to-do’ list, and make last-minute travel plans.

This week I want to talk about something I’ve been keeping a list of as the semester has progressed. From the title, you may think they are my regrets, but regret is not the right word. Rather, I want to talk about some things I would have done differently regarding my term abroad. I wouldn’t say I have any regrets, but hindsight is 20/20 and I’m always looking for process improvements. I know there are a bunch of resources with study abroad advice or study abroad tips and tricks, but these are personal and particular examples I want to share.

First of all, I should have planned to have my mother ship me my winter clothes and other items, or at least should have shown up with more than a backpack. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Maybe four months just seemed like a short time, but I should have planned better. To be fair, I have a suitcase at home that I pre-packed with the best of intentions. However, by the time I found out my mother couldn’t visit (and bring the suitcase) I didn’t think it would be worth it to have her ship it. Let me tell you, it would have been worth it. I’ve learned to be resourceful and creative, but, the colder it gets, the more I want my North Face jacket.

Next, I would have been less apathetic about my accommodation. Once again, four months just seemed short, but I feel like my sanity could have been better preserved in a nicer living situation. I don’t recall being given many choices in accommodation, but I do remember not being picky. Knowing myself and my standard of cleanliness, I shouldn’t have left it up to chance and ‘hoped for the best.’ I would love to attach a picture for the people who think I may be exaggerating, but I wouldn’t want to disgust my readers. It’s really that bad. But yet, I’ll survive.

I also would’ve better planned out my weekend trips. To be fair, I wasn’t yet sure of my class schedule, but I should have chosen and ranked the places where I wanted to go most. Usually, when planning these weekend trips, I do it two weeks beforehand and just search Skyscanner for cheap tickets. Of course, I only picked places I wanted to go, but now with time running out, I realize there are places I should have prioritized.

Also, I wish I would have looked into renting a bike when I first got to campus. Relying on the bus system is aggravating and time-consuming, but more importantly, it only runs at certain times. Every time I’ve had an early flight or late arrival I’ve had to take a taxi to and from the bus station back to campus. It’s not a terrible distance, just too far to walk. I probably would make more of an effort to go grocery shopping or go to town if I had a more reliable mode of transportation. Oh well, it’s all been part of the experience!

Less significantly, I wish I would’ve kept stats on the number of planes, trains, taxis, etc., I took and how much time I spent in airports or just traveling. I was talking to my sister today and mentioned this because I feel like the number would be extraordinary. It wouldn’t be hard to count the number of flights I’ve taken (I’ll do that later), but time spent traveling would have been really cool to know exactly.

Lastly, I wish during all my travels I would have picked up a souvenir. At the beginning of my trip, I was very adamant about necessities only, so I didn’t consider buying something to take with me. I also would much rather spend my money on experiences or food, so it wasn’t a hard decision to make. But now, looking back, it would be so cool to have some visual representation of all the places I’ve been. I want to slap myself for not thinking of something simple like a patch to put on my backpack for each country or something like that. In reality, that’s cheap and easy to find. Yes, I can probably find country patches on Amazon, but it’s not the same. I’ll just have to treasure the memories, which is just fine.

So, after all that planning and organizing, I still didn’t get it 100% right, and that’s okay! I am my own worst critic, and everyone can relate to coming up with a good idea after the fact. But, I still think it’s important to share on the off chance someone can learn from my mistakes.

In more positive news, this weekend I was fortunate enough to go to Vienna, Austria.

Oh. My. Gosh.

It was absolutely breathtaking! The architecture, the music, the food, the art, the Christmas markets, everything! I felt like I stepped back in time and was in a movie from the 1940s. Vienna was the first place I really felt like I desperately needed more time. I tried to make the most of my time, seeing an orchestra, going to multiple Christmas markets, taking a sightseeing bus, and going to the Belvedere Museum to see works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. I must go back!

Enjoy the pictures and have a wonderful week!
(Rathauspark)
(Burggarten)
(Vienna City Center)
(Maria-Theresien-Platz and Memorial)
(Schonbrunn Palace)
Cheers!
Brisa B.
--
Industrial Engineering major Brisa Bartczak is spending the Fall 2018 term in England with our U of A Exchange program at the University of Essex, Colchester with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the College of Engineering.

Read more from Brisa at https://sites.uark.edu/bsbartcz/

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

05 December 2018

Closing Ceremony and Reflection #HogsAbroad in China

The last day of the conference included the awards and closing ceremony on that Friday morning. We had an awesome keynote presentation on the importance of United Nations peacekeepers. It is awesome to hear how our participation in the conference serves as a catalyst to changing the world. The University of Arkansas picked up 4 awards:
  • Outstanding Position Paper – China ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council)
  • Outstanding Delegates in Committee – China ECOSOC
  • Distinguished Delegation – China
  • Distinguished Delegation – Republic of Korea (South Korea)
I cannot express how proud I am of the hard work and dedication of this group. Our committee sessions were long. They included multiple speeches and hours of negotiation and debate. Every single country and committee from the University of Arkansas gave more than 100% effort and represented our school in very high fashion. In addition to the awards, our group benefited from personal and professional development. Because of our participation in this conference, we are better researchers, negotiators, and public speakers. We have mastered the skill of presenting and communicating research effectively and working in groups to create proposals and solutions that the body can actually implement. Our group also bonded and created a family. I cannot say enough about Dr. Stapp and the 20 students that participated in NMUN China 2018. I’m proud of myself and the group for getting out of our element and meeting other people from around the world. We challenged ourselves to work multilateral and have confidence in our research and proposals. We ended the conference with a celebration at an awesome Hot Pot restaurant. Great work, delegates!

--
Follow along with Eric and the Model UN delegation at https://esw2018nmun.home.blog/.

04 December 2018

Best Decision of my Life #HogsAbroad in Spain


Coming to Spain to study abroad has been the best decision in my life. And I mean the BEST.

I didn't know what to expect but I came so eager to find out what living abroad means. The first two weeks weren't as easy as I thought it would be. I had many connections flights and I lost ALL of them due to weather conditions. Finally, after 32 hours of sleep deprivation, I found out ALL my luggage was lost!! Can you really believe that? So I had no clothes to wear, nor laptop to connect with, and no shampoo or basic toiletries. Certainly I didn't have a good start BUT it turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life.

I got to know new people from ALL over the world. I made friends from Italy, Pakistan, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Bolivia, Spain, Colombia, Morocco, Brazil, and France!! I'm really glad I met them because they have broadened my knowledge and perspective about cultures and the world itself. Do you want to know what's the coolest thing about them? All of them they speak at LEAST three languages!!!! I thought I was cultured because I'm bilingual (English and Spanish) but I'm guessing I have to learn another language. So I had no problems at all on communicating with these folks.

I truly enjoyed this study abroad experience. Besides meeting new people, I tried new food which some of them were good, others not so. I listened to different types of music, I laughed, I walked at least 10 miles a day. I saw hundreds of museums, I went to the theater, famous stadiums, I ran, climbed and many other adventurous things! I'm so happy that words cannot explain how much I learned and enjoyed being in Spain. Here's a short video compiling some short trips I did when I was in Spain. I had the chance to visit Portugal, Morocco, Italy, France, and Spain!

Not everything is just trips and parties. I study Marketing and being at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is quite different from home. I have lots of group projects every week and classes are quite different. I don't love their system nor do I hate it. It's just different. Having lots of group projects, I have sharpened my skills on time management and being more cooperative. I definitely loved every single part of study abroad.

--
Marketing major Stacy Dheming is spending the fall 2018 semester in Spain with our U of A Exchange Program at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 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/

Featured Destination: Costa Rica

Photo courtesy of Mallory Hughes
Interested in study abroad, but don't know where to start? Each month we'll feature a new destination, and December's highlighted country is Costa Rica!

Come discover why Costa Rica has been called the “Switzerland of Central America.” Costa Rica is one of the world’s most ecologically and bio-diverse regions with over 500,000 species calling it home. The relatively small country offers something for all students whether that be the bustling metropolis of San Jose or the sandy beaches of the Caribbean coast. From health care to ecology and everything in between, Costa Rica offers programs related to several majors with courses taught in English and Spanish.
Photo courtesy of Lane Justus
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
College of Education and Health Professions
Photo courtesy of Mallory Hughes
SCHOLARSHIPS
There are many resources and scholarships available for study abroad. Most scholarships and financial aid that students currently receive during the intended term 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.
WHAT FORMER STUDENTS HAVE SAID
Photo courtesy of Lane Justus
“I studied abroad to Costa Rica during the Summer of 2017 through ISA. I took classes at Universidad Veritas for half of the trip and worked at La Hospital San Juan de Dios for the remaining portion. My study abroad experience in Costa Rica was all that I could have wanted and more. Not only did I have a complete immersion experience to enhance my Spanish speaking ability, but I had so many opportunities to explore the perfect combination of mountains and beaches that is Costa Rica, and learn while doing it. I had so many experiences and learning opportunities that were truly unique to Costa Rica, my favorite being that I joined a research lab as an assistant and was able to help with the genetic analysis of sharks, sea turtles, and sting rays. Costa Ricans or Ticos, as they call themselves, truly embody the Pura Vida lifestyle that they are so proud of: friendly, relaxed, and always looking to make the most of everything. Studying abroad in Costa Rica has been a defining experience within my college career, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering.” - Lane Justus, senior Spanish & Political Science major, Summer 2017 ISA Service-Learning in San Jose, Costa Rica

Photo courtesy of Mallory Hughes
“I chose to go to Costa Rica because it is such a small country that you can really get to know the people and places very well in just a short amount of time. I also chose to study here to improve my Spanish skills. The people truly are "the happiest in the world." My host family and also basically everyone I met were so welcoming and helpful and they really just want you to have the best experience possible so they are willing to help in any way. My advice to any student considering Costa Rica is to GO. Go with an open mind and a good attitude and you will experience everything this country and its people have to offer. This was the best decision of my life and I would do it over again without a second thought if I could.” - Mallory Hughes, senior Spanish & Communication major, Fall 2017 USAC Costa Rica: Spanish Language, Ecological, and Latin American Studies in Puntarenas

3 EASY STEPS TO STUDY ABROAD
So, what's next?
  1. Drop by the Office of Study Abroad 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 Costa Rica.

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

03 December 2018

Cultural Excursions #HogsAbroad in China

The first two days of our trip consisted of cultural excursions to various locations. On Monday, the group went to visit the Terra Cotta soldiers. It was about an hour drive outside of the city to the museum. The area to view the soldiers was divided into three pits, each of different sizes. We visited all three pits. It was a neat site to see. It was hard to get pictures because it was dark in several locations, but there were a ton of warriors. The figures also included chariots and horses. Monday also included a visit to the Bell and Drum Towers. These are located in the center of Xi’an. You could go inside the tower and up at the top was a great view of the city center. Not too far from the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower. The Bell Tower rung at dawn to start the day and the Drum Tower is struck at night to conclude the day. In the Drum Tower, there were multiple drums that signified certain things. For example, there was a drum for each solar term or weather phenomenon. My favorite was a drum for “slight heat.” I assumed this meant a period of the summer, but I wasn’t exactly sure. There is also a drum museum inside the tower. The Drum Tower also gave great views of the city.
The next day, Tuesday, also consisted of cultural excursions. Our day started with a visit to the Xi’an City Wall. It looks a lot like the Kremlin in Moscow in my opinion. It was my favorite of the cultural excursions. It is situated at the end of the ancient Silk Road, which ironically is also located in the center of the urban district. We walked along one of the sides of the wall and got more good pictures of the city. We took a group picture at one end of the wall. After some free time at the wall, we walked to the Muslim Quarter. It was a short distance to the Muslim Quarter, since the district is located inside the City Wall. It is called the Muslim Quarter due to its large Muslim population. The area is most known for its culture, food, and shopping. We were given about two hours of free time here in addition to lunch. It was a fun area, very lively. Some of our group went again the last night of the trip. They were not disappointed.

--
Follow along with Eric and the Model UN delegation at https://esw2018nmun.home.blog/.

30 November 2018