Search This Blog

20 June 2018

Go for it! #HogsAbroad in France

No matter where you are in your academic career, if you have the desire to study abroad, go for it! Yes, most people do go during their undergraduate years, but take me for example… I didn’t go until after graduating with my master’s degree at the University of Arkansas. I had been taking French since high school and I really wanted to study abroad in France, but it just wasn’t possible for me until after I finished my studies. I found a program in the South of France, Aix-en-Provence to be exact, and I decided to enroll independently after graduation. Since I took supplemental French courses during my master’s program, I decided to talk to an adviser to see if I could re-enroll as an undergraduate because why not get a bachelor’s degree while I was at it? I remember feeling nervous that it might not be possible, but to my surprise, there was no impediment at all! Once I re-enrolled, I realized I was eligible to apply to the study abroad scholarships. I took advantage of the opportunity, and I was awarded the Office of Study Abroad scholarship! I was so happy when I got the news because it felt like everything was coming together.

My time in Aix-en-Provence was definitely worth it. Its size is comparable to Fayetteville’s, so it felt like I was home. Because it’s a student city, I found a lot of cute little coffee and tea shops where I would often go to study. I made several friends from all over the world as my school had students from many different nationalities. Outside of school I took advantage of the region’s natural beauty by joining a local hiking group. Through this group, I met a lot of locals and two of my best friends in France. My favorite outing was when we hiked up a mountain at night to see a lunar eclipse! I also attended weekly language exchange meetings that helped me progress tremendously in French. Being involved in the community is also important for me, so I volunteered at culture exchange workshops at after-school associations around town. I would teach French kids and teens about Mexican and American culture and they would teach about France.

Of course there were times in the beginning where I felt lonely; after all I didn’t know anyone yet and it was my first time living abroad. Still, even when I did feel that way, I never regretted my decision. I pushed myself to get out there and meet people and so I did! Studying abroad is all about pushing your limits and stepping out of your comfort zone. Yes, it can be difficult in the beginning, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world! Like me, maybe you’re nervous or unsure about where to start, but the good folks at the Study Abroad Office will help you get on your way. Bon voyage!

Ariana spent the 2017-2018 academic year in France at Aix-Marseille Université with the help of our our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

18 June 2018

Latin America Urban Studio #HogsAbroad in Mexico

Bienvenidos! My name is Bryan (guy on the far right in the orange shirt!). I am studying architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design with hopes of graduating with both a HARD minor (History of Architectural Design) and Legal Studies minor. I traveled abroad twice in high school to France and Spain with EF (Education First) tours, I am currently in Mexico for the Faculty-Led Latin American Urban Studio. This is both my first time studying abroad and blogging!

Today I am writing from Puebla, Mexico. It is our 14th day in the country with the last day being on August 5th. I hope to upload posts more frequently when we arrive in Mexico City, but for now here's what we’ve been doing! During these past two weeks I have been full of wonder, amazement, and chilies.

There is no down time here in Mexico, we have been working very hard to document and enjoy the rich culture that surrounds us! Mexican history, cuisine and people are both complex and intriguing. From the possible encounter with a pure blooded Mayan in one state to practically only seeing Mestizos in the next, there are bags of chips toting hot sauce packets inside them, and funeral processions are seemingly celebrations – playing songs like La Vida es un Carnaval.

We have a full day ahead of us so I will try to make this short;

When we first arrived in the country we stayed in Mexico City for a couple days, resting and orienting ourselves. When we left Mexico City we flew to Campeche.

Campeche is a beautiful walled colonial town on the coast in the Yucatan Peninsula. Visiting the Fuerte de San Jose and the collection of Mayan artifacts there first we then headed to the ruins of Edzna containing a remarkably reconstructed ceremonial center. The feeling of being in such a place that was not connected to the European civilizations is wild and very eye opening. To finish off our stay in Campeche we spent a day in the town and plazas recording significant and normative corners around the city. Leaving Campeche we drove on to the jungle surrounded town on Palenque.
Edzna ruins

Pit-stop on the way to Palenque

Palenque, located in the state of Chiapas is a place where you check your room when you visit for snakes when you arrive and in the morning you make up to the sound of howling monkeys. Here we spent our time at the archeological site of Palenque. A Mayan necropolis with the ruling house was seen as semi-divine this site had several features not seen at other cities. Spending our days in the blazing sun on the site made for rewarding nights at Don Muchos with aerial dancers and salsa dancing. On the last day in Palenque we drove 3 hours and took a 40 minute boat ride to the remote site of Yaxchilan (which is on the Guatemalan border) becomes of its remoteness, it has miraculously been untouched compared to others, the Mayan of this region built an incredible series of pyramids and a winding tunnel complex at the entry to the site – very Indiana Jonesish. After saying our goodbyes in Palenque the road lead on to Tlacotalpan.
Ruins of Palenque

Ruins of Palenque
Boarding the boats
Ruins of Yaxchilan
Tlacotalpan is a charming town in the state of Veracruz on banks of the Papaloapan River, aside from being a UNESCO world heritage site since 1998 it has also been the subject of many Mexican music videos (unintentionally discovered, although quite enjoyed). Here we spent our time roaming the city, noting the historical fabric that achieved its UNESCO status, speaking with locals (who knew a surprising amount of English) and being serenaded by our La Bamaban Maestro, Carlos Setina. Veracruz is the state in which the La Bamba was first written. As the bus was being loaded, our ears were filled with music, Senor Setina wished us safe travels and we were on our way through the mountains on Highway 175 to Oaxaca.
Tlacotalpan at dusk
Boat ride on our last night
Oaxaca is the Capital of the state of Oaxaca, it is one of the largest towns we have stayed in. The indigenous people of this region literally removed the top of a mountain at Monte Alban, this created breathtaking views that many of us documented during our visit. The area is home to many Dominican Convents and the city is home to one of the largest of these convents, Santa Domingo. During our last night in town we had dinner at Los Danzantes, an exceptionally designed restaurant. On the way to Puebla we stopped by the anomalous San Pedro Y San Pablo Convento in Teposcolula.
Monte Alban
San Pedro Y San Pablo Convento
Today was our first day in Puebla, this city, like Oaxaca is the capital of the state it is in – Puebla. We spent the day at Cantona, a marvelously preserved example of an Olmec city which may have contained a population of 80,000 people (the size of Fayetteville)! With our site visit being done for the day, we’re off for a Saturday night in Puebla!
Ruins of Cantona
-Bryan Murren

Bryan is spending the 2018 summer term in Mexico with our U of A Faculty-Led: Latin America Urban Studio program.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

My Experience with Health Teams Abroad #HogsAbroad in Sweden

Hey! My name is Katie Kita and I just completed my sophomore year of college. I am a public health major with a minor in social work, with hopes of going to Occupational Therapy school after graduation. The summer after my sophomore year, I went on the faculty lead trip Health Teams Abroad in Sweden. The purpose of this trip is to compare and contrast the health care system between the United States and Sweden, and trust me there is a lot!

I chose this trip specifically because it had to do with my major, it was faculty-led, and I would be going with other U of A students. The reasons I chose this trip are also the reasons why I had the best experience. I left for Sweden with 18 other classmates who by the end became genuine, lifelong friends. I got to know the 6 faculty on the trip who helped me in Sweden and I know will be there to help me throughout my studies. I always felt safe, prepared, excited, and much more because of the structure of HTA.

Health Teams Abroad left the Monday after school ended, so there was a quick turn around and I had to start preparing throughout the second semester. I started by getting a passport and a credit card, because I had neither. I completed some preliminary research about the country (culture, food, way of life), so I had a better understanding of what to expect. Something I wish I would have done is pay more attention to the weather. The group was told about the weather from previous years or looked up averages on the internet. Sweden is normally on the colder side and rainy, therefore I packed for cold and rainy. I failed to look at the temperature days before I left, or I would have seen the temperatures were rising. So my main tip will be check the weather for clothes to pack, and if you have room in your suitcase, pack a variety of clothes just in case.

The program was set up for the 19 students to participate in team based learning. This means we would be put in groups and complete various kinds of research, learn and bounce ideas off of each other, and talk through the issue we were trying to solve. We started with an 8-week class at the U of A, where we discussed US health care. In the US, we visited rehabilitation clinics, museums, and other medical centers to prepare us for what we would experience in Sweden. While in Sweden, we had classrooms set up at Jönköping University (JU) where we were integrated with JU students to learn about their healthcare system. We visited a nursing home, a medical school, private and public clinics, hospitals, museums, and much more.

Katie spent the summer 2018 term in Sweden with our U of A Faculty-Led: Health Teams Abroad in Sweden with the help of our our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

15 June 2018

Foodie #HogsAbroad in Sweden #FoodieFriday

Many of the meals were already paid for by the students ; this was included in our fees. I was able to see what it was like to eat like a Swede everyday. I will let the pictures talk for themselves. The food looks amazing but after a while if you are not used to this way of eating your body starts to hate you. Near the end of the trip we were having ice cream every night for 5 days straight; needless to say, we were happy but suffering all at the same time. 

Alice spent the 2018 summer term in Sweden with our U of A Faculty-Led: Health Teams Abroad in Sweden with the help of our our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Sam Walton College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

12 June 2018

Preparing to Go Abroad #HogsAbroad in Sweden #TravelTipsTuesday

Hej! That means Hi in Swedish. My name is Alice Chan and I am a Business Management major with a focus in pre-med. 3 days ago, I was in Sweden studying the health care system in comparison to the US.

When I was getting ready to study abroad it was close to finals week. I was so tired and my brain was fried from all of the studying and stressing I was experiencing and the Friday of finals I had to pack all of my things because I was leaving in 3 days. Fortunately, I am a great last minute packer so I was able to strategically gather my things as fast as possible so I could go back to doing something more fun. First, I looked up what the weather was like in Sweden. I packed accordingly but as simple as possible because I am weak and can't pick up 50 pounds easily so I always try to go under. I packed 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants and 3 dresses. As for shirts I packed 5 shirts that I could wear with the various things I brought. For jackets, I brought my rain jacket and some cardigans/sweaters. I also figure I would buy some things while I was abroad. When I got finished with clothes I just packed the essential toiletries and hoped to bum off of the people going with me to provide me with a hair straightener or a blow dryer. I also watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to act in the country I was in. I am a big advocate for trying to mimic the way other cultures do things when you are abroad; I think it is a great way to understand why the people from a different culture do the things they do.
Alice spent the 2018 summer term in Sweden with our U of A Faculty-Led: Health Teams Abroad in Sweden with the help of our our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Sam Walton College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

11 June 2018

Healthcare and Cultures #HogsAbroad in Sweden

Hello, my name is Jared Collier and I am a Fulbright Honors pre-med student majoring in Biology and minoring in Music. I had the opportunity to study abroad this summer with the Health Teams Abroad in Sweden program where we studied the differences in the healthcare systems in the US and in Sweden. We studied how societal values impact the way that policies and medical practice is performed in Sweden and why it is so different than the US. We spent two weeks teaming up with Jonkoping University located in Jonkoping Sweden. In the city we had lectures by healthcare professionals while also traveling to hospitals and clinics for study visits. We then traveled to Stockholm where we stayed for one week learning about societal values by going to many museums and more study visits. 

Before we left for the trip we all met once a week for 8-weeks where we looked at US policy, refugee care, cost, medical research and other factors involved in healthcare. While in Sweden we would have lectures from the Swedish healthcare professionals themselves teaching us about their jobs as doctors, researchers, policy makers, and former patients of the system. In the US before the trip we took study visits to places like UAMS, and Welcome Health Clinic where they taught us the American way of patient care. In Sweden we visited private and public clinics, elderly care facilities, hospitals, medical schools, research labs, and rehabilitation clinics.

I learned a lot of things about Swedish culture for example, the Swedish people tend to keep to themselves and try not to bother anyone else. It became noticeable to me when they never sat next to anyone on a bus instead they would just stand as to not disturb the person sitting down making a lot of empty seats on the bus. The Swedes are a very quiet group of people, so we always got looks when we were walking down the street as Americans tend to be louder.
Reindeer pasta
Popular dessert ice cream waffle 
Some of the biggest differences I discovered where that almost all the bathrooms were unisex. Every bathroom door had an occupied or vacant sign on it and the toilets had two flush options. The showers had no threshold to keep the water inside of the tub, so it would run all over the bathroom this meaning that you had to squeegee the water off the ground after you took a shower. Since Sweden is so far north during the summer time the sun never truly sets, meaning the country never got dark it would just get down to sunset and then rise again. Because of the constant light you had to sleep with an eye mask on because it was the only way for it to be dark.
Gamal Stan (old town) 
Picture from 2AM

Vassa: the world's oldest preserved ship
My overall study abroad experience was life-changing and opened my eyes on how things are done so differently in another part of the world. I encourage everyone to study abroad sometime in your life because it gives you valuable life experiences you cannot get any other way.

Jared spent the 2018 summer term in Sweden with our U of A Faculty-Led: Health Teams Abroad in Sweden with the help of our our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Fulbright Honors: Sturgis Study Abroad Grant.

Don't miss your opportunity to study or intern abroad! Start your search at

08 June 2018

An Unforgettable Experience #HogsAbroad in Brazil

The study abroad trip with Adriana to Brazil was AMAZING! Though this trip wasn’t the first study abroad program I tried to apply for, I do not regret going on this unforgettable experience! We toured so many places such as Christ the Redeemer and the Municipal Palace that just took your breath away. This is one place where you would want a local like Adriana to help you navigate the area. Besides tours, you will get so many opportunities to enjoy the beach as well as do some fun activities such as ride buggies while you are here! You will also see some of the best restaurants Adriana has grown up liking in this study abroad trip. 

Your grades consist of participation, a group project, an exam, and an essay. Participation will be based on attending speakers and company visits and asking questions. In Brazil, they will talk over one another and gladly want you to interrupt them to ask questions because they are interested in their topics of discussions. My favorite speaker was Marcello Mello as he discussed with us the current depression that Brazil is in as well as telling us how reforming the government is how will get out of the depression. My favorite company visit was Coca-Cola as I liked seeing the similarities and differences between this company in Brazil as well as the U.S. They were very informative talking about the logistics and supply chain their company uses. The group project is a presentation that focuses on events or cultural differences in Brazil. Adriana also looks to incorporate as many majors as she can besides supply chain. We attended a bank that focused on finance, and we attended a speaker that focuses on Tax!

Overall, I would love to have the opportunity to study abroad in the future again! I learned so much in three weeks in Brazil, and I love applying real world issues in a classroom setting. I am an advocate for those studying abroad! I made twelve new friends through the study abroad trip and I would love to connect with each and every one of them whenever the next school year begins! Everyone should consider taking a study abroad trip before they graduate from the U of A, and I will gladly recommend and talk to anyone interested in Brazil with Adriana! No doubt, I would study abroad again if I am permitted too!

Accounting major Jacob Bunyard spent the summer 2018 in Brazil with our U of A Faculty-Led: International Business Seminar in Brazil.

For more information about study abroad & internship opportunities within Walton College, visit