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10 May 2021

Studying Abroad During a Pandemic #HogsAbroad in Thailand #MondayMotivation

Blog post courtesy of Fulbright College Honors Program

With all the chaos that is the pandemic, studying abroad can seem especially scary and impossible right now. There are a lot of misconceptions and even miscommunication floating around that is making the process of studying abroad appear more intense than it truly is.

Granted, when I started looking into studying abroad, I was very overwhelmed. Many questions were buzzing around my head like: “Where do I start?” “Can I even study abroad?” “Will it get canceled?” “Is it even worth it?” “What about COVID-19?” If you are asking similar questions, they are very valid concerns. We are living in a time where nothing is certain, and we need to be prepared. I know many people whose programs were canceled due to the pandemic and/or had to file a petition just to get permission from the university to travel abroad. Sometimes I even have the feeling of “is all this work worth it” when I see other programs getting canceled. Despite this, I know that this will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is worth all of the stress and uncertainty. So, if you are even considering the thought of studying abroad, do not be discouraged by all the mayhem, it will be an experience that truly is not worth giving up because of the “what ifs”.
Screenshot of the Office of Study Abroad & International Exchange Website

Visit the Study Abroad Website
The first piece of advice I would give is to visit the UARK Study Abroad website. When you first come across the opening page, there are a plethora of links that take you to extremely important portals you will use frequently as you prepare to study abroad.

From there, you can explore all the available programs through the university (i.e faculty-led) and external programs such as USAC, ISAbroad, CIS Abroad, etc. In addition to traditional study abroad programs, the university has also established several Virtual International Programs that you can take advantage of! Even if you have no idea where to start, there are parameters you can choose to narrow down the search. For myself, I knew I wanted to study abroad in Thailand and could only be there for a limited time, but I had no clue what program to choose. So, I put in the location and duration parameter and the USAC Thailand program popped up. This resource is especially important because location, cost, availability, courses, possible internships, duration, etc. are all factors that drive the decision to pick one program over another.

Work with a Study Abroad Advisor
Another resource to use is utilizing the study abroad advisors. They are there to answer any questions or concerns you will have, so do not hesitate to reach out to them at studyabr@uark.edu! Once you apply for a study abroad program, from there you will be assigned an advisor that will run through the whole process with you. I know this is where most of my stress and anxieties disappeared because I sat down with my advisor and we went over the ENTIRE timeline of studying abroad. This ranged from things as simple as filling out the UARK application to major deadlines such as program payments. Granted, this is a lot of work, but it is extremely beneficial to have a professional in your corner who knows what they are doing. If you are short on time and just have a quick question, you can always use their online chat option. Taking the initiative to reach out to the study abroad office will help you so much more in the long run and you will be glad that you made that step.

Find Scholarships to Help Fund Your Trip
Once a program has been selected and the application process has begun, the next thing to think about is scholarships. During my initial meeting with my study abroad advisor, my advisor also gave me a huge list of scholarships I am eligible for. This, especially, relieved more stress because figuring out what scholarships to apply for is one of the most time-consuming things to do. If funding and cost are important to you, it is never too early to start looking at scholarships. There are truly so many available whether through the university or external. There are also scholarships that you can apply to through your programs of study, including the Honors College, so I highly suggest reaching out to your program advisor to ask them which scholarships you are eligible for! Another great scholarship resource to utilize is on the HogsAbroad Portal is the “Scholarships and Aid” tab. On that webpage, they have all the available UARK study abroad scholarships you can apply for and their requirements.

Keep Track of COVID-19 Protocols
Finally, the COVID-19 part…the best way to know what safety protocols you need to take before and after you study abroad is to ask your program advisor. They will be super transparent on the steps you need to take to get to your destination. These protocols could be as easy as providing a vaccination card upon arrival or more involved such as quarantining for two weeks before you travel and quarantining again once you reach your destination. For my study abroad in Thailand, I need to provide a negative COVID test upon arrival and I need to quarantine for two weeks in a designated hotel after I arrive. This is a mandatory rule instated in Thailand as of now, but the information is always changing so the best way to keep up is to follow the CDC’s travel website. They have up-to-date information regarding COVID regulations in most countries.

I also suggest signing up for the “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” (STEP). Once enrolled, the program will send out important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country as well as help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. And these are just the resources I am using—there are many other resources out on the web to find, you just have to look.

Studying abroad is not just a “spur of the moment” type decision, it is a seemingly never-ending journey of applications, scholarships, documents, etc. I, personally, know this because I have been preparing for the trip for the past two years of my life. It seemed like it was never the right time, but I made a pact to myself that I will travel to Thailand before I graduate, and I did everything I could to make this plan a reality. Having the realization that I will study abroad this summer makes it all worth it. Take that leap into the unknown because who knows, you might just embark on a journey that will change the rest of your life!

More helpful links:
Search for Programs: https://hogsabroad.uark.edu/index.cfmFuseAction=Programs.AdvancedSearch
Hogsabroad Portal: https://hogsabroad.uark.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Security.LoginWizardStepOne
Scholarships and Funding: https://studyabroad.uark.edu/scholarships.php
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: https://step.state.gov
CDC Travel Website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

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Chloƫ Benton, a Physics major with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy, is headed to Thailand this summer. Learn more about Chloƫ's USAC program in Thailand.

You can start planning your adventure abroad today! Dive in to our Explore page at https://studyabroad.uark.edu/explore/index.php, and start your program search at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/.

02 April 2021

Study at the Rome Center in Fall 2021 - Applications are OPEN!


Applications are open now for the Fall 2021 Semester in Italy through the U of A Rome Center. The deadline to apply is soon!

Visit the Rome Center Global Studies Program Website and Application to learn more.

The city of Rome, with its rich cultural resources, offers an endless source of learning opportunities for students from all over the world. Students are invited to view the city as a laboratory, where they can examine historical Rome and review the evolution of an urban context over 2,000 years in development. The semester program offers students an extended opportunity to explore the city's unique stratification and uncover the very different, and sometimes contradictory, transformations the city has undergone.

Situated in the heart of the city, the Rome Center is just minutes from the Vatican, Piazza Navona, and other legendary sites in Rome. Students live in close proximity to the center, tracing the paths of ancient Romans and centuries of Christian pilgrims as they make their way to classes each day.

Courses are offered from faculty traveling with students to Rome, as well as on-site local faculty. The great variety of coursework on offer will allow students from many majors to complete substantial credit towards their major/minor requirements. Check the 'Academics' tab for a full list of courses.

Program Features:
-Accommodation in one of the best neighborhoods of Rome
-Complete support from our Student Services Team
-Optional Weekend Excursions in Italy led by program faculty

See our Rome Center COVID Operations Plan for more on how we are responding to the ongoing global pandemic.

Learn more about the University of Arkansas home in Palazzo Taverna and our housing for students in central Rome on the Rome Center Website.

25 March 2021

Ask Me Anything: Women Abroad #HogsAbroad


What it is really like to study abroad as a woman? Join the Office of Study Abroad in celebrating Women's History Month on Monday, March 29, at 4pm for an “ask me anything” panel discussion featuring three study abroad alumnae. This virtual event will be an opportunity to hear about their personal stories and their advice for students looking to study abroad in the future, from choosing to take the leap, to traveling abroad, to leveraging those experiences post-graduation.

Meet our panelists:



Ayesha Erkin
Class of 2015
Architecture major, double minor in Sustainability & Historic Preservation
Studied abroad in Czech Republic and Italy
"Studying abroad not only expands your mind, but also your network. I absolutely loved being in new countries, but the people I connected with are still friends 7+ years later."



Rachel Pohl
Class of 2020
Civil Engineering major, double minor in Mathematics & Sustainability
Studied abroad in Belize, Italy and Denmark
"Studying abroad challenges you to get out of your comfort zone and learn about others, their communities, and their cultures. I cherish each opportunity to study abroad because it grew my appreciation for others and for our similarities and differences we all have."



Thea Winston
Class of 2018
Accounting major, minor in African & African American Studies
Studied abroad in Vietnam, UK and Brazil
"Students should study abroad because it makes you so much more aware of the world. Sometimes, in 
the U.S., it can feel like we're in our own little bubble, but the world is so much bigger. Studying abroad, and truly attempting to learn while there, provides a new perspective and is an invaluable experience."

Click here to register and submit questions: https://uark.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYodu-sqTotHN0nFjiWcIatwjggHfdteznx. Our panelists will take questions from attendees during the event as well.

10 March 2021

Getting to Know the City #HogsAbroad in Denmark #WanderlustWednesday

I have just moved into my cozy one person room in Denmark. I have been to Denmark before to visit my Danish family from my father's side. We have always visited for no more than 3 weeks at a time. I am now so excited to use my Danish citizenship to its full use in Denmark for the next 6 months.

When I first arrived I was welcomed by 14 other people living on my hall. We all have our own rooms, but share a kitchen and a bathroom. This is something very different that we do not experience much of in the states. As 15 total, we share 2 meals a week that one will prepare, and we all will take turns each week to lead in cleaning and various other chores. Something that was shocking to me is that all of the boys and girls share two toilets and two showers. Coming from a school that does girls and boys floors, this is different and unique.

Everyone on my floor is so kind and helpful. There is so much to learn and know about the systems in Denmark. I have found my self asking several times and each time all of my floor mates are so kind and patient with me. We join each other in the evenings for board games and movies.

Since Denmark is on full lockdown there is not many restaurants to go to, but there is still a lot of site seeing to do. I have been running around the city and finding cozy areas that seem to only be native to Denmark’s culture. 
For example, I was running through the city block after block of normal urban buildings and out of nowhere there is a sign that says Gamel By, with my limited Danish, I knew meant “old town”. I walked through two brick pillars and was greeted by cobble stoned streets and colorful cottages that varied between red, yellow, and white. As I walked through the town, I felt as if I had been transferred into a story book setting. There were so many streets and buildings that all had different purposes in the old days.
I am starting to realize that because of COVID, there is a different experience of studying abroad, but it is still an opportunity to really see a city and marvel at the charms of the culture.

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Marketing major Annika Nielsen is spending the Spring 2021 term at Aarhus University in Denmark with the help of our Office of Study Abroad Scholarship.

You can start planning your adventure abroad today! Dive in to our Explore page at https://studyabroad.uark.edu/explore/index.php, and start your program search at http://studyabroad.uark.edu/search/

08 March 2021

A Life Changing Experience: Getting an Internship in Virtual Spain #MondayMotivation

Objective 1
At the beginning of the semester I gave myself three learning objectives and created a plan that I would implement in order to meet these objectives. My first objective was to be able to apply business concepts and theories to real-world decision-making. My action plan included the use of different tasks and assignments to better and amplify my business concepts and keeping a journal, as I acquired new business concepts and theories, so that I can use them later on in my professional life. I think that being part of this virtual internship really exposed me to new ways to make important decisions regarding a real company, and it will serve for me as a learning and hands-on experience to be able to apply it to upcoming life events. I was able to acquire a plethora of marketing terminology and business terms by engaging with my supervisors and utilizing these terms frequently to refer to my tasks and assignments. My supervisors urged me to use the correct terminology when presenting my ideas and projects to them, and I realize that this allowed me to become familiar and comfortable with using business concepts in a real-world. After constantly utilizing these business concepts around my supervisors I can confidently say that I can use this terminology when needed in my professional and any real-world decision-making setting.

Objective 2
My second objective was to be able to give a full presentation or create a project fully in Spanish. My action plan included keeping a document with all the new Spanish words that I learned throughout my internship and then applying that vocabulary to my projects and presentation. Although, it was a bit difficult to get used to at first this experience was so great because I was able to engage in not only conversation but utilize professional terminology in Spanish as well. I truly believe that being able to receive feedback in Spanish helped me better my overall use of the language, and it also introduced me to a setting where my native language was used professionally. The experience of being able to express myself in both languages was so wonderful and being able to incorporate my first language in the business world is something that I have always looked forward to. Expressing my ideas and presenting them in Spanish was like a dream come true, and it is something
 
Objective 3
My third objective was to acquire more cultural knowledge about Spain and its traditions. It was so incredible to have been able to experience a whole country virtually. It was certainly a different experience, but I also feel like this was a great way to get a grasp about Spain and its people and traditions. The opportunity of being part of the weekly cultural debrief sessions was such a great experience, and I believe that this gave me a closer look about Spain and its culture by talking to Spaniards and asking them questions pertaining to their culture, custom and beliefs, Being able to listen to their cultural experiences an learning about their background opened my eyes to what culture in Spain is really like. I believe that working closely with Buddy Service, which is located in Spain permitted me to learn about its culture and customs through the people that interacted with virtually. I firmly believe that learning about different cultures is super important, and I am so grateful that I got to do this from the commodity of my home.

A Life Changing Experience
I think that we often times oversee that hardships that people with disabilities experience while traveling. Traveling is something that is already so stressful, and through this assignment I learned that people with disabilities don’t receive enough attention or help when traveling. I believe that this assignment is what truly made me fall in love with Buddy Service and what it stands for. I realize that writing reports doesn’t exactly have to do with digital marketing at all but at the same time this is the of the message that I was assigned to get across. After reading various articles about how inaccessible traveling is for disabled people, I decided to always try my best in all of my assignments to help make a difference. I became super passionate and involved in making infographics and creating the best social media posts in an effort to create awareness for disabled travelers. I think that this is an important topic that should be highlighted everywhere. I realized that I wanted more than getting an internship experience, I wanted to help Buddy Service promote their services, so that travelers with disabilities can receive the attention and care that they deserve. This experience made me realize that the goal behind Fabian’s vision was so beautiful, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to help make it a reality.

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Lizbeth Martinez, a senior International Business major participated in CISAbroad's virtual internship program in Barcelona in Fall 2020. Read more from Liz at https://lizinvirtualspain.wordpress.com/

Interested in pursuing a virtual international internship? This innovative program allows students to put accessibility and mobility concerns aside to develop meaningful professional connections with international companies, NGOs, health and education organizations, and so on. Although it’s not a substitute for a traditional on-site experience, these programs provide a project-based pathway for students to connect with international organizations. Learn more about options to internationalize your degree plan by adding a virtual international internship to your semester.

03 March 2021

Meet One of Our Study Abroad Peer Advisors: Breunna Anderson #HogsAbroad #WanderlustWednesday


Hello my fellow Razorback enthusiasts!

My name is Breunna Anderson, but you can also call me Bre for short. I am a sophomore here at the University of Arkansas majoring in Biology with plans to enroll into a Physician Assistant Program post-graduation. I am also a second year member on the University of Arkansas Spirit Squads cheer team.

This is my first year as a peer advisor here at the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange. I am so excited to advise you all through your Study Abroad endeavors!

I have not yet had the opportunity to study abroad due to Covid-19 and all of its uncertainty, but I do plan to study abroad this upcoming school year. One of the reasons I was so excited about joining the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange is because of how excited I am to Study Abroad myself. I am able to help others through this process, and at the same time, help myself!

Although I have not been able to study abroad myself just yet, I do think the experience itself is beneficial for many reasons. Studying abroad is a great chance for us all to take a step out of our comfort zone and see the world's diversity. You are away from everything that you know and just have to embrace the change and new environment that surrounds you. As I have barely gotten to travel around the U.S, travelling around other countries will be a very different experience for me. Through studying abroad, I hope to unlock new things about myself that are suppressed with being in the comfort of my home state, Arkansas.

I have always wanted to study abroad, but I never thought I would actually get to do it. I thought it would be too expensive, or I wouldn’t find enough scholarships, etc. After joining the Office of Study Abroad, my previous assumptions were quickly cleared up. I found out about all of the financial aid and the many scholarships that exist for students who wish to study abroad. I didn’t think it was possible for me, but now I see that it is. With all that being said, please roll into one of our Walk-in Wednesdays or call and set up an appointment with me to clear up any of your Study Abroad assumptions, so that you can make your study abroad dreams possible too :)

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Did you know that there are lots of different study abroad program options to fit students' needs, even for student athletes' busy schedules? 

Connect with Bre to learn more about study abroad! You can call our office to schedule an appointment, drop in to our virtual Walk-in Wednesdays or visit our website to use our live chat