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The chance to spend a summer or semester abroad is an exciting prospect for Arkansas college students. While 2020 brought a halt to international study programs across the state, colleges hope to resume programs by the middle of 2021. Now is the time for students to examine study abroad programs and decide if international travel is in their future.
While studying on campus in Fayetteville offers students a great college experience, the university offers an extensive study abroad program through the Study Abroad and International Exchange office. The first step for students is to join a Blackboard interactive info session, held Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. The session offers students an introduction to study abroad, various programs and next steps to take.
As for choosing a location, options are extensive. The university operates the Rome Center, where students can take classes on history, nursing, early education, engineering, interior design, architecture and more. These programs are administered by the U of A. The university also offers many faculty-led programs where students can benefit from both U of A faculty knowledge on the trips and an international experience. These trips are often short-term study programs offered in the summer. Aspiring health professionals can shadow medical practitioners in Thailand.
Students interested in biology, agricultural and life sciences and animal science can spend two weeks on a faculty-led trip to the Galapagos Islands among its unique flora and fauna. Students with an eye on international business have a choice of international business seminars to choose from, ranging from China to Ghana to Ireland.
Finally, for students who are more interested in a traditional semester or year abroad approach, the U of A has direct exchanges with a number of universities worldwide. Students can enroll in the Universidad Nebrija in Madrid, Shimane University in Japan, Sussex University in England and many more. To learn more about any of these programs, visit hogsabroad.uark.edu. Scholarships are also available and a study abroad advisor can help students plan for their experience, whether in 2021 or looking ahead to the next few years.
At Arkansas State, students have the option to choose between short-term, faculty-led programs through the university or long-term study options through a partner program. The first step to studying abroad is meeting with an advisor at the study abroad office. Advisors are available every weekday for walk-in advising from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Students can also schedule appointments during other hours. The office maintains a list of important dates for study abroad, including several spring 2021 workshops on January 27, February 11, March 11 and April 16. ASU students interested in studying abroad for the summer, next fall or into 2022 should attend a meeting if possible.
Students at A-State can attend a faculty-led four week Spanish program in Costa Rica or open the door to almost any country through a partnership with the International Student Exchange Program. Visit the Arkansas State University Office of Study Abroad or their Facebook page for more information.
UA Little Rock boasts of over 500 opportunities for students to study abroad. The university maintains a direct exchange program in Orleans, France. They also have six approved affiliate partners that allow students to choose from study programs in Mexico, Spain, China, Croatia, New Zealand, Peru and many more. Because of the wide availability, students must begin the process with an information session at the study abroad office. Students can also begin an online application to learn more. Enrolled students can also apply for Trojan Travel Scholarships, which are awarded in March and September each year. These range from $100 to $1000 and are given to 8-12 students each semester.
Harding University proudly states part of its mission as “the promotion of citizenship within a global perspective.” With this in mind, the university offers its students numerous ways to study abroad and highly encourages every student to take advantage of their unique programs. The university maintains six satellite programs in Greece, Australasia, Italy, England, Latin America and Zambia. Students will eat and study together and travel extensively throughout the semester. Each program takes a maximum of 40 students per semester and students carry a full schedule of classes while abroad.
Each location offers a range of classes students can choose from in addition to traveling. Harding University in England takes students through 13 different countries in Europe. Students in Harding University in Latin America travel through Peru, Argentina and Chile, glimpsing an array of diversity through Patagonia, the Amazon and the Atacama Desert. Harding also offers department-specific summer programs like business studies in London. They also offer a European study abroad option for Harding athletes who want an international experience but need to keep training for their sports at the same time. Find out more about all of Harding’s international experiences at https://www.harding.edu/academics/study-abroad.
John Brown University in Siloam Springs offers a unique semester experience in Ireland. Students study in Belfast in the university’s Lakeside Manor residence. Staff and students live together on the 4 acres residence overlooking Willis Lake. Students can venture into the city and surrounding countryside and all take the same classes at the Manor. The semester abroad is treated the same as a semester on campus at JBU. The students pay the same tuition and use any financial aid they normally would.
The university also offers semester programs in Belize, Ecuador, Lithuania, Spain and South Korea. The European Art Tour is a two-week jaunt through Europe as students and faculty take in art museums and tours in destinations like Paris, Rome, Madrid and Florence. The itinerary changes each year and students can earn six to nine hours of class credit on the trip. Visit https://www.jbu.edu/international/ for information on all international opportunities at JBU.
Hendrix College has an interesting “Hendrix-In” option that allows students to study abroad while maintaining their connection to Hendrix. The program is available in semester options in Costa Rica, London, China, Spain and other countries. Students pay as if they’re attending Hendrix for their semester, but relocate to their chosen campus abroad. Hendrix also offers shorter options for summer studies and a full immersion option at Oxford University in England for an entire year of study. Visit the Office of International Studies for more information.
Even community colleges offer the option of studying abroad. At Northwest Arkansas Community College, students can experience life abroad through various short term opportunities. NWACC offers trips from one week to one month to countries such as Greece, Belize, Italy, Spain and Morocco. Trips are led by professors and include class credit. The college has financial aid options to help students who want to participate.
NWACC also offers the Community Trips Abroad Program for members of the community who want to travel abroad with an experienced guide and other members of the community. These trips are led by professors and organized through the NWACC Foundation, the non-profit arm of the college. Members will visit a country like Argentina, Greece, England, Italy or Germany on these short-term trips. The price of each trip includes a donation towards scholarships for NWACC students to study abroad.
2020 was a year like no other. Throughout the year educational institutions adapted to be able to provide students with the experiences and coursework needed. Though many study abroad programs were canceled or postponed, the emergence of virtual study abroad accelerated in 2020. These programs will remain an option for students even as travel returns to normal in the coming year. Virtual programs can offer students a peek into other cultures without the cost of leaving home.
The University of Arkansas offers virtual internships through its Rome Center. Students attend virtual group seminars on business, marketing and Italian culture and take Italian lessons. Virtual options can be taken through independent exchange programs, too.
Most Arkansas universities have relationships with these study abroad providers. So, if you’re interested in a virtual option, discuss it with the study abroad advisors at your school.
Studying abroad can be one of the most rewarding and memorable parts of an Arkansas education. With careful planning and help from the study abroad offices at college campuses across the state, Arkansas students can learn more about the world and bring those experiences back to Arkansas.
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