Welcome to UA study abroad 101 presentation. The Office of Study Abroad looks forward to working with you to plan your study abroad journey!

During this presentation, we will discuss a variety of topics, including: the who, what, where and when of study abroad, the benefits enjoyed by students that study abroad, program types, and next steps.

The Office of Study Abroad supports the University of Arkansas’ vision of a world committed to inclusivity, where diversity, equity, access, and civility are valued as part of our culture, in Arkansas and around the globe.

Our vision is to make study abroad a reality for all U of A students. We strive to offer a diverse program portfolio, for students from every budget, with accessible advising and holistic support.

Study Abroad Basics

Let’s get started with the basics. Here’s what you should know.

Minimum GPA for most programs is 2.5. We have options for students from all majors, no matter your area of study – we have a program for you.

Last year, U of A students studied in over 50 countries. From central and south America, throughout Asia and the middle East, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The most popular locations to study abroad are Italy and Spain, but we also have programs “off the beaten path” in locations like Mongolia, Belize, Poland, Switzerland, Argentina, and so many more!

Our program portfolio includes a variety of program lengths spanning all terms. Intersession, spring and fall, the academic year, and for various lengths of time during the summer.

Students can study abroad beginning the summer after their freshman year and anytime throughout their degree plan. There is no rule or “best” semester that fits all student. In fact, some students study abroad more than once!

Now that you know a bit more about study abroad, how do you make it happen financially? We have good news! Not only does our study abroad program portfolio includes dozens of programs that have a similar cost of attendance to a semester at the U of A, students can use their existing scholarship and financial aid toward study abroad. Additionally, there are dozens of scholarships specific to study abroad that our students apply to.


Study Abroad Benefit are huge! students earn academic credit towards their U of A degree, while taking classes with students from around the world, building independence, and making friends and unforgettable memories.

Students that study abroad prepare themselves for a global workforce as they explore the world. Studies show that students that have studied abroad have higher GPAs and graduation rates, and once they graduate, have higher rates of employability and higher starting salaries.

There is no doubt that study abroad allows students to develop the cultural competencies, flexibility, complex thinking, and problem-solving skills that employers are looking for.

Program Types

The program portfolio at the University of Arkansas includes over 1,000 study abroad programs to ensure that there is an option for every student.

Many programs include additional high impact practices such as internship, research and service learning.

Study abroad programs at the U of A are divided into four basic groups: Rome Center, Faculty-led, Exchange, and External. Let’s dive in…

Rome Center

The Rome Center is the U of A’s only residential study center abroad, established in the heart of Rome over 30 years ago.

Students have the comfort of taking classes with U of A peers and faculty, while earning U of A credit.

Coursework is available to all majors in the summer and the semester.

Students live in local apartments. They shop in farmers markets, enjoy traditional cafes, and become a part of the community.

Faculty-Led Programs

Last year we hosted over 40 faculty led programs that traveled to 28 different countries.

On a faculty-led program, students travel with U of A students and faculty during the summer or intersession.

We have programs that allow students to work on farms in Mozambique, tour the headquarters of corporations in Ireland, study Shakespeare in England, and compare health care practices in Sweden.

These program are short term, typically 2-8 weeks, and students earn U of A credit.

Faculty led programs offer a plethora of opportunity for students looking to dive into their area of study while participating in a highly facilitated program with a U of A faculty.

Exchange Programs

If you are looking for a long-term, independent, and highly immersive program, then an exchange program might be right for you!

The U of A has approximately 25 exchange partnerships throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and in Australia.

An exchange program is a reciprocal academic exchange, where students pay U of A tuition, while attending a foreign institution and earning transfer credit.

This program model facilitates international students’ attendance at the U of A, bringing a global perspective to campus.

External Programs

All of the program types discussed so far are programs administered by the University of Arkansas, as expansive and interesting as these programs are, they do not cover every area of study or spot on the map.

So, the Study Abroad Office works with 3rd party or what we call “external” study abroad providers to increase the program opportunities for our students.

These partners offer holistic 24/7 on-site support to U of A students, from course selection and enrollment in foreign institutions or study centers, to providing a variety of housing options, excursions, and cultural enrichment opportunities.

Students on these programs typically live and take classes with students from across the globe.

Programs are offered every semester, intersession, academic year, and during various blocks of time over the summer.

Virtual International Programs

Virtual International Programs are a wonderful opportunity for students to internationalize their degree plan from the comfort of home. Students that participate in these programs put travel concerns aside as they develop connections with academic organizations, businesses, faculty, and peers across the globe.

Virtual programs provide students the opportunity to gain an international perspective, extending the benefits of a global education to a broader spectrum of students by reducing barriers to access, such as cost and the ability to travel. The VIP format is cost-effective, flexible, and takes advantage of innovative technologies like never before.

Our Rome Center and many partner organizations offer virtual international internships. Participants on these program work remotely with an international organization; giving students the opportunity to increase their digital literacy, intercultural communication and competency skills, to differentiate their resume with international work experience, and grow their professional network. While completing a professional project with an international business, NGO, health, or education organization, students have the option to earn U of A credit and access financial aid and scholarships.

Virtual internships are open to students from all majors and can be conducted during the summer or semester in addition to your U of A course load. For example, a student may register for 12 semester hours, plus 3 virtual internship hours, for a total of 15 credit hours that are eligible for U of A scholarships and financial aid. Internship placements are available in a wide variety of professions, with student support for professional development, integrated cultural learning, and mentorship.

Many of our faculty leaders that run in-country study abroad programs have begun to offer virtual courses with a study abroad framework. These courses serve to prepare students for a study abroad experience or can be taken as a stand-alone course that adds an international flavor to an academic area of study. These courses utilize our international partners, lectures, and community members to integrate cultural learning into the virtual classroom. Imagine touring the colosseum, joining a drum making session with a Belezian elder, or attending a cooking class in Taiwanese kitchen. These courses are perfect for students that yearn for a more engaging virtual learning environment.

Virtual International Programs are affordable and offered throughout the year. Interested students can explore their options on the studyabroad.uark.edu webpage dedicated to virtual programs, then contact the Study Abroad Office to learn more.

Next Steps

Now that you are excited to study abroad, what are the next step?!

Students typically start planning for their program and funding about a year in advance. Next time you see your Academic Advisor, let them know you are interested in study abroad so they can help you plan.

In the meantime, make sure you have a valid passport. If not, don’t worry! The U of A has you covered - there is a passport services office in the Arkansas Union that can help you get your application started!

When you are ready, reach out the us. There are lots of ways to get in touch with the Study Abroad Office – give us a call, send us an email, or visit the Explore page of our website to learn about our info sessions and drop-in hours.

And finally, don’t forget to follow the Office of Study Abroad on Social Media. We utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Blogspot & Tik Tok to communication events, deadlines, and share our students’ amazing academic adventures!

Thank you for taking the time to learn about study abroad at the University of Arkansas. On behalf of the entire team, we look forward to helping make your study abroad dreams a reality!

Studying abroad is oftentimes a highlight of a student's academic career, but the benefits extend beyond graduation day. International travel and study shapes a lifetime by building a more nuanced worldview; by showing that there is value in each experience; and by honing invaluable skills, such as intercultural communication, resiliency, and adaptability. Convinced yet? Let us help you take your education abroad! Your future self with thank you.

Preparing to study abroad can be a long process, but it is part of the journey. This can look different for every student and may be influenced by your class status (freshman, sophomore, etc.), major, personal interests, program type, and destination.

Looking at the big picture can help you understand what can be a long journey! Here's an overview of what to expect along the way.

Our Program Search tool allows you to filter through hundreds of opportunities. Consider location, cost, term, or course offerings to narrow your results. Understanding differences in Program Types can help you identify what kind of program will suit your interests and need for support. 

 If you know where you want to go already, great! Find your program and apply! But if you have not chosen your program yet, no worries! The Study Abroad Office is here to help you find the right fit for you. Our Getting Started page provides more detail and resources on how to start your program search and who can help you through the process.

Every study abroad student needs an application in the HogsAbroad Portal- even if you study with an external program. Click the "Apply Now" button on the program page of a selected program to start an application. You'll need to complete a checklist of items (which you can come back to later) to submit your application for review. 

  • Your application is finished when all items on the checklist are complete and you hit the 'submit' button. 

  • it's not too early to start a scholarship application. Browse all your options on the scholarship page.

  • You won't make any financial commitment until you are admitted to the program. 

Keep a lookout in your email for a decision letter and check the HogsAbroad Portal for any application status updates- most students receive an admissions decision in a week or so. Once students are accepted to a program, they must complete all post-decision documents and materials. Depending on program type, this may include credit pre-approval forms, medical information, housing requests, etc. 

The list of items on your to-do list might continue to grow after you are admitted. In some cases, this means submitted a visa application, completing additional paperwork with a partner institution or program provider, and making sure your travel arrangements are booked. 

  • For U of A programs, you must complete a Financial Agreement before the deadline to confirm your place in the program. This document outlines costs and a schedule for payments. 

  • Do not purchase airfare until you receive instructions from the Study Abroad Office.

Attend all pre-departure meeting(s) and make sure you review all information from the Study Abroad Office,  your program faculty, and leaders. You will learn important information regarding health and safety, course equivalency and enrollment, financial aid disbursal, student conduct expectations and more. Go abroad. Learn, explore, and grow! 
If you studied abroad at a different institution, you’ll need to follow up to make sure your transfer credit is received and processed appropriately. This might require follow up with the study abroad office or your academic advisor, who can help you with your degree audit.There are many opportunities to extend your international experience by getting involved on campus or finding other academic and professional opportunities to get abroad again.  Our Resources page also lists non-credit and post-graduate international opportunities to continue your international adventures.