Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences provides a robust array of study abroad opportunities designed to develop life-long partnerships, promote cultural awareness, and provide an understanding of the global dimensions of students’ majors. One such opportunity, the Atlantis Program housed within the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness department, presents a unique chance for students to earn a double master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas and a joint degree in rural development issued by one of six European partner universities.
Alumna Noussayma Njeim is a recent graduate of the Atlantis program. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Njeim earned her bachelor’s degree in public administration and political science before enrolling in the Atlantis Program at the University of Arkansas.
Njeim, who graduated this summer 2018, reflects fondly on her Atlantis Program experience, citing the exposure to a student cohort of varying demographics and different methods of teaching (as well as the opportunity to see the world) as the most significant features.
“The program gives the opportunity to travel and experience how international people think about different topics and how they approach problems. This taught me to think in different ways and also to think outside of my traditional line of thinking.”
While Njeim faced challenges during her travels, she praises her support system for buoying her resolve and ultimately leading her to realize that people are emotionally and intellectually stronger than they think they are.
“I would highly recommend the Atlantis Program; it has helped me grow both personally and professionally. It was an amazing way to experience life in a different aspect and also to challenge oneself.”
Now graduated, Njeim plans to enhance development by implementing efficient and effective projects that tackle the myriad of socioeconomic issues afflicting underprivileged Lebanese. With a career in development, she hopes to be able to evaluate project proposals and assess their direct effects on the socioeconomic status of families, become part of project funding procedures, and be an active project coordinator with the capacity to monitor and evaluate project implementation.
“I highly recommend students join the Atlantis Program for several reasons. Specifically, it helps to challenge some stereotypes people might have and also allows students to see that the world doesn’t revolve around one place, country, or problem. The world is so big, and it has been amazing to experience it!”