Custom and Short-Term Programs Bid 'Farewell, For Now' to Departing Exchange Students

Students from foreign universities who studied abroad at the U of A for one semester or one year through participation in the International Visiting Student Program hosted by the Graduate School and International Education.
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Students from foreign universities who studied abroad at the U of A for one semester or one year through participation in the International Visiting Student Program hosted by the Graduate School and International Education.

As international travel ground to an alarming halt with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the global concern for health and safety rose. U of A international students and scholars found that the ability to obtain visas became a nearly insurmountable obstacle. But for some participants of the Visiting and Exchange Program, no obstacle was too high.

Despite widespread travel restrictions, quarantine protocols and visa complications, the office of Sponsored Students and Special Programs, which oversees Custom and Short-Term Programs, welcomed eight highly motivated exchange students to campus for the spring semester. After successful completion of their semester, these students are now making the still-complicated trek back home, but some have plans to return very soon.

Students Alicia Medina García and Rocío Gómez Alonso completed their final thesis projects with U of A faculty advisers for their degree programs at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. They have reported plans to return to the U of A and begin a master's program in engineering in fall 2021 or spring 2022.

"I would like to thank the SSSP Office and the University of Arkansas community," says Laura Nuevo Martín, another exchange student from the Madrid program, "for appreciating our contributions and valuing our achievements, which you have helped us accomplish."

Student Kenneth Dam will participate in an academic training program via an internship in Florida over the summer months before returning to complete his degree program with Aarhus University in Denmark. Dam, with the support from the Office of International Students and Scholars, is the first student to take advantage of the Academic Training opportunity as an extension of his Direct Exchange Program, and SSSP hopes future students will follow in his footsteps.

Students of the Visiting and Exchange Program work with faculty to complete research projects related to their studies back home. "These students are incredibly involved in the campus community. They bring unique perspectives to our research and fresh energy to campus events and organizations," says Lauren Hughes, Coordinator for Special Programs for SSSP. "This is why I like to say 'farewell, for now' instead of 'goodbye'! I am always hopeful to see these students back on our campus for additional studies or just to say 'hello' after building such great rapport and relationships in our campus community."

 

 

 

Contacts

Cameron Caja, coordinator, Visiting Student Program
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-5003, vga@uark.edu

Amy Unruh, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-5809, unruh@uark.edu

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