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South Asia and Southeast Asia

Read the stories of our alumni specialized in South Asia and Southeast Asia here.

Samira Benacchio

Alumni dreams #237

For Samira, studying International Studies was a great way to engage with a program that was both interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary. She chose South and Southeast Asia as her region and ended up graduating with a thesis on the history of the palm oil industry and the economic and environmental consequences of the industry. 

During her time at BA IS, she was an event planner and vice president of the Care Committee of BASIS. It gave her an opportunity to work within topics such as sustainability, equality and mental health, which she is really passionate about. 

After her bachelor, she started an MSc in Governance of Sustainability, which is equally taught at the Hague campus of Leiden University. She is now in her second year of her studies, and has spent last year pursuing a consultancy project for an organization working on land restoration called Commonland. Currently, she is busy completing her thesis, which researches the impact that the lobby for the meat industry has on multilateral climate-related talks and their policy outcomes. 

As far as any advice for current and prospective students, Samira encourages them to make the most of every opportunity given at the bachelor. ‘It might seem like a ‘broad’ program, but there is also the possibility of really zooming in and tailoring the program to your personal interests’. In that way, developing a niche specialization is most certainly possible. 

We couldn’t agree more, and we wish you the best of luck with the completion of your studies Samira!

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