Alumni Spotlight: Ameera Aleissa

Alumni Spotlight Header_thin

Ameera photo now_cropEver since she was a little girl, Ameera was aware of the importance of English as a global language. When she decided to study information systems in her native Saudi Arabia, she knew that most of the program would be taught in English, so she searched for courses to improve her command of the language before college. She chose the Rice University Intensive English Program because of its reputation and environment. She completed levels 4 to 6 of the six-level program plus the Advanced Level. Then she went back home and obtained a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University, graduating with honors.

For Ameera the most important thing when she came to us almost six years ago was improving her English communication skills. “Having good communication skills helps in reducing the barriers erected because of language and cultural differences. I became more comfortable when communicating with others [in English], more confident and more outgoing.”  Besides helping her improve her communication skills, the program also introduced her to Houston’s cultural activities and gave her the opportunity to meet people from many different countries and learn about their cultures. She loves Houston and its people so much that she considers the city her second home!

Ameera photo 2

Ameera with two of her (still) closest friends from the Program

Ameera is currently working as a business system analyst in the Power Systems Department at Saudi Aramco, one of the biggest energy companies in the world. Because this is an international company, they do most of their business in English so Ameera applies her acquired skills and knowledge every day. In the future, she sees herself having more management responsibilities and taking on new challenges.

To those who are considering studying English in the U.S., Ameera says: “Go for it!” She states that many employers seek the wide range of knowledge students get from studying in the U.S. Also, she thinks it helped make her a more independent person. “Studying in the Rice University Intensive English Program was one of the best experiences that I’ve had so far. I met a lot of great people and we’re still in contact. I learned a lot from everyone I met there. I became a better communicator, public speaker, and a good listener after studying in this program.”

Author: Milagros Lugo-Amador, Assistant Director

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