Tom Abi Samra

Navigating change and utilizing skills

Tom Abi Samra, Class of 2021, graduated with a BA, majoring in Literature and Creative Writing. After completing Foundations of Science 1-4 to pursue a science major, he took a literature elective and switched to the major a few weeks later. Abi Samra is currently pursuing an MA in Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. 

Knowing multiple languages has always been second nature to Abi Samra. As a Lebanese citizen, he grew up with three languages; Arabic, English, and French. When Abi Samra started talking to experts in the field and applying to different universities, he realized that his languages were one of his biggest assets.


If you don’t have a second language, make sure you learn one during your undergraduate studies. I wish someone had told me that earlier on. I would’ve dedicated more time to my language skills, and perhaps learned another language.

Tom Abi Samra, Class of 2021

One of the main reasons Abi Samra wanted to pursue this masters opportunity is to move between languages comparatively and critically, something he already started doing at NYUAD. To ensure he ends up at the best university that matches his skillset, Abi Samra utilized his network to reach out to professors and academics. In fact, Abi Samra found out about the program through a professor whose work he was interested in and who he met during his study away semester in New York. 

Given his background in science and passion for literature, Abi Samra realized that nothing has to be black and white when it comes to academics and careers. “I don’t think there’s anything you’re inherently good at. You’re not born good at math. You learn things and you train for them,” he said. The liberal arts experience Abi Samra received at NYUAD will undoubtedly support his postgraduate studies and his future career path. “I don’t regret doing science at all at first. I wouldn’t have known it wasn't for me.”