our history

First Steps 2015-2019

Building on our partnerships with Eimskip, NEOCH, and MENADO, USM (with support and funding from MEIF@USM), began the North Atlantic Initiative in 2015. Since that time we have achieved significant success in supporting the growth of Maine’s economy and in helping our students prepare to live in a global, diverse, and interconnected world:

  • Entered into partnership agreements with Reykjavik University, the University of Akureyri, and, more recently with the University in Tromso, Norway. 

  • Convened the Maine North Atlantic Education Consortium to facilitate educational partnerships between Maine and the North Atlantic Region, and to further international learning opportunities for faculty and students, as well as education and programming around North Atlantic issues for students, scholars, and the public. 

  • Supported over 15 faculty- or professional staff-driven projects that involve student exchanges, internships, research, and co-academic programing in a variety of fields:

    • Tourism, innovation and entrepreneurship, public health, and ethics and regulatory compliance. 

  • Offered Honors Students the opportunity to gain an international experience during their first two years at USM through a generous gift from the estate of A. Carolla Haglund ’51​​

  • Joined The University of the Arctic (UArctic), a network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic’s mobility program (north2north) provides opportunities for students to study in different parts of the North.

  • Provided five USM students the opportunity to join with 13 other students from Reykjavik University, the University of Akureyri, the University of Iceland, and Norway’s University of Tromsø to participate in a day-long Student Workshop and to attend the annual Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik.