During the Family Day Event
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Qatar) held its 3rd annual Family Day over the weekend, evoking the sense of togetherness and creating a platform for students, their families and the staff to interact with each other away from the class setting.
The annual day was part of the larger Education City Family Day event, where branch campuses of other Education City universities hosted each of their own guests that are part of their network.
Welcoming the families, SFS-Qatar dean, Gerd Nonneman described the occasion as a true expression of the Georgetown community.
“One of the reasons why Georgetown University is special, and that includes both the Doha and Washington, D.C. campuses, is the kind of learning experience it offers. At Georgetown it’s not just about staff talking to your children, but also about drawing the best out of students,” said Dean Nonneman.
“We claim to be educating the global leaders. That also means going out there and engaging students, engaging them with a number of NGOs, trying to find students internships. These are all part of the efforts for us to be relevant to the society. It’s an approach that looks out and interacts,” added Dean Nonneman.
The annual event provides an opportunity for families to experience the university environment and learn about the academic, extracurricular and career opportunities that Georgetown offers their students.
Following the speech by Dean Nonneman, SFS-Qatar associate dean for Academic Affairs, Daniel Stoll gave an overview of academic opportunities that exist for students at the school.
“We expect the students to be smart, to be ambitious, but we also explain to them what it means to be a scholar, what it means to engage in ideas and engage in the works of others, and maintain high academic standards,” said Dean Stoll, as he talked about a typical first and second year at SFS-Qatar including mandatory foundation courses.
Students also took the center-stage and explained the exciting programs – whether community engagement or study abroad – that go on to shape their personalities for the future.
“Studying abroad was one of my most exciting programs at SFS-Qatar. I went to Paris for a semester and took classes in culture in France and sports marketing. Not only did the experience give me a unique academic perspective, I also became more fluent in French in six months than taking French classes for three years,” recalled SFS-Qatar student, Salma Mousa.
“I also learned to become self-sufficient and independent,” added Mousa.
In the next session, SFS-Qatar associate dean for Students Affairs, Brendan Hill talked about student engagement and empowerment, and led various presentations on their well-being, involvement in communities and sport.
“The Office of Student Development is geared towards providing a context for the education that your children get in the classrooms. This enables them to contextualize the courses and
think about how these courses relate to each other and to think about how they have a use for them in everyday life,” said Dean Hill.
Two lectures were also held following the presentation and question and answer as a part of the event. The lecture on ‘Cyber-Warfare’ was conducted by Professor Jeremy Koons, while the class on ‘Why Religion Matters” was delivered by Professor Akintunde Akinade. The lectures provided the families with real insight into the classroom experience and high caliber courses offered at SFS-Qatar.
“We were really thrilled to come to today’s event and to get to know the faculty and staff first-hand. Being here answered a lot of questions we had in terms of what sort of activities our student can engage in, and how best she can utilize her time while a student at SFS-Qatar,” said parents of a freshman, Syed Hussain Khadri and Shaheen Khadri.