A group of 10 students from the University of Dubai (UD) recently returned from Thailand where they were hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Royal Thai Consulate-General and Rangsit University. The group visited Bangkok, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi on their week-long expedition and learned about the culture and landscape through programs both educational and adventurous.
Amina El Marzak, Director of Student and Alumni Affairs, accompanied the students on the trip. ““The Thai Consulate and the Thailand Tourism Authority did a magnificent job of planning our trip with the perfect combination of fun and educational activities. I can say that Thailand now has 11 ambassadors including myself at UD to promote such an amazing program and country.”
After arriving in Bangkok, the group exchanged presentations with students from Rangsit University to learn about life and academia in the students’ respective country. From Bangkok, the group traveled to the south of Thailand, to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi, and participated in environmental conservation programs such as releasing blue crabs for repopulation efforts and planting mangrove trees to counter erosion of the shoreline. Although learning a lot, the group also experienced fun activities like snorkeling and kayaking.
UD student Abdeldjallil Machou said, “We learned plenty of new things and increased our awareness of the environment and the Thai culture. It was truly the trip of a lifetime because of the amazing activities we did and the lovely people we met.”
Last week, the group of students, along with UD President Omar Hefni and UD faculty met with members of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Royal Thai Consulate-General for a Thai dinner to exchange gifts, express their gratitude for the enriching experience and open the door to a possible partnership between the university and the country of Thailand and its institutions of higher learning.
“The more exposure students can get to the outside world, the better,” Prof. Hefni said, speaking at the dinner. The UD President spoke about the prospect of a having a Culture and Society class taught at UD, inviting a Thai performance group to perform in the UAE and collaborating with Rangsit University on future endeavors.
Fabio Chinda, Deputy Consul-General of the Royal Thai Consulate-General, welcomed Prof. Hefni’s comments and said, “I believe these kinds of exchanges will bring a lot to the relationship between the UAE and Thailand and can tell by speaking to the students that this was a very positive experience.” Chinda said he looks forward to working together with the University of Dubai and the UAE to further strengthen the beneficial relationship of the two countries.