University of Dubai hosts Middle East Familiarization Program for students from University of Minnesota, USA

Published March 18th, 2010 - 09:41 GMT

The Centre for Management & Professional Development (CMPD), the community outreach arm of the University of Dubai (UD), a prestigious university in the UAE established by Dubai Chamber, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Learning Abroad Center (LAC) of University of Minnesota for its Study Abroad Program – Dubai: An Emirate Emerges from Sand & Sea. The program aims to understand the various approaches taken by each emirate in its march towards progress and development. 

Under this agreement, the CPMD recently played host to a group of 25 students representing a variety of majors from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. The group paid a three-week visit to the UAE as part of a 3-credit hour course, during which they visited various emirates and explored their rich historical, cultural, political and economical aspects.

Dr M. Omar Hefni, President of the University said: “The Middle East Familiarisation Program heralds an exciting period both for students and the University. It offers a unique opportunity for students studying abroad to see and gain a rich first hand experience and understanding of the great traditions and rich culture of the land as well as the dramatic strides made by the UAE in the short span of less than four decades, which is unprecedented anywhere in the world. It enriches them both academically and personally by developing a global business perspective and significantly broadens their view of the world. It increases their self confidence and proves the importance of flexibility and adapting oneself to circumstances. I look forward to more overseas students taking advantage of this unique opportunity to gain international experience.”

During their stay in the UAE American students attended several interesting lecture sessions by experts and business and industry leaders. In each of the emirates that they visited, the students met executives from government and private organisations to understand the role they played in promoting business and industry in the UAE. The group also visited key cultural and heritage sites to get a grasp of its culture, history and to understand the important and integral role of Islam in UAE society. It was coordinated by Usha Kaul, Manager at CPMD and by Seth Warner, Marketing faculty in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. 

Seth Werner, Coordinator of the Study Abroad initiative, said: “Study abroad programs can truly transform a student’s life and this program is proof of this fact. One of the first steps taken by several of the students was to get a passport and this itself expanded their perception of being a global citizen. Once in the UAE, one could witness the stereotypes being met and confronted and a noticeable broadening of their perception. Observing the success of this program, I hope more faculty will be encouraged to help their students experience the world beyond their geographical borders.”   

The program has been developed, designed and coordinated by CMPD as per the requirements specified by LAC and CMPD handled the complete logistics while the group was in the country. The CPMD has successfully designed, delivered and coordinated with several groups from overseas universities over the last five years. The customised programs are designed to complement the readings and materials covered by the syllabus and lead to assignment or project submission at the end of the program due to the large volume of knowledge the students are exposed to.

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