We’re following Tonya Neumeier, Vice President of University and Client Relations at Capstone On-Campus, as she travels the Arabian Gulf as part of the ACUI International Study Tour, with a great group of professionals who are passionate about higher education. Come tag along with us, as we see the sights and hear about the practice of higher education and student affairs in this unique region of the world.

Our first full day in Doha today….breakfast and then some ice breakers, so we could all get to know each other. We have quite the international group – USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies are all represented.

We toured Doha by bus to get a basic overview of the area and see how we would do in the 110 degree heat. Luckily the bus was air conditioned, but the places we visited were not and even the shade didn’t provide much relief.

There is an incredible amount of building going on here. Our tour guide pointed to a building crane and said “there is the national bird of Qatar,” and nowhere else have I seen it to be so true. Between Old Doha, New Doha and The Pearl, there are over 150 skyscrapers going up with more being planned! The architecture is something to behold and the photos don’t do the amazing views justice.


After our tour, we were dropped at Souq Waqif to learn about the open air markets here and grab a traditional Yemeni dinner. We all had a great time kicking back, eating on the floor and discussing our impressions. Then it was off the haggle with vendors where we learned Tiki (one of our organizers) is an INCREDIBLE negotiator – any vendor better watch out when she is around.

Jet lag kicked in and most of us decided the night life could wait. Stay tuned…

(Doha night photo courtesy of Zachary Wahlquist)