Now that I’ve returned from the Gulf Study Tour (and recovered from jetlag), I’ve been able to discuss my experience with colleagues who didn’t go on the trip. In doing so, I have had some interesting revelations that only time and reflection would allow.
The first is that showing superior hospitality was incredibly important to our hosts. Knowing a little about the culture before I left, I was expecting warm greetings and interest, but I never expected what we actually received. From the time we were met at the airport in Doha through to when we left the hotel in Dubai, we were treated as honored guests. Summing it up – Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont hotels could learn some things from our hosts!
Second, it is interesting in a time when the United State government is cutting back on funding for higher education, the Qatari and Emerati governments are substantially increasing funding. Granted there a numerous differences between the US and the gulf countries’ education systems, but it does make you think.
And last, I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to be a professional female in higher education in the US. It is a little surprising that every time I travel overseas, I still come back with a renewed appreciation of the freedoms and opportunities I enjoy simply because of where I was born.
See the other posts about the ACUI trip: My Summer Vacation Might Kick Your Summer Vacation’s Butt ACUI International Study Tour: Arabian Gulf ACUI Arabian Gulf Tour Continued Arabian Gulf Study Tour…Education City