Exploring the UAE by Rebecca

05 Mar 2019 3:27 PM

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While most were enjoying the long winter break we had last semester I was also enjoying mine but in another country, Dubai! On December 28th, I left from Chicago on my first plane ride ever to Dubai! After a 13-hour flight, I had made it to the start of my adventure. Stepping out into the warm 80-degree weather in the middle of winter was something I would have never thought I would experience but was so happy I did.

Photo of four people in city streetI found out about this study abroad the year before and knew it was something I wanted to do. I have always wanted to travel but I wanted it to benefit me and go somewhere I had never thought of before. I knew I would get a little too homesick if I was to go for a semester so when I found this was a two-week program for Hospitality and Event Management in the Arabic World I was sold!

I was able to experience so much from my time there and made a strong connection with our instructor and here assistant from out partnering organization in Dubai. I was able to walk the streets of the souks (markets), See the culture form new to old Dubai and experience the history. The most meaningful experience for me was the first day at the cultural lunch. We learned about the customs and got to eat amazing food! After we were welcomed into the mosque and learned about Islamic Religion. I love learning and experience new culture and customs as it is a big part of my life too.Group of people posed in front of presentation screen

Another big part of my trip was the places we visited and was related to my major. For Events, I was able to see many conference and event centers. I was also able to see and hear about traditional Dubai weddings and learn about the different elements that take place. I had never thought about doing weddings until this lecture we had. For Hospitality, we went to many beautiful hotels like the Madinat Jumeirah and the Five. I was able to learn so much and see an outside perspective of events in different countries.

Rebecca in city street with lightsI also got the experience to spend my New Years in Dubai! It was a great feeling and I had so much fun. We had a free day in the morning were most of us went to the beach and soaked up the sun and after got ready for a rooftop dinner to watch the fireworks shoot off the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) to bring in 2019.

I had the opportunity to do so many more amazing things! I was able to go to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, see the only 7-star hotel in the world in Abu Dhabi called the Burj Al Arab. I got to ride a camel, drive through the desert, pet a falcon, and see one of the most amazing places called the Dubai Miracle Garden. Overall, I had an amazing trip and meet amazing people and would do it all over again!


Adventure     Study Abroad, College of Human Sciences