Muscat: “It’s really amazing to see how much has been accomplished in such a short time. I think we can learn from the Omani model.”
When a student of the Miami University said these words, he was reflecting the opinion of all 17 members of the group from the US university who recently visited Oman on a study tour, entitled ‘Arabian Gulf Economies in Transition.’
Besides learning about the economic aspects, the group also toured around the country to places like Wahiba Sands, Nizwa, Sur, the Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House Muscat, among other venues, to acquaint itself with Omani culture and religion. The group was in Oman for nine days and was hosted by ‘Inspire Oman,’ which aims to provide for the study groups an authentic and challenging programme that focuses on both, academic content as well as everlasting cultural experiences.
“At Inspire Oman, we believe in the power of experiential learning, whether it is about learning a new language, experiencing cross culture, developing leadership skills or exploring a new country. Our programmes focus on providing academically challenging and authentic and enriching experiences to a diverse range of clients from around the globe.
“We’re passionate about education and our passion is reflected in our ethical business practices, our unique programmes and our dedication to ensuring that our students explore and experience Oman safely and are well supported,” said Zainab Jones, founder of Inspire Oman. Although pursuing different study majors, the students are all studying ‘Comparative Religion’ at the university, along with Economics.
"We believe in promoting transformational learning with every opportunity. We are proud to host Inspire Oman's orientations because you can see student empathy and understanding of the world change from the beginning of the program to the end.
"Students develop more perspective about their own experiences, and that kind of knowledge spreads with the stories they tell when they return home," said Paul Steele, Director at Sylvan Learning Centre, where the orientations of the American students took place.
They were also given presentations on different economic aspects related to Oman and got the opportunity to meet with a number of corporate leaders, such as Bank Muscat’s SME team, OMRAN, OXY Oman and the Information Technology Authority’s SAS teams. The group also attended lectures at the Sylvan Learning Centre, delivered by a number of local economists and representatives of the OABC.
While in Oman, students studied the stunning growth of Omani infrastructure, visited financial institutions, multinational corporations and sites of religious, cultural, and national heritage, along with Dr. Nathan French, the lead Miami faculty. “I have been really impressed by Oman. Not only is the country breathtakingly beautiful, but the people are so welcoming and hospitable.
“I felt so welcome everywhere we visited. It was really amazing to see how much has been accomplished in such a short time,” said Kathryn, a student at the Miami University. — Supplied photo