Omolara McCloud, BBA’ 11, was part of a group of scholars who studied in Dubai in fall 2011 and met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The study abroad experience was part of the Clinton Scholars Program that established a partnership between the American University in Dubai (AUD) and U.S. students to study at AUD for a better understanding of the Arab world. The scholarship covers tuition and housing at AU and also provides a support system of mentors and counselors and school-sponsored field trips.
The partnership is supported by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, who provides scholarships to American students to study at AUD.
For McCloud, studying abroad in Dubai was a life-changing experience.
“It was nice meeting people from all over the world,” she says. “I experienced not only the Arab and Middle Eastern culture, but other cultures such as Italian, Swiss, British and Nigerian. I learned a lot about myself, and the perspective of others about my home country. This trip has transformed me, and I encourage students to explore their study abroad options, and AUD to be at the top of the list.”
Clinton, along with Elias Bou Saab, AUD executive vice president, was on hand for a group photograph with scholars Malak Fakhry, Montclair State University; Kirk Grogan, Texas Tech University; Megan Bowling, University of Kentucky; Iberia Zafira, Stanford University; Omolara McCloud, accounting major, UC Lindner College of Business; University of Cincinnati; Jenny Johnson, Truman State University; and Elizabeth Shimek, Lawrence University.
Saab says he and the students are always honored by Clinton’s visit.
“We are very happy that his scholars at AUD were given the chance to personally meet the President and thank him for the opportunity to study abroad in Dubai,” he says.
AUD serves as a gateway to globalization, welcoming visiting students from around the world. As part of the program, more than 150 Clinton scholars from top universities in the United States have traveled to Dubai to learn firsthand about the region’s culture and faith.
To read about McCloud's experience, visit her blog: texanindubai.blogspot.com/