15 Local Youth Enrich their Learning in a Global Tourism Hotspot: OTC Students Touch Down Concluding International Exchange

Furthering its commitment to provide students with a valuable and diversified learning experience, Oman Tourism College recently launched its International Cultural Exchange for members of its Volunteering and Exchange Network - ‘Noble Oman’, with 15 travelling on a field research trip to the Philippines. The group returned this week following a range of academic forums and visits to rural destinations, ecotourism and World Heritage Sites.

The cohort reportedly joined peers from West Visayas State University in Iloilo to enrich their learning at OTC with first-hand evaluation and research in a thriving tourism hotspot with direct parallels to key assets in Oman’s tourism profile.

“Whilst students share knowledge, ideas, and experiences OTC is fostering international relations in South East Asia to complement existing partnerships with institutions in Europe. Through cultural exchanges we expose students to yet another mode of experiential learning and enrich their education using destinations and attractions that possess valuable lessons in relation to understanding Oman’s emerging prospects in the global travel and tourism market,” said Dr Abdulkarim Al Mughairi, Dean of OTC.

Within OTC’s cultural exchange framework, students have undertaken language classes, whilst sharing traditional culinary experiences and engaging the pleasantries of cultural arts in a foreign land. With a strong focus on community outreach the students have in turn promoted their own local heritage with students from across South East Asia, delivering a cultural assembly featuring music and traditional dance wearing the customary Omani attire, in addition to the preparation of mouth-watering local foods for their peers.

He added, “We have big plans for the growth of ‘Noble Oman’, our international volunteering and exchange network. OTC is the co-organizer of this engagement and has received great support from the Philippines counterpart. It is a rare experience for local youth to work closely with international students and share their culture whilst advancing their understanding of what development means in review of other locales. This has been an excellent step forward in our mission as Oman’s first and only specialized educational institute for tourism and hospitality”.

OTC is open to all nationalities and continually seeks to increase the cultural diversity within its student body as a means of enriching the experience and expertise of the programmes on offer. As it prepares a new workforce for the nation’s growth in tourism assets the college aspires to become home to an international audience comprised by ambitious tourism professionals from all corners of the world. The strategy employed by OTC was determined in-line with public-private initiatives for economic growth, such as Tanfeedh. It has been recognized as a critical component in establishing local youth as international standard expertise and boosting employment for a competitive cadre of Omani talent that will keep the nation on the map as a fast emerging travel destination.

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