Multiday Field Trip Links Theory to Practice
Paris – Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) students pursuing a BA in Geography recently concluded a study visit, which ran over eight days, to the Kingdom of Morocco. The visit featured field trips to Tangier and Gibraltar where students conducted onsite studies to link theory to practice.
Led by Dr. Rachid Ragala, Head of the PSUAD Geography and Planning Department, and Prof. Kosmas Pavlopulos, the visit highlighted the economic, archaeological, geographic and demographic characteristics of Morocco. Students also explored transit and geopolitical factors in Gibraltar and tourism in Tangier, not to mention urban development across the kingdom as a whole.
The PSUAD student delegation similarly visited the headquarters of the Emirati embassy in Morocco. The delegation was received by Mr. Saeed Al Ketbi of the UAE consulate in Rabat, who welcomed the visitors and emphasized the embassy’s keenness to offer them all necessary facilities to ensure the success of their visit. Mr. Al Ketbi lauded PSUAD and its academic contribution to consolidating and promoting the openness of the UAE to all cultures of the world.
Dr. Rachid Ragala underscored the university’s role as a beacon of knowledge, noting that Morocco was chosen as a destination for the field trip for its educational significance given its thriving educational, geographic, cultural and economic climate and for its geographic position as a linking point between Europe and Africa.
“The student visit to Morocco is part of the scientific and cultural exchange strategy embraced by PSUAD. It constitutes a quality educational tributary that adds to the students’ knowledge, deepens their understanding and expands their horizons. Field trips go hand in hand with academic curricula and should be pertinent to students’ area of specialization for them to draw both theoretical and practical benefit as a result of visiting international locations and institutions with relevance to their studies.
“After the visit, students prepare presentations to share with their classmates the lessons they learned and the new information they acquired during their trip, for which they receive credit. PSUAD strives to equip students with theoretical and applied knowledge. Such initiatives are prized by the university as an opportunity for students to interact with top-level figures in all industries, whether in the UAE or abroad,” Dr. Ragala said.
Dr. Ragala explained that PSUAD is determined to offer unique and diverse programs that nurture students’ capacities and build their skills through contact with the leaders of prestigious global institutions who share with them their experience and expertise, thus ensuring well-rounded academic and practical education. This is reflected, he said, on the advanced proficiency of PSUAD alumni and the fact that they are highly sought-after by the biggest private- and public-sector organizations for internships and employment.
Students affirmed that their trip to Morocco was very instructive in their areas of specialization as they learned about the customs and traditions of the Moroccan people and gained new insight into their lives. Their itinerary reinforced social and cultural communication, they remarked, as activities included visits to archaeological sites, in addition to various educational visits to observe the latest tourism, cultural and geographic developments in Morocco.
Students stressed that such visits allow maximum learning at the social, cultural and academic levels and that these trips foster responsibility and self-reliance among students, in addition to developing their leadership and management skills.