Students Travel Free to Abu Dhabi Conference, Apply Today

Published: November 09, 2012 | Read Time: 2 minutes

On the other side of the world and more than 8,000 miles away from Cedar City, the Education Without Borders conference in the United Arab Emirates will be welcoming 1,000 students from 300 universities in 131 different countries this March, and five of those students will be from Southern Utah University.

Those five fortunate students will travel to Abu Dhabi with all expenses paid, thanks to a sponsorship from SUU Provost Bradley J. Cook’s Office—a worthwhile investment, according to Cook, who has high hopes for the great potential of this truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that includes free international travel, cross-cultural networking and the opportunity to hear from business leaders, Nobel laureates and current and former public leaders from across the globe.

What’s more, it’s not too late to apply to be one of the five who will attend the biennial international student conference, which, according to organizers, aims to help students “understand and generate solutions for some of the world’s greatest problems.”

A lofty goal, but one that is within reach, according to Cook, who has traveled with SUU students to past Education Without Borders conferences. “The conference achieves this goal by inviting the world’s most innovating students and leaders to collaborate and find solutions to problems that are becoming more and more global.”

If nothing else, Cook explains, “Going to this conference will help students get rid of preconceived notions about the Middle East and allow them network with students from around the world. Even though they will be interacting with students from China or Germany, they will realize how much they can relate to the political and social concerns found around the world.”

All current junior and senior SUU students with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply to attend the 2013 conference.

Beyond that, “we are looking for students that exemplify SUU and can be an ambassador while at the conference and also take back what they learned and teach their peers,” said Tessa McNeel, global engagement coordinator at SUU.

In addition to building a global network of students and scholars, students will also be able to take part in tourist activities outside of the conference, including exploring sand dunes and camelback riding. Hotel, airfare and conferences fees will be covered by SUU.

Applications to attend the conference are available online and can be submitted in person to the Global Engagement Center or by email to Tessa McNeel at

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