Maryam Al Habroosh, University of Sharjah

The summer school really helped us to develop our leadership skills and our public speaking. It helped us to understand and accept other cultures, other opinions, which was something different from what we were used to when sitting in our classrooms. So yes, it was completely different and enriching. I believe we are now a lot more understanding, more accepting and a lot more confident in ourselves. It’s different when you look at things from another perspective.

One thing that struck me was [that] we are all similar no matter what our backgrounds. It’s true, there no boundaries in life. We all are too similar and, in the end, we are no different. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. We proved that it doesn’t really matter.

On a personal level, I was able to build my skills significantly, and the environment encouraged me to talk to other students. Because I think it’s really important that we really try to understand each other. In short, it was a life-changing experience.

Al Jawhara Al Juwaied, American University of Sharjah

When I first came here, I had a few apprehensions and expectations because a couple of my friends had previously participated in the course which we discussed. But through time, I realised the real benefits of this experience… that you learn life skills and you become more responsible for yourself. On the academic level, the lectures were very informative and I believe we benefitted a lot. We learnt so much about Scottish history and culture. It was fascinating.

During the course of the month, I developed so many skills and made lifelong friendships.

Diversity is a beautiful thing and we should all embrace diversity without hesitation. All through my stay in Scotland and England, I was mindful of the fact that I was representing my country and made every effort to do it well.

Arwa Al Senaani, Abu Dhabi Police Academy

It was, as I expected, a very good experience. We spent the first week in London before we moved to Scotland for the main part of the course. It was wonderful to learn about English and Scottish history, culture and tradition in the contemporary world.

It was a busy programme and some of the lectures focused on leadership skills which I think are very important today. The discussions were inspiring and we really enjoyed discussing and examining issues like multiculturalism and diversity. It was a great experience. It also made me very proud to be an Emirati woman and to be chosen to represent my country abroad. It’s really a good thing to have been given an opportunity to do this. You get to know so many cultures, you get to know more people.

At the beginning, perhaps I was not that much into it. But the warmth from everyone helped me thoroughly enjoy my time in Scotland and I could not be happier with the overall experience.

Shouq Ali Al Sayegh, American University in Dubai

Being in this multiculturalism programme was something new to me as I had never done something like this before. It was a whole new experience and it was very beneficial to me on a personal level. Hopefully, it will benefit me in my career. I’m hoping to apply everything that I learnt about leadership and multiculturalism to empower myself as I encounter the challenges ahead. I felt very motivated when they taught us about empowerment and how we can apply self-confidence in our daily lives. All that we learnt will help strengthen our stand in our society. I hope I made my college, my country and family proud by coming here and representing them the way I did. I would highly recommend this to everyone, it’s very beneficial.

Our leaders are always encouraging us, especially we as women to strive for the best, do the best and want the best. That’s everything that we did here and that’s how we further our standards.

Salma Yaaqoub Al Shams, Zayed University

The Dundee summer school more than fulfilled my expectations. Being a girl coming from the Gulf, it was an eye-opening experience. All the people I met here in Scotland are open-minded, very understanding

To embrace diversity is a great thing. I am a Muslim but, during this trip, I discovered how Christianity as a religion has impacted on the culture over here. I think in order to embrace diversity and multiculturalism, you need to learn more about other religions. And that’s what we did over here. We went to the cathedral and Parliament in the UK. I learnt that although there are Christians, Muslims, Hindus in the world, we all share the same dreams that make us who we are. And more important, we share the same love for each other.

I am very grateful to all the people at Al Maktoum College and for the warmth and kind words that they had for each and every one of us students.

Suhaila Al Daheri, Paris Sorbonne University, law student and council member at Emirates Youth Council

I joined this programme to discover new cultures and discover new aspects about life. It was an opportunity that I believe will add a lot to my career in the future

We visited many different places and discovered many new cultures. We also learned a lot about leadership. We learned that we as women can be leaders. Just because we are women, it is wrong to think that we can’t do certain things. We learnt that each one of us can be a leader and that you are not born a leader but that you can become a leader. That’s really important because anybody can become a leader in their field. Maybe I can be a leader in my field and you can be a leader in a field that I can never be in. I also believe that this programme opened up my horizons. I interacted with so many different people from Egypt, Malaysia, Oman, Scotland and England and, more than anything, I learned to live independently, which is very important as it’s a chance you don’t get every day.