Luis Cerón, Sophomore, Majoring in Business Administration/Double Concentration in: Finance and International Business
From March 27th to April 1st, I had the opportunity to attend the 6th biennial Education Without Borders Conference that was held in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I fulfilled one of my dreams of going to the Middle East to learn more about the Arabic culture. I also had the opportunity to meet so many bright minds from all over the world. The UAE was without a doubt the perfect place to gather young innovative students from 131 different nationalities along with leaders from different sectors such as business, technology, education and humanitarian sector. All of these students share the same passion as me; we were all gathered to find solutions to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The conference let me gained firsthand knowledge about many topics such as sustainable development and corporate leadership. Dubai itself was so educational because it is a great example of how limitless human beings can be. The fact that the city was built in the middle of the desert demonstrates that we do not have boundaries to accomplish any goal we have. One of the things I will never forget from the conference is that I had the honor of being the flag bearer of my beautiful country El Salvador at the grand opening ceremony. I was proudly representing my country and FDU at the conference.
I can say that so far this conference has been the best experience of my life. I had not only the opportunity of making new friends, but also the opportunity of learning from them and knowing that I am not the only Global Scholar that there are many others who want to change the reality of the world. The conference was only the beginning of my journey because from now on I am looking forward to use all the knowledge I gained and solve some issues that affect my community. I was very proud to represent FDU and the Vancouver Campus at the conference. I will always be thankful with the University for helping me in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Alain Robert (Rock and urban climber)
The first person that I had the opportunity to interview was the “French Spiderman” Alain Robert. He is a rock and urban climber who has climbed over 80 skyscrapers including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State in New York, the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur and the Taipei 101 in Taiwan. During the conference, he climbed the tallest man-made structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Robert was an inspiration for many of the delegates who attended the conference because he demonstrated that one can accomplish any goal as long as he/she has his/her mind set on that specific goal.
Luis Cerón (in the left) with Alain Robert
I asked Alain about the reason he does such dangerous activities and his response was that he "cannot live without climbing”. He expressed the idea that people do not have limits and that they should pursue their goals with all they have, that the youth that gathered here at the conference could bring change to the world . Alain was so inspirational because he showed me that they fearless way he climbed such a big building as the Burj Khalifa, it’s the same way the youth and the great leaders of the world should tackle any issue that is affecting our world.
Tariq Al Muhairi (student at the Higher College of Technology and volunteer at the conference)
At the grand opening ceremony that took place in front of the Burj Khalifa, I had the chance to interview one of the volunteers from the conference. I met this amazing student named Tariq. He is currently a student at the Higher College of Technology in Abu Dhabi. Tariq astonished me the most because even though he was an Emirati he was able to speak Spanish, my mother tongue. Indeed, Tariq was son of an Emirati man and a Spanish woman so he spoke both Arabic and Spanish. Thus, I think that Tariq embodied the big message of the conference which education “without” borders. He was so passionate about volunteering at the conference because he wanted to learn more about other cultures and meet other Spanish speaker like me.
Luis Cerón with the Emirati volunteer Tariq Al Muhairi
I asked Tariq why he decided to become a volunteer. He said that it was related with his background. He saw the conference as big mix of different cultures where he had the chance to learn from these cultures and expand his knowledge. I felt identified with Tariq due to our mutual passion toward other cultures. I share the same belief as Tariq of thinking that one key aspect about education should be to understand the behavior of other people which is mostly influence by their cultures. As Tariq said “the world is now a global village” and we are world citizens who work together to find solutions to the greatest problems in the world.
Dr. Mark J. Plotkin (President of Amazon Conservation Team)
During the second day of the conference, I had the chance to interview Dr. Mark Plotkin who was one of the mentors and speakers of the conference. He is an ethnobotanist and social entrepreneur who has spent nearly three decades studying plant use by shamans in the tropical area of South America. He is also the President of Amazon Conservation Team which is an organization that strives to protect and conserve the Amazonian rainforest. Dr. Plotkin’s speech was on this topic because he talked about the importance of conserving our environment and save it for the future generations
Luis Cerón with Dr. Mark J. Plotkin
During the interview Dr. Plotkin expressed his thoughts about the conference and how amazed he was of seeing so many enthusiastic students who wanted to change the world. I asked him why he was so passionate about protecting the Amazonian rainforest. He said that protecting our environment is something each and every global citizen should do. According to him, we all have the responsibility of ensuring that our beautiful environment will be available for future generations. Thus, he gives his little sand grain by striving to protect the Amazonian rainforest. Dr. Plotkin also said that education should be used to deliver such as an important message as the conservation of the environment. With the brief interview I had with Dr. Plotkin, I could understand the importance of his duty and I also understood that as a Global Scholar I must also embrace this concept and strive to protect the environment where I live in.
EWB is a biennial international student conference that creates networks across cultures in order to understand, and generate solutions, for some of the world's greatest challenges.
Reports from FDU's delegation to the conference:
Luis Cerón, Sophomore, Majoring in Business Administration, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Devin Seelman, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Thy Truong, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Click here to go to official website of Education without Borders 2011