Dhaval Mehta, Founder & CEO, TNI Career Counselling

Dhaval graduated from University of Michigan in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Economics (High Honors), and completed Executive Program in Management (EPM) from Cornell University (The Johnson School) in July 2021. In his rich career of 17 years, Dhaval started off as an Investment Banker and eventually moved onto the world of Venture Capital post which he commenced his own entrepreneurial journey. Dhaval was associated with RSM Equico as a Senior Analyst in Los Angeles and then moved onto Bank of America Securities as a Senior Analyst and then Associate in their Oil, Gas & Power division in New York.

 

We are familiar with people going to the UAE for vacation or jobs or expanding the business, but ever wondered why you don’t hear of someone going to the UAE to study? The Middle East can be considered as one such misunderstood classmate we had at some point in our lives who was judged, cornered, left alone, the kid who had mysteries of his own and whose story needs to be told. Those who’ve traveled to the Middle East know the beauty, diversity, hospitality and generosity of the people of these countries. Let’s slowly unpack the story of these Middle Eastern countries and why they can be the UAE to the IPL of you kickstarting your career.

Being situated between Africa, Asia and Europe, the Middle East has become a junction for traders and travelers since ages. Egypt, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Israel are some of the popular and known middle eastern countries. The world’s greatest crossroads of Istanbul, the time-warped old streets and bazaars of Jerusalem, the narrowest gorge of Petra, the ancient mosques of Cairo, the Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the ‘vast, echoic and god-like’ Wadi Rum described by T.E. Lawrence proves the impeccable beauty of these countries. Not just cities, women like Paula Yacoubian bred and studied in the Middle East are breaking stereotypes at every step of their lives by being TV representatives, Journalists and Politicians. 

Students exploring options to study abroad will find the Middle East countries holding many opportunities for them. Some middle eastern countries to consider while planning to study abroad:

  1. Lebanon, a small yet geographically blessed and culturally diverse country is the first choice of many international students. According to the 2013 Global Information Technology Report, a list compiled by the World Economic Forum, Lebanon holds the fifth spot for education in math and science. American University of Beirut located in Beirut holds second-place honours in QS rankings of Arab universities. Lebanon is home to many French and English-speaking students. It is known for its higher education because of universities like Middle East University, ESA Business School, USEK and Lebanese American University. 
  2. Israel is predicted to become a major biotech hub in the coming future looking at its innovative spirit. Four of eight universities from Israel earned top 300 status in the QS world universities rankings for 2015, with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem coming in at a respectable 138th position. When students go to other non-English speaking countries to study, language becomes a barrier but in Israel, most Israelis speak English and many English taught courses are available. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ranked among the best universities in the world. Other significant universities like The University of Haifa, the Weizmann Institute of Science and Bar-llan University are several of Israel’s other major universities that have given Nobel-winning scientists over the past decade.
  3. Home of 12 out of the top 100 institutions in the Arab region, Saudi Arabia is known for its world-class offerings. In spite of offering programs in all the districts, the country is also well-known for its energy, oil and gas engineering degree programs. According to QS Universities ranking, it claims three of the top five spots, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals earns the top honour, whereas King Saud University comes at third plac and King Abdulaziz University comes fourth place.
  4. Oman is the middle east’s most developed country. It is nurtured with both Indian and Eastern Africa and hence has a unique culture including world-renowned cuisine. It is recognized for its commitment to higher education. The Sultan Qaboos University takes the 16th spot in the QS Rankings for the Arab region, with four other universities of the country. Oman’s people are celebrated for their hospitality and hence many international students coming to Oman opt for ‘homestay’ to live with family in a calm and friendly environment.
  5. The World Bank declared Qatar as one of the richest countries, and it is still committed to the globalization of higher education. The Qatar University holds eleventh ranking in the QS University Rankings, which itself is a witness to major funds remarked by the government for the expansion and internationalization of its higher education.
  6. UAE is known for its oil reservoirs which were discovered more than half a century ago. Nine institutions earned spots in the QS rankings for the Arab region in 2015 with United Arab Emirates University securing the sixth position. In addition to its native universities, the UAE is also home to a large number of top-ranked branch campuses. Diversity in UAE is a prime attraction of many as only 20% of the country’s population included emirates, the rest comes from all over the world. 

With all these above-mentioned countries that will definitely give you a concrete future, other reasons to study in a Middle Eastern country that might gain your attention are: you will be living in and exploring a widely misunderstood region, you will get a chance to learn new languages, you will develop an experience of local cultures and you will live in magical cities with ancient background and eye-pleasing architecture.  

Middle Eastern countries are much more diverse, colourful, culturally rich and soulful than what we are aware of. A study in any of these countries will be a rewarding, eye-opening and beneficial experience to anyone who is planning to study abroad. It’s time to open our perspective and explore the regions that are waiting for us to reach them, who want us to come and read their story in order to merge with ours to write a new chapter of our lives. 

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