JEDDAH: The Royal Commission for Al-Ula has successfully concluded an intensive 10-week language and skills development course for 168 students from Al-Ula who have qualified for the commission’s international scholarship program announced earlier this year.
The governor of the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, expressed the importance of supporting and developing the potential of young men and women of Al-Ula.
Congratulating them on the completion of the intensive preparatory program, the governor emphasized that this program is the first milestone in the journey of qualifying the youth’s ambitious competencies to meet the development requirements for Al-Ula.
To celebrate the completion of the preparatory program, the Royal Commission organized on June 2 an iftar party, during which the director of the scholarship program for the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, Mohammed Al-Khamis; general supervisor of the program Abdullah Al-Khelaiwi; and head of partnerships and innovation Abeer Al-Akel addressed the students and handed out the program certificates.
The preparatory program sessions were designed to equip the selected students with the basic skills they require to study in a foreign country and enable them to adapt to their new life overseas. As part of the training, expert teachers and educational counselors constantly assess the participants’ linguistic, academic and behavioral competencies to enhance capabilities. During the course period, the students also took part in project work, field visits and cultural activities.
“The future of Saudi Arabia is in the hands of its youth. The Royal Commission for Al-Ula is keen to give our youth population a chance to contribute to the Kingdom’s development as well as the region’s progress as ambassadors of a future Saudi Arabia. The preparatory training course was organized as part of the Royal Commission’s continued efforts to introduce our youth to the best global practices, and build a generation that is open to the world’s cultures and capable of achieving sustainable development, as well as to empower the youth of Al-Ula to contribute to the aspirations of the leadership,” said Al-Khamis.
The program featured best practices modules to develop the participants’ English and French language proficiencies. Other modules in the course included soft skills training to improve the candidates’ confidence and critical thinking capabilities and raise their awareness levels about the latest trends and developments within their chosen fields of study. As part of the pre-departure program, students were also taken on field visits to Masmak Fort, Kingdom Tower, the National Museum, Al-Diriyah and Landmark Park.
As a participant in the preparatory program, Atheer Al-Balawi, who will be moving to Liverpool, England, to major in tourism and hospitality, thanked the Royal Commission for Al-Ula for organizing a comprehensive preparatory program with a variety of courses and activities. “The preparatory program has altered my perceptions and taught me to be independent,” Al-Balawi said.
Al-Balawi is looking to pursue a doctorate and eventually set up a small tourism company in Al-Ula to contribute to making the province one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world.
Another participant, Madi Mousa Al-Shammari, who will study for a master’s degree in tourism and hospitality in France, said: “The training program organized by the Royal Commission for Al-Ula has been a great learning experience during which we gained a sociocultural understanding of the countries where we will be studying. It is indeed an honor for me to receive this opportunity to participate in the thriving economy of Al-Ula.”
During the training period, the participants were familiarized with the best academic institutions in the US, the UK and France as well as their offerings and relevant visa requirements.
In the next round of the scholarship program, which will begin in the autumn, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula is aiming to accept up to 300 students.
Students who could not gain entry in the first phase of the program can reapply for the scholarship in this phase.