May Sefin and a fellow student riding an elephant.


Study Abroad Ignites a Global Awakening

February 13, 2018

May Sefin, left, and a fellow student on an elephant ride in India.

Graduate student May Sefin, a finance major, reflects on her study abroad experience in India and United Arab Emirates sponsored by NYIT School of Management.

Over the 2017-18 winter break, I traveled with a group of fellow M.B.A. candidates in NYIT School of Management to Delhi, India and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was an incredible trip. We had the opportunity to visit with large companies and see in practice what we learn in class. We met with representatives from Honda, Jumeirah Hotels, Emirates NBD, and a large hospital. These site visits helped me understand how fast-paced the world is. Companies have objectives that are quite intense, and thus, competition not only between corporations but also within organizations is fierce.

The first leg of the trip was in India. I arrived in Delhi two days behind schedule because of an issue with my visa. It was late evening so I hopped into a cab from the airport to the hotel. On the way, I saw ancient history right before me. Old-style architecture, horse-drawn carriages, and the hustle and bustle of a city of 25 million people were all around. I was in sheer awe. There was so much to see during my short stay in India’s capital. I visited temples, war memorials, and old bazaars. The best moment, however, was on my last day: It has always been one of my wishes to ride an elephant, and I finally had the chance to do it!


M.B.A. candidates in NYIT School of Management pose in front of the Taj Mahal.

From there, our NYIT group flew to Dubai. Absolutely nothing could have prepared me. The city is overflowing with riches and new ideas. Wherever I looked, I saw beautifully designed skyscrapers and buildings. Everything is modern and state-of-the-art, from the world’s first robotic cop to the automatic-driven trains of the state metro system. There are construction projects on every corner. And yet, all the traditions remain. I experienced strong Arabian hospitality in Dubai, enjoyed the local food, went to a desert camp where we drove around in the sand dunes and rode camels, and watched a live belly-dancer as well as other Arab entertainers. This mixture of old and new, of heritage and innovation, was wonderful. The old can embrace the new without losing itself.

Assistant Professor and Director of Experiential Education Amr Swid, Ph.D., organized the trip, which was educational and exciting. The whole experience woke me up to the world around me and made me realize life in Eastern countries is not what I think it is, at all. There is much innovation that the media does not mention. These nations are rising quickly, and I predict this region of the planet will lead the world’s way into the future.

Learn more about the Riyaz Akhtar Experiential Education program.