UAE: Why young women are opting for experiential trips abroad

Students share their positive experiences, emphasising mental health benefits and newfound interests in their own culture


Angel Tesorero

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Many female students from the UAE who have joined in experiential travel and educational expeditions abroad. Photos: Supplied
Many female students from the UAE who have joined in experiential travel and educational expeditions abroad. Photos: Supplied

Published: Wed 20 Mar 2024, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Mar 2024, 8:23 PM

Travelling and volunteering have helped Selam Ntamo, a grade 11 student at Universal American School (UAS) in Dubai, to broaden her understanding not only of other cultures but her ethnic traditions as well.

"Travelling has always held a special place in my heart, and being able to combine it with community service has been incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, visiting villages similar to my roots has added a nostalgic touch to this experience, making it all the more meaningful and memorable," Ntamo told Khaleej Times.

"Travelling has allowed me to quench my thirst for adventure while also making a meaningful impact on communities in need," she added.

Ntamo is one of the many female students from the UAE who have joined in experiential travel and educational expeditions abroad, according to Camps International, an international volunteer travel operator.

Stay up to date with the latest news. Follow KT on WhatsApp Channels.

There is an increase in the participation of female students. "Last year, female attendance at Camps International trips matched that of the males, with a 50-50 gender split in attendance from the UAE school students," the travel company noted.

Women's month

This trend is worth mentioning as March is celebrated as Women's Month, said Laura Negus, Middle East & Asia expeditions manager at Camps International.

Laura Negus
Laura Negus

"Historically, women have faced barriers and societal expectations that have limited their access to certain opportunities, including travel and education. But as we continue to break down these barriers and challenge outdated stereotypes, we're seeing a cultural shift where young women are encouraged and uplifted to pursue their passions and broaden their horizons," she underscored.

Negus also pointed out "the transformational impact travel can have on young minds. From building confidence to fostering empathy and resilience, the benefits of these experiences are undeniable."

"I've really surprised myself with how much physical endurance I've developed," Ntamo said of her recent trip. She added: "Normally, I tend to back out of physical activity after 20-30 minutes. But during my last trip, I found myself pushing through and feeling great doing it. Despite the heat and the physical labour, I've managed to stay energised and focused. It's like I've unlocked a new level of stamina and resilience that I didn't know I had."

Travelling and volunteering
Travelling and volunteering

Valuable life lessons

"Participation in educational expeditions not only equips female students with valuable life skills and global perspectives but also empowers them to defy expectations and chart their paths," explained Negus.

She added: "By providing them with opportunities to explore new cultures, connect with diverse communities, and challenge themselves in unfamiliar environments, we're nurturing the next generation of leaders, changemakers, and trailblazers."

The company offers students the opportunity to live in traditional camps. Each student would spend about Dh12,400 on the trip, where they would stay in camps staffed by locals.

Isabel Kandalaft, another Grade 11 student at UAS-Dubai, said of her recent trip: "It was good for my mental health. As humans, we would want to learn everything. During the trip, everything was new."

Vaania Varun, also a Grade 11 student at the same school, added: "The religious aspect of it was the highlight, and it made me interested in learning about my own religion. It was a very enlightening experience."

Negus said they would actively encourage students to go on expeditions abroad. "Travelling will empower them to defy expectations and chart their paths."


More news from UAE