On June 19, 2011, 12 students and three administrative staff members from the University of Nizwa in Oman arrived on the UW Oshkosh campus for a five-week learning program.

The students are enrolled in two classes learning about marketing and management. Though the students have varied majors and minors, they are all interested in business. Dr. Jeff LaVake is their instructor during the visit to UW Oshkosh. “The Omani students are a fine group. I have been impressed with their academic abilities and teaching them has been a pleasure,” LaVake said.

Additionally, the three staff members are spending time visiting various offices and shadowing UW Oshkosh College of Business staff members.

According to associate dean Bill Wresch, in addition to the learning aspects, this trip gives students a chance to experience the American culture and improve their English-speaking skills. Wresch had the group over to his home for a backyard barbeque last weekend.

Afrah Khalifa Al-Darwishi, a Univeristy of Nizwa student said, “The biggest reason for me to come to the US is to improve my English language skills and to learn about the US culture.”

The University of Nizwa provided all funding for this trip. The students and staff members are staying on campus in both Taylor Hall and Gruenhagen Conference Center. Throughout their stay, several fun and exciting outings have been arranged so that the students and faculty can experience the unique things that Wisconsin has to offer. They’ve already spent time touring the capital in Madison and visiting a local dairy farm. In the coming weeks the group will attend a Timber Rattler’s game and visit some local businesses.

“I wanted to meet new people and get to know their culture, and at the same time, tell them about my culture. I’ve only seen the US on television, but now that I’ve had the chance to visit, I realize it’s very different,” Omezzine said, a student from the University of Nizwa.

The link between UW Oshkosh and the University of Nizwa dates back to 2003 when the University of Nizwa was still in its infancy. Retired UW Oshkosh chancellor John E. Kerrigan, who is an internationally recognized expert in public administration, had each university sign a memorandum of understanding that outlined collaborative goals between the two universities. The university was established in January of 2004 and Kerrigan and other current administrators at UW Oshkosh have traveled to the University of Nizwa to assist.

For more information about the university, checkout http://www.unizwa.edu.om/!

View photo gallery of trip to Circle H Dairy.