Robert of Arabia

Posted by : Rob Stevens | Sunday, May 18, 2008 | Published in

I've just come back from a university exchange trip with a college in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh Communications College is Saudi's only Cisco training facility. The idea of the exchange is to form a partnership between them and our own college for the purposes of exchange of both culture, and technical training and ideas.

A group of 16 of us went. While we were there we participated in some of the lectures and workshops being run at Riyadh college. I got shown some very interesting stuff on removing and exchanging the processor and memory chips inside a mobile phone. That showed one thing that was very different about the way the two colleges work - The Saudis seemed to spend a lot more time looking into how the components in various devices work which is something I've never really looked into. It's made me want to do a bit of electronic work at some point when I have time. Maybe I'll look into doing a part time course at some point once I've finished my degree. We also took a trip to a fiber-optic cable plant to see how the different types are made.

When we weren't working in the college we were being shown around the city. We saw some fantastic stuff - An old Arab fort, an aviation museum, and one of the best bits, for me at least, was a meal we had at a traditional Saudi restaurant. Another highlight of the trip was going out to the Empty Quarter where we had a barbeque and rode quad bikes. The food while we were out there was fantastic - lots of grilled meat and fish, naan breads and stews. I also tried eyeball, which was interesting...

It was a very interesting trip which gave me some interestingly different perspectives on several things, from ways of dealing with technology, to perspectives different countries have of each other, and how the reality is often very different.

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