15:44 PM

UHCL students learn culture, environmental best practices in Oman

International travel and study is a great way for college students to acquire global skills and open up personal and professional opportunities. That's why on Jan. 2, 10 University of Houston-Clear Lake students and three professors traveled almost 9,000 miles to Muscat, Oman, for a two-wee k study of Oman's food and environmental sustainability practices, as well as learn more about its culture and people.

Their first stop was a tour of the main prayer hall at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the main mosque in Oman's capital city. It measures 430,000 square feet and can hold over 6,500 male worshippers and 750 female worshippers. The carpet, which is one of the mosque's main features, weighs over 20 tons and is the second-largest single piece of carpet in the world. It contains 1.7 billion knots and covers almost 47,000 square feet of the prayer hall.

This is the fifth study trip to Oman that Associate Professor of Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Studies Maria Curtis has led. Professors Kathy Garland and Georgina Moreno, who teach environmental management and psychology respectively, are accompanying Curtis on this year's trek.

UH-Clear Lake's Education Abroad program offers students the opportunity to expand their view of the world through travel, learn about other cultures firsthand, and gain invaluable interpersonal and communication skills.