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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies go global at world cup

Photo by Courtesy of Paulina Adam
World Cup 2

At the end of 2022, Aggies had the opportunity to travel to Qatar for a guest services and event management class credit — Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences 489 and 689 — on a travel abroad program to the worldwide event of the Federal Internationale de Football, or FIFA, World Cup. 

With most of the shifts occurring between late afternoon until past midnight, Aggies had the opportunity to travel around Qatar, visit the A&M campus and tour the small country in fascinating escapades. 

Education junior Courtney Smith said the students’ responsibilities at the World Cup included working with guests and helping the staff. 

“We typically do guest services, like welcoming people, greeting people, directing them to the bathroom [and] answering questions — stuff like that,” Smith said.

To embody the Aggie Spirit, Smith said they gave tour guides, and those who helped with the trip, small gifts to remember them by. 

“Our professor had packed little 12th Man statues before we left,” Smith said. “Anytime we had a tour, we got to give [the statues] to them as gifts and explain what the 12th Man represents here in Texas.”

Before their shifts, the students got to embrace the culture of Qatar and get involved in local adventures, Smith said.

“I got to ride a camel,” Smith said. “I also did attend the games while we were there, and I don’t know if I’ll ever attend another World Cup game. Definitely another once in a lifetime experience.”

Sport management senior Hannah Ager said she enjoyed experiencing the culture, especially because of her personal connection with it. 

“I actually have some aunts that are Muslim, so I see the culture a lot, but I haven’t been a part of it myself,” Ager said. “I got to actually be in a mosque and put on the head wrap [in Qatar].” 

Working with guests allowed students to talk to a diverse group and expand their worldview, Ager said.

“The shifts were like eight hours, but we got to meet people from all talked to a lady from South Africa who is working in Qatar as a physical therapist.”

Overall, Ager said travel abroad is a rewarding and enriching experience for students who are able to go. 

“I think it definitely made me more globally aware,” Ager said. “Study abroad if you can. I’ve been on two and they’ve been life changing.”

Communication senior Paulina Adam said she hopes to continue working with international event planning in the future, which is why she was excited to join the program. 

“It was so perfect that the classes for [the travel abroad] were so tied with event planning, which is what I want to do for my career,” Adam said. 

Work shifts at the World Cup would start in the afternoons and end deep into the night, sometimes at 2 a.m., but Adam said the experience was worth it. 

“It was pretty much non-stop since the first day that we got there,” Adam said. “But it was amazing. I wouldn’t have had any other way, because I can sleep when I’m home.”

Adam said she learned many different tips and tricks during her conversations with FIFA staff, including how they bring police officers from different countries to help with cultural differences. 

“I learned a lot about managing events, which is amazing, and I will definitely apply that to my future career with international sporting events,” Adam said. 

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