Doha, Qatar– Shunning the school routine for time out in desert and sea, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar’s (SFS-Qatar) freshmen participated in the school’s 2nd annual ESCAPE event over the weekend.
Held at the Sealine Beach Resort in Qatar’s scenic south, ESCAPE is a student retreat founded in 1991 at university’s Washington D.C. campus, and provides an opportunity for new students to get away from campus, get to know their classmates better, and draw on the experiences of their upperclassmen.
The students, 31 freshman and eight upper class student leaders, were led by Assistant Dean Marlene Canlas from the Office of Academic Affairs, and engaged in a wide variety of activities ranging from music and singing and team meetings to improvisational theater and senior talks.
The senior talks, given by student leaders from senior classes, form the heart of ESCAPE. This year’s talks focused on first-year experiences and careers both at Georgetown and beyond.
"ESCAPE is definitely an experience I will never forget. Being away for two days with my fellow classmates and getting to know them in a more personal environment helped build a real connection. ESCAPE set the tone for my freshman year with my peers, upper class-men and staff in a comfortable and welcoming setting. HOYA SAXA!” said freshmen, Amira Asma Madjer.
"After attending ESCAPE, I not only gained a greater appreciation for my peers, but for my personal growth as well. Opportunities to reflect allow me to figure out both who I have been and who I ought to become. It is this pursuit of reflection that demonstrates that Georgetown is not simply about possessing aptitude; it is about developing an attitude. Most importantly, however, it is here that we stop. We pause. We listen. We are heard. And for that, I am most grateful,” said another freshmen, Nikhil Lakhanpal.
In what became the largest student retreat in the history of SFS-Qatar, ESCAPE is now being considered for expansion through increase in frequency.
“We couldn't be happier with the student participation on ESCAPE, and we hope that the reflection and introspection begun on this retreat will continue with our students for the rest of their Georgetown career and beyond. Given the success and popularity that ESCAPE has enjoyed over the last two years, we're considering expanding the number of retreat programs offered at SFS-Qatar,” said Student Development Officer, Alex Silberman.