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students listen to presentation in chahlavi center
students listen to presentation in chahlavi center
Cheryl Obal speaks to students via videoconference
Students Connect with Cross-Cultural Training Expert

More than 20 Bolles upper school students grabbed a seat in the Chahlavi Center for Global Learning and Engagement in Ulmer Hall on January 10 to hear from Cheryl Obal about living and working in Saudi Arabia.

Obal has more than 20 years of experience as a culture and communication skills trainer, executive coach and consultant at multinational companies and institutions across the world. Her organization’s mission is to give companies and individuals the tools needed to thrive when working abroad.

Obal joined the students via video conference to speak with them about:  

  • Living in the Middle East Gulf
  • The main cultural differences between the Middle East Gulf and the United States
  • Middle East Gulf geography and differences between countries
  • Breaking down stereotypes about Middle East culture
  • The Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia: the social and economic transformation
  • Core cultural values of Saudi Arabia
  • Business and career opportunities in the present and future in Saudi Arabia
  • Key tips for successful adaptation to Saudi Arabia and Middle East culture

The students asked insightful questions and participated in a thoughtful dialogue with Obal, who was born, raised and educated in the United States and has lived in Italy, India, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Obal is a certified trainer of the Lewis Model of Culture, Cultural Detective® and GlobeSmart® methodologies for cross-cultural training and coaching. She is also certified as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and holds an M.A. in International Relations from The University of Trieste, Italy.

Bolles Director of Global Learning and Engagement Natalia Aycart arranged the session as part of the department’s Student Dialogues series. Students interested in getting involved with the Bolles Global Learning and Engagement program can find events on the department’s online calendar. #BollesGlobal