Participating in the 2018 Summer Camp (course CPG 199) with 46 students who just finished Freshmen year under the new integrated undergraduate programs in the College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (CPG) was one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences I had in many years! It was very gratifying to live the birth of such well planned and executed program that took us to the Hajar mountains of Oman, the Eastern Outer Carpathian Mountains and the beautiful city of Krakow – Poland, and to exciting in-Kingdom oil & gas industry. Below is a feedback from a group of our students who lived the experience that tells the full story…. enjoy!
“… CPG 199 course gave us an unforgettable experience. During these weeks we learned a lot about ourselves, our colleagues, and our wonderful instructors. Starting with Oman which was a great exposure of the wilderness. This trip forced every one of us to get out of his comfort zone. We did a lot of things that we were not used to. Sleeping at eleven and waking up at five every day, we broke our daily routine which was a hard thing to do. Going on these trips felt like stepping at the gym’s doorsteps for the first time. The number of difficulties we faced made us think of our health and we started regretting many bad decisions we made in regard to our health. Slippery rocks, dirty water, the merciless sun, the unforgivable weather, and the exhaustion we felt after every step are few of what we had to endure and smile through the trip. Soon, we decided to leave that small zone and welcome the wildlife with open hands. Instead of avoiding the water we jumped right into it. Instead of stopping in the middle and giving up we kept going. Throughout these trips, we got to know our colleagues who soon became our brothers. Seeing them struggle and push back gave us the strength to continue and when we help each other the loving bond between us strengthened. The feelings that overwhelm us at the end of every trip is priceless. And after a rough day in the field, we wash our pain away with long chats and playing cards. If we were to choose the most memorable moment, we would say the steak night. The look on our faces when Hussak team entrusted us with the dinner so we started to divide the tasks. Then out of the sudden, the rain dropped and we are glad it did. Because of this incidence, we saw an amazing teamwork and the taste of the food was ten times better. Oman trip planted in our hearts self-reliance, teamwork, love for nature, and many things that cannot be taught in classes.
As for Poland trip, our objectives were different from Oman. Our main focus was to apply the geophysics techniques we have learned and have sufficient knowledge about petroleum production tools and equipment. Analyzing the outcrops and the rock formation that are similar to what we have in Saudi Arabia were also part of the trip’s objectives. By going to Poland, not only we learned about geology and geophysics, but we looked at it from a different angle. By exposing ourselves to the Polish culture, we opened our minds and learned to accept people no matter what they are and to respect other cultures and religions. If one thing we should appreciate is seeing the outcrops and the geological features throughout the trips since we cannot find these features in our country even though the rock formation and the reservoir characteristics are similar.
Finally, the kingdom part. This part is spectacular and in depths our understanding of the petroleum production process. Our objectives form this module is to gain as much as information about the petroleum industry. Since this part is mainly indoors small tours, we focused on learning the theoretical part of what we have seen in Poland and Oman. In addition to that, we saw the tools and equipment related to the petroleum production. Also, we think that the reason why we repeated some of the activities we have done in Poland is to see the difference in equipment and procedure and to appreciate the advanced tools that are available to us. The difference of equipments and techniques a gift in our hands and should appreciate and work hard to pay this debt we owe to our country.
CPG 199 is definitely a unique experience for us since we are used to spending our summer vacation in a different way. These trips changed our ways of thinking and we definitely have matured more. This program brought us closer to both peers and faculty members. We became one big family that will last forever.
In the end, we would like to express our gratitude to our college faculty who detected everything they have to ease these trips for us. Seeing them walking among us, hiking with us, enduring the same pain as us, all these things motivated us and boosted our confidence. They were always optimistic and cheerful no matter the situation is. Also, we would like to thank Hussak team from the bottom of our hearts, AGH university faculty and every facility we went to in the Kingdom part. Their efforts in making sure we benefit from these trips will surely reflect on us positively. Finally, thanks to our peers and brothers who really showed us the meaning of true friendship and if we did not have each other’s back we would not have made it to this day…”