The United Arab Emirates is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students who are looking for a location that’s unique, provides amazing cultural immersion, and is relevant to their chosen major. For these students, places like Italy, France, and Spain, are becoming just too common, not to mention the importance of the Middle East in the world economy is ever growing. The U.A.E is especially good for those interested in studying Arabic, Islam, and the unique business practices of the Middle East.
Things to Do
This nation in the Arabian Gulf is a cultural and adventure hotspot. Studying abroad in the United Arab Emirates comes with many perks, including excursions to different cities, all of which have their own appeal. One of the more popular study abroad locations in the UAE, Sharjah, is considered one of Islam’s culture capitals, thanks to a declaration from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the reputation of the emirate's 20-plus museums dedicated to the arts and sciences.
While studying abroad in Sharjah, students should plan a few day trips to neighboring Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where urban development rivals if not totally eclipses those in the best cities of the world. Dubai hosts two architectural and engineering marvels, the Burj Al Arab, dubbed the most luxurious hotel, and the Burj Khalifa, one of the world’s tallest buildings at 2,722 feet. (For comparison, the Empire State Building in New York City is 1,250 feet.)
Studying in Dubai has its share of unique sports, including “dune bashing” — driving a 4x4 truck on desert dunes and participating in sand-borne stunts. Or, use the sand dunes like a snow-covered mountain: grab a snowboard and hit the slopes.
Studying in the U.A.E.
As one of the world’s largest producers and refiners of oil, the UAE is a perfect destination for business, engineering, and science majors who want to study abroad. The American University of Sharjah offers a wonderful mix of courses in engineering, from civil to chemical and from computer to electrical. There are also specialized courses in finance, accounting, economics, or marketing for international students.
Sharjah, one of seven emirates comprising the United Arab Emirates, is about 40 minutes from neighboring Dubai, and its setting is tame and quiet compared to the more cosmopolitan Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sharjah is the only emirate that bans alcohol and enforces a strict dress code. For students who want to a faster-paced and more liberal environment, study abroad programs at the American University in Dubai are recommended. Among the more popular courses there are architecture, fine arts, engineering, visual arts and Middle Eastern studies.
Living and studying in Dubai may be a bit more expensive than in other emirates. Fortunately, scholarships are available through the Clinton Presidential Foundation. To become one of the William Jefferson Clinton Scholars at the American University in Dubai, students must be currently enrollment in an accredited four-year college or university in the United States, and must demonstrate exemplary academic performance.