CIEE Business, Engineering, Arts + Sciences in Sharjah, UAE

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Named “the capitol of Islamic Culture” for its efforts to preserve and promote culture, Sharjah is a great place to explore how tradition and modern life converge. Develop your Arabic language skills with courses taught in English at CIEE’s partner school, American University of Sharjah (AUS), across an array of subjects, including biology, chemistry, communications, literature, engineering, environmental science, history, mathematics, and more. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

  • Attend a cutting-edge university with students from 93 nations.
  • Ramp up your Arabic language skills while you learn about the UAE’s impact on global business and cultural exchange.
  • See more of the gulf region with trips to Dubai, Al-Ain, and Abu Dhabi.

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Questions & Answers


9 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 66.67%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 8.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Yes, I recommend this program

Contemporary Middle Eastern Art in the UAE

I am a senior at Fordham University in NYC and have dedicated this past year to traveling throughout the UAE and Oman while studying abroad with CIEE at the American University of Sharjah. I had dedicated my entire year to researching contemporary Middle Eastern art as I met with artists through my painting class and at contemporary art galleries in Dubai. I had the opportunity to represent Leila Heller Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi art fair and Art Dubai and was able to bring some of my friends from classes to these fairs.

My experience studying with my CIEE group has been life changing. It has inspired me to further my interests in the contemporary art field. I just completed a Fulbright application which funds me to live in the UAE for a year to interview Emirati artists as they prepare for the Sharjah Biennial 2017. I aspire to become a curator of contemporary Arab art and want to exhibit these works within the Gulf and NYC regions. I am currently curating a group exhibition in NYC with Iranian and Afghan artists. I will be traveling back to the UAE this January to meet with old professors at AUS and to visit more artist studios.

What would you improve about this program?
I would've liked to learn more Arabic while studying there. Even though my classes encouraged intensive language, I feel I would have learned about the language through a more intimate setting if CIEE had encouraged everyone to participate in Arabic practice groups.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Arabian Escapades

Originally hailing from the States, I had many concerns about my stay in the UAE, all of which were put to rest upon my arrival in Dubai. First of all, The UAE is the safest place for foreigners to study in the Middle East in not one of the safest places to study in the world. The crime rate is very low and it is basically non existent on campus. You are not only protected by guards chosen by the Sheikh himself but there are also on campus police scattered all around campus to ensure your safety. Secondly I feel as though no other place in the world offers an experience like this one. You get to meet people from all parts of the globe and you learn a little bit about each culture because of it. By best experience thus far of my time here in the UAE was my trip to Oman which is within driving distance of Sharjah. Not only were we able to see the beautiful countryside of Oman but also were given quite the view when we climbed Jebel Shams and had lunch on top of the mountain. This program is an opportunity that doesn't come very often, I advise anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the world and enjoy doing so to become a part of this adventure

What would you improve about this program?
While many of the weekends are filled with activities directed by CIEE and or the International Exchange Office, it would of been nice for their to be an opportunity to participate in some type of group field trip or vacation during Eid. Some of the students already had plans to travel on their own, but for the vast majority this was not true. Eid comes pretty early in the semester, before I really felt oriented with my surroundings and the people. More importantly though is safety. I would of felt much more safe traveling to different parts of the Middle East if we had some type of staff member or IXO member leading us. The whole entire campus basically shuts down during this break and it gets lonely if you dont have something planned.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Completely New Culture Experience

The American University of Sharjah offers an educational experience like one you would experience in the United States but in a completely different cultural setting. Although classes are formatted similarly, relations with professors are much more relaxed and there are more open lines of communication. I also often found class discussions to be much more compelling in the classes I took at AUS. But while the academic experience may be similar, this helps to cope with the cultural differences. The campus sets a dress code and enforces a curfew for those who live in the dorms on campus. You also cannot hang out with friends of the opposite sex in places other than those in common areas of campus. Coming from a large university in the United States I found these small differences challenging to overcome especially because I was 1. not used to living in a dorm and 2. had many friends of the opposite sex. That being said, the campus offers a number of cultural activities and clubs that are open to everyone and it allowed me to hang out with my friends while also participating in new experiences. Dubai is also fairly close to campus, a mere 30 minute away, and is a great escape when you want to feel like you are back at home. Filled with westerns, Dubai is a nice break away from Sharjah. Although Sharjah offers the most in terms of Emirati culture, home sickness is inevitable at some point in your time in the United Arab Emirates and it feels good to be able to have a little bit of home while you are away.

What would you improve about this program?
I would change the housing options. Although I understand the reason for why we had to live on campus, I sometimes found campus dorms to be lonely. The majority of students at AUS don't live on campus and I found it hard to make friends with the girls in the dorms since I was a junior and most people already had their select groups. I would have liked to have the option to live in an apartment in Sharjah with other University students for a higher program cost. Although it is not all that practical, leaving campus was sometimes difficult and I did not want to be confined to campus all the time when there is so much to do and see in the United Arab Emirates. Ideally I would have liked to live in Dubai, but I feel as though it is too westernized and would not have fulfilled the cultural expectations of the program.
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