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About United Arab Emirates
Country Handbook

American University of Sharjah


Program Snapshot

The American University of Sharjah in the Middle East is an independent, fully accredited institution serving a diverse student body from the region and around the world. Courses are taught in English giving students an opportunity to study in accredited programs like architecture (NAAB), business (AACSB), and engineering (ABET). Students are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous courses in Arabic language, literature, as well as Middle East culture, history and contemporary politics. Sharjah’s culture, firmly rooted in Islamic traditions, embraces courtesy and hospitality, making it a welcoming place to live and study. Students on the Exchange and Direct program will be fully immersed in regular University courses taught in English in a variety of fields while taking an Arabic language course.

Read a story by an ISEP student who studied abroad at American University of Sharjah.

Exchange space at AUS is VERY LIMITED for Spring 2017. For questions regarding this program, please contact the Program Officer for The Middle East. NEW* The FALL 2016 start and end dates have changed. Students will now start mid August & end late December.

The emirate of Sharjah is located between the emirate of Ajman to the North, and the emirate of Dubai to the South. Sharjah is located about two hours’ drive North of Abu Dhabi. Emirates Road E-311 (Shikh Mohamed BinZayed Road) connects Sharjah to Dubai (approximately 10 minutes drive) and to Ajman (approximately 10 minutes drive). The Emirate of Sharjah has shorelines situated on both the Arabian Gulf and on the Indian Ocean side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Sharjah has been designated as Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015 by the Arab Council of Tourism Ministers in addition to being named the 2014 Capital of Islamic Culture by the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO). Previously, Sharjah was awarded the 1998 UNESCO Cultural Capital Award for the Arab World. The Ruler of Sharjah places a very strong emphasis on education and cultural preservation through University City and a wide range of museums. Sharjah is one of the more conservative emirates, with a dress code requiring that both men and women cover their shoulders and legs to below the knee, and avoid wearing revealing/low cut/transparent clothing. There are no alcohol or pork products available in Sharjah.

Sharjah has a wide range of cultural offerings, including traditional souks (the Blue Souk, Fish Souk, Vegetable Souk, Bird and Animal Souk, Plant Souk, etc.), Heritage Village areas, a working port loaded with traditional Dhow fishing vessels, etc. See more information about Sharjah Tourism.

Additionally, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) provides regular bus service to and from the Rashidiya Station of the Dubai Metro System. Taxis are readily available throughout Sharjah and the other emirates. See also transportation options available on campus.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester
ISEP Direct: undergraduate and graduate programs available for an academic year or semester

ISEP-Exchange for International students.
ISEP-Exchange for US students.
ISEP-Direct site for students from all member institutions.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chances of placement for U.S. students and I-to-I students are generally Excellent.
ISEP Direct chances of placement are generally Excellent.

For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students or Sites Open for I-to-I Applications.

Program Dates
Academic year: mid-September to early June
Semester 1: mid-August to late December
Semester 2: late January to early June.

The academic calendar at AUS is affected by the timing of Ramadan and Eid which changes from year to year. Please note that the weekend days in the UAE are Fridays and Saturdays. The normal academic week runs from Sunday through Thursday. Classes are typically held on a Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday and a Monday/Wednesday schedule.

ISEP Direct is available for semester or full-year.
See ISEP Direct Fees and Deadlines

The ISEP-Direct program fee includes the benefit package for: Tuition, Housing and Insurance

ISEP-Direct Program fees:
Full Year 16-17: $30,900
Semester 1 16-17: $15,950
Semester 2 16-17: $15,950

For priority consideration, applications for the following semester should be received before February 15 and September 1 unless otherwise noted. Rolling admissions are considered for ISEP-Direct before these final application deadlines:
SM1: March 15, 2016
SM2: October 1, 2016

Fast Facts
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (pop. 800,000)
Student Enrollment: 5,758
Language of instruction: English
University Home Page
Course Catalog
International Student Services (for assistance with incoming visas)

Arts & Sciences:English Language and Literature, international studies with concentrations in international relations, international economics, Arab studies or Western studies, mass communication with concentrations in advertising, print journalism or public relations, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences with concentrations in biology and ecosystems, or environmental chemistry and analysis, Mathematics; Engineering: Chemical, civil, computer, computer science, electrical, mechanical; Business & Management: Economics, public administration, business administration with accounting, economics, finance, management, management information systems, marketing; Architecture & Design: Architecture, interior design, design management, multimedia design, visual communication.

All university departments are open to incoming ISEP students, provided students have the appropriate prerequisites to register for courses. Please check the Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog for further information. Courses requiring labs (engineering) or studio (architecture, design) may not be available to exchange students due to seating limitations.

AUS is also a unique place to study Middle East culture which is why Exchange and Direct students are encouraged to look at Middle East studies courses that are spread across disciplines. A sample of these courses can be found here.

Courses for Graduate (Masters) Level
English/Arabic Translation and Interpreting; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages; Engineering Systems Management; Mechatronics Engineering; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Business Administration; and Urban Planning.

See the Graduate Programs prospectus

Entry Requirements:

There are 3 routes for students to be eligible for graduate courses:

1. Senior undergraduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 can register for up to two graduate-level courses while they are enrolled at the undergraduate level.

2. Visiting graduate-level students can enroll in graduate-level courses on exchange, but they must be enrolled in a graduate program at an accredited home institution, be in good standing at the home institution, and have achieved a minimum internet-based TOEFL score of 80.

3. Graduate degree-seeking students must meet all AUS graduate admissions requirements, and must have achieved an undergraduate degree from a university approved by the UAE Ministry of Education.

Academic Notes
Unique course offerings include AACSB accredited Islamic Finance, Islamic Art & Architecture (NAAB accredited), Introduction to Islamic Philosophy, History of material culture in the Arabian Gulf region, Chemical engineering and Petroleum Engineering (ABET accredited). Additionally, courses in Arabic translation, literature and poetry are offered in both Arabic (for native or native-level speakers) and English.

Language Notes
Language Requirement: The language of instruction at AUS is English.

Students from English-speaking countries must provide an official transcript that shows that they have achieved a B grade or better in at least two freshman-level English language courses (e.g. composition, writing, research). See below for non-native English speaker requirements.

ISEP Language Proficiency Report may be substituted for official score? No
TOEFL: 76 iBT/540 PBT
Institutional TOEFL accepted? No
IELTS: 6.5
Other tests accepted: None
English as a Foreign Language courses available? No
Additional comments: Paper based test scores are only valid for two years. Students from English-speaking universities do not need to submit TOEFL scores.

Students from Non- English Speaking countries (where English is NOT the official language) must provide a TOEFL that is no more than 2 years old, with a minimum grade indicated above.

Language Courses: Exchange and Direct students will be required to take at least one Arabic language class. Arabic courses are offered at all levels. Upon arrival all students (except those with no prior language experience), will be required to take a placement exam.

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility. Arabic language and literature courses for native speakers are also available. Please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for more information on various course levels.

Special Academic Conditions
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative of 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be considered for placement. Please note that there is no flexibility regarding this requirement.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
On the ISEP course request list students should select their preferred Arabic language course.

Hints for Researching Courses
From the main website, choose ‘Academics and Research’ from the red navigation bar and choose ‘Registrar Services’. Click ‘University Catalogs’ to see the course catalog, and ‘Course Offerings’ to view the schedule for the upcoming semester as well as previous semesters. The quickest way to search for courses is click here.

Housing and Meals
ISEP Exchange students are housed in double rooms with shared kitchenette and bathrooms. Students receive a meal stipend to purchase food to cook in their residencies from grocery stores (mini marts) or buy meals at restaurants on campus. See housing information, or on-campus services

ISEP Direct students are also housed on campus; tuition and housing are included in the program cost. Students will be responsible for providing their own meals. Food approximate estimate: AED 380 (~$103) per week and AED 7220 ($1962) for a semester (19 weeks)

You are responsible for all of your personal expenses including: fees not required of all participants (e.g. computer, language, science lab fees), books, local transportation, entertainment, etc. The amounts below are provided as a guide; the actual amounts needed will vary depending on courses and personal habits. Your personal expenses are estimated at:
Books: AED 900-1400 (~$245- ~$400 per semester),
Transportation: AED 40 ($11) per weekend (for students sharing taxis,
Mobile: cheapest can be purchased for as low as AED 140 ($38)
Sim card: approx AED 50 ($14)
Monthly credit: AED 50-75 ($14-$20)
Other personal expenses depend on the spending habits of each student.

A customized orientation program will be delivered by the International Exchange Office (IXO) to cover specific information relevant to exchange students. The IXO orientation will span three days. The first will be geared towards familiarizing students with AUS and will cover practical and essential topics such as: health services, campus security and safety, cultural considerations (e.g. dress code, male-female interaction), academic terms and issues, IT Department support, public relations (concerning passports and visas), student clubs and organizations, library and campus tour, academic codes of conduct, banking, etc. The second day will focus on the practicalities of setting up a bank account, getting student IDs, signing up for sports activities, and touring the library. Finally, the third day will focus on familiarizing students with Sharjah (and how to get around). There will be activities and outings throughout the orientation week, including the weekend.

Airport pickup provided. Students must provide arrival information to host coordinator six weeks in advance.

Student Activities
AUS has approximately 70 student organizations and clubs for students to participate in, 33 of which are cultural clubs (e.g. Emirati Club, Iranian Club, etc). A wide range of cultural events are available for students. AUS maintains a Sports Complex, and a varied Athletic program with aprox. 21 sports teams. The International Exchange Office plans a schedule of exchange student activities each semester.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
AUS has a Community Service Division through which students can be involved in a wide range of community service projects. For on-campus volunteer opportunities, students can get involved with the Achievement Academy, which offers professional development enhancement, English language skills development, and a university preparation program

Daimler, worldwide automotive company, has several 6-month paid internship opportunities at its regional location, Daimler Middle East & Levant. The regional office, located in Dubai, is responsible for the emerging markets throughout the Middle East and Levant region. With internship positions in the Human Resources department, the Sales & Marketing team, and the Regional Logistics Center, among others, these opportunities are great for business administration students to participate in after the completion of their semester at AUS. Interested students should contact the ISEP Coordinator upon placement at AUS.

The American University of Sharjah (AUS) was founded in 1997 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and Chair of the Board of Trustees and President of AUS. Consciously based upon American institutions of higher education, AUS is thoroughly grounded in Arab culture and is part of a larger process of the revitalization of intellectual life in the Middle East.

AUS is a leading comprehensive coeducational university in the Gulf, serving students from the region and around the world. Admission is based on qualifications only, without regard to race, color, gender, religion, disabilities, age, or national origin. AUS is accredited by: the U.S. Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the U.S. Department of Education in the State of Delaware and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates.

All six of the bachelor degree programs in the AUS College of Engineering are accredited by ABET, AUS was the first university in the Gulf region and the second outside the United States to receive this accreditation. The Bachelor of Architecture program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) of the United States. This is the first program outside of North America to receive this prestigious accreditation. NAAB is the only organization authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture in the United States. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) as well as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degrees offered by the School of Business and Management are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

AUS is located in the Emirate of Sharjah, in the beautiful setting of University City, about ten minutes’ drive from the border with Dubai. It is situated between the Sharjah International Airport and Dubai International Airport, and is approximately two hours away from Abu Dhabi International Airport. The beautiful campus buildings reflect Islamic architectural traditions.

Total student enrollment in Fall 2012 was approximately 5,758 students, with a total of 366 full-time faculty. Nineteen percent of the student population is Emirati, and the remainder of the ‘top 10’ nationalities at AUS includes students from Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United States. There are currently 87 nationalities represented among the student population of AUS.

Dr. Linda Angell is the Director of the Office of International Exchange Programs at the American University of Sharjah. Prior to taking this role in January 2010, she served as Associate Professor of Operations and Project Management within AUS's School of Business and Management. Before moving to the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Angell worked both as an academic (Victoria University of Wellington, Pennsylvania State University) and a manager within a wide range of public and private institutions in New Zealand, the U.S., Germany and the U.K . She has served as evaluator for the Dubai Quality Awards, and as evaluator and team manager for the Business Excellence Awards in New Zealand. She is on the Council of Advisors for the International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP), and is a member of AIEA, EAIE, and NAFSA. Dr. Angell holds a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration from Boston University, an MBA with High Distinction from Babson College, and a BA Summa cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.