To all perspective study abroad students-
A variety of factors contribute to the grand decision of figuring out exactly where you want to study abroad. With all the excitement surrounding the possibility of travel, meeting up with home friends and discovering new friends, it can be tough to factor in one of the most important pieces of the puzzle; your abroad university. This university is where you will spend almost everyday, and it significantly shapes the experience you have no matter where you decide to go.
For those of you considering the CIEE program in Sharjah, UAE, you probably would like to hear a little bit about what the American University of Sharjah has to offer. From the perspective of an American like myself, I have really enjoyed this university so far. I think it’s been one of the most intimate ways I’ve gotten to experience Arab culture. Everyday, I’m prompted to explore my intellectual and empathetic abilities by interacting with diverse people in an extremely multicultural environment. Each class I’m enrolled in allows me to understand academic coursework from a variety of different perspectives. Sitting in a room filled with Emirati nationals, Egyptians, Saudi Arabians, Palestinians, and more, I’ve gained a deeper respect for the lives and the stories of people I previously had little knowledge of. Additionally, I’ve discovered that no matter how different the background, no matter how opposite the culture or how unfamiliar the landscape, people all have the same heart. Though I may be thousands of miles away from familiarity, I can’t help but notice that I’m not all that different from the Emirati girls I sit next to in class. It’s wonderful to realize that though the world is massive and beautifully diverse, our common humanity allows us to connect with people we never thought we’d have anything in common with. For that, and for so many other things, I will be forever grateful to CIEE and to the American University of Sharjah.