Thursday, 18 December 2014

Winter Break

As the end of 2014 approaches, IXO wishes the AUS community a Happy UAE National Day, Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

IXO Fall 2014 Demographics

For Fall 2014 IXO hosted 41 incoming students from various parts of the world. Here is a breakdown of the various countries and programs students came through and their fields of study.

IXO Participation in AUS Play

Many Fall 2014 exchange students took part in the play of Antony and Cleopatra.
Some of the performing exchange students were Patrick Ford, Ruthie Edd and Hadeiyah Ameen. 
Stage managers included Sally Alhamad (IXO Peer Advisor), Julian Hedlund-Drumm and Nancy Wang.

AUS Play: Antony and Cleopatra

Overnight Desert Safari

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in collaboration with IXO had an overnight desert safari where the students got to experience camel riding, dune bashing and a beautiful Arabian dance!

Fall 2014 Exchange Students at a Desert Safari

Kiari Boulama

One of the visiting scholars AUS is  hosting for the Fall 2014 semester is Dr. Kiari Boulama, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). He is working with Dr. Saad Ahmed from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Kiari Boulama

His research deals with the numerical simulation of flows around air vehicles. Applications include unmanned airvehicles (UAV). The objective is to generate accurate prediction tools for the flight of these vehicles and contribute to the design of aerial vehicles with improved performance (i.e, high lift, reduced drag, improved maneuverability).

“I am currently on a sabbatical leave and have decided to spend this time at AUS for a number of reasons. I wanted to be far from my home university. I wanted to be in a place with the infrastructure and all the resources to conduct world-class scientific research, and this is exactly what AUS is providing me with. Also, after having lived in the cold of Canada uninterruptedly for 15 years, I thought I am due for some sun, and the UAE just happens to have plenty of that,” said Dr. Kiari.

Julian Drumm from Westminister College, Utah, USA

Julian Hedlund-Drumm is a theatre design and production major from Westminister College in Utah, USA, who chose to study abroad here at AUS during the Fall 2014 semester.

Julian Hedlund-Drumm

Why do you think it’s important to study abroad? 
If someone has the opportunity to study abroad, they should do it. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone and into another culture. The time I’ve spent talking with friends I’ve made over here—about religion, politics and personal relations—has opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. Studying abroad makes you move away from what is familiar to you and pushes you to  see the world differently.

How did you decide to study abroad?
The Middle East is so misunderstood in the West, especially in the US. I knew that all the negative stuff I heard about the people and culture out here couldn't be true, but I had to come here to see it with my own eyes. I remember when I told my mother that I was going to the UAE for school this year, she flipped: “You’re going where?!” She wasn’t happy about it. I hate that this part of the world has such a negative perception attached to it, where I’m from. I just want to try and change that, if only a little.

Summer Program

Maastricht University, Netherlands

Maastricht University, Netherlands, in coordination with Maastricht School of Management and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, is offering an exciting summer program that includes challenging and exclusive courses for bachelor’s and master’s students.

The summer school provides excellent housing and an entertaining social program.

For more information, visit:

Sunday, 16 November 2014

IXO Extends Thanks

We extend our thanks to Dr. Angie Maitner, Department of International Studies, for donating travel guides to the IXO reference library.

We also thank former AUS employees Dr. Terri Storsteth and Simeon Fields, who donated many books to the IXO library when they moved to Cambodia.

We are happy to accept book donations and we particularly welcome old travel guides. In return we are happy to share our collection of travel guides with the whole AUS community. Feel free to stop by the IXO Lounge and browse through.

Cultural Hospitality

Maha AlShehhi, an Emirati majoring in electrical engineering at AUS, has provided a wonderful opportunity for the Fall 2014 Exchange Students.

Maha said she feels that it is her utmost responsibility as an Emirati, to show foreigners the rich UAE culture. 

She’s invited exchange students to join her family, every week, during their weekly family gathering to witness first hand the Emirati culture and have a chance to take part in their traditions.

Congratulations to former Exchange Student Elisa Frost!

Elisa Frost, an exchange student from American University, Washington, DC,  USA, who studied abroad at AUS during Fall 2013, was second runner-up in the Student Research Award in Middle Eastern Studies for her essay entitled U.S. Support of Egyptian Development and Family Planning: 1954-1988. IXO congratulates Elisa and wishes her all the best for her future endeavors.

Elisa Frost at the Dubai Color Run, 2013 (second
from the left)

What is Veiling? by Sahar Amer

Dr. Sahar Amer, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia addressed one of the most visible, controversial and least understood emblems of Islam in her book What is Veiling? Her presentation was followed by a book signing at Blends & Brews.

Linda Angell, Huda Amer, Sahar Amer, Guzin
Osman and Helen O’Byrne (left to right)

Travelogue Series: IRAN

IXO recently had a very successful travelogue session on Iran. Chris Horger, Department of Writing Studies, talked about the many cultural aspects of Iran and its beauty. The session drew more than 30 attendees including faculty, staff, students and residents from the AUS community!

Students, staff and faculty at Travelogue Series:
Iran, IXO Lounge

International Internship Seminar by Tanya Gibbs

IXO hosted an International Internship Seminar by Tanya Gibbs, Internship Coordinator at the School of Business Administration, which explained the steps that students should take if they want to apply for an internship abroad.

Pre-departure Get-together for Spring 2015 Outgoing Students

IXO recently had a pre-departure get-together for the Spring 2015 outgoing students.

Spring 2015 Outgoing Students and Fall 2015
Exchange Students
Ritika Rajan (first from the left), a marketing major, is going to the University of Iowa, USA.

Pallavi Bichu (second from the left), majoring in economics, is headed to University of North Caroline at Asheville, USA.

Tartela Alkayyali (first from the right), a chemical engineering major, is going to Louisiana State University, USA.

IXO wishes them a exciting semester abroad!

Froilan T. Malit Jr.

For the Fall 2014 Semester, AUS is hosting visiting scholar Froilan T. Malit Jr., who obtained his master’s degree from Oxford University, UK, and is looking to complete his PhD in politics at Oxford University as well.

Froilan T. Malit Jr.
“After graduating from Oxford University in 2012, I immediately chose to focus on the GCC region because of its unique demographic structure and governance challenges in managing its temporary labor program. The diverse migrant communities, along with its strong intent to improve the lives of migrant workers, have inspired me to further explore my research on labor migration issues in this region,” said Malir. 

His research specializes in labor migration governance issues, particularly on the role of state in managing temporary labor programs and remittance flows. 

He aims to publish his first book, which investigates the effects of deskilling on Sub-Saharan African labor migrants in the UAE/GCC region. He has also been published by various think-tank organizations, including Migration Policy Institute, Al Monitor, and Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies.

Study Abroad Semester at University of Vermont!

Solmaz Karimi, an AUS student majoring in biology, studied abroad at the University of Vermont, USA, during the Spring 2014 semester.

Solmaz Karimi (first from the left) and other
students at the University of Vermont

Why do you think it’s important to study abroad?
It is important to study abroad to gain a fresh perspective on life, by meeting different people, clearing your  head of stereotypes and accepting views that are different from yours. It also teaches you how to make it on your own, be independent and deal with obstacles in your way.

How did you come to the decision to study abroad?
I chose University of Vermont because it is in Burlington, a small city that is complemented by Lake Champlain. I knew I wanted to study on the East Coast because the states are smaller and that makes traveling between them easier. I loved the research laboratories and facilities at the university. Their student body was very diverse and they had a really friendly Office of International Exchange.

10 Scholarships for Arab Students to Study Abroad

A great opportunity has presented itself for Arab students who are interested in studying abroad.

BarakaBits is advertising 10 scholarships, offered only to Arab students who wish to spend a semester abroad.

Some of these scholarships include undergraduate studies in the US for Palestinian students, merit-based scholarships for Egyptian students, and many more!

For more information and to view all scholarships, please visit

Summer Intensive Arabic Language Program (SIALP)

SIALP at AUS is a six-week, six-credit course aimed at developing Arabic language skills through formal classroom instruction and daily conversation practice with a native speaker. The program is offered by the Department of Arabic and Translation Studies, in coordination with IXO, and includes housing as well as weekend excursions to Dubai.

All elementary and intermediate level Arabic students with a cumulative GPA higher than 2.5 are encouraged to apply. With the exception of complete beginners, online placement tests will be administered upon acceptance into the program. Follow-up Skype interviews may also be needed.

Course Titles
Intensive Elementary Arabic I
Intensive Elementary Arabic II
Intensive Intermediate Arabic

Timeline for 2015
Deadline to Apply: March 7
Online Placement: April 26 to 31

Program Fee
The cost for the program is US $6,960 including instruction, housing, fees and excursions.

To apply, or for more information, visit

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Fall 2014 Sharjah & Dubai Tour

IXO arranged many outings for the Fall 2014 exchange students.

They got to visit the Arabian Wildlife Centre and the museums in Sharjah as well as the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai, beaches and so much more!

IXO would like to share some of the event photographs with you:

Sharjah Gold Souq

Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, Dubai

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Pembroke College, University of Cambridge

The Spring Semester Programme offers an exceptional opportunity to experience life as an undergraduate in one of the oldest and most distinguished university cities in the world. 

University of Cambridge, England
For the Spring semester programme, Pembroke welcomes academically ambitious students from universities across the world. 


Applicants must have completed atleast 2 years of study at their home university (AUS) before beginning their semester at Cambridge. Students should have a cumulative GPA of atleast 3.75. Applications for Spring 2016 open in January 2015 and given the intense competition for places, early application is advised.

Linden U.S. University Seminar

On behalf of Linden Educational Services, we would like to cordially invite students to the Linden University Seminar.

This is an incredible opportunity for students to interact face to face with university representatives and talk about U.S university admission policies, opportunities for scholarships and on-campus life amongst many other facets of the admission process.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Presentations: 5.30 – 6.00 p.m.
Fair Hours: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Shangri-La Hotel,
Sheikh Zayed Road

For more information email or call at +971 04 397 8846

Tuition Exchange (TE)

The Tuition Exchange (TE) provides a reciprocal scholarship exchange program for family members of full-time faculty and staff among its members of over 600 colleges and universities located in the U.S. and occasionally overseas. 

The primary obligation of a member institution (AUS) is to maintain a balanced exchange pattern, a reasonable match between student “exports” and student “imports”. AUS may import as many students as it wishes but may not export more than it imports. 

All students must apply for admission directly to the institution they wish to attend which determines admission procedures. The admissions process is completely separate from the process for awarding Tuition Exchange scholarships. AUS does not have ultimate control over the award of Tuition Exchange scholarships. The deadline to apply is October 30, 2014.

Final decisions are made by the targeted universities – AUS can only nominate faculty and staff dependents for these scholarships, and then track the status of the applications until a decision is finally made by the target universities. 

Students who are currently enrolled at AUS and who seek to transfer to another institution after receiving a Tuition Exchange scholarship must ensure that they are able to fully complete the last semester at AUS, including completion of all final exams as per the schedule published by the Office of the Registrar. For more information about this program, visit:

U.S. University Applications

This article is specifically targeted to AUS faculty and staff who have dependents applying to study at select US university starting in Fall 2015.

Choosing and applying to a U.S. university can be a challenging and intimidating process. These workshops are designed to help students, from filling in an application to crafting the perfect personal statement.

Each workshop lasts 1-2 hours and focuses on a particular aspect of the college application process. All sessions take place at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai, and run from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. 

To register and attend, please RSVP by contacting the EducationUSA Advising Center at or telephoning their office at 04-309-4142.

CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar

As members of the Center for International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE’s) Academic Consortium, AUS receives a $2,000 grant each year, to be awarded to faculty participating in their International Faculty Development Seminars (IFDS). This grant has not yet been awarded for the 2014 calendar year, and if/when awarded, can be used for participation in CIEE’s Winter 2015 IFDS program, including:

AUS will be receiving another $2,000 grant starting in January 2015, and these can be applied to IFDS occurring after the Winter 2015 Seminars. The full list of these 2015 seminars is now available on CIEE’s website  

If you are interested in participating in any of the above-listed IFDS during the dates shown, please contact Dr. Linda Angell, Director, International Exchange Office (IXO) asap. Deadline to apply via IXO is Tuesday, October 14. We look forward to receiving your application. 

IXO Spotting Contest!


Starting tomorrow, wear your (awesome) IXO merchandise - T-shirts, backpacks, umbrellas, etc. around campus. The first person we find every week, wins an Al Shaya gift card worth AED 50!

The Al Shaya gift card can be used at over 35 clothing stores, restaurants and cafes across Dubai and Sharjah - even the Starbucks on campus! We'll be running this contest every week so if we don't find you this week, there's always the next!

Selma Al Makzomy

One of the visiting scholars recently hosted by AUS is Selma Al Makzomy who was previously an AUS student! Selma is here at AUS as a research assistant to Dr. Mark Aveyard. She is based in the Psychology Laboratory at the Department of International Studies. 

“I have lived in the UAE before moving to the Netherlands, in fact, AUS is my alma mater. Hence, when I had the opportunity to come back to AUS as a Visiting Scholar to be a research assistant I was happy to come back.”

She is based in the Psychology Laboratory at the Department of International Studies. 

Her independent research is about mindfulness, positive psychology and well-being. She is currently working on publishing her master thesis titled Mindfulness vs. Positive Psychology: The Impact of the Two Interventions on Positive Emotions and Being Mindful, which identifies the benefits of Mindfulness intervention and Positive Psychology intervention in overall well-being, positive emotions and enhancing mental health among UAE residents.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Kedge Business School

Kedge Business School (KEDGE BS), a partner university with AUS, located in Marseille, France offers programs for both undergraduate and MBA students.

Marseille Campus

KEDGE BS is both AACSB and EQUIS accredited. Students are encouraged to take general education courses such as humanities etc, free electives and business electives. All courses must be approved by the School of Business Administration (SBA). KEDGE BS has only 5 ECTS credit courses, not 6. This requires special advising considerations agreed to with SBA. IXO will provide students with the advising sheet.

Application Deadline

Applications are now open to study abroad during the Fall 2015 Semester and Academic Year Fall 2015 - Spring 2016. 

The deadline to submit ALL applications is December 6, 2014.

Click here to start applying.

Come down to the IXO office (Main Building, Ground Floor, MG43) to talk to an adviser about your options or email us at for more information!

Iftar Dinner

Last month IXO hosted an Iftar dinner at the Asateer Marquee Tent at Atlantis The Palm, for the Summer 2014 incoming exchange students. The students got to experience Ramadan and enjoyed a traditional Iftar dinner.
IXO Summer Gang at the Asateer Marquee

IXO Peer Advisors caught taking a Selfie!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

IXO Summer Student

Claire McKinnon, a student from San Diego State University who is majoring in International Security and minoring in Islamic and Arabic studies chose to spend her summer here at AUS for her study abroad experience. 
Claire at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Within 5 weeks, Claire made sure she really got to see most of the UAE. She had an exquisite time in Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and Ferrari World. She enjoyed the marvels of Dubai, going to the top of the Burj Khalifa, exploring Dubai Mall and visiting Jumeirah Beach. She had fun visiting the cultural museums in Sharjah and going jet skiing. She indulged in the UAE culture learning how to cook Arabic food, experiencing her first camel ride and camel burger and discovered some amazing Arabic music. She also visited Ajman, Fujairah and Oman.

Culture Shock?

There were only two things that I found to be "culture shocking". One I experienced when I first visited the Dubai mall.