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.
It was the first time I had ever been surrounded by kanduras and abayas. It was something I was originally so unfamiliar with, but I eventually bought my own abaya to fit in! What I also found to be so different from the US was hearing the call of prayer. I really had no idea that I would hear it echoing throughout the town! But again I grew accustomed to it, and found it to be quite beautiful! 

How did you decide to study abroad at AUS?

Studying abroad, I believe, can be an enriching experience. It's all of what you make if your trip! But the fact that I minor in Islamic and Arabic studies, I couldn't have chosen a better or more exciting location to have studied. I honestly didn't expect to experience as much as I had. I met so many new and interesting people and felt I was able to explore a majority of the UAE. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. I would definitely love to come back for an internship! I really had the time of my life and would love to return within the next few years.

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