Sunday, 21 August 2016

Profile of Fall IXO Students

Study Abroad Applications

Applications are now open for AUS students who want to study abroad in the Fall 2017 semester. 

The deadline for all applications is December 3, 2016

Visit IXO (MG43) to talk to a Peer Advisor about your options. To apply or for more information, visit or contact us at

New Peer Advisors

IXO would also like to introduce the recently returned AUS students who studied abroad in Spring 2016, and will now be serving on the IXO team as new Peer Advisors. Welcome to the team Dinete, Catherine, Seham and Tariq!

University of International Business and Economics

Delegates from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in China visited AUS this summer. UIBE is interested in collaborating and partnering with AUS. They came for discussions about scientific research cooperation, communication and exchange of teachers and students in the form of academic conferences and other possible collaborations that meet mutual interests. 

Delegates from UIBE and AUS 

CIEE Amman

IXO recently hosted a visiting delegation from Amman, Jordan led by Abubakr Alani, Resident Director of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). The group was primarily interested in touring our campus, and learning about the amenities we enjoy here. 

Delegates from CIEE Amman 

University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Caroline Faria, a delegate from the University of Texas, Austin, recently visited AUS. She was hosted by Dr. Mohammad Ibahrine, a fellow faculty member at the Department Mass Communications. Faria was interested in touring the campus and familiarizing herself with the academic studies in mass media. 

Dr. Caroline Faria, a delegate from UT Austin 

Monday, 15 August 2016

A Semester in Japan

Sirine Rached Dhaouadi, an electrical engineering major, studied abroad at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan in Fall 2015. Dhaouadi said, “My semester in Japan was very different from what I am used to in engineering. I took language, culture and history courses focused on Japan and its different aspects. The huge contrast between my engineering background and what I was taking in Japan really made me realize how much I missed my major!” 

When asked why Dhaouadi chose to study abroad in Japan, she replied, “It was not my first time visiting the university. I knew the campus and the area well prior to studying there. There was something so surreal about studying in Japan. I have always been interested in the Japanese people, culture and lifestyle.” She said, “It was my parents who actually encouraged me to study in Japan. We spent a summer there and I really enjoyed and appreciated it. I also realized that this opportunity would help me be more independant and responsible. 

I think it’s important to study abroad to expand our knowledge to more than just the culture we are familiar with. As cliche as it sounds, when you’re travelling alone you’re doing some sort of soul searching to find out who you really are. As much as I tried to resist this cliche, I found myself living up to it. In a way my study abroad experience just showed me more of who I am, my potential, and my capabilities as an individual.” 

Dhaouadi advised, “Don’t be afraid to study abroad. It is so liberating and the opportunities and experiences are endless. If I could sum up this entire experience, I would say it is the best thing you can do in your four or five years at university.” 

 IXO Peer Advisor Sirine Dhaouadi in Japan

Beginning of a New Semester

Welcome back to all members of the AUS community. We hope you all had a great and enjoyable summer, and wish you all the best for the start of the Fall 2016 semester. As we prepare to welcome our new incoming students, we would also like to bid farewell to our outgoing Fall 2016 study abroad students. We look forward to hearing about their adventures upon their return at the end of the year! 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Recent Visitors

AUS was visited by representatives from Boston College and the University of Vermont (UVM), both located in the Northeast region of the USA. Boston College recently signed a bilateral exchange agreement with AUS, and UVM is a very popular destination for AUS students studying abroad through International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP). 

Dr. Linda Angell, IXO Director; Sabine Bruggemen, an intern at IXO; 
and Gayle R. Nunley, a delegate from the University of Vermont (Left to Right)

Grinnell College

IXO hosted a mixer between exchange students and Mervat Youssef, an Arabic professor from Grinnell College in Iowa, USA. Youssef and the students discussed why students from Grinnell College should study abroad at AUS, including our wonderful diversity, facilities on campus, and safety at AUS and in the UAE as a whole. 

Delegate from Grinnell College Dr. Mervat Youssef and Osama Mafraji, IXO Advisor (Left to Right) 

Burj Al Arab Tour

Academic Programs International (API) recently hosted study abroad students to visit the Burj Al Arab. Students toured the five-star hotel, and viewed the luxurious floors and suites. 

Spring 2016 at Burj Al Arab Hotel

IXO Farewell Dinner

IXO hosted a farewell dinner for Spring 2016 students at the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. We hate to see them leave, but wish them all the best settling back at their home universities. 

Spring 2016 at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club 

IXO Graduates

Congratulations to IXO Peer Advisors Ilda Soares and Ahmed Jabr on their graduation from AUS! Soares graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and has managed the publication of our newsletter since Spring 2014. Jabr graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and worked at IXO since Fall 2015, after his study abroad experience at Utah State University. IXO wishes the graduating advisors the best of luck for their future endeavours. 

Ilda Soares and Osama Mafraji, IXO Advisor (Left to Right) 

AUS Campus Tour

IXO will introduce new orientation campus tour videos for incoming Fall 2016 students. Every week IXO will post one video on the incoming Facebook group in the weeks leading up to their arrival, so that they are more familiar with the AUS campus. 

In Their Own Words

One of our favorite jobs in IXO is welcoming back AUS students who recently studied abroad. Some of the students who studied abroad in Spring 2016 visited the IXO office recently and discussed their experiences with advisors. To view these video interviews, visit our IXO Facebook page: https://www.facebook. com/IXOatAUS.

Mohammad Saleh, Spring 2016 study abroad 
student, and Osama Mafraji, IXO Advisor (Left to Right) 

Osama Mafraji, IXO Advisor, and Dinete Kollanur, Spring 2016 
study abroad student (Left to Right) 

Anusha Grewal, an international relations major with a photography minor, studied through a program called Study at Sea. Grewal said, “I spent the semester on a ship, travelling around the world, and earning credit at the University of Virginia. We visited 11 different countries across Asia and Africa.” When asked about her expectations and experiences, she replied, “This was such a unique program. I had no idea what to expect in terms of the academic work and lifestyle. I don’t think you can prepare yourself to study at sea by reading about it or hearing other people’s experiences. It is definitely something you need to experience on your own in order to understand how it works.” Grewal advised, “I think it is important to study abroad, because it really expands a person’s horizons. My experience taught me how to be independent and confident. It helped me to understand the countries and the different cultures a whole lot better, and through this I began to understand myself a whole lot better.” 

Anusha Grewal and peers aboard the ship (Left to Right) 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Congratulations Suzy

Suzy Sikorski, a prior Incoming Fall 2014 study abroad student, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to return to the UAE next year to pursue her studies in art history under Dr. Martin Giesen in CAAD. Her work will focus on “weaving the tales of Emirati artists’ pasts within the ever transforming UAE city landscape”. Congratulations to Suzy Sikorski, and we can’t wait to have her back!

Blast From the Past

IXO was visited the other day by Tariq Thaleb, an incoming Fall 2015 CIEE, Council on International Educational Exchange, student. Thaleb returned to visit and family in the region. 

 Osama Mafraji, Abu Bakr, Tariq Thaleb and Grace Morales (Left to Right) 

Profile of Incoming IXO Summer Students

Study Abroad in Fall 2017

Applications are now open for AUS students who want to study abroad in the Fall 2017 semester. 

The deadline for all applications is December 3, 2016

Visit IXO (MG43) to talk to a Peer Advisor about your options. To apply or for more information, visit or contact us at

Ramadan Kareem

 IXO would like to wish the AUS community joy and blessings in the holy month of Ramadan. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Farewell Spring 2016 Students

Spring 2016 was a fun semester for us all. We hate to see our Incoming Spring 2016 students go, but we wish them all the best re-settling back at their home universities.

IXO and Incoming Spring 2016 students 

Al Marmoun Camel Race

IXO also hosted a visit to the Al Marmoun Camel Race in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Camel racing has been integral to Emirati life for centuries. 

IXO and Incoming Spring 2016 students at Al Marmoun Camel Race, Abu Dhabi, UAE 

Musandam, Oman Trip

Incoming Spring 2016 study abroad students visited Musandam, Oman, enjoying a full day in the sun. The cruise included lunch, banana boating, and snorkelling in addition to cruising the coastline of the Northern Arabian Peninsula. 

IXO Spring 2016 students Majdal Ismail and Miwa Yamanaka (Left to Right) 

CIEE Bahrain Trip

CIEE hosted a two-day trip to Manama, Bahrain, for its Spring 2016 study abroad students. They explored the city’s main attractions, such as Downtown, the Old Historic Centre, Amwaj Lagoon, and Al Fateh Mosque. They also visited the Tree of Life, a full-grown tree living in a barren desert.

CIEE Incoming Spring 2016 students at the Tree of Life, Manama, Bahrain 

Congratulations Miwa

Congratulations to Miwa Yamanaka, Fall-Spring 2016 incoming student, for winning the Modeling Award for the Japan Club’s recent Abaya Fashion contest. 

IXO Student Miwa Yamanaka (Left) 

Successful Internship

IXO student Samar Ahmed from the University of Southern Maine, USA, staffed the University Hospital Sharjah, Infectious Control Department’s table
at the Sustainability Fair held at AUS. Ahmed studied abroad at AUS in Fall
2015, and remained in the UAE for Spring 2016 to do a full-time internship with the hospital.

“The internship gave me the opportunity to work in my field of study,” Ahmed said. “I have learned the value of hard work and become more professional in my field. This experience is helping me reach my goals. As I get closer to the end of my internship, I cannot wait to hear myself say, “‘Yes, I did it!’” 

Kristine Gabasan, Infection Control Coordinator; Samar Ahmed; and Lota Kebancos, Nursing Supervisor (Left to Right) 

Little Shop of Horrors

One of IXO’s incoming Spring 2016 students, Katerina Hall, played the role of Crystal, one of the doo-wop girls, in Little Shop of Horrors directed by Anthony Tassa, Professor and Coordinator of the university’s Performing Arts Program. The show ran April 12-15 and April 17- 20, and played to a full house each night. Congratulations to the professors and students who put on this successful show. 

IXO Student Katerina Hall as Crystal (Left) 

Radio 360

Izaac Cole, an AY2015-2016 student from University of Central Lancashire in the UK, worked with other AUS students to launch a Radio360 broadcasting initiative at AUS. This new radio station is influenced by BBC Radio, and the intent of the station is to focus on relevant world events, rather than music programming. 

Major-Specific Advising Brochures

IXO introduces major-specific advising brochures. Pick one up at your major department or stop by the IXO office! 

Welcome Reem

IXO has a new team member, Reem Al Shihabi. She is a multimedia design student in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, and will manage IXO publicity materials. Welcome to IXO, Reem! 

Suzy Returns

IXO Fall 2014 alumni Suzy Sikorski recently visited IXO. She returned to the UAE to participate in the Art Dubai Fair. 
IXO Advisor Osama Mafraji and Suzy Sikorski 

CIC-Tuition Exchange Program Awards

The following two exchange dependents have won full tuition scholarships to pursue their undergraduate degrees at US-based universities starting in Fall 2016:

  • Nadeem Ayman Rateb Abuhijleh will attend Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, USA
  • Josephine Dougan will attend Lesley University in Boston, MA, USA
Tuition Exchange Applications for the next academic year will be opened soon. We can accept applications for:

  • One Tuition Exchange Inc. Scholarship, with an application deadline of November 19, 2016
  • Unlimited CIC-Tuition Exchange Scholarships, with an application deadline of January 14, 2017 

Recent Visitors

AUS was visited by representatives from the University of Colorado, Denver, and the ESC Rennes Business School. Both universities are interested in the possibility of hosting AUS students to study abroad at their university. 

Delegates from the University of Colorado, Denver 

Linda Angell and Joakim Sinniamourd, ESC Rennes 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Fulbright Scholarship

Jodi Sanger-Weaver, the Fulbright Scholarship Manager from AMIDEAST, UAE, and Reem Deeb, AUS Sustainability Administrator and prior Fulbright Scholar, conducted a presentation at AUS in mid April. The prestigious Fulbright Scholarship program in the UAE enables Emirati students to study abroad at US universities, typically for a year of more. 

Jodi Sanger-Weaver, AMIDEAST UAE, and Reem Deeb, AUS Sustainability (Left to Right) 

New Bilateral Partners

AUS has recently signed new exchange agreements, as follows:
  • Boston College: specific to SBA and CAS majors
  • University of Texas at Austin: specific to CEN majors

Apply now to study abroad at these universities! 

For more information, visit

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Study Abroad Fair Spring 2016

IXO held a study abroad fair in the Chemistry Building March 20-22 to promote interest in and information about study abroad opportunities around the world.

IXO Peer Advisors Ilda Soares and Sirine Dhaouadi (left to right)

IXO Goes to Art Dubai

IXO recently took its students to one of Dubai’s leading international art events, Art Dubai. Art Dubai is held every March in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Students viewed the different artworks displayed in both contemporary and modern galleries. They also visited the Global Art Forum, which is an interactive design conference that discusses a specific topic assigned for each year. In addition to the art and installations, IXO students enjoyed live performances, such as wind-up toy dances, and short after-hours experimental movie screenings.

Incoming Spring 2016 Study Abroad Student Nabeelah Muhammad at Art Dubai Fair

Global Day Spring 2016

Many IXO students participated in Global Day Spring 2016 activities. Students enjoyed festivities in the various cultural pavillions.

Some students also took part in the performances in various clubs, including the Nigerian Cultural Club and the Palestinian Cultural Club. IXO students really enjoyed this year’s Global Day and had an interactive cultural experience.

Incoming Spring 2016 Study Abroad students Azia, Asya and Samar (left to right)

North Dakota State University

IXO recently hosted another visiting delegation from North Dakota State University (NDSU). NDSU travels annually with a group of students to the Middle East, as a part of their spring break.This trip allowed students from NDSU to experience and explore AUS, and Sharjah, before studying abroad in the future.

North Dakota State University visits AUS

University of Strathclyde

AUS was recently visited by representatives from the University of Strathclyde, UK, who wanted to learn more about the engineering and architecture programs at AUS. They are also interested in the possibility of developing a partnership with AUS to engage in international student exchange and research collaborations.

University of Strathclyde visits AUS

IXO Interns at the US Consulate

IXO Fall 2015 Study Abroad students Ryland Ploeger and Cyprian Christian are currently interning at the Department of US and Foreign Commercial Service, in the US Consulate, here in the UAE. Both Ploeger and Christian started their internships in February 2016 and will complete their internships at the end of this spring semester.

Ryland Ploeger, political science and international relations major
“My internship experience has been excellent. During this internship, we spend most of our time meeting with successful US companies in Dubai and helping smaller US-based companies enter UAE markets. I’ve connected with dozens of Dubai-based professionals across various industries. Apart from connections, this internship has taught me a lot about how to do business outside of the structured, rigid US framework. The professionals I’ve met have taught me that there’s a huge difference between US business and UAE business,” said Ploeger.

Cyprian Christian, economics and Arabic studies major
“The position with the Foreign Commercial Service exceeded my initial expectations and I accredit such a wonderful experience to the cooperation of my managers and teamwork of my colleagues. I have not only learned how business is done in the UAE and how it differs from the US, but I was made aware of all the similarities that exist between the two countries. I became comfortable with ambiguity in a setting that requires me to work with people of diverse backgrounds. I am very pleased with the internship experience. Times where I was challenged by not only my managers, but my colleagues and clients as well, provided me with the skills of adversity and adaptability that are needed in the workforce regardless of my future job. I now feel more confident that I am on the right path towards my career aspirations,” said Christian.

New Bilateral Partner Universities!

IXO has recently signed new partner agreements with the University of Texas, Austin, and Boston College.

• Engineering students can now apply to study abroad at the University of Texas, Austin.
• Business and CAS students can now apply to study abroad at Boston College, Massachusetts.

Apply now to study abroad for Spring 2017!

Summer Study Abroad Requirements

Listed below are some of the requirements to study abroad in summer.

• Host universities need to be approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE)
• Prior to registering for courses at the host university, students must complete the course permission form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar. The following information must be attached to the form:
     1. The contact hours and duration of the summer term at the host university
     2. The catalog or course description of courses to be taken at the host university
• SBA courses will only be transferred from AACSB or EQUIS accredited programs.
• CEN courses will only be transferred from ABET or Washington Accord accredited programs.
• The student must be in good academic standing.
• Summer courses at the host university must not be taken as attempts to repeat AUS courses in which D or F grades were previously earned.
• The language of instruction of the course(s) taken at the host university must be English, except for foreign language courses.
• Students may normally transfer no more than 6 credit hours for a six-week summer term.
• Contact hours of course(s) taken at the host university must be equal to or greater than the 45 contact hours.

Visit IXO (MG43) to talk to a Peer Advisor about your summer study abroad options.
Visit or contact us at

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

IXO Mixer

IXO recently held a gathering that included the recently returned AUS students who studied abroad in Fall 2015, inbound study abroad students who are currently studying at AUS for the Spring 2016 semester, and AUS students who will be studying abroad in Fall 2016. During this session, students engaged in cultural discussions and shared stories about their study abroad experiences.

Spring 2016 incoming study abroad students at IXO Mixer

Days Out in Sharjah & Dubai

During IXO orientation week, the Spring 2016 exchange students visited many places in Sharjah, such as the Sharjah Heritage Museum, the Blue Souk, Al Qasba and the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Centre. They also visited the Dubai Museum, had a cultural breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, and took abras across the Dubai Creek and visited the Gold and Spice Souks in Deira, Dubai.

Spring 2016 incoming study abroad students at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre
Spring 2016 incoming study abroad students at the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Centre

British Council

On February 15, IXO met with several representatives from the British Council during their visit with the AUS Achievement Academy to present AUS’s approach to international exchange and to discuss the possibility of setting up a bilateral exchange agreement with an appropriate British university at some point in the future.

Megan Agnew, IELTS Deputy Global Marketing Manager; Claire Murphy, Tahani Qadri and Jessica March, AUS Achievement Academy; Amna Khan, IELTS Stakeholder Relationship Manager, UAE & Oman (left to right)

MCPHS University

AUS was also visited by George E. Humphrey, a visiting scholar and representative of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS University), Boston, Massachusetts, USA, which is interested in developing future collaborations with AUS.

Sirine Dhaouadi and Dr. George Humphrey (left to right)

San Diego State University

IXO recently hosted a visiting delegation from San Diego State University, a fellow university under the ISEP network. 

IXO is working with San Diego State University to establish a bilateral partnership to enable more AUS students to study abroad at this popular host university.

Erik Williamson and Maria Williamson of San Diego State, with Dr. Linda Angell and Osama Mafraji, IXO (left to right)

IXO Graduates and New Peer Advisors

Congratulations to IXO Peer Advisors Mohamed Hegazi, Ibrahim Salloum and Hams AlWalid on their graduation from AUS!

Mohamed Hegazi, Hams AlWalid and Ibrahim Salloum (left to right)

Hegazi and Salloum both graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Hegazi worked at IXO since Spring 2014 and studied abroad at Louisiana State University, USA, in Fall 2013. Salloum worked at IXO since Summer 2014 and studied abroad at Washington State University, USA, in Spring 2014.

AlWalid graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. She worked at IXO since Spring 2015 and studied abroad at University of Utah, USA, in Fall 2014.

IXO wishes the graduating advisors the best of luck for their future endeavors. As we bid them farewell, we also welcome recently returned IXO students as new Peer Advisors to the IXO team.

New IXO Peer Advisors Spring 2016