Tuesday, 28 March 2017

IXO Students Explore UAE

Incoming exchange students of Spring 2017 have been busy exploring the UAE in the past month. In our very own city of Sharjah, the 2017 Sharjah Light Festival, where iconic landmarks were adorned in vivid colors accompanied by beautifully composed music, took the students by surprise. They were able to witness art in an Islamic setting and enjoy these installations that were located in various areas of the city, such as Al Majaz Waterfront, the Blue Souk and Al Qasba.

Students were also taken to the region’s first multicultural festival park, Global Village in Dubai, where they enjoyed cultural shows, food and shopping from pavilions set up by 75 different cultures from around the world.

While in Dubai, exchange students and the IXO staff visited the Mirzam Chocolate Factory at Alserkal Avenue to experience the flavors of real cocoa and richness of the only locally made chocolate in UAE. During the visit, they toured the factory and enjoyed brownies and hot chocolate.

Since football is a vital part of the UAE’s popular culture, CIEE coordinator Abubakr Alani arranged for students to attend an Emirati league match between Al Ahli club of Dubai (one of the best teams and the reigning champion) vs. Al Shabab club. Students had kushari, a famous Egyptian dish, prior to the game.

They also took a trip to Al Ain where they enjoyed the hot water springs beneath the Jabel Hafeet mountains followed by some barbeque.

Finally, in mid-March, they had a day-long dhow cruise around the scenic fjord areas of Musandam, Oman, departing from Dibba.

 Chocolate tasting in Mirzam
 Students barbeque at Hot Springs Park, Al Ain
 Students at Dibba, Musandam, Oman

Dr. Hamade returns to IXO

Dr. Mona Hamade, a previous visiting scholar at AUS, returned recently to follow up on her research and discuss her forthcoming book, expected to be released shortly. She came to AUS from Cambridge University, UK, about three years ago to undertake her PhD research focused on Emirati women and entrepreneurship. She has since completed her PhD and has established organization Unity for Global Development in London (www.ugd.org.uk).

IXO congratulates Dr. Hamade on her achievements!

 Dr. Angell and Dr. Hamade at IXO

Dr. Russell Lucas, MSU at IXO

Dr. Russell Lucas, Director, Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University (MSU) met with Dr. Linda C. Angell, Director of IXO, Dr. Jeniece Lusk, Department of International Studies, and Dr. Rana Raddawi, Department of English, about engaging in survey research. Earlier this year, Dr. Lucas brought to AUS a group of students who are enrolled in Global Studies and Muslim Studies programs at MSU and showed great interest in pursuing the graduate programs here at AUS.

Dr. Russell Lucas

International Students Contribute Everywhere

According to a recent paper by the Institute of International Education (February 2017), which can be found at tinyurl.com/lbgml6e, international students in the US contribute significantly to the country financially, academically, socially and innovatively. These contributions hold for incoming international students to the Middle East as well. They help in shaping the UAE’s economy in many ways and influence our students greatly by expanding their perspectives and understanding of the world outside.

Passing of a Dear IXO Friend

The IXO team were very saddened by the recent passing of Ahmad Al-Zuhairy from College of Engineering. Ahmad was planning to study abroad next year, and was engaged to one of our prior incoming exchange students. We express our deepest condolences to his close friends and family.

10 Simple Steps to Study Abroad

Embark on a life-changing journey with these 10 simple steps.

Rainie Grant at the AUSMUN

Incoming exchange student Rainie Grant from Butler University took part in the 10th annual AUS Model United Nations (AUSMUN), and was elected to serve as the President of UNHCR after undergoing several months of moderator training and committee research.

We are proud of Rainie for having taken part in such a prestigious event and wish her success in her future endeavors.

Rainie Grant during AUSMUN

Exchange Alumni Stop By IXO

Miwa Yamanaka (International Christian University, Japan) and Majdal Ismail (Louisiana State University, USA) visited IXO during the past few weeks, after studying abroad here during the Academic Year 2015-2016.

Miwa was traveling to this region and decided to visit the IXO team along with her AUS friends Mohammed Al Labadi and Douriya Djabri, both of whom she met during her time studying at AUS. Majdal stopped by IXO with her cousins Yazan and Anas during her visit to the UAE for her cousin’s wedding.

We are always excited to see our students come back and visit us. We wish Miwa and Majdal the very best!

From left to right: Mohammed, Miwa and Douriya

From left to right: Yazan, Majdal and Anas

Anna Visits IXO

Anna Ray visited IXO a few weeks ago, bringing back fond memories from the early years of our office when she joined Dr. Linda C. Angell in founding IXO in early 2010. She was our very first advisor, and she now lives in Houston, Texas.

We were very excited to welcome her back to IXO after all these years! 

From left to right: Lillie, Grace, Anna and Linda

Boston College Partnership

As a part of the exchange program, we are partnered with Boston College and we currently have our first student studying abroad through this partnership. His name is Ammar Alnimr and he is attending Boston College in Massachusetts, USA, for Spring 2017.

Ammar said that he has had a very warm welcome and that he is particularly enjoying experiencing a different culture. “Boston College is a Jesuit school and it respects all ethnicities and religions. It welcomes diversity and promotes its students to be open to change and success,” he said.

Ammar said he participates in the Arab Student Association and the Muslim Student Association, goes to the nearby mosque regulary and also participates in Arab cultural activities. 

He said he has deep respect for the people of Boston, as they are peaceful, educated, goal-focused, success-oriented and interested in contributing to their society.

There are several facilities at the historic college, such as a meal plan, a recreational complex with a gym and pool, and libraries. The campus is in the suburban part of the city and is very close to downtown. He has also travelled to New York, Florida and the Bahamas. He estimates that the cost for dorms, the meal plan and insurance would be around  US $9,000.

He said that this experience has been uplifting in many ways and recommends that AUS students go to Boston College.

We are glad that Ammar embarked on this journey and we look forward to welcoming him back soon!

 Ammar Alnimr at Boston College

Congratulations, Maha

Maha AlShehhi, a Friend of IXO and an alumna of the AUS College of Engineering, recently shared excellent news regarding her acceptance into the Master of Public Policy at Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, UAE.

She has been a huge support to our incoming exchange students over the past few years by inviting them to spend an evening with her family at her house, conducting presentations, attending our Welcome Mixers, and participating in other events to educate them about Emirati Culture.

We wish her the best and thank her for all her support.

Have a Great Spring Break!

On behalf of IXO, we wish all a lovely Spring Break.

IXO on Social Media

To get instant news and updates from us, follow us on Facebook at IXO at AUS, Twitter at @IXOatAUS, Instagram at @ixoataus, and our new Snapchat account at ixoataus. Also, check out our blog at ixoataus.blogspot.ae. 

Study Abroad, Spring/CY 2018

Applications are now open for AUS students who want to study abroad in Spring 2018, or for the full calendar year of 2018. The deadline to apply is May 6, 2017.

Visit IXO (MG43) to talk to a Peer Advisor about your many options. To apply, or for more information, visit www.aus.edu/ixo or contact us at ixo@aus.edu.

Outbound Summer Study Abroad Process

Are you studying abroad this summer? Please remember that all outbound summer study abroad applications are processed directly through the Office of the Registrar (MG10B). IXO does not collect applications for outbound summer study abroad.

Students can download the Summer Study Abroad Course Approval Form here: https://www.aus.edu/downloads/file/1442/permission_to_take_summer_courses_outside_aus.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Monash University Visits AUS

Delegates from Monash University in Australia visited AUS on February 2. The delegation included Dr. Abid Khan, Vice President and Deputy Vice Chancellor of International Engagement; Dr. Sarah Newton, Deputy Dean, External Relations; and Dr. Nizar Farjou, Associate President-ENACA; who met with AUS representatives Dr. Linda C. Angell, Director of IXO, and Kevin Mitchell, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Instruction, after a tour of our campus.

 Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Exchange Students Experience Camel Racing

Early on the morning of Friday, January 27, exchange students attended the annual Al Marmoum Camel Racing Festival on the outskirts of Dubai. Camel racing, a major traditional sport in the UAE, helps preserve the heritage and culture of this region.

Students got to experience this aspect of Emirati culture and learn about camel racing along with other activities associated with this sport. 

Camel racing at the Al Marmoum racetrack, Dubai
Exchange students at the Al Marmoum racetrack

Friends of IXO Mixer

IXO ended its Spring 2017 incoming orientation program by hosting a Friends of IXO Mixer event at the Main Building. This event provided a great opportunity for incoming study abroad students to get to know AUS students and staff, and enabled interesting conversations about the life and culture of the UAE.

The mixer was attended by a variety of students and faculty interested in meeting and welcoming our Spring 2017 exchange students.

IXO especially would like to thank the Emirati Cultural Club for attending and providing karak tea and logaimat (traditional Arabic sweets), and Maha Al Shehhi, AUS alumna, for providing traditional Emirati tea.   

Emirati Cultural Club and IXO team at the mixer          IXO Peer Advisors, outgoing & incoming
Emirati Cultural Club offers traditional hospitality          study abroad students, & Friends of IXO

Introducing the IXO Team for Spring 2017!

IXO would like to welcome recently returned AUS students who studied abroad in Fall 2016, and now will be serving on the IXO team as new Peer Advisors. Welcome to the team, Rashad, Divya, Abubaker, Deema, Bassam, Ahmed and Laith!

Outbound Summer Study Abroad Process

IXO does not collect applications for outbound summer study abroad. All outbound summer study abroad applications are processed directly through the Office of the Registrar (MG10B). Check the AUS website or email the Office of the Registrar at

However, anyone interested in studying abroad during summer is welcome to stop by IXO and check out our 2017 Summer Course Booklet to view some of the opportunities and programs that are available. Also, you can download the Study Abroad Course Approval Form from our website, https://www.aus.edu/downloads/file/1442/permission_to_take_summer_courses_outside_aus.

Study Abroad in Spring or Fall 2018

Applications are now open for AUS students who want to study abroad in Spring 2018 or Fall 2018 semester or for the full academic year of 2017-18.

The deadline for Spring 2018 applications is May 6, 2017. The deadline for Fall 2018 applications is December 2, 2017.

Visit IXO (MG43) to talk to a Peer Advisor about your many options. To apply, or for more information, visit www.aus.edu/ixo or contact us at ixo@aus.edu.

Summer Intensive Arabic Language Program 2017

The Department of Arabic and Translation Studies at AUS has opened registration for its Summer 2017 Intensive Arabic Language Program.

The program provides participants the opportunity to earn 6 credit hours while studying in a campus environment with students from around the world.

Participants must meet the requirements for admission to AUS, and can apply via our online application at https://www.aus.edu/info/200176/international_study_and_exchange/553/study_abroad_at_aus

The deadline to apply for this is March 4, 2017.

Study Abroad Programs Outside USA

American University of Sharjah (AUS) offers many study abroad program options outside the US. We encourage students to check out some of the many international options available via our bilateral partners (Maastricht University, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria in Canada), and via ISEP Exchange/Direct programs (www.isep.org) in France, Korea, Finland,
Australia, Japan and other countires.

We have sent many students to these universities in the past and have heard wonderful stories about their experience.

To learn more, visit our IXO Facebook page, https://www.facbook.com/IXOatAUS, or stop by our office in the Main Building (MG43) to talk to our Peer Advisors.