Friday, 19 May 2017

Pre-Departure Orientation

IXO successfully completed the pre-departure orientation for Fall 2017 outgoing exchange students last month. Our peer advisors led the orientation and provided the students with all the information required for their semester abroad. This was followed by a dinner where the students met other IXO students and alumni, who shared their study abroad stories. We wish all Fall 2017 outgoing students the very best and hope they have a wonderful study abroad experience.

Outgoing Fall 2017 students

IXO Exploring UAE

Current exchange students have continued exploring the UAE and Arab/ Islamic culture. They visited the Islamic Civilization Museum in Sharjah on the occasion of Al Israa Wal Miraj. They also experienced an overnight desert safari and took a trip to Abu Dhabi to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Saadiyat Island. Along with their explorations, they have enjoyed sampling many different Arab cuisines. 

Exchange students at the desert safari
Exchange students at an Iraqi restaurant
Exchange students at Saadiyat Island

Thursday, 18 May 2017


Thirty students from the Conservatoire National des Arts et M├ętiers (CNAM), France, visited AUS along with Professor Gilles Perrenot and Mohamed Lachi from the civil engineering department. They met with Dr. Linda Angell and Lille de Guzman from IXO, and then proceeded for a quick campus tour before attending two engineering class lectures. 

Student group from CNAM at AUS

Tuition Exchange Updates

AUS maintains two tuition exchange scholarship programs:

Council of Independent Colleges –Tuition Exchange Program (CIC-TEP):

The Tuition Exchange (TE)

Congratulations to Sarah Abu Al Foul, daughter of Dr. Bassam Abu Al-Foul (Economics), who has been awarded a Tuition Exchange scholarship to pursue her degree at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, starting in Fall 2017.

Also, IXO extends congratulations to the following graduating students, all of whom pursued their degrees under our tuition exchange programs: Yousr Dhaouadi, Syracuse University (TE); Amal Bahloul, Pepperdine University (TE); and Rhea Creado, Woodbury University (CIC-TEP).

Tuition Exchange program applications will be accepted this fall from faculty or staff with dependents beginning their studies in the 2018-19 AY. Applications for the TE program will be accepted up to the deadline on November 18, and applications for the CIC-TEP program will be accepted up to the deadline of January 20.

Please contact Dr. Linda Angell at for more information.

AUS Graduate Gets Into MIT

AUS alumnus Ali Al-Sammarraie, who studied abroad at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Fall 2014 and then graduated with a degree in architecture, has just been accepted into the Master in City Planning program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA. After graduating AUS, he went to work for Perkins + Will for two years, before applying to pursue higher studies. Ali told us, “part of my story is IXO,” and explained that his exchange program at LSU helped him realize his ability to rise above any challenge.

We wish Ali the best with his upcoming studies at MIT!

Ali at MIT

Spring Break Stories

During the Spring Break in April, our IXO students travelled the world. Incoming exchange students Caleb Bullard and Chase Connor went to Egypt, where they visited the Pyramids of Giza, the Red Sea, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, and ended their trip with a cruise along the Nile River. Meanwhile, Josephine Ekwall and Lauren Slade went to Tbilisi and enjoyed the beautiful mountains in Georgia.Other students visited Thailand. IXO Peer Advisor Dinete Kollanur visited the United Kingdom, where he bumped into our CIEE Coordinator Abu Bakr Alani during a soccer tournament in Manchester. 

Left to Right: Dinete and Abu Bakr in Manchester
Caleb (left) and Chase (far right) on their trip to Egypt

IXO Student Receives Scholarship

Bianca Tardio, a Fall 2016 exchange student from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), recently received the VCU Upperclassmen Scholarship for strong academic performance. During her application process, she wrote an essay about how studying abroad here at AUS impacted her, and described how she joined the VCU Global Education Office as a volunteer to encourage VCU students to study abroad. IXO congratulates her on this wonderful achievement.

Farewell to Graduating PAs

We bid farewell to all of our graduating Peer Advisors: Dinete Kollanur (SBA), Seham Nasser (SBA) and Tarek Alsayed (CEN). IXO congratulates them on completing their bachelor’s degree in their respective fields, and wishes them all the best for their future endeavors. They will be deeply missed. 

Left to Right: Lillie, Linda, Dinete, Seham, Tarek, Grace

Welcome Back!

IXO is in the process of welcoming back all AUS students who studied abroad in Spring 2017. We love this time of the year when we get to hear all about our students’ overseas adventures.

IXO Student Contributes to Flashbacks

We hope you all saw Flashbacks, a collection of six short plays that ran in the College of Arts and Sciences last month. We attended, and were proud to note that former IXO student Julian Drumm (see above) from Westminster College, USA, had written one of the acts named “Second Chances.” In addition, our IXO colleague Abu Bakr Alani, CIEE’s Resident Director, also acted in “Baba Ghanoush,” another act in this play.

IXO Connections Are For Life

Incoming Fall 2014 exchange student Carlos Aguero from University of New England unexpectedly ran into fellow exchange student Julian Drumm from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah recently. They were happy to meet for the first time after having spent a semester here at AUS together.

Left to Right: Carlos and Julian in Utah

Best of Luck

IXO wishes everyone the best of luck with their upcoming final exams. We wish you all a relaxing holiday and safe travels over the summer, and extend our heartfelt best wishes during the holy month of Ramadan.

Great Publicity Recently

IXO received a lot of great news last month!

AUS was ranked as the most diverse student body in the world by Times Higher Education:

US News voted the UAE as the number one destination for study abroad:

Sharjah was recognized as a top 100 student-friendly city by QS World Rankings:

The UAE was shown to be the second safest country in the world by World Economic Forum:

In response, Dr. Linda Angell contributed an AUS blog posting about why AUS is the best place to study abroad within the UAE: