Study Abroad: American University of Sharjah in UAE

Video and Photos

Kissing Camels
American University of Sharjah - Main Building
American University of Sharjah - Main Building
Walking to Arabic class
Emirati Americans
Midnight Masjids
American University of Sharjah - Front
American University of Sharjah - Front


The American University of Sharjah offers an accredited American-style education with English as the language of instruction. Our business programs are AACSB-accredited, our engineering programs are all ABET-accredited, and our Architecture program was the first outside the USA to receive the NAAB-accreditation.

AUS is very centrally located within the UAE and within the world map. Twenty minutes out of our front gate in one direction brings you to downtown Sharjah, celebrated by UNESCO and ISESCO as the Cultural Capital of the Arab and Islamic World; 20 minutes out our front gate in another direction brings you to the cosmopolitan and futuristic city of Dubai.

Embrace the strong intellectual tradition of the Middle East through education at AUS. Take accredited courses in your major, while enhancing your Arabic language skills through formal classroom instruction and daily conversational practice with native speakers.

Students coming from a university that does not currently have an exchange agreement with AUS are welcome to study abroad at AUS as a Visiting Student.

Questions & Answers

Hello, I am planning on studying at the AUS this upcoming term and am just wondering how the course rigor is. I have been advised to only take 12 hours, however, at the University of Arkansas I am currently attending 21 hours of classes and so this sounds like a drastic cutback and I really wanting to make the most of my time academically, but also socially. I will just be taking entry level...


based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8.9
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 10 of 10
No, I don't recommend this program

AUS, MTR program (master in mechatronics prog.)

Compared to universities in middle east, AUS is one of the best. I took 7 courses, 4 of them were helpful, but the remaining were not. The core courses are:
-Modeling and simulation (was very helpful, only the modeling part were we get to know Lagrange..)
-Advanced Control (with Dr.rached dhaouadi, he is the best who can teach you this course)
-Advanced Math. (it was a revision for differential equations and Laplace..)
also not to forget : embedded systems, though this course was the same as the bachelor level because some students come from a mechanical background.

The core courses were good, but the elective courses, not all of them was. Because the department does not offer the interesting courses like machine vision and robotics and autonomous systems every year. In fact during my stay these courses never got offered.

Adaptive control was a very helpful course with Dr shayok who is totally into control.
Advanced Manufacturing processes: this course is totally not helpful, it was useless unfortunately.

Research: they fund research better than other universities around the region, but this funding is not enough. Research topics are limited but you can come up with a topic, the professors won't reject.

Mechatronics lab and equipment: the lab is not good (again if you compare it with universities like for instance Jordan university of science and technology where I took mu bachelor, you will find the lab good) .
It is missing many components, the university doesn't care much about the lab, old computers, no mobile robots that are ready to use and so on..
If you need equipment they can buy it for you, but you will have to wait (up to one semester) which is bad becuase normally you wouldn't have that time

Dorms the housing: very good

Yes, I recommend this program


In Fall of 2015 of my junior year, I decided to study abroad at the American University of Sharjah. Five months later, I could say that this was an experience that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life. Theatre 352: Dance Styles of the Stage at the American University of Sharjah made me feel as if the program was my perfect match. From the age of 3 until now, dance has been my artistic outlet and fortunately it has remained a part of my life, even in college. When I discovered that AUS offered a dance course, I knew it would be the perfect class to balance all of my other difficult science courses. My learning experience in the class was endless because we studied so many different genres of dance ranging from Broadway to Hip Hop to Bollywood. Also, as the class doesn’t require auditions, there were students with various backgrounds in dance, some who have never taken a dance class before and others who have been dancing for longer periods of time. The diversity in the class made the process that much more rewarding because I was able to share my love of dance with my classmates. Other notable experiences from the class were when we performed for a labor camp, as well as for a charity event for children with special needs. Both of these events were extremely eye opening and inspiring. Also, having the opportunity to dance and learn from Professor Mina was probably the best part of the entire experience for me. She served as my mentor in tap dance and I learned so much from her. Not to mention the people in my class are so kind hearted and generous and they have remained my closest friends since I have returned home. I would say that dance definitely helped me become more integrated with the AUS community and I’m so grateful for all of the new relationships that came out of it.

What would you improve about this program?
As I had expected, there were many different university rules that reflected the conservative culture of the UAE. My only complaint are the curfew rules because they limited my flexibility to travel on the weekends and to explore the city without worrying about time constraints.
Yes, I recommend this program

Arriving at Myself in an Arab Land

Studying abroad at the American University of Sharjah has taught me a lot about what it means to be alive as myself. It has expanded my consciousness in ways that I never thought possible. I know a few more Arabic words than I did when I left the US. I've learned that human beings are mostly good. I've learned that friends come and go, but true love lasts forever.

During my time abroad, 150 AED was stolen from me. I was so upset because it was during a time when I was struggling financially. I continued to think, “why me?” for several days. Soon after this, I found a woman’s handbag in the middle of the road. All of her personal and important belongings were in it, and had I not stumbled upon it and turned it in, someone could have stolen from her the same way that someone stole from me.

Karma knocked on my door when Sheikh Mansoor, my political science professor, invited myself, Danielle and Simone to his estate in Ali-Ain. At the beginning of my semester abroad at American University of Sharjah, I made a life changing decision and enrolled in Sheikh Mansoor Bin Tahnoon Al Nehayan’s political science course. I have to say; it was one of the best decisions of my life, as I have learned so much just from sitting with him for 2 hours and 30 minutes per week. I asked him if he would be willing to sit down for dinner. Little did I know that I was in for a big surprise. After being picked up by his driver, we arrived at his estate in Al-Ain. We waited in his masjlis as Sheikh Mansoor and his sons arrived by helicopter.

My favorite part about the experience was lunch. We ate with our hands (I intend to incorporate this into my daily life), and it felt so natural and refreshing. Not to mention, the traditional Emirati meal was phenomenal. After a hefty meal, we enjoyed cake and then headed out in the truck to tour the farm. The first thing I noticed was how happy the animals were. They were treated very well and actively responded to engaging with us, especially the camels! It was easy to notice how intentional Sheikh Mansoor is about tending to and caring for his family and his land. We were blown away when we returned from touring the farm, and Sheikh Mansoor asked us if we wanted to fly in the helicopter! It was such a thrill! I have never been in a helicopter before, nor has anyone been able to change my life in such a short amount of time.

Before we concluded our time with Sheikh Mansoor, his sons drove us around the open land in 4x4s to see the wild animals! Just when we thought our tip to Al-Ain couldn’t get any better, Sheikh Mansoor said that he wanted us to go to the mall with his driver and pick out any gifts that we wanted! We cried. We couldn’t believe the hospitality and generosity. I bought a Michael Kors watch and DSLR Canon Camera. I cherish both gifts, and am so happy that I will be able to document my time abroad via my new camera. Besides getting spoiled, I am blessed to have Sheikh Mansoor be part of my study abroad experience. He is an incredible and intelligent human being and I thank God for making him part of my journey.

What would you improve about this program?
Although I was extremely grateful for the top-notch security and safety, it would be nice to be able to explore the city without the fear of getting written up for breaking curfew laws.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

Studying abroad in the United Arab Emirates has been the most humbling for me. While growing up America, one is endlessly being badgered with negative images of the middle east. I am not surprised to discover that it is incredibly peaceful here and nowhere near as bad as America is. I have felt nothing but welcomed here in the UAE. The American Univeristy of Sharjah is actually more rigorous than my home university, which was challenging but much needed.

What would you improve about this program?
Less museums more interactive cultural outings
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Yes, I recommend this program

Wallah I Miss You So Much United Arab Emirates

I studied abroad at the the American University of Sharjah over this past summer and had the most culturally enriching experience I could have ever asked for. My regular school days consisted of my six hour Arabic language program, socializing in the dining area and in the dorms, and exploring new restaurants outside the university gates for dinner. My weekends on the other hand varied greatly from one another. They consisted either from roaming the desert of Dubai on camelback, tanning on the beautiful beaches off of the Arabian Gulf, exploring the in's and out's of a few of the other emirates, standing at the top of the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), or riding the fastest roller coaster ever recorded in largest indoor amusement park in the world(Ferrari world), and never was I ever bored, I was able to do things I would have never thought I would have been able to do . My time there was full of new and exhilarating experiences, ones that I will never forget. Something that I did quite often with my friends and one of my fondest memories was watching the water show outside of the Mall of the Emirates. Although it wasn't as elaborate as the time I had a falcon put on my head, or as extravagant as eating Iftar at the Atlantis resort on the Palm Island, it was still something I was always so excited to watch, something that was always able to put a big smile on my face no matter how many times I had seen it. The only thing that I found difficult to deal with was the heat. Not the program, not the people, just the heat. It was just something I had never experienced before, but I eventually became accustomed to it. Overall, the trip was a success and something I would do over in a heartbeat!

What would you improve about this program?
The only fault I found in the program was that my first nights stay was pretty unorganized. I wasn't provided with a pillow, sheets, or a blanket that night and my room still had not been cleaned since the prior occupants. But other then that I have no complaints!
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Yes, I recommend this program

AUS - A Safe Learning Environment

When traveling to the UAE, think security. Safety. AUS is a university within walls, with dorms within walls that have curfews. While life is regimented, it is sweet.
The IXO (International Exchange Office) is incredibly welcoming, providing students with their immediate needs while providing avenues for peripheral ones, meaning students are well-grounded and able to plan their own study-abroad experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I came to AUS hoping for Arabic instruction, which I did not receive. If you are planning to go to this institute for its Arabic department, I would steer you elsewhere. That aside, my other courses were in the Philosophy and International Studies departments, which were more than I could have asked for.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Rich culture, Deep learning.

Studying in American University of Sharjah(AUS) has been the best decision that I have ever made in my life. I absolutely love the school, the class and the culture of UAE. It's a completely life changing learning experience that had for one semester.

Having the privilege to study abroad from North America to AUS allows me to understand that there are so many things that I have not yet understand. Simply being here walking around the gorgeous campus, meeting up with new friends is a trigger for me to keep learning and embrace this country.

I will definitely recommend everyone to join the exchange program and study at AUS

What would you improve about this program?
Curfew!!! Oh well it's for our safety so yeah...just live with it.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Come to AUS. End of story.

The IXO (International Exchange Office) team/family has gone above and beyond to make our stay at AUS a positive and memorable learning experience. They plan outings and excursions for us as a group, and have also befriended us as individuals. If we experience even the slightest bump in the road, be academic, administrative, or residential, they will move mountains (or rather, sand dunes) to smooth it out and put our qualms to rest. Our peer mentors are incredibly down to earth and are our friends; they make no attempts to belittle and they certainly treat us like one of their own despite the fact we are foreigners. Many of my friends and family were worried about me coming to the Middle East to study, but I feel more safe on campus at AUS than I do at my home institution, due to the high number of security guards and well-lit pathways.

What would you improve about this program?
These criticisms are not of the workings of the exchange program and its administrative staff, but of the overall atmosphere of the university itself. These aren't things that I can change or explicitly label as "good" or "bad", as they are cultural and thus variably up to interpretation. These are also the most "culturally shocking" things I have yet to experience. Once I adapted and settled in, it seemed like the norm and didn't phase me at all.

It is sometimes hard and exhausting to nudge yourself into inner social circles with our native Arab peers. People aren't unfriendly, just cliquey. Many students leave campus on the weekends to go home or don't live on campus at all (making group studying, a main social opportunity, non-existent), and though the dorms have some activities, they don't feel as communal as my home university. Once you get people talking, though, they are very inclusive, warm, and open to discussing anything. Additionally, though the academic rigor of most courses are comparable to those in the US, the work ethic of my peers is sub-par. I think this is something that will change as the university ages and education expands in the Middle Eastern region.
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Yes, I recommend this program

AUS is a Great Location for Cultural Interaction

I was able to get involved with the Saudi, Emirati and Yemeni Cultural Clubs at AUS. Through these clubs, I was able to make lasting friendships and have great experiences. Spending time with my friends in these clubs provided a lot of insight into their cultures and was a great avenue to use and improve my Arabic.

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Yes, I recommend this program

One semester isn't enough

Having spent a summer at both Harvard Business School and Yale School of Management, I was familiar with the best American campuses and their amenities. And yet, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) was unlike anything I had experienced. The whole semester, or year (if you’re lucky), you feel as if you’re studying in an ancient desert palace with really amazing Wi-Fi.

You land in DXB and already feel like a VIP just wondering through the airport. After bagging claim, a man was holding a sign with my name on it. It turned out that AUS had graciously sent a driver to meet me. Upon leaving the airport, the most memorable feeling was the area’s humidity slapping me across the face! However, I learned to love this aspect, as I’m from the cold and wet Pacific Northwest.

If you're looking to spend all your time in Dubai and set aside all your assignments, AUS might not be the school for you. Academics are no joke here. Classes are extremely small and intimate, making them even more challenging and rigorous. In addition, every single one of my professors was a rock star and I literally have no idea how a school could manage to pull this off. Prior to his tenure at AUS, my finance professor was a textbook author and former head trader at JPMorgan Germany; my accounting professor used to partner at accounting/audit giant KPMG Netherlands; and my economics professor sits on more high profile boards than seats in the school auditorium.

Speaking of which, the school’s main auditorium is massive and luxurious. The generous red velvet seats and playful ambiance makes you wonder how the Kodak theatre stacks up. This theme of “generous and ample”' defines their campus and way of living. The fitness center has an Olympic size pool, two weight rooms, and more outdoor tennis courts and soccer fields than they’ll every need (everyone plays soccer, excuse me, football). The dorm rooms are big and most include a roommate and private accommodations. I got lucky with my roommate, Chris from Nigeria, and he grew to be one of my best friends. Not everyone has this experience, but fortunately, we did.

Regarding the constant “generous and ample” theme clearly evident at AUS, nothing may have exemplified this more than the weekly buffet present in nearly every main building. Although not always available for students (though it often was), I shamelessly helped myself and indulged. The buffets are so grand, that they accompany many significant and world events, such as the MENA Economic Forum. This gives students the unimaginable opportunity to comingle with the most fascinating people. I actually got a picture with the Spanish Prime Minister.

The only thing more impressive than the university’s presence, influence, and buffets would be the Office of International Study & Exchange (IXO). Their small staff works hard to make sure we’re safe and happy; Linda Angell and Osama Jasim really spoiled us. Besides setting up unforgettable field trips to Jumeira Mosque and Oman (UAE’s less ostentatious neighbor), the IXO team is does a lot of ‘little’ things for the exchange students. Whether it’s getting us a bus reservation when we need it or celebrating every birthday with a dozens of donuts, the IXO department played a key role in ensuring an unforgettable experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Dining options- watered down by too many American brands

Curfew- not a deal breaker but annoying at times


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About American University of Sharjah

Studying abroad at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) allows you to direct enroll in high quality courses in your major discipline, while studying Arabic and learning about the Gulf Arab, Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures (our 6,000 students...
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