My experience was eye-opening and amazing. June 21, 2016

By (American University of Sharjah) - abroad from 01/21/2016 to 05/25/2016 with

American University of Sharjah: Sharjah - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent and get around in a foreign country on my own. I learned how to really self-advocate and stay on top of people especially when it comes to important documents (visa information, passports, etc.) It was definitely worthwhile and I would do it all over again if I could.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

While I did enjoy my classes I will say that two out of the four that I took were not as difficult or demanding as American University courses. However, I enjoyed all of them and learned alot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The IXO (International Exchange Office) was absolutely amazing and really made me feel like I had a community that I could go to for any questions, concerns, or advice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Typical double dorm room style but people do come to clean them every week which is nice and definitely not something I'm used to back in the US.

* Food:

On campus food and restaurants were pretty good for the most part especially Break Point.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was mainly my fault but I didn't make as many local friends as I could have. I mainly stuck with the other exchange students and made some long lasting friends from there, but for the most part I didn't come away with any close local friends unfortunately. However, I did get involved in some clubs on campus.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only had to use the Health Center once when I thought I broke my toe but it ended up being fine and I didn't have to go back for anything. The service was fine.

* Safety:

I felt very safe exploring around the city. If you can avoid it it's always best to have a traveling friend to go to places with you, but anytime I needed to travel around by myself I didn't feel particularly unsafe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

The orientation process through IXO was amazingly helpful and I made a few long lasting friendships. In addition, the experience itself was amazing with many things to do and places to explore. I truly feel satisfied with my experience.

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I found it easy because I made a budget for myself and my parents so I knew how much roughly everything would cost and how much I would spend. However, the reason I give it four stars instead of five is because I should have made the excursion budget larger for myself because I did a lot more exploring then I originally budgeted for.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $115
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Definitely save alot for any excursions or exploring. Things didn't start getting expensive until I ended up doing alot of those activities and truthfully that's where most of my money went.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends Made
  • Places I traveled to (other countries)
  • Places I explored
* What could be improved?
  • Roommate surveys would really help; Too many friends (including myself a few times) had roommate issues
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had spent more time making more local friends instead of mainly hanging out with other exchange students. While I love the friends I made I wish I could have made more close local friends.