A Rewarding Challenge Past Review

By (International Business, American University of Sharjah) - abroad from 08/27/2015 to 05/26/2016 with

API (Academic Programs International): Sharjah - American University of Sharjah

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about myself. I learned that things aren't always going to be easy or what they seem, but putting my head down and grinding through it will pay off in the end. I think it was worthwhile because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I learned a lot about Arab culture and it completely changed my stance on certain issues and ideas I had about this part of the world.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Everything was very good except for the resources provided to students. Mainly the library. It was very subpar compared to what I'm used to

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Not a lot of options on campus and they get old pretty quickly. Options off campus are either incredibly unhealthy or hard to order from since a lot of delivery drivers don't speak english, or they are expensive

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I didn't feel a large culture difference. There are too many western influences in my opinion

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safer here than I do in the US

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

API was by far the best program for me. The advisor (Hong) was one of the most helpful people I've ever met, and the excursions we went on were amazing. Getting to go to Qatar and Oman as a small group without the rest of IXO was nice, because we had more freedom to do what we wanted.


* 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)

If you want to sit in your dorm or the library every day and all weekend it's very easy, but if you want to go out and experience anything outside of campus you can very easily spend 100$+ in one night

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? between 50-100 depending on if I go out on the weekend
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't go to the clubs too often. They overcharge for everything. Also, try to find the cheap shisha options. In one area of Dubai you can find 150dhs shisha right next to a place that has it for 50dhs. Save money where you can so you can spend it when it comes time to travel


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The teaching was horrible and the professor preferred to work with native speakers over exchange students

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Arabic 2
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Make friends with people who speak it

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International 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?
  • Excursions
  • Food
  • The challenge
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing on your end
  • It was mostly just the school itself
  • n/a
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That I wouldn't have to rely on Arabic as much as I originally thought. It would've cut some of my anxiety out of the equation

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!