One of the very important factors to consider when selecting a university is location. Whether you want to study in your home country or travel abroad, deciding on the location of the university is very crucial. Do you want a university that is located in a metropolitan area, a major city, a small town or a rural area? This will have a major impact on the quality of life for the time you will be attending the university.
If a university is located in urban areas, there is likely to be a reliable public transportation system that will give a wider choice as to whether to live on campus, rent an apartment or live at home or with relatives and friends. On the other hand, urban areas tend to be busy, sometimes chaotic, with some distractions that may impede the learning process for students who are not familiar with such an environment.
Rural areas may not have sophisticated infrastructure systems such as an efficient transportation system. This may sometimes compel students in universities located in rural areas to live on campus, which may limit their time away from campus while school is in session. On the other hand, this can be an excellent opportunity for students to experience all that campus life offers and to focus more on their studies.
This may also affect your budget, depending on whether you live in the university dormitories and eat at the university cafeteria or rent an apartment outside campus, commute to school and choose whether to eat out or cook for yourself.
Some universities, especially in the West, mandate that international students live in the dormitories and pay for meal plans at least during their freshman year.
Deciding the preferred location and setting of the university will help narrow down a pool of schools to choose from and simplify the selection process.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, there are many universities located in great locations throughout the region. Some in rural areas and some in urban areas; some in historic cities other in modern cities; and they all offer a variety of settings for academic pursuits.
One of these universities located in great locations is the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in the United Arab Emirates. AUS is proud to be a reflection of the progressive spirit of the Emirates, admitting bright young men and women as students solely on the basis of their academic qualifications regardless of race, color, gender, religion, disability, age or national origin. Strategically placed between the Far East and the West, between Africa and Asia, our location is one of our greatest assets.
From ancient times to the modern day, Sharjah boasts a well-deserved reputation throughout the region as an important center of commerce and trade as well as art and culture.
Gureni Lukwaro is a Writer, Editor and Social Media Manager at the American University of Sharjah.