By Tayiba Ahmed
The American University of Sharjah (AUS) has always prided itself for its multicultural environment, and to enhance this very aspect of the university, AUS established the Office of International Exchange Programs (IXO). Every year a number of students participate in the program and travel to different countries all over the world to study aboard. And many others come from all over the world to spend a semester or two at AUS. If you’re interested in the program and are looking for some encouragement to enroll in it, here are 5 reasons why you should take part in this wonderful study abroad program:
- Learn about and experience different cultures
By going abroad as a part of the exchange program, you have the chance to thoroughly experience the culture of the host country. Being around and mingling with the true residents of the country, gives you the chance to observe and learn their everyday activities, have their traditional cuisine, appreciate their architecture, and be a part of their traditions and festivals. You get the opportunity, through this program, to gain an educational and cultural experience you wouldn’t be able to gain otherwise. Embarking on such an experience will also make you more understanding, aware, and accepting of the different cultures and will broaden your perspectives.
- Make friends from all over the world
As a part of the exchange program, not only can you form close bonds with the fellow exchange students from your program, but you also get the chance to meet and befriend other exchange students from different universities. Studying abroad can be a challenge and but it sure is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the experience you can gain amazing and unique experiences from. Sharing that feeling with a peer not only allows you to create unforgettable memories with fellow students, but also gives you the opportunity of forming longstanding bonds with them.
- Personal development
The unique experience you gain, and the challenges you overcome during your experience, allows you to develop more maturity, self-confidence and self-esteem. Fueled with the knowledge that you’re capable of being independent and surviving and adapting to a different environment, you will feel a sense of great accomplishment, as well as have the ability to make well-informed decisions for yourself. Being in an environment where you’re faced with different challenges will also give you various opportunities to gain life-long lessons that will prove to be useful in your future. Being a part of the study abroad program is an emotional experience too, and it gives you the chance to learn things about yourself that might even surprise you.
- Helps you in the job-market
The knowledge and experience you will gain through studying abroad will also prove to be useful when you are job hunting. Employers look favorably upon students who have gained experience oversees, and knowledge of other cultures. Successfully completing the program highlights several of your skills such as flexibility, adaptability and your ability to overcome challenges. Being on your own while you are abroad also makes you more responsible. All these skills are what will give you an edge when you are looking for a job.
- Learn a new language
While abroad, you can also have the opportunity to learn a new language. Not only do you get the chance to learn the language the residents of the host country speak, but you can also learn one of the languages of the fellow exchange students who might have come from a different country. Being able to speak a different language will not only help boost your confidence, but it can also help broaden your job opportunities.
American University of Sharjah provides this unique opportunity for you that not many universities provides. Make the best use of this opportunity, take a chance, and apply for the program. Learn and experience new things, and maybe even rediscover yourself.
To apply for an exchange program, please contact the International Exchange Office at [email protected]. Deadlines for applications are; first Saturday in October for Spring Semester and first Saturday of March for Fall Semester.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah