By Tayiba Ahmed
Welcome to American University of Sharjah to all new students. You have made the right choice to come study at this prestigious university. You are now joining a long line of bright young scholars who come to this university to acquire the high quality education offered here to prepare them for a bright future.
Since its start in 1997, American University of Sharjah (AUS) has been a part of thousands of lives. It has been a home away from home to many of its students, and it has also been an institution where students not only learn, but create some of the most memorable moments of their lives.
There are several reasons that many like me, love AUS. Sometimes the things that might come to your mind when asked about AUS are the amount of coursework, the taxing projects, the sometimes unhelpful team partners and the hectic registration week. But when you actually think about it, rationally, you realize that the positives outweigh the negatives. Remember feeling frustrated as kids when you were not treated like the adult you thought you were? When the people around you didn’t think you were capable enough to handle certain situations because you were too young? Well, unlike them, AUS does not underestimate its students. The university treats them like adults. And AUS believes in the capabilities of its students and it expects them to deliver their best, because that is what is required of them to survive in the real world. Once in the real work environment, you might have to work with even shorter deadlines. You might have to spend months or years dealing with team members that you can’t get along with, instead of just a semester. In reality, AUS just better prepares you for the work environment.
Apart from that, AUS also offers its students a lot of opportunities that allow them to gain more knowledge than what they can acquire from just books. I love that the university celebrates the different cultures and ethnicities that make up its community. It gives its students the opportunity to learn from one another, to be open-minded about the different cultures, and to explore and experience the different cultures around the world, whether it’s through the club fairs, the Global Day, the events organized by the cultural clubs, or through its exchange programs.
I also love that the AUS encourages its students to do well in aspects other than studies and celebrates their achievements. It organizes various events both on and off campus and encourages students to be a part of them—whether it be sports events such as the university’s annual Sports Day, international events such as the International Conference on Testing Software and Systems (ICTSS), or competitions held independent of the university that focus on the different talents of the students, such as the Dubai Lynx advertising competition or the Urban Commissions design competition. It also gives its students the opportunity to take part in its Performing Arts Program, that introduces it students to theatre and music. Moreover, I love that it has an on-campus sports complex that includes a well-equipped gymnasium and swimming pool that students can access to relieve stress and relax. These are opportunities that a lot of universities in the region do not provide for their students.
Another aspect of AUS that I love is how approachable some of the professors here are. From what I’ve experienced personally, most of the professors at AUS are willing to answer questions and help out with instructions regarding coursework. Some of them are even willing to supervise the students taking part in competitions that require knowledge gained from their courses. All in all, the professors make the students feel comfortable enough to ask questions that might help them expand their knowledge.
At every university, students create life-long friends. AUS not only allows you to do that, but throughout the time you spend here, it gives you the opportunity of creating life-long memories with those friends. You create memories while experiencing new things together; going to university trips together; worrying about grades; pulling all-nighters studying for exams together; and maybe even overcoming your fear of something, like public-speaking, together. That, along with the many opportunities it offers its students to grow as individuals, to learn and to experience different situations, are some of the reasons why I, like many other students, love AUS.
I hope that in additional to the excellent education which you are going to receive here; extra-curricular activities which you will come to enjoy and the many new friends you are going to make, will help you come to love American University of Sharjah as much as I do, or even more.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah