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Co-sponsored by the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and International Academic Programs, the business, engineering, arts and sciences program at the American University in Sharjah is a great opportunity for students to take coursework in English while experiencing the Gulf region. This program offers Arabic classes alongside a variety of elective course options taught in a U.S.-style educational setting. Students direct enroll in courses at the American University of Sharjah, taking classes with degree-seeking and other international students. Since 75% of students come from Arab nations, this university provides a great immersion experience for language learning. Students are required to take one Arabic language course.
The Emirate of Sharjah (population approximately 680,000) is located next to the Emirate of Dubai. It prides itself as the "cultural capital" of the UAE and offers a range of museums, traditional souks (markets), and theaters. Although Sharjah developed rapidly under British rule in the 19th Century, it has maintained its traditional Muslim values while developing its regional trade relationships. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad al-Qassimi has ruled Sharjah since 1972. A mere 40 minutes from Dubai and its high-paced, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Sharjah provides a comfortable and relatively quiet environment for exploring Gulf culture.
Sharjah is the cultural capital of the UAE and is historically one of the wealthiest cities in the region. It offers a range of museums, traditional souks (markets), and theaters, while still retaining traditional Muslim values. Located a mere 40 minutes from Dubai, Sharjah provides access to many tourists destinations and attractions. Sharjah also overlooks the Persian Gulf and offers beautiful white, sandy beaches. The American University of Sharjah was founded in 1997 and enrolls 5,200 students from 80 nations.
Getting to Your Program
Participants are responsible for arranging round-trip transportation to the program site.
A visa is required for U.S. citizens prior to departure. Participants must have a passport valid for six months after the end of the program.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
CIEE provides a four-day orientation at the beginning of each semester. In addition, AUS offers an orientation for all new international students. The CIEE orientation includes sessions on local culture, health and safety issues, local logistics, academic policies, and course registration. Ongoing support occurs throughout the semester with a series of group meetings and other program activities. A CIEE re-entry workshop is organized at the end of each semester in order to help prepare students for their return to the U.S.
HousingHousing in university residence halls is included in the program fee. Students share a double room in gender-segregated on-campus housing. Residence halls are strictly segregated and students must abide by these policies at all times. Most rooms include small kitchenette and bathroom facilities, while residence halls also offer shared kitchens, computer labs, exercise rooms, and other common rooms.
Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of each student. Students have the option of making their own meals in shared kitchens or eating at restaurants, cafeterias, and cafes on the AUS campus. There are also several grocery stores on campus.
Excursions and Activities
This program includes various excursions and off-site activities that will aid in the understanding and appreciation of life in the United Arab Emirates. Excursions may include day trips to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, an overnight excursion to Al-Ain also known as the Garden City due to its greenery, and activities such as desert safaris, guest lectures, museums, and galleries, and traditional souks.
The university offers cultural activities, numerous student clubs, concerts, athletic teams, and a bowling center. Students must note that the sports complex is segregated, with separate hours for men and women. There are music, theater, and sports activities in the city of Sharjah for students to take part in as well.
Buses and taxis allow students to make day trips on their own to cities like Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain, while public transportation connects students to Dubai in about 40 minutes.
All participants in IAP programs are enrolled in health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance is included in program fees.
CIEE Sharjah Study Center director
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. UW Affiliate programs may require you to apply directly to the affiliate either simultaneously during the IAP application process OR after you have received a preliminary admissions decision from IAP. After you have completed the IAP Online Application, the following forms will become available to you through the application portal. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for information on when to apply to the affiliate.
CIEE Online Application
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make a preliminary admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email. The affiliate university or organization will make the final admissions decision.
This program is designed to combine Arabic language and Gulf studies with electives if the fields of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, business, and engineering to provide a unique academic experience. Students direct enroll in elective classes, giving them the opportunity to take courses alongside other students from the Arab world. Language classes are designed for non-native speakers in a variety of levels and are generally focused on Modern Standard Arabic. All students are required to take one Arabic language course.
The American University of Sharjah was founded in 1997 and was designed to combine an American-style education with the traditional values and modern aspirations of the UAE and the Gulf region. The University enrolls approximately 5,200 students from 80 nations. Approximately 20 percent of the students are native Emirati, and over 75 percent of the total student body is from Arab nations. The University employs faculty from over 45 countries. The campus includes 12 student residential halls as well as a large sports complex and a student center. Approximately 40 percent of the student body lives in campus housing.
Program Web Page(s)
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
Sort by Foreign Course Titles
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Group by host institution and Sort by Foreign Course Titles
Group by host institution and Sort by UW-Madison Course Titles