Should AUD expand its semester abroad partnerships?

The American University in Dubai offers to all its students the possibility to study a semester abroad as part of an exchange program with other universities. But AUD partnerships are limited to five universities and the process is tedious, making it sometimes almost impossible for AUD students to live such experience. Isn’t time for AUD to expand its partnerships abroad?

AUD Communication student Menna Al Arman managed to study abroad to the United States, even though her “new” university, Sussex, in Ohio, doesn’t have a partnership with AUD. “The process was super long, but finally AUD accepted my request.”

Many students apply for a semester abroad, but when the university has no partnership with AUD, it is of course much more complicated. First, it is more difficult to find course equivalency, as course content and programs may be very different. And because there’s no partnership, it means the AUD students’ requests aren’t prioritized and therefore it may take a long time before getting a reply.

Students who are in their sophomore year onwards are eligible and can apply for a semester abroad if their GPA is at least 2.5. Students on scholarship should seek approval from their sponsor.

A student in Journalism at AUD, Mayar Ibrahim wanted to study abroad at Jacksonville University for the spring semester 2019. She began contacting them in May 2018. “The first email I sent them I mentioned that AUD is not a partner with Jacksonville and I got an email saying it’s not a problem, send us your papers and we’ll see what we can do,” says Mayar. But if Jacksonville University was open to the exchange, the AUD was not. “I got an email from AUD saying that I won’t be able to join Jacksonville for a semester because AUD is not partnered with that University,” says Mayar. 

Joyce Hussein Mansour

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