I have to admit that when I joined AUS 13 years ago, I was quite skeptical about the university. While faculty profiles were impressive and the campus looked spectacular, it was still a young university with minimal track record. In particular, I was uncertain about the rigorousness of the program and whether the school would challenge my thinking or rather be a piece of cake. Backed by my father’s willing to make this substantial investment in me, I took this expensive bet. As I started my studies, those myths got debunked very quickly; I found myself scrambling to complete homework or prepare a presentation; courses were demanding, and the students' intellectual level exceeded my expectations. What really made my education, though, was not academics but student life. With over 90 nationalities on campus, there is a unique mosaic of students, and AUS did a great job of encouraging us to connect with each other. Furthermore, AUS taught me that success in life goes beyond getting an A in a course and extends to people skills, communication skills and attitude. AUS taught me not only to understand diversity but also embrace it and win at it. Now, I have to admit that studying at AUS has been one of the most important decisions I made in my life, and its legacy will continue to impact my thinking. Very few places in the Middle East can match this kind of experience.