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AUS freshman: “Visiting the AUS booth at Najah was a turning point”
For Noushin Nawal, a freshman student at American University of Sharjah (AUS), the best part about university life has been the opportunity for self-discovery. Currently in her first semester of Foundation studies at the College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD), Nawal was introduced to AUS through Najah, the UAE’s leading higher education event, which will be held again this week at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Center (NADEC) from October 30 to November 1.
A year ago, Nawal was a senior high school student in Abu Dhabi, uncertain about what career she wanted to pursue and what major of studies she should be interested in.
“As a high schooler, I felt a great deal of pressure to know exactly what I wanted to study or be when I left school. Culturally and socially, there is an expectation that 17- and 18-year-olds have their lives planned out. That just wasn’t my experience,” said Nawal.
Joining her high school class on a day trip to Najah 2018, Nawal took the time to stop and speak to faculty and students at various university stands at the event, including the AUS booth where she met members of the AUS community. At the booth, Nawal had the chance to ask questions, speak to AUS students, and get some insight into what studying at AUS could be like.
“What strikes me about AUS is the diversity of the programs available to students,” she said.
“For a young person who didn’t know what to study, the opportunity to choose from such a wide range of subjects—many of which I had never considered or been exposed to before in high school—means that I have the freedom to explore and discover what I really like and what I am really good at, before deciding what I will be. This is very appealing,” said Nawal.
AUS is a liberal arts university offering undergraduate programs in 28 majors with the opportunity to minor in 46 subject areas offered by its College of Architecture, Art and Design; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; and School of Business Administration.
The liberal arts model exposes students to a wide range of subjects which they can explore as part of their elective studies, while pursuing their major of choice. As a result, AUS graduates receive a well-rounded education and are highly adaptable employees with expertise in a diverse range of fields.
“What I really love about this model is that I have options. If I want to take a course in photography or physics or mass communication, I can—and it all counts towards my degree,” said Nawal.
“After speaking with the faculty and students at the AUS booth at Najah, I was curious to know more about the university. I took the time to visit the university’s website and social media pages, and I shared my thoughts with my parents. They particularly liked that I would be here in the UAE with them, and that could live on campus while I study,” said Nawal.
“I decided to apply—in fact, AUS was the only university I applied to—and thankfully, I was accepted,” she said.
Having achieved academic excellence in high school, Nawal won a competitive place in CAAD’s Foundation program, where she is learning the fundamentals of design and finding her own place in the AUS community.
“The reason I chose a design major is because it’s an area I never had the opportunity to explore when I was in high school. It’s intense but I thoroughly enjoy it,” she said.
Students and their families who visit Najah this week can meet with AUS enrollment advisors, scholarship officers, faculty and students to learn more about the benefits of studying at AUS, including the numerous scholarship opportunities available to first-year students.
“I can confidently say that visiting the AUS booth at Najah was a real turning point for me. If I hadn’t gone along that day, I probably wouldn’t be an AUS student and or have had all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had as a Foundation student at CAAD,” said Nawal.
“Being a student at AUS is challenging, fun and life-changing, all mixed together. I am really happy to be an AUS student,” she said.
The AUS booth (number L20) at Najah is open to the public from October 30 to November 1 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. For more information, visit www.aus.edu.