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AUS Orientation Week proves a success with incoming students
With a host of activities organized to ease their transition into university life, new students were welcomed to American University of Sharjah (AUS) during a virtual Orientation Week that started on Friday, August 21. New first-year students worked with their assigned peer leaders and participated in a wide range of activities and events, including sessions on academic policies, university rules and procedures, academic support, as well as various social activities and cultural events.
Speaking about her experience, Jumana Ahmad Bakr, a computer engineering major, said: “Orientation Week was very interesting. University officials and students were there to supports us and did a great job answering all our questions. This played a very big part in helping us settle in. Some days were busy and required time and effort, however, the overall experience was quite informative and productive. I also appreciated that there were social events lined up throughout the week to help us meet new people and blend into the AUS community.”
She added: “We now better understand how the university operates in the academic sense—how to choose our courses, register for classes and how to plan the path ahead. I was very happy to see that we are also encouraged to build life skills in non-academic ways through extracurricular activities. AUS supports students in exploring the world and maintains the importance of respecting every person's rights and cultural beliefs.”
The first year at university is one of great significance for a student. With additional challenges posed as a result of COVID-19, the university worked to ensure that new students are provided guidance as they transition into this new phase of their academic journey. Current students who serve as Peer Leaders play an important role in supporting the integration of new students into the AUS community. Commenting on her experience with her assigned peer leader, Rand Shubair, a biology major, said: “I really enjoyed the meetings I had with my peer leader. She always did her best to help with anything I needed and listened to my concerns. Not only was she helpful, but also super fun as she made our meetings entertaining. My favorite part was when we had a scavenger hunt game with our peer leader and a few of my fellow students.”
The AUS Student Council also ensured that new students found time to enjoy themselves, meet new people, and make friends through a line-up of activities that proved to be both “fun and informative”, according to Jawad Zaabalwi, a computer engineering major. “I really enjoyed the game night and the sleep cycle coach session. I am looking forward to meeting my new friends in person, and to joining an AUS sports team on campus, once the situation returns to normal and we are allowed to attend classes on campus,” he said.
Colleges also organized meetings with the new students to provide them with an overview of their academic majors, explain the course registration process, talk about career prospects after graduation, and answer any questions they may have. Said Saleem Khalifeh, a civil engineering major: “I met my advisor virtually with a group of new students and it went better than I expected. I found my advisor extremely helpful, friendly and funny. I don’t think I could have had a better experience and I believe that we are off to a great start!”