NYU Abu Dhabi
by Kathryn Merck
New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), located in Greenwich village, Abu Dhabi, opened in 2008 as a temporary site for conferences and cultural events beyond NYU in New York. The private academic program opened in 2010 on a permanent campus built on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. The research university is now a fully integrated liberal arts and science college that offers 22 majors in the areas of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, and Engineering, that culminate into a B.A. or B.S. degree.
Because NYUAD is one of the most selective undergraduate universities in the world, students are admitted based on academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and demonstrated interest in global citizenship, service, and leadership. The small and extremely diverse student body has a total student enrollment of about 670. The number of applications to NYUAD has grown rapidly, with 15,520 individuals submitting dual NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York applications and 2,470 primary NYUAD applications.
Though the university does aim to make students feel at home, there are many chances for students to discover something new while attending NYUAD. The university does have a variety of student interest groups and sports teams like many other colleges and universities, but the university stands out for its unique activities. Annual activities include experiencing authentic Emirati festivals and heritage events, attending traditional camel races and falconry demonstrations, visiting the Middle East Film and Comic Con, and watching exclusive movie theater screenings of Hollywood blockbusters. NYUAD representatives highly recommended kayaking in Abu Dhabi’s famous mangrove forests.
NYUAD offers a distinctive learning experiences through its January term (the J-Term). The J-Term includes options to study outside Abu Dhabi and participate in community learning experiences. Some J-Term courses include international travel to places such as India, Nepal, Oman, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The courses take advantage of local resources and explore the history, culture, economy, and society of the host communities. These courses also often involve collaborative activities with local students and faculty. Students are required to complete three J-Term courses, including one in the first year.
Representatives from NYUAD emphasized the safety the university provides for its students. Since Abu Dhabi is far from home for most of the students, the university has introduced many safety precautions in order to make their students feel safe and comfortable. For example, NYUAD has implemented an Emergency Notification System that utilizes text messaging and email to alert all students, faculty, and staff of developing incidents that may impact campus operations.
The NYUAD representatives walked Northside students through what a typical day on campus would look like, because, as of right now, no Northside student has attended NYU Abu Dhabi. The representatives encouraged Northsiders applying to NYU New York to submit a dual application to NYUAD and explore their options.