MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. Programs, Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Study Abroad Program in Sharjah, UAE

About American University of Sharjah

  • Required GPA: 2.9 (4.0 scale)
  • Academic requirement: Student should be at least a 2nd semester sophomore and have two completed semesters of college courses on their transcript at time of application
  • Application deadlines: February 15 for fall semester and academic year
    September 15 for spring semester
  • Program advisor: Kerry Springer
Mac & PDF + Printing Tips

Program Snapshot

Study Abroad photographs from Sharjah, UAE

Marhaba! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the American University Sharjah (AUS) as your destination. American University Sharjah is located in one of the seven territories that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—Sharjah –and is a perfect choice for the student who seeks a unique and traditional experience in the Emirate that is known as the culture center of the UAE. Sharjah is rich in museums, historical centers, exquisite mosques and souks (markets) that reflect centuries-old Arab architecture, history and customs.

There are just a few specific forms, as well as writing an academic statement for this program, that you'll need to complete before your application can be submitted to AUS for an admissions decision. The forms can be found under the Forms tab and instructions on writing your academic statement can be found under the Academics tab.

What the American University Sharjah program has to offer

  • A university with an American-style structure in a Middle Eastern cultural setting
  • A wide range of subjects available
  • Located in Sharjah, named the 2014 Capital of Islamic Culture by the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO)
  • AACSB accredited business school
  • Engineering programs are accredited by ABET, the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology
  • A great choice for students from any major who are interested in Arabic language study
  • No previous study of Arabic required
  • An international atmosphere, with students who come from 85 countries
  • All courses taught in English


  • Students live in single-sex on-campus residential halls
  • Housing is within walking distance of classes
  • IFSA-Butler students live in single bedrooms with shared kitchen and bath facilities


Academic Structure

The American University Sharjah program is a semester or yearlong study abroad program. Students take 5 classes each semester, one of which must be an Arabic Language course. The remaining four classes can be from other departments with the understanding that courses are subject to space availability and any pre-requisites for a course are met.

Arabic Language Course

As a requirement of our program at American University Sharjah, all students must take an Arabic Language course (MSA) as part of their course load.


What departments can I study in?
Students can study in any of the departments listed below as long as they meet any pre-requisites the course might have and there is space in the course. Student complete a preliminary registration prior to their arrival at AUS.

Department options

Accounting, Aerospace Engineering, Arabic Language & Literature

Architecture, Art & Art History, Biology

Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry

Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science

Design, Economics, Education

Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Sciences

Film, Finance, Heritage Management

History, Interior Design, International Studies

Management, Management Information Systems

Marketing, Mass Communication, Math

Mechanical Engineering, Multimedia, Music

Petroleum Engineering, Philosophy, Physics

Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration

Sociology, Statistics, Theatre

Visual Communication (photography!), Women Studies (2 courses)

Where can I find courses?

  1. Go to the AUS Banner
  2. Select "Course Catalog" on the left-hand side of the page
  3. Select the term when you hope to be studying at AUS (if the term is not available, select the same term for the past year. Example; students going in the Fall 2012 would select the term Fall 2011 to see what courses were offered during the fall)
  4. Select the subject you wish to study in and click "Get Courses" on the bottom left hand side of the page. All the courses, with a brief description, will come up.

How do I know if a course has a pre-requisite?
Click on the course title (in blue) of the course you are interested in taking. The restrictions and pre-requisites of the course will be listed. Click on "return to search" to go back to the listing of courses or "new search" to begin a new search in other deparments.

Is there anything else I should know or consider when selecting courses?

  • 100 Level courses denote Freshman-level courses.
  • 200 Level courses denote Sophomore-level courses and are more advanced. Often have a prerequisite.
  • 300 & 400 Level courses denote Senior-level courses and are advanced and will have prerequistites.
  • Courses with a 00X number are preparatory courses and do not count towards graduation (they are intended for students with a deficiency in a specific subject area) and are not available for study abroad students to take.

Course Registration

You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. All students must take a total of 15 U.S. semester credit hours per semester. Each course is worth 3 U.S. semester credits and a student will take a total of 5 classes, one of which being an Arabic Language class, each semester.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or by AUS to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.


Students studying at the American University Sharjah will take five classes each semester for a total of 15 U.S. semester credit hours. Each class is worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours. Students studying abroad for the year at AUS will take five classes each semester for a total of 30 U.S. semester credit hours for the academic year.


Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record appeal for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned on the IFSA-Butler program at American University Sharjah. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Academic Statement

As part of your application to the program at AUS, you are required to write an academic statement. A well-written academic statement can make the difference between a regular application and an incredible one. American University Sharjah admits applicants who are driven, motivated and prepared for an academically rigorous semester. Writing a strong academic statement will strengthen your application and help differentiate you from other applicants.

Think of your statement as a college admissions essay. Your academic statement should be about 500 words and outline the reasons why you want to study at American University Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. A statement can be especially useful for providing additional information which is not immediately apparent from your transcript, but relevant to your application. You should discuss your reasons for wanting to study in the U.A.E. and why the program at UAS appeals to you.

Your statement should also describe how and why a study abroad semester AUS will assist you in achieving your academic, personal and professional goals.



Students will live in AUS residential halls. There are eight halls for males and four halls for females. While the halls are considered "on campus," a student will need to walk or ride a shuttle bus to get to their classes. AUS offers a shuttle bus service between the student residential halls and other areas of campus.

The residential halls at AUS are very comparable to the structure of American university residence halls with the use of Resident Assistants (R.A.'s) and Graduate Residents (G.R.'s). Rules and regulations and acceptable behavior are spelled out in clear language on the AUS web site. There is a Judicial Review Committee that oversees conduct infractions.

Residential halls are single sex: women's halls and men's halls are separated geographically as well as philosophically. Women's curfew is 10 p.m. and Men's curfew is midnight. Visitors are strictly monitored with visitors allowed into the common room areas only. Women and girls only can visit female halls while men and boys only can visit the male halls. Since both alcohol and drugs are illegal in Sharjah, students violating any of the rules regarding these substances will face legal action by the university, as well as by the Emirate.


Most residential halls are equipped with kitchenettes, which include refrigerators and hot plates. Many international franchise restaurants, coffee shops and snack services are located in the Student Center. Most of these outlets offer campus delivery service.

There are two Mini-Marts with a large variety of grocery items, fresh fruits and vegetables, and other household items. One is located in the Student Center and the other is at the Women's Welcome Center

Housing FAQs

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in Sharjah for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.

While all students will live in the Residential Halls of AUS, rooms may vary. Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring and year programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.

Can I arrange my own housing?
No. Independent housing is not possible on our American University Sharjah program.

What will my residential hall room be like?
Students studying at AUS will have semi-private rooms. This is a single occupancy bedroom but the bathroom and kitchenette are common with an adjoining student room. The room entrance door opens into the common area for access to the bathroom, kitchenette and the dorm corridor. Rooms have internet connections, which is not included in the accommodation cost. Students can arrange and pay for their internet connection once they are on campus.

Each bedroom normally contains a single bed, study desk, rolling chair, wardrobe, bedside table, Venetian blinds and air-conditioning unit. One quilt, pillow and a bed sheet set is also provided.

Every residential hall has a TV Lounge has a cable television with a channel line-up including major networks, CNN and a Movie Channel. The halls are generally equipped with a Computer Lab, Fitness Room, Laundry, Billiard and Baby Foot. The campus has a variety of fast food and diet corners created to suit various lifestyle and budget. Washers and dryers are located in each Residential Hall.

What might I find different about living in the residential hall at AUS?
One thing American students will find different is the very strictly enforced curfew policy for all resident students. Students must be in their residential hall by 12 midnight on weekdays (Sunday to Wednesday) and 1 a.m. on weekends (Thursday to Saturday).This is one of the important policies and all students should adhere to this for their own benefit.

Students must complete a Leave Form (located under the Forms tab), which must be completed by the parent/guardian and allows the resident student to stay overnight, outside the dormitories during weekends and public holidays. It is important to note that the student when leaving the dorm for the weekend or public holiday signs-out with the Dorm Supervisor and signs-in when he/she returns back.

All resident students are expected to sleep at the residential halls every night, except during official dorm closing periods. No leave is given during the week days. Students may only apply for leave on weekends if they have returned to completed Leave form.

Dress code for both male and female students is strictly enforced. A student will not be permitted to leave a residential hall if they are not dressed appropriately.

Quiet hours are from midnight to 7am, seven days a week

The use of drugs or alcohol is strictly PROHIBITED on campus and in the Emirate. If a student is found using either, he/she will face severe fines, imprisonment, and/or deportation.

To learn more about life in the residential halls, click here to visit the AUS Resident Hall website and to read the Rules and Regulations

Location Info

American University Sharjah

The campus is in Sharjah University City, closer to the Sharjah airport than the city center. There are buses that students can take from the dorms into the city of Sharjah and/or to Dubai to the Malls and supermarkets. The campus offers a number of services for students. For a full description, please click here.

AUS offers great opportunities to get involved and meet other students! Joining a club is the best way. Click here to find out about clubs and organizations at AUS.

AUS student handbook offers information on everything from the Student Code of Conduct and residential life regulations to information on clubs and support services is available in this guide. Click here to find out more!


With the location of Sharjah being so close to Dubai, students studying at AUS have the opportunity to explore two of the Emirates!

Dubai transportation
UAE News

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Dates...

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the date listed as “Program ends” on the calendar.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Sharjah, exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Fees...

What's included in our AUS program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

† Housing Deposit
This program requires a housing deposit of $300. This payment is in addition to the program fee but is due on the same date. The deposit is held separately from the program fee and should be paid separately. The deposit is refunded to the student after the program, less any damages, fines or outstanding debts in the student’s name.

Personal Cost Estimates

Please wait... Please wait - Loading Personal Costs...

Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students' experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.


Applicants to the program at American University Sharjah must complete three additional forms in addition to writing an Academic Statement (instructions for the statement can be found under the Academics tab). Please download, print and complete the following:

Remember, there is not a form for the Academic statement you need to submit. Regarding the completion of the AUS Leave form, please follow these instructions:

  1. Fill in your name only.
  2. Do NOT attach a photo (one of the 8 you are sending IFSA-Butler will be used on this form).
  3. Have your parent/guardian complete the Guardian Information Section.
  4. Do NOT complete any other part of the form. It will be completed with the necessary IFSA-Butler contact information before being submitting to AUS.

Your forms can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax, or regular mail. You can track which application forms IFSA-Butler has received by logging into the Student Portal.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program at the American University of Sharjarh:

A Wisconsin native, Program Advisor Kerry Springer has travelled and lived all over Asia, including studying abroad in Varanasi, teaching in Chennai, and carrying out fieldwork research in Pondicherry. Kerry holds two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. A foreign language enthusiast, she has both strong cross-cultural communication skills and first-hand insight into foreign educational systems, homestays, and student life abroad. Kerry looks forward to drawing on her own experiences in India to help IFSA-Butler and Alliance students make the most out of their endeavors across the Middle East and Asia.

beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 3077.


Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.


rhondaUpon return from your study abroad program, Assistant Director for Academic Records Rhonda Hinkle processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record appeals. Rhonda completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Evansville and received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University. Currently she is working on her Doctorate in Adult, Community and Higher Education at Ball State University. For Rhonda, study abroad not only increased her awareness of the world around her but also ignited her passion for travel and education. Rhonda can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4259.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program, check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in community work and volunteering? Click here to find out more about opportunities at AUS!


American University of Sharjah offers internships for international students in a variety of businesses and organizations. Most placements are in engineering, business and humanities, but other areas of interest may also be available. Interships replace one class at the university and are worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours.

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.