Life at AUS
After the exchange students settled into the dorms and were introduced to each other, we started to get to know the students on campus. I met my roomie, Touleen. We have semi-private rooms, which means we each have our own rooms, but share a kitchen and a bathroom. It’s a really nice setup. The only downside to the dorms that students, especially from the West, may notice is that there are a lot of rules. The curfew is midnight on weekdays and 1:00 AM on the weekends, which are thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the UAE and most of the Middle East. Alcohol is also completely forbidden in Sharjah, and therefore, on campus.
The UAE is a very diverse place, though. Sharjah is a very conservative emirate, perhaps the most conservative of the seven emirates. Dubai, however, is well-known for being a vacation oasis in the center of the Gulf. There is everything to do in Dubai, including swimming, snorkeling, skydiving over the Palm, going to concerts, snowboarding, skiing, and it also has a lively night scene. The clubs are full of people from all over the world, and range from scenes such as beachside to a view from 123 stories up in the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai also has some of the biggest malls in the world. Dubai Mall is famous for being the largest mall in the world. It has many Western shops, including Forever 21, Express, Bebe, etc., but there are also a lot of Arabic shops and restaurants, where you can eat Lebanese, Egyptian, or Gulf cuisine, as well as get a tailor-made abaya. The Dubai Mall is also home to Ski Dubai — an indoor ski course that even has a ski lift — and an aquarium.