New York University Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE: When NYU Abu Dhabi first opened its gates for students in the United Arab Emirates, most were skeptical. It is not uncommon for international universities to set up branches in the UAE, but this one stood out. Year after year, NYUAD became more and more important and known in the country and internationally, and now, as a high school junior, it is at the top of my college list. Earlier this year, I ­attended the university’s open day to find out ­exactly what makes it special.
I was first struck by the simplicity of NYUAD’s downtown campus. Located in a busy area of Abu Dhabi, the campus is small but practical. The building is painted NYU’s traditional purple, and is in a U formation; in the middle, a garden is visible. The university will be moving to its permanent campus on Saadiyat Island this year, however. This campus will boast numerous buildings, one of the biggest libraries in the region, and unique facilities.
Currently, students live on Al-Reem Island, one of the many islands in Abu Dhabi famous for its spacious towers and projects. Dorms include study spaces and facilities such as gyms and eating areas. The dorm building is where many activities take place, such as dance classes, exercise groups, and, during NaNoWriMo last year, write-ins. On-campus dorms will be available when the university moves to its Saadiyat Island campus.
At every event during my visit, and in every corner of the university, the importance of the liberal arts curriculum was apparent. Student interests ranged from recycling to visual arts, and the library contained everything from never-­before seen 3-D printers to old, historical books.
Education at NYUAD is central, and it is what truly sets the university apart. With majors that are uncommon in the Middle East and the option to pursue concentrations rather than minors, NYUAD diplomas are very sought-after. Its Humanities and Social Sciences departments distinguish NYUAD. Students are encouraged to spend a few semesters abroad at NYU’s international campuses, and exploration of courses unrelated to one’s major is encouraged.
My visit to NYUAD and the information I received left me very impressed. I believe that those with a passion for knowledge and the determination to work hard while enjoying everything Abu Dhabi and NYUAD have to offer should definitely look into this university. All in all, NYUAD is definitely a place to consider. Learn more on their website: