American University of Sharjah

image of American University of Sharjah
The American University of Sharjah in the Middle East is an independent, fully accredited institution serving a diverse student body from the region and around the world.
Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Language of Instruction: EnglishArabic
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Study in English at the American University of Sharjah
  • Paid internship opportunities for business students (see Life Abroad section for more information)
  • Students interested in Middle Eastern languages and culture have the option to take courses in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies

The American University of Sharjah in the Middle East is an independent, fully accredited institution serving a diverse student body from the region and around the world. Courses are taught in English giving students an opportunity to study in accredited programs like architecture (NAAB), business (AACSB), and engineering (ABET). Students are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous courses in Arabic language, literature, as well as Middle East culture, history and contemporary politics. Sharjah’s culture, firmly rooted in Islamic traditions, embraces courtesy and hospitality, making it a welcoming place to live and study. Students on the Exchange and Direct program will be fully immersed in regular University courses taught in English in a variety of fields while taking an Arabic language course.

The emirate of Sharjah is located between the emirate of Ajman to the North, and the emirate of Dubai to the South. Sharjah is located about two hours’ drive North of Abu Dhabi. Emirates Road E-311 (Shikh Mohamed BinZayed Road) connects Sharjah to Dubai (approximately 10 minutes drive) and to Ajman (approximately 10 minutes drive). The Emirate of Sharjah has shorelines situated on both the Arabian Gulf and on the Indian Ocean side of the Arabian Peninsula.

Sharjah has been designated as Capital of Arab Tourism for 2015 by the Arab Council of Tourism Ministers in addition to being named the 2014 Capital of Islamic Culture by the Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture (ISESCO). Previously, Sharjah was awarded the 1998 UNESCO Cultural Capital Award for the Arab World. The Ruler of Sharjah places a very strong emphasis on education and cultural preservation through University City and a wide range of museums. Sharjah is one of the more conservative emirates, with a dress code requiring that both men and women cover their shoulders and legs to below the knee, and avoid wearing revealing/low cut/transparent clothing. There are no alcohol or pork products available in Sharjah.

Sharjah has a wide range of cultural offerings, including traditional souks (the Blue Souk, Fish Souk, Vegetable Souk, Bird and Animal Souk, Plant Souk, etc.), Heritage Village areas, a working port loaded with traditional Dhow fishing vessels, etc.

Additionally, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) provides regular bus service to and from the Rashidiya Station of the Dubai Metro System. Taxis are readily available throughout Sharjah and the other emirates. There are also other transportation options available on campus.

Arts & Sciences: English Language and Literature, international studies with concentrations in international relations, international economics, Arab studies or Western studies, mass communication with concentrations in advertising, print journalism or public relations, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences with concentrations in biology and ecosystems, or environmental chemistry and analysis, Mathematics; Engineering: Chemical, civil, computer, computer science, electrical, mechanical; Business & Management: Economics, public administration, business administration with accounting, economics, finance, management, management information systems, marketing; Architecture & Design: Architecture, interior design, design management, multimedia design, visual communication.

All university departments are open to incoming ISEP students, provided students have the appropriate prerequisites to register for courses. Please check the Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog for further information. Courses requiring labs (engineering) or studio (architecture, design) may not be available to exchange students due to seating limitations.

Please be aware that the Fall schedule of courses is typically uploaded to the Banner system in early March each year, and the Spring courses are typically uploaded in approximately mid-October each year.  If a student finds that courses for their study abroad semester are not yet uploaded, they can review prior Fall/Spring course schedules for a reasonable estimate of the courses that will be available in future Fall/Spring semesters (e.g. if studying abroad in Spring 2018, and the courses for Spring 2018 have not yet been uploaded to the Banner system, the student could check Spring 2017 for a close approximation of courses that will be offered in Spring 2018). Students can view the Programs and Departments section for information on courses offered by major.

ISEP Exchange students are housed in double rooms with shared kitchenette and bathrooms. Students receive a meal stipend to purchase food to cook in their residencies from grocery stores (mini marts) or buy meals at restaurants on campus.

ISEP Direct students are also housed on campus; tuition and housing are included in the program cost. Students will be responsible for providing their own meals. Food approximate estimate: AED 380 (~$103) per week and AED 7220 ($1962) for a semester (19 weeks)


A customized orientation program will be delivered by the International Exchange Office (IXO) to cover specific information relevant to exchange students. The IXO orientation will span three days. The first will be geared towards familiarizing students with AUS and will cover practical and essential topics such as: health services, campus security and safety, cultural considerations (e.g. dress code, male-female interaction), academic terms and issues, IT Department support, public relations (concerning passports and visas), student clubs and organizations, library and campus tour, academic codes of conduct, banking, etc. The second day will focus on the practicalities of setting up a bank account, getting student IDs, signing up for sports activities, and touring the library. Finally, the third day will focus on familiarizing students with Sharjah (and how to get around). There will be activities and outings throughout the orientation week, including the weekend.

Arrival Details

Airport pickup provided. Students must provide arrival information to host coordinator six weeks in advance.

Student Activities

AUS has approximately 70 student organizations and clubs for students to participate in, 33 of which are cultural clubs (e.g. Emirati Club, Iranian Club, etc). A wide range of cultural events are available for students. AUS maintains a Sports Complex, and a varied Athletic program with aprox. 21 sports teams. The International Exchange Office plans a schedule of exchange student activities each semester.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)

AUS has a Community Service Division through which students can be involved in a wide range of community service projects. For on-campus volunteer opportunities, students can get involved with the Achievement Academy, which offers professional development enhancement, English language skills development, and a university preparation program.

Internship Opportunity for Business Students

Daimler, worldwide automotive company, has several 6-month paid internship opportunities at its regional location, Daimler Middle East & Levant. The regional office, located in Dubai, is responsible for the emerging markets throughout the Middle East and Levant region. With internship positions in the Human Resources department, the Sales & Marketing team, and the Regional Logistics Center, among others, these opportunities are great for business administration students to participate in after the completion of their semester at AUS. Interested students should contact the ISEP Coordinator upon placement at AUS.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Contact Kaitlyn Johnson at for more information.

Further information on programs can be found on the ISEP Website.