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Programs : Brochure

This is the program brochure page.
Program Description


CIEE Sharjah students
Photo courtesy of CIEE

   Quick Facts

  • Study alongside students from 80 nations at a cutting-edge university that combines traditional Gulf culture with a U.S.-style education
  • Improve your Arabic language skills while exploring the UAE’s role as a global hub for trade, business, and cultural exchange
  • Take innovative courses in social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, business, engineering, architecture, and Middle Eastern studies
  • Explore the UAE through CIEE excursions to Dubai, Al-Ain, and Abu Dhabi, and participate in various student clubs and organizations


CIEE Sharjah skylinePhoto courtesy of CIEE

Location Details

The Emirate of Sharjah, with a population of approximately 680,000, is located next to the Emirate of Dubai. It prides itself as the “cultural capital” of the UAE and offers a range of museums, traditional souks (markets), and theaters. Sharjah was lately named the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014 in recognition of its remarkable contributions in preserving, promoting and disseminating culture at local, Arab and Islamic levels. Although Sharjah developed rapidly under British rule in the 19th century, it has maintained its traditional Muslim values while developing its regional trade relationships. Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad al-Qassimi has ruled Sharjah since 1972. A mere 40 minutes from the center of Dubai and its high-paced, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Sharjah provides a comfortable and relatively quiet environment for exploring Gulf culture.

Visa Information

U.S. citizens will require a visa* to participate on this program. Limited information about the visa application process may be provided by the ASU Study Abroad Office and/or your host institution, but it is your sole responsibility to research, apply, and secure a visa. Failure to obtain a visa may result in your inability to participate and, ultimately, your withdrawal from the program, subject to the terms of the Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy.

Consult this page for additional information regarding visas.  If you need assistance securing a U.S. Passport, visit the ASU U.S. Passport Acceptance Office in Tempe.

PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for non U.S. citizens may differ from those for U.S. citizens; students who are not U.S. citizens are advised to contact their International Coordinator and begin independently researching the visa requirements for their nationality as soon as possible.

*At the time of writing. This information is subject to change without notice; students should independently confirm this requirement with the relevant consulate/embassy.


Academic Program & Courses

The CIEE Business, Engineering, Arts, and Sciences program in Sharjah is designed to combine Arabic language and Middle Eastern and Gulf studies courses with electives in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, business, engineering, and other direct enrollment courses at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). Studying alongside students from various corners of the Arab World provides students with the opportunity to experience different perspectives and ideas within an academic environment and structure based on a U.S. university system. The AUS business, engineering, and architecture programs have U.S. accreditation. Most of the Arabic language courses are designed for nonnative speakers and focus on modern standard Arabic.

All study abroad students are required to take an Arabic language course, one elective with a Gulf or Middle Eastern focus, and three additional elective courses.

Some areas of study that may be of interest to students:

  • Arabic Literature
  • International Studies
  • Middle Eastern studies
  • Political Science
  • Women's Studies
  • Engineering

More information about courses is available on CIEE's website here.

Glossary of Terms:
100 Level Courses = 1st year courses
200 Level Courses = 2nd year courses
300 Level Courses = 3rd year courses
400-500 Level Courses = 4th year courses

Access a list of courses other ASU students have taken and view current course equivalencies.

CIEE Sharjah AUS

CIEE Sharjah AUS
Photo courtesy of CIEE


CIEE Sharjah housing photo
Photo courtesy of CIEE blogger M. Yamanaka

Program Housing

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. Students share double rooms in AUS on-campus residence halls. Residence hall facilities are gender segregated, although women and men may interact freely in most other buildings on campus. Most rooms include a small kitchenette and bathroom facilities. Each residence hall also offers shared kitchens, computer labs, exercise rooms, laundry rooms, and other common facilities.

Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Meals may be prepared in the residence halls or eaten at restaurants, cafeterias, and cafés on campus. There are also several restaurants in the neighborhood that deliver to the campus in addition to two convenience stores on campus.

Special Considerations

Below you will find information that may help you in planning for your study abroad experience. Early discussions and planning can help to support you in having a positive experience abroad. We invite you to meet with the International Coordinator for this program to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Physical Considerations

Study abroad participants may find themselves walking or taking public transit abroad more frequently than they are accustomed at their home campus.

Disability Accommodations Abroad

Individuals with disabilities can and do study abroad, but may find accessibility and accommodation in one of more of this program’s locations very different from the United States. 

In general, the Study Abroad Office cannot guarantee access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites on this program. Any student who anticipates needing any kind of special accommodation due to a disability should contact the ASU Study Abroad Office early in the planning process to investigate the availability of accommodations (including accessible facilities) on this specific program. Contact the Disability Resource Center and your Disability Access Consultant to include them in the discussion; be sure to give your Disability Access Consultant permission to speak with the Study Abroad Office on your behalf. You can find additional information and resources on our Students with Disabilities page.

LGBTQIA Students Abroad

Students of diverse sexual orientations or gender identities will find that the social climate, laws, and norms of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer student - or if you are still exploring your identity - you may face unique challenges when traveling abroad. For example, in the UAE the law criminalizes same sex relationships and sexual activities. Penalties for homosexual activities may include fines and imprisonment. Under interpretations of sharia law, punishment can be severe. LGBTQIA students should exercise caution while traveling in the UAE.

We encourage students who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community to visit the U.S. Department of State website for helpful information about laws and attitudes in this program’s locations, including pre-travel tips and advice on staying safe while abroad. You can find additional information and resources on our LGBTQIA Students page.

Gender Identity Abroad

When traveling abroad, you may find different gender roles and norms than you’re used to. It’s possible that you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on your (or their) gender identity. For example, in the UAE non-binary gender expression can be a punishable offense. 

You can find additional information and resources on our Gender Identity Abroad page.

Racial and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

Students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may encounter unique challenges transitioning from life here in the United States to life as a student living abroad, including but not limited to access to personal care products and services.

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may experience by researching the ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations. We encourage students to start that research on our Racial and Ethnic Minority Students page.


Cost Information

Partnership program participants will NOT pay ASU tuition for the courses completed abroad. Instead, participants will pay a Program Fee as a condition of participation. Partnership program participants are also responsible for paying a non-refundable $50 Application Fee, in addition to the published Program Fee. All other costs associated with participation in the program are the responsibility of the individual student.

Be sure to reference the Fall Semester Cost Sheet, Spring Semester Cost Sheet, or Academic Year Cost Sheet for information on any additional estimated expenses.

The program may allow for time which can be spent in non-program activities. Participants may wish to travel, sightsee or participate in activities or events in which they have a personal interest. Please note that the participant is fully responsible for making arrangements and for all costs of transportation, lodging, food and additional expenses that may be associated with any non-Program activities.


Funding Your Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is an investment in your future, which requires careful planning and management. However, the personal, academic, and professional rewards that you will gain from this experience will last a lifetime. You should carefully consider costs, budgets and financing when selecting and preparing for your experience abroad. If you have questions at any step of the process, we encourage you to reach out to your International Coordinator for guidance.

Steps to Financing Your Study Abroad Program

  1. Review the Considering Costs Table for a general overview and cost comparison of popular programs.
  2. Be sure to reference the Fall Semester Cost SheetSpring Semester Cost Sheet, or Academic Year Cost Sheet to find a breakdown of program expenses.
  3. Attend a Financing Your Study Abroad Workshop.
  4. Consider your Financial Aid options.
  5. Search and Apply for Scholarships and Grants.
  6. Exhaust your options by exploring Additional Funding Resources including our Community-Based Funding Guide.
  7. View our  Financing Your Study Abroad Program Handbook for more information, including Payment Information.

Unique Funding Opportunities for This Program



Dates & Deadlines
Dates & Deadlines
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2020 03/01/2020
Rolling Admission 08/20/2020 12/22/2020
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.
Academic Year 2020-2021 03/01/2020
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed in host institution acceptance materials.
Spring Semester 2021 09/25/2020 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Do not purchase airfare until dates are confirmed by the Study Abroad Office and/or in any host institution acceptance materials.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision tasks prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed