Sharjah (UAE): Joining an American system of higher education may be a challenge for some students if they are unfamiliar with the style of education, the grading system or the unique campus life an American education offers. To help freshmen adjust to their first year, American University of Sharjah(AUS), among the world's top 440 universities, has developed and launched a new eBook today, May 5, on How to Survive Your First Year at an American University in the MENA Region. As part of a thought leadership series of eBooks aimed at engaging the community through various outreach initiatives, the eBook identifies elements that will help students become acclimated to their new surroundings and have a successful first year, thereby setting a solid foundation for the rest of their time at university.
Topics addressed in the eBook include explanations of the American educational grading system, an overview of the academic integrity and honor code, and the concept of academic probation. It encourages students not to take for granted the importance of attending classes. It also emphasizes that they should manage their time and take advantage of the academic and support services provided by their university.
The eBook also helps students with life outside the classroom, from encouraging them to participate in extracurricular activities, to stressing the importance of maintaining their health and staying fit, to helping them manage their spending. Most American universities have on-campus counselling services and students are encouraged to use these if they find themselves unable to cope with their new surroundings.
“It has always been important for AUS to become a strong and stable bridge between academia and society,” said Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, Acting Chancellor of AUS. “This eBook is a tangible part of our university’s strategic mission to play a significant outreach role in our community as well as beyond our immediate borders. We are confident that this initiative will help equip our current and future students with the requisite tools to make their university experience truly fulfilling and successful,” he added.
"This eBook speaks to senior high school students and highlights keys areas they will need to become familiar with in order to successfully complete their first year. It places emphasis not only on their studies but also on personal, social and cultural growth during their first semester,” said Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management at AUS. "We want students to know what to expect when they join an American university in the MENA region, and we want to help them prepare and successfully navigate this life-changing transition.
The eBook also provides advice on applying for on-campus jobs as well as advice on the possibility of early internship opportunities available. It encourages students to understand local traditions and familiarize themselves with their surroundings, from the new campus to the city they are living in.
As an important part of AUS’s strategic mission, the ultimate objective of the eBook is to help close the gap between secondary and tertiary education by preparing high school students and advising their parents and school counselors on important factors that they may face during their academic journey.