SHARJAH, 6th January, 2022 (WAM) — American University of Sharjah (AUS) is set to welcome its new undergraduate students for Spring 2022 at a virtual event on Friday, January 7, offering them an opportunity to connect with key university officials in interactive sessions and visit a virtual resource fair showcasing the many academic and extracurricular opportunities and support services available at AUS.
The event marks the start of orientation week, which will be held online this semester from January 7 to 15. The decision to hold orientation week virtually follows a recent UAE Ministry of Education directive recommending educational institutions shift to online operations for the first two weeks of January in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
AUS will hold a special online orientation event for its new graduate students on January 12. The orientation program is designed to help students make the best start to their AUS journey.
“Our new undergraduate students experience orientation in two phases. Pre-orientation started in December 2021 offered new students time to complete important tasks and connect with others in the AUS community early. During orientation week, students will meet their peer leaders, and attend sessions on university policies, the AUS First Year Experience Program, library services, financial and technical assistance, college/school orientation and other activities. Throughout this period, students can visit the Orientation Portal for more information or assistance. We encourage admitted students to attend all scheduled orientation events to get ready for a smooth start of their university studies,” said Ali Shuhaimy, Executive Director of Enrollment Management.
Incoming students will be guided throughout orientation week by their peer leaders, who are seasoned AUS students trained to help new students transition into university life.
“Many students feel that they are alone or isolated when they first join university, which is very natural. Our role as peer leaders is to connect students with each other and inform them about the opportunities the university has to offer, whether in academia or in extracurricular activities. We remind them about important university deadlines, introduce them to scholarship possibilities, explain the various educational opportunities and make sure they are aware of student activities. While we work with new students during orientation week, we are also available to provide help once classes start,” said Khaled Khawaja, a fourth-year architecture major and peer leader.
Throughout the year, new students can benefit from the AUS First Year Experience (FYE) Program, a university-wide collaborative effort that aims to help first-year students develop study and self-care skills. Through workshops and other resources, the FYE program helps students learn how to balance their academic responsibilities and social life, and how to make meaningful connections with the university community.
One such resource is the FYE Chats podcast, produced by the AUS FYE Program. This podcast includes candid conversations with AUS community members (students, staff, faculty, alumni and parents) that help new students learn more about what it looks like to thrive in the AUS community. In addition, the student-led Tea with Gen Z podcast explores current affairs, provides insights into the university community, and discusses subjects exclusive to student life. Both podcasts ranked number one in the UAE last year under the category of “How to” on Apple podcasts.
Dr. Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, Executive Director of Student Experience, encouraged students to make the most of these opportunities.
“Orientation is vital for all students for two important reasons. It is an opportunity to connect with other new students as well as with continuing students who are there to mentor them. It’s also when they learn about the resources and the people who are part of the AUS community to help them be successful. My best advice is to not miss any sessions, especially the sessions with their peer leaders and student orientation group. I would also advise students to follow the Office of Student Affairs Instagram page @OSA_AUS to learn about available opportunities with the university and other community partners that will enrich their college experience,” said Dr. Moscaritolo.