More than 1,100 new students, who will be joining American University of Sharjah (AUS) as freshmen, attended a special Welcome Session held at the university on Friday, August 23. The event preceded orientation week and was aimed at giving the incoming freshmen a comprehensive understanding of the university and to acclimate them to life at AUS. This Fall’s enrollees comprise the top 20 percent of their high school classes. The freshmen will begin attending classes when the Fall 2019 semester commences on September 1.
During the Welcome Session, AUS Chancellor Professor Kevin Mitchell, congratulated the new students at the event and welcomed them on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah.
“The incoming class of Fall 2019 has a very strong academic profile and we are looking forward to the ways in which you will contribute to the diverse academic community that you are joining. AUS students benefit from direct engagement with highly qualified full-time faculty and I would encourage you to take advantage of the full range of opportunities available to you, including the varied extra- and co-curricular programs that distinguish the university.”
The Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Juan Sanchez, then addressed the students and their parents and spoke about what would be expected of the new students during their time at AUS:
“You have been carefully selected for admission to AUS with the expectation that you will be able succeed in an environment that places high value on excellence. In fact, you are expected to show your ability to succeed in an environment that may differ in significant ways from your previous experience. You will encounter new methods of teaching, high expectations with regard to your independent and analytical thinking, increased demands on your communication skills and, in addition to all of that, you will have to responsibly manage a number of competing demands on your time.”
He also encouraged students to take advantage of all the resources the university has to offer to achieve their personal and professional goals and aspirations.
Conducting the Welcome Session, Ali Shuhaimy, Executive Director for Enrollment Management, congratulated the students on beginning the next phase of their academic career. Addressing the parents, he said:
“We appreciate the confidence you have shown in our university by choosing to enroll your daughter or son at AUS. Our commitment to the success of our students is evidenced by their achieved stature in the community. Our graduates enjoy the advantage of being in the forefront of employers’ selection. Moreover, their demonstrated competencies at the work place, resonates well with the remarkable ranking position AUS achieved in a short period of time.”
Shuhaimy also told the newly admitted students that representing the top 20 percent scorers of their schools was an achievement that proved their academic competency and that AUS would provide all the support needed to pave the way for them to continue achieving their goals.
To emphasize the importance of academic integrity, new students made a commitment to ethical responsibility, honor, and mutual respect by signing the university’s Academic Integrity Pledge.
Abdulrahman Aljanahi, the Student Council President, also shared his personal experiences with the new students, giving them advice on adjusting to life at AUS. He encouraged the students to seek the support of the Student Council:
“We exist to listen to your concerns, harbor your rights as students, solve your problems effectively, and enrich student life at AUS. It is our duty to listen and act on what you say.”
This semester, 39 international exchange students from Malta, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Swaziland and the USA, will also be joining the university. AUS is known throughout the region for its multicultural campus environment, with 94 nationalities comprising its student body, as of Fall 2018.
A week-long schedule of on and off campus festivities and events has been organized for the new students, including a dinner reception and library tour, Sharjah and Dubai city tours.