AUS students making homes away from home in university's residential halls
Starting university is a major life change for any individual. However, for those new university students who also need to relocate away from their families for the first time, the impacts of this change are magnified.
Those tasked with managing the residential halls at American University of Sharjah (AUS) are well aware of this and spend much time and effort making students comfortable in their new surroundings. Incoming students are given a comprehensive orientation for their life on campus, with many social events organized in the initial days and weeks so that students can quickly form deep friendships, lasting throughout their university years and beyond.
Safety and support are two key areas of which students residing in the halls, and their parents, can be assured. Security personnel are located in the halls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents access their buildings via a 24 hour access card, ensuring only students who live in the building can enter. In addition, Resident Assistants (RAs) reside in the halls to help students transition easily into campus life. RAs are senior AUS students who have passed through a rigorous selection process, selected for their ability to provide leadership in the halls and guide students in their academic and extracurricular pursuits at AUS.
For students, life in the residential halls has many benefits that extend beyond the social realm. Being in close proximity to their classes, along with AUS facilities such as the library, sports complex and restaurants, is a major benefit for many students living on campus.
"I chose to live in the halls to be close to the university and experience a sense of community with other students", said computer engineering first-year student Qusai Al Tah. "Living in the halls has given me numerous opportunities to connect with other students, make new friends, and engage in extracurricular activities. It has also allowed me to easily access resources such as the library, computer labs and fitness center."
Such benefits are seeing the majority of students who live in the residential halls choosing to reside in the halls for the duration of their degree program. In a recent survey conducted by the AUS Office of Student Affairs, over 80 percent of respondents living in the halls said that they were keen to continue living in the halls until the completion of their studies.
Current resident of the halls Khalid Aldamasi,a computer science student, gave some reasons why so many of the students living in the halls chose to live there for the entirety of their AUS experience.
"I have been living in the AUS residential halls since the first day of university. Living in the halls is the best option for me as the rooms are extremely comfortable and I have a sense of security and well-being here. I would recommend living in the AUS residential halls to all AUS students," Khalid said.
Parents of students living in the halls reiterate the benefits campus living brings to students. Fatima E.H. Payamps, the mother of two current students living on campus, said:
"We have found numerous benefits to our daughter from living on campus at AUS. The experience has provided her with a sense of independence and responsibility. It has allowed her to navigate college life on her own, manage her time effectively, and make important decisions. The residential halls offer a safe and secure environment, ensuring her well-being and giving us peace of mind as parents."
"Living in the residential hall adds value to the student's holistic experience on campus. Because of the convenience, safety and mentorship available to students who choose to live on campus, students are better able to participate in a myriad of activities that will enhance their success while at AUS and beyond,” said Dr. Lisa Moscaritolo, Executive Director of Student Experience at AUS.
Students starting AUS in Fall 2023 can still apply to live in the campus residential halls by visiting w.aus.edu/kt/rh. Undergraduate students and Achievement Academy/Bridge Program students in their first two semesters of study at AUS will receive a 50 percent discount on the student housing fee.