“When the American University of Beirut announced the date of the opening of their campus in Cyprus, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore further. The idea of studying at AUB Mediterraneo intrigued me, and here I am now, enjoying this exciting educational journey,” says Aya El Saoudi. Aya, who is from Lebanon, is one of 53 students who are currently enrolled at the American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo (AUB Mediterraneo) in Pafos, Cyprus. They are all members of the first cohort of students who began their academic journeys in fall 2023.
The 53 students come from 12 countries: Cyprus, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, UAE, and the US. The students are also diverse in terms of their nationalities: Brazilian, Cypriot, Egyptian, Ethiopian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Nigerian, Pakistani, Russian, South African, Syrian, and Vietnamese. They are enrolled in seven undergraduate and master’s academic degree programmes: BA in philosophy, politics, and economics; BS in psychology; BS in computer science; BS in industrial engineering; a BBA in management; and an MS in engineering management and MS in business analytics. “This is just the beginning,” says AUB Mediterraneo Rector Wassim El-Hajj. “We are planning to grow the number of students – and the number of degree programmes – over the next 10 years with the goal of reaching 2,000 students by 2033.” In addition to offering academic degree programmes to a growing number of students from around the world, AUB Mediterraneo will also become a research hub, focusing especially on sustainability and technology, and host activities and events that are open to the community.
All of the academic programmes at AUB Mediterraneo are accredited by the Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education (CYQAA) and recognised in the US, so students can be assured that the degree they earn at AUB Mediterraneo will be accepted globally.
One of the big attractions of AUB Mediterraneo is that it is a twin campus of the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Beirut, Lebanon, which was established in 1866 and is celebrated for its commitment to freedom of thought and expression, tolerance, and respect for diversity and dialogue. Throughout its history, AUB has been, as AUB President Fadlo R. Khuri noted recently, “A powerful, vibrant, and safe space for freedom of thought, for creativity, and most especially for hope for a better tomorrow.” All AUB Mediterraneo students will spend some time at the stunning and stimulating AUB campus in Beirut. AUB Mediterraneo will also welcome AUB students to Pafos.
Students are also attracted to AUB Mediterraneo by AUB’s standing in world university rankings; the opportunity to live in Europe – and in Pafos, Cyprus, in particular; and the availability of generous scholarship support. All 53 students enrolled at AUB Mediterraneo in 2023-24 are receiving financial assistance covering from 20 per cent to 100 per cent of the cost of tuition. “We will be offering equally generous financial assistance to students who join us in fall 2024,” says Dr. Alain Daou, who is the dean of the AUB Mediterraneo Faculty of Business.
Although the 53 students are a diverse group, there are no differences between them when it comes to how they feel about living in Pafos. Iakovos Ioannou, who is majoring in computer science, grew up in Pafos and so knows the city well.
“Throughout the years of living here I have developed a deep appreciation for every aspect of my hometown. For fellow students, I can confidently say that Pafos is an exceptionally safe and interesting place to reside,” he says. Iakovos also enjoys the proximity of “numerous archaeological sites and beautiful beaches.”
Aya agrees. “Pafos is a great place to live. The flat terrain makes it ideal for easy and fun exploration. The Mediterranean climate also provides beautiful weather, ideal for walking at any time of the day,” she says. Aya is also enthusiastic about the MS program in business analytics (MSBA) that she is pursuing at AUB Mediterraneo. “The curriculum is comprehensive, allowing me to expand my knowledge and expertise in business analytics. The supportive environment and dedicated faculty make the learning experience truly enriching,” she says.
Sajed Abdalla, who hails from Egypt and is pursuing a BS in industrial engineering, was intrigued when he heard about AUB’s new campus in Pafos. He is glad he made the decision to enroll. Sajed is thoroughly enjoying the opportunity “to collaborate with skilled professors and peers in a supportive learning environment.” Mitchelle Ogheneserome Amarie, who traveled to Pafos from Nigeria and is majoring in business, says that AUB Mediterraneo “is a very student-inclined school with state-of-the-art facilities… My experience so far has been second to none,” she reports.
In addition to taking courses in their major, all AUB Mediterraneo undergraduate students also take general education courses in subjects like ethics, academic English, and quantitative thought. “This is a critical component of what we are offering at AUB Mediterraneo,” says El-Hajj. “It is these courses that students take outside their major that enable them to develop critical skills that they will be able to use not just in their careers, but in their lives as well – skills such as critical thinking, how to solve complex problems, digital literacy, quantitative reasoning, and how to communicate effectively.” Another important aspect of student life at AUB Mediterraneo is getting involved with the local community. Students have already participated in blood donation drives and beach clean-ups. They also took part in the Oxi Day parade in Pafos on October 28.
AUB Mediterraneo offers student accommodation and will soon be erecting a sports facility. Work is also under way on a new state-of-the-art campus on the site of the Carob Mill Warehouses where it will welcome all students in fall 2024. It’s a stunning location, a short distance from the center of Pafos and from the Mediterranean Sea. The sustainable campus, which will feature skylights, extensive greenery, and photovoltaic panels, is being designed around a central open green space – a design that is inspired by the AUB campus in Beirut, Lebanon. “Our new campus will enhance the student experience, which our students are already enjoying enormously,” says El-Hajj.
For more information, visit www.aubmed.ac.cy
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