The intellectual challenges I face here make me feel like I am becoming a better me everyday. Law school forces you to think in different ways about issues you might have never questioned before.
Winter days in Germany might be dark, but the future looks incredibly bright for NYU Abu Dhabi alumnus Mohamed Al Mubarak. Born in raised in Abu Dhabi, Al Mubarak admits he may have taken the daily sunshine for granted now that he’s studying for his master’s in global history at Humboldt University in Berlin.
“I was shocked … to look up and not know if it’s morning or the night. I lived my whole life trying to escape the sun and now I’m grasping at it!”
Despite the weather, Humboldt was the obvious choice for graduate school, he says, thanks to guidance from NYU Abu Dhabi faculty and researchers who were instrumental in helping him move his academic career forward. “I’m blessed that I’ve been able to create all these relationships. Everyone pointed to Berlin.”
Al Mubarak, a double major in history and Arab Crossroads Studies, is just one of 60 students from the Class of 2018 who chose to continue their education after commencement. They’re spread around schools in 14 different countries, most are going for a PhD, or master’s in science or arts, a few are pursuing medical and law degrees.
NYU Abu Dhabi’s placement rate in graduate schools rivals the world’s top Ivy league schools including Yale, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton. At Oxford, alumna Maitha Al Memari is studying public policy, and hopes her work on education reform will “empower youth through knowledge and character development.” Al Memari, like her classmate in Berlin, is also from Abu Dhabi. They are among the 67 percent of their classmates who didn’t return to their home country after graduation.
“It requires hard work and dedication,” adds alumni Nghiem Huynh, currently studying for his PhD in economics at Yale University. “The risks I took allowed me to find the right path that led me to where I am today.” At NYUAD, Huynh was a double major in economics and math.
The Career Development Center (CDC) at NYU Abu Dhabi says a huge part of any student’s decision to go to graduate school is whether or not they secure funding. At NYU Abu Dhabi, the statistics are impressive, and not by accident.
“77 percent of students from the Class of 2018 who got into graduate school were awarded funding, and 67 percent got offers from more than one school,” says Hazel Raja, assistant dean of students and director of the CDC, which helps students research the best schools and put together their application. “The key is for seniors to prepare early and ask for help.”