Global Education

Global education is an essential component of NYU Abu Dhabi’s educational mission and curriculum. It is realized through a careful sequence of interrelated academic and intercultural experiences over four years that foster greater intercultural understanding towards social responsibility — globally and locally. These experiences are designed to advance students’ ability to:

  • respect, engage, and negotiate difference toward greater common ground and common good;
  • and act with ethical intelligence as responsible, local citizens and leaders in communities they engage in the UAE, abroad, and at home. 

Just as the development of critical thinking skills is not produced in one course but through a process of intellectual and social maturation over multiple years, a global education is not the product of a single experience abroad or more general traveling. It is cultivated through well-guided, iterative interactions with otherness. It is produced through bringing critical reflection and disciplined analysis to those experiences. It manifests in the ability to ask and respond to questions of global human significance with an ever more unprejudiced mind.    

Students visit Qasr Al Hosn Abu Dhabi.
Students visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
J-Term in Sydney, Australia.


Through the network of academic centers and portal campuses that constitute global NYU, students have the benefit of resources, intellectual circles, research centers, and place-based learning that is not available in Abu Dhabi (or any other single site) but is essential to training globally minded, action-oriented leaders and humanitarians. The carefully constructed learning environments abroad are laboratories as important within the liberal arts and sciences’ context as a state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory, an art studio, or a biological field station. These are study abroad laboratories for producing higher levels of reflective judgment, intercultural sensitivity, and skills of cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, and peacemaking.

In collaboration with divisions and offices at NYUAD, an even broader stage is set for global education at NYUAD through an admissions process that brings together students from a broad range of national and cultural backgrounds, a core curriculum that provides theoretical framing for understanding the most significant questions for humanity through a broadly global lens, student life programming that fosters intercultural communication, and local community engagement through volunteer, internship, and undergraduate research opportunities. From this important academic grounding in Abu Dhabi, NYUAD moves students into the broader global context through study away semesters, J-Terms abroad, summer internships and undergraduate research, and regional academic programs, and helps them bring back to NYUAD and the UAE the benefit of that learning abroad.

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