Switching Paths

A liberal arts education at NYU Abu Dhabi gives you flexibility while you explore different fields, say students Saif Alkhoori and Vasare Kripaite.

Saif Alkhoori and Vasare Kripaite, both in NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021.

By Saif AlKhoori, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021 

I had joined NYU Abu Dhabi with the hopes to pursue a major in Economics. During my first year, I decided to take a class called Climate Change Law and Policy with Adjunct Professor Shakeel Kazmi. It changed my trajectory as my interest in the Legal Studies major stemmed from taking this class. I finished the class with a sharper and more critical mind that was intrigued by how essential law is to tackle many complex global issues such as climate change.

I remembered sitting with Professor Kazmi in his office, discussing my possible plans in the future with the Legal Studies minor program — the major was not launched at that time. Professor Kazmi introduced me to the Program Head of the Legal Studies Professor John Coughlin. It was from Professor Coughlin that I learned about the imminent launch of the major at NYUAD, as well as the department’s efforts to develop the “London Track” for Law student to take two semesters in London where they would be exposed to the English common law.


A year later, I found myself among the first batch of students following that track in London as a Legal Studies major.

Saif Alkhoori, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021

All the professors were very supportive of my academic career during my time at NYUAD and I appreciate their continuous efforts in expanding the Legal Studies program. With new classes and professors being introduced every semester, I am very glad to witness the program grow year by year. 

As a Legal Studies major student, I hope to further continue my studies and obtain a Masters degree in International Law.

By Vasare Kripaite, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021

I did not start my academic career as a Legal Studies major. At the beginning of my first year, Legal Studies was not yet an approved major. 

My initial encounter with Legal Studies occurred in my first year when I enrolled in a seven-week general multidisciplinary elective on business law out of curiosity. I enjoyed the class and continued my journey in exploring the program during subsequent semesters. The multifaceted and flexible nature of the program and its real-life applicability attracted me.

Despite my previous lack of experience in the legal field, it led me to consider a career in law.

Vasare Kripaite, NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2021

Through its wide offering of cross-listed courses across NYU campuses, the Legal Studies program allowed me to explore various subject fields, from economics to sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and even literature. Most importantly, it smoothly aligned with my interest in Social Research & Public Policy, allowing me to successfully major in both subjects.