Navigating the First Year

A Remote Plus start to the fall 2020 semester for first-year students with robust virtual opportunities to engage with Campus Life and with peers in the Class of 2024 and across NYUAD. This includes a virtual Marhaba orientation before the start of the fall semester, and several summer and fall activities including a virtual First Year Dialogue. A team of 8 Marhaba Student Committee members and 50 First Year Peer Facilitators will be working throughout the summer and fall semester to welcome you to the NYUAD community through various virtual events and initiatives. You will be assigned to a First Year Dialogue group, which will be led by a First Year Peer Facilitator. This group will meet regularly during virtual Marhaba and the fall semester. More information will be shared over the summer.

First Year Dialogue

First Year Dialogue (FYD) is a safe place for first-years to discuss challenges being a new student, culture shock, and other sensitive issues. FYD focuses on what first-year students need on a daily basis to be successful at NYU Abu Dhabi. It is a compulsory seminar for all first-year NYUAD students to help incoming students better understand and navigate their first year at university.

Topics of conversation during the seminars include:

  • the idea of home
  • personal values
  • homesickness
  • stress
  • time management

Students will also explore how to be in relationship with one another and with their host country through programmings that happens both on and off campus.

First Year Dialogue Program Format

Students meet with their staff, faculty and/or student co-facilitators both during Marhaba orientation and then again on a weekly basis over the course of the fall semester.

Through intentional conversation and debate, FYD greatly improves students’ ability to recognize one another’s common humanity and the universality of feelings and shared human experiences present on campus and throughout the world.

Watch Asma's NYUAD Story

Asma Alabbar joined the Class of 2021 from Dubai, UAE.

Intercultural Education

During your four years with NYUAD as an undergraduate, you will have many opportunities to attend cultural programs and activities. By the time you graduate, you will have had lots of exposure to different cultures. Our hope is that you will also gain a greater sense of curiosity, flexibility, empathy and authenticity in your intercultural encounters.
Being in Abu Dhabi is also a great chance to grow your knowledge about the country and the Middle East region. Besides traveling and being exposed to different cultures, engaging in reflective activities and exploring different perspectives can increase cultural competence.


We came to the UAE from around the world with different belief systems but we share values of tolerance, respect, and empathy.

Farah Shamout, Class of 2016

Intercultural Education Program Format

NYUAD has the distinction of an incredibly diverse community of students, faculty, and staff from all over the world. Within this context there are opportunities for our undergraduate students to grow and develop crucial interpersonal skills.

Programs Details
Cultural Events

Learn about different cultures through your schoolmates.

For each event, we invite students from a certain country or culture to share more about where they are from.

Intercultural Competence Core Training
An opportunity to explore cultural competence frameworks and develop greater cultural fluency.
Sustained Dialogue
An opportunity to explore different perspectives and deepen community conversation about relevant topics.

Memories of NYU Abu Dhabi

Favorite class? Best hangout spot? Craziest experience? Seniors from the Class of 2018 reflect on their four years here.