A Parent’s Perspective on Choosing a College

How NYU Abu Dhabi became our top choice

My wife Mimi and I had never heard of NYUAD. We only learned about the university when our son Savion mentioned that his high school, International School Manila (ISM) had nominated him to join NYUAD.

Abu Dhabi or United States?

We were ecstatic when we learned about the nomination news as Savion's dream to study abroad began to have a fighting chance. At the same time, we were more inclined for him to study in the United States as we have sisters residing there.

Testimonials of parents whose children also initially wanted to study in the United States, but opted to study in NYUAD helped a lot.

Testimonials of parents whose children also initially wanted to study in the United States, but opted to study in NYUAD helped a lot.

Sid Garcia

Deciding on NYUAD

As parents without any prior knowledge on NYUAD, we used Google to compare and contrast with other universities. Doing our own research gave us important insight and understanding on what it means to have an NYUAD education. We were also impressed with the completeness of information that we found.

(L-R): Mimi Garcia, Savion Garcia (Class of 2022), and Sid Garcia during NYUAD Marhaba 2018.

NYUAD eventually became a preference for us, but ultimately it was Savion's decision.

Sid Garcia

Besides our own research, we also spoke with Savion to find out why he thinks NYUAD may be the right choice for him.

Savion’s seniors in high school shared their own NYUAD experiences with him, further reassuring him, while the campus visit during Candidate Weekend really impressed Savion, deepening his interest to join NYUAD.

Attending Parent Orientation (Parent Marhaba)

Being able to see where Savion would be living and studying for the next four years gave us peace of mind, so we flew in from the Philippines for the Parent Marhaba.

Parent Marhaba was professionally organized, and it was impressive to see how involved the current students were. We felt their passion and energy.

Savion Garcia, left, with Mimi Garcia, right, in his campus residence during Marhaba 2018.

Mimi and I attended all the talks in the Marhaba schedule and our favorite program was “Ask Ali.” Ali Alsaloom is a charismatic public speaker, and his talk was informative, fun, and gave us a real and practical view of UAE as a country.

During our free time, we explored the city to gather information to share with Savion.

First Impressions

The campus is beautiful. As sports fans, we were impressed to see the world class football field where Real Madrid have practiced in.

Savion, who had stopped playing football (soccer), decided to play a game with the team. It made us happy as we believe Savion had rediscovered his love for that game again.

Football at NYUAD.
The Red Theater at NYUAD.
NYU Abu Dhabi campus.
NYUAD library.

Tips for Fellow Parents

  1. Seek stories and testimonials from those who decided to go to NYUAD. First hand experience is most helpful.
  2. It is tough letting go of our first born, so saying goodbye was sad and tearful. But saying goodbye with so much hope for the future of our child helps.
  3. Be thankful for the opportunity and experience.

Important Dates

  Application Deadline Decision
Early Decision I November 1 December 15
Early Decision II January 1 February 15
Regular Decision January 1 April 1


This article was edited for clarity.