How to Have a Great Study Experience in Abu Dhabi

Smart living tips and must-see places

Like any senior, Joshua Johnson from NYU Steinhardt has a very busy final year. The applied psychology major admits it’s a challenge budgeting time to complete all his required courses before graduation, and finding time to study in another part of the world before then. Luckily, there’s J-Term.

January Term gives students like Johnson the opportunity to concentrate on a single course over three weeks at one of NYU’s global sites - plenty of time to experience another campus and not too much time away to lose focus on earning that degree.

During a busy J-Term at NYU Abu Dhabi, the resourceful New Yorker was also able to find time to explore the country, which is important, as he was not sure when he will be visiting the Middle East again.  

Johnson shares a few tips and must-see places to make sure your study experience in the UAE is also fulfilling and enjoyable.

Tips When in the UAE

  1. Have common sense and be aware of where you are and its rules.
  2. Know the exchange rate of your home currency to the UAE Dirhams.
  3. Taxis in Abu Dhabi do not take credit/debit cards. Bring cash and small change when taking a taxi here.
  4. There’s a cash machine at the NYUAD campus - take advantage of it.
  5. Ask NYUAD students about discounts to restaurants, cheap beach passes, and other offers available to students. If anyone knows about discounts, they do!  
  6. Understand different cuisines and make sure you try them.
  7. Find a few people you are comfortable traveling with who share the same interests once you arrive to start planning external activities.
Joshua Johnson, NYU Steinhardt Class of 2019 shares tips he had learned during his J-term in NYU Abu Dhabi.

Joshua's Must Visit Places

  1. Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
    “Absolutely transcendent… the greatest architecture I’ve seen in my entire life. Visit the mosque during sunset for amazing sunset lighting. If you can, take a tour to understand more about the mosque and visit of the private rooms."
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
2. Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, which is held from November to January each year. 
3. Louvre Abu Dhabi
Students visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
4. Enjoy great Lebanese cuisine at Abd el Wahab on Saadiyat island.
5. Go to the beach on Saadiyat island (and make sure you look out for potential discounts before you head out). 
People strolling along Saadiyat beach in Abu Dhabi.
6. Dubai Mall, where you get to enjoy a wide range of brands, visit an aquarium and an ice rink.
7. The Gold Souk in Dubai for a good deal on gold, and to enjoy the brilliance of the place.