American University of Sharjah (UAE) AUS Engineering Shadow Program offers school students opportunity to experience university life

High school students can now experience what it is like to be an engineering student at American University of Sharjah (AUS) with the launch of the AUS Engineering Shadow Program.

Organized by the College of Engineering (CEN), the program allows high school students in grades 11 and 12 to experience a day in the life of an AUS engineering student. As a “shadow,” they will be paired with an AUS student mentor majoring in a field of their interest, and they will attend the student’s classes and meet professors and college administrators.

High school students enrolled in the AUS Engineering Shadow Program will also have access to campus facilities including state-of-the-art laboratories, the AUS Library, Sports Complex, Student Center and more.

“It is not always easy for high school students to decide on a university major, but when you get an opportunity to have a first-hand experience of what it is like to be a university student and an engineering major, you will be making informed decisions about your future. The AUS Shadow Engineering Program opens communication channels between high school students and engineering students and faculty. They will have the opportunity to ask questions, express opinions and learn more about the different engineering specializations, applications and career prospects,” said Dr. Fadi Aloul, Dean of CEN.

Rana Ahmed Aly, a student mentor and a chemical engineering major minoring in engineering management in her last year, said the shadow program is extremely valuable for high school students since it offers them insights into university life and guides them as they consider their future university majors and careers.

“Coming out of high school, you might feel overwhelmed and confused about what you want to do at university, and you need some guidance and help as you make the shift to a new life. I am so happy to be part of this program because I believe in what it has to offer. I wish I went through a similar program before graduating high school. It was a pleasant experience, and we had fun. My shadow high school student and I went to lectures and visited AUS facilities like the labs, Student Center, AUS Library and the Sports Complex. We also talked about university life, choosing majors, interests, struggles and how to overcome them and so on. The Shadow Program is really useful for school students,” she said.

Aya Jabr, a Grade 12 student at American School of Creative Science, shadowed Aly for the day.

“It was really interesting. I had heard about the different engineering programs, but I did not have a real idea about what they were about. I was interested in delving into engineering, attending lectures and exploring a day in the life of an engineering student at AUS. My experience was fun and very informative. The part I loved most was sitting with the professors who talked to me about engineering careers and guided me on how to proceed in the next step in my life. I learned many new things. I also enjoyed shadowing my mentor. She inspired me and we had heart-to-heart talks. I would recommend this program to my classmates because it really opened my eyes to things I didn’t know before,” said Jabr.

The program is led by Dr. Rana Sabouni, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and supported by Women in Engineering (WiE).

“Being a university professor, I am always approached by friends or relatives asking for my advice on what major their kids should join at university. I am also asked about what it is like to be an AUS student, and what the university provides for its students in terms of quality of education and extracurricular activities. This program provides a perfect chance to find answers to such questions. This program is unique in its offering and one of the first programs in the country to bridge the gap between high school students’ preferences and their real university engineering student experience. It is a distinct chance to have a full day ‘drive-through experience’ of an AUS student,” said Dr. Sabouni.

As one of the Middle East’s top-ranked engineering colleges, the College of Engineering at AUS continues to empower the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, independent thinkers, global citizens, entrepreneurs and leaders who will impact the future of the world. It offers undergraduate degree programs in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. It also offers nine master’s programs, including biomedical engineering, mechatronics engineering, engineering systems management, construction management, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering, in addition to a PhD program in engineering systems management. CEN efforts have led its alumni to be ranked as the top choice for employers in the UAE, according to QS World University Subject Rankings (2022).

To be eligible for the shadow program, students must be in grades 11 or 12 and have achieved an average grade of 90 percent and above. For more information and registration, please visit www.aus.edu/cen/engineering-shadow-program.