RAK Campus Offers Students a Trans-Campus Experience

Posted: June 25, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

The United Arab Emirates boasts a variety of dramatic landscapes, including fertile plains, stony mountains, stunning coastlines and endless deserts. Mason’s campus in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is no less diverse.

Currently, the RAK Campus is home to 80 students from countries all around the world including Germany, India and Australia. The RAK Campus offers bachelor of science degrees in biology, business administration, electronics and communications engineering, economics, health, fitness and recreation resources and applied computer science. A minor in geographic information systems is also offered.

One year after the RAK Campus first opened its doors in August 2006, Mason students have had the opportunity to spend a semester studying at the RAK Campus as part of the Center for Global Education’s trans-campus mobility program. Mason students can now apply for the fall 2008 semester. The program is also open to non-Mason students.

As part of a five-day trip to the UAE, President Alan Merten visited the RAK Campus where he met with Prince Sheikh Saud

Students must submit an online application and will have the opportunity to earn up to15 credits in a variety of subjects including Government and Politics of North African and the Middle East and the Middle East in the 21st Century. Students live in residence halls and take a shuttle bus from the residence halls to the campus.

“With everything that is happening right now in the Middle East it is important for students to have the opportunity to study at the RAK Campus and learn about these issues,” says Lamyaa El-Fadaly, program officer for the Center for Global Education. “The trans-campus mobility program allows students to gain first-hand experience and get a better understanding of this part of the world.”

In addition, students who are currently enrolled degree-seeking students and have been at the RAK Campus for at least a year have an opportunity to study at one of Mason’s U.S. Campuses. Students who would like to apply must complete the forms found here. Students who want to apply to the RAK Campus as freshmen should visit the admissions web site.

Although still developing, the RAK Campus provides many of the same activities and services as Mason’s other campuses. The Student Affairs Department, in cooperation with the Student Government Association, aims to ensure student success and enhance learning by inspiring the student community to get involved in educational activities both inside and outside the classroom.

Some of the events include a freshman welcome party, music nights, concert trips, cultural field trips, bowling nights and sports tournaments. Students are encouraged to establish a club that interests them and participate in the governance of the university by sitting on a university standing committee.

“One of the biggest differences of studying at the RAK Campus is that there is a feeling of being a part of a tight-knit community because the campus is much smaller,” says Rita Rowand, registrar’s enrollment coordinator for International Programs and Distributed Campuses on the Prince William Campus. “Students also have an opportunity for more cultural experiences that they wouldn’t have in the U.S.”

With 12 additional acres of land awarded by Prince Sheikh Saud, the RAK Campus anticipates further expansion in the next few years by building sports fields, a larger library, a student center and other buildings.

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