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AUK Kicks-off the New Academic Year with Student Orientation Sessions

Marking the start of a new academic year, the American University of Kuwait (AUK) opened doors to new and returning students yesterday. Classes are in full swing and campus life is geared up for a bolstering schedule of events.

Earlier last week the University held two orientation sessions for its newly enrolled students in the Undergraduate Program and the Intensive English Program (IEP), respectively. The orientation days are annual events designed to familiarize the students with the AUK community and college life, as well as to get them excited about the new transition to university environment.

The first orientation session was dedicated to undergraduate students, and started with an official welcome event, featuring addresses by AUK President, Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh; Vice President for Student Affairs-Dr. Carol Ross; Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences-Dr. Rawda Awwad; Interim Dean of the College of Business and Economics- Dr. John Russell; along with AUK Alumna, Ms. May Omran.

During his welcome remarks, President Hamzeh congratulated the new students for choosing AUK for their next educational pursuits, assuring them that they "will study with highly qualified faculty in the areas of general education, social sciences, arts, humanities, engineering, sciences, and business," and encouraging each one of them to "take full advantage of AUK's quality education and the extra-curricular experiences that the University will offer." President Hamzeh concluded his talk by wishing the students "a pleasant and successful academic year" while reminding them to always talk with and seek support from AUK faculty and staff members on all matters related to their learning process.

Dean Awwad highlighted the role of the College of Arts and Sciences in "establishing a positive educational culture" among AUK students, calling upon the newcomers to "continue building upon this culture and history by setting your goals intelligently, pursuing them with a sense of passion." The Dean of Arts and Sciences concluded her talk by advising the students - as they pursue their educational journey - to "remain honest..., be truthful to your goals; remain humble; give yourself an opportunity to carefully listen to the ideas of others; and provide yourself with the time and space for periods of self-reflection."

Professor Russell emphasized the role of cultural and intellectual interaction among students in enriching the college experience and achieving future success. He addressed students asking them to be different, He called on them to look around them in the auditorium saying "You will see somebody who is different to you, somebody who studies something different to you, or thinks different to you. Learn to interact with them and see what they see and how they see it."

Throughout the event, VP Ross created an uplifting atmosphere, delivered energetic speeches, and invited the new students to blend into the collegiate community and seize opportunities to benefit from all extra-curricular activities offered at AUK. VP Ross explained to students the importance of learning "outside the classroom", which is as an integral component of a liberal arts education. Pushing the students to achieve the highest levels of excellence is the ultimate goal of AUK, as explained by VP Ross, who promised the students support along their educational journey. "If you stumble, we will absolutely pick you up. We are here to support you." Concluding her speech, VP Ross announced the new AUK initiative: "AUKause", urging students to engage in community service and civic activities, along with their college studies, as a way to give back to the society.

May Omran, a 2014 AUK Alumna, who was recently hired by the AUK Registrar Office also shared her collegiate experience with the new students. Omran stressed the importance of student engagement in co-curricular activities describing it as "the factor of success during university years". Omran recalled her experience at AUK saying "I must tell you that if it wasn't for being engaged both inside and outside of the classroom, my journey here as a student wouldn't have been worthwhile"

Following the official welcome ceremony, the undergraduate campus orientation tour commenced, guided by members of the Division of Student Affairs. The tour stopped at the different campus facilitates, including the AUK Library, classrooms and labs, sports facilities, the AUK Hangout, as well as dining facilities. The campus tour offered the students the chance to get acquainted with their new study environment in an informal setting where they got to examine the facilities that interest them and meet more staff and faculty members.

The two-day orientation program also included a day dedicated to the newly registered students in the AUK Intensive English Program (IEP). The IEP orientation featured a series of short speeches delivered by AUK officials, along with Ms. Sandra Stein, the IEP Director, who addressed the students saying, "Success is in your own hand. Now imagine your goal and put it in your hand. Visualize it there. Keep this vision in your mind as you study this semester and next. If you keep that vision of success firmly in your mind and work hard to achieve that goal, you will be successful! The choice is yours." The IEP orientation also included the class photo taken of the newly registered IEP students, as well as a campus tour.

This year, the AUK IEP program is celebrating its unconditional re-accreditation for a period of ten (10) years by the U.S-based Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). The re-accreditation was the fruit of rigorous efforts by the IEP staff to support students who need to improve their English language skills to the level required to study at AUK.

To further assist newly enrolled students in making a smooth transition into collegiate life and get them well acquainted with the different AUK activities, the AUK Office of Student Life will be organizing a variety of recreational and educational events in the first University month. This will include, a Welcome Back Week featuring the Involvement Fair, a clubs, organizations and departments' fair; the Garnet and Gold Happy Hour, where students and faculty meet and greet; the Big Day Out sponsored by the Hang Out and featuring an afternoon of indoor and outdoor games; the AUKafe'-which brings out the talented musicians of the University.

As AUK continues to celebrate 10 years of excellence, the University welcomes 6 new fulltime faculty members, in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Economics and the Intensive English Program. The University is also introducing a new academic program this year in Human Resource Management, to reach a total of 15 academic programs in the different areas of arts, sciences, business, and economics.



Professor Nizar Hamzeh, President of AUK


Dr. Rawda Awwad, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences


Professor John Russell, Interim Dean of the College of Business and Economics


Dr. Carol Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs, talking to the new students


May Omran, a 2014 AUK Alumna and Employee


Ms. Sandra Stein, IEP Director

New AUK Students








AUK Campus Tours and Information Sessions




















IEP Group Photo


Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 15th September 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014



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