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SFSU, Dubai sign agreement for student exchanges

October 3, 2005

Photo of the American Univeristy in Dubai campusSFSU and American University in Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, recently signed an exchange agreement that will enable students and faculty members to study abroad at the two institutions.

Israel is the only other Middle Eastern country where SFSU students have the opportunity to study abroad.

The three-year bilateral agreement begins next fall. All SFSU students are eligible, but those majoring in radio and television and journalism will have priority.

Hamid Khani, professor of broadcast and electronic communication arts, led the effort to establish the partnership. He is on leave at Dubai, helping develop an academic program in communication and information studies, overseeing the new media facilities design and planning and teaching a course in media literacy.

Khani said such exchanges between American and Middle Eastern universities help promote cultural understanding -- something even more crucial of late, due to the war in Iraq and Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

American University in Dubai, founded in 1995, is a private, secular institution that offers bachelor's and master's degrees in such subjects as business, engineering, information technology, interior design, visual communication, Arabic and English. Its 2,500 students come from countries throughout the Middle East and beyond. The university has about 100 faculty members -- most were educated and earned their degrees in the United States. Classes are taught in English.

Khani describes Dubai as a rapidly growing international city with a cosmopolitan flair and burgeoning centers for the media and technology industries.

American University in Dubai administrators signed the agreement July 14 in a ceremony at SFSU.

"This exchange program is going to be an exciting collaboration between two institutions that share a number of fundamental values," SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan said at the signing ceremony. "For San Francisco State University and American University in Dubai, these values include appreciation of and support for cultural diversity, the aim of educating students to be good and effective global citizens in a shrinking world, and a determination to help our students learn to express their ideas freely, but with respect for all."

For more information on studying abroad, visit SFSU's Study Abroad Program Web site or stop by the Office of International Programs, in room 450 of the Administration building.

-- Matt Itelson
Photo: courtesy of American University in Dubai


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Last modified October 3, 2005 by University Communications