NYU Abu Dhabi Fall 2017

Your Pre-Departure Guide to Study Away in Abu Dhabi

GeoBlue Health Insurance Emails Received

By now you should have received an email from NYU Student Insurance/GeoBlue with your certificate number and instructions about creating your GeoBlue profile. This was sent to your NYU email address only. Please register and bring your health insurance card with you.  

As a reminder, all students are still expected to maintain valid domestic health insurance over the course of the semester. GeoBlue is valid only for the dates of your study away program.

Please notify me at gps280@nyu.edu if you did not receive an email from GeoBlue to ensure it is resent.  Rest assured that you will absolutely be covered.  Be sure to check your spam folder first, as they sometimes end up there.

What to do if you Encounter Flight Cancellations or Delays

While our hope is that you arrive at your study away destination without any challenges, we know at times these can occur for a variety of reasons.  Please note that NYU is unable to act as an intermediary between the traveler and airline, but it may be helpful to keep in mind the below tips should you encounter any flight cancellations or delays:

Contact Your Airline First

Number one tip: Whether it’s an airport delay or flight cancellation, contact your airline – immediately.  It is most beneficial to act quickly so that you are able to grab a seat on the next available flight if necessary.  Many passengers will be trying to rebook and options may become more limited the longer you wait.

If Your Flight is Canceled:

  • Multi-task communications: If your flight is canceled or delayed, immediately get in line for a gate agent; at the same time, call the airline (it may be quicker).
  • If you have a frequent flyer status with the airline that gives you access to a priority phone number, using this may expedite the service you receive.

Note: There are no federal requirements that require airlines to provide you with any hotel or meal vouchers due to events outside their control such as weather, but airline policies on this vary. When in doubt, ask. Some will provide you with certain amenities.

If Your Flight is Delayed:

  • Stay in touch with the airline: Follow the tips above; stay connected to your carrier
  • Don’t be late to the gate: Even if you’ve been told your flight is delayed, stay in the gate area. Delays can evaporate and windows of opportunity for take-off can be short; if you’re not present for boarding, you may be out of luck

Note: Always be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure, minimum.

Ultimately, if you are in an area where you still have access to email or phone service, please contact the appropriate staff member(s) at NYU Abu Dhabi listed at the bottom of our “Arrival and Visa Information” blog post to inform them of your updated itinerary.  This is another reason why it is important to have a copy in your carry on.  

The staff recognize these occurrences are beyond your control so will work with you to catch up if any material is missed.  On behalf of the entire NYU Global Programs team, we wish you safe travels!

Pre-Departure Survey

By now you should have received the Global Programs Pre-Departure Survey in your email. Please submit your feedback by August 20!
NYU’s Office of Global Programs strives to provide students with the best possible experiences and services as they prepare to study away, and your input will help us tremendously as we prepare for future semesters.


Student Portal
The NYUAD Student Portal is home to useful information and important communications that you will want throughout your semester in Abu Dhabi. Important announcements and updates are posted to the Student Portal, so be sure to visit regularly and to check your NYU email.  The Portal also includes tips about living in Abu Dhabi as well as more specific information about personal computers, banking (there is an ATM located on campus), and mobile phones. To access the Student Portal, you will need to log in here using your NYU NetID. If you have any trouble accessing the Student Portal, please email the NYUAD IT Team.

Please note that some announcements and policies posted on the student portal will only apply to NYU Abu Dhabi students. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Global Education.

Student Profile
The first time you log on to the Student Portal, you will be prompted to complete your Student Profile, which will provide us with all of your essential information in one place (home address, emergency contact information, etc.). We urge you to keep your profile up to date, which you can do at any time by returning to the student portal.

Connecting to WiFi on campus once you arrive
Instructions for connecting to the campus WiFi are available on the Student Portal.  Please click here for more information.

NYU Abu Dhabi has campus wide printing available using a system called Pharos.  You will need to use your NYU ID Card as a means of authentication in order to print. More information can be found here.

UAE from A-Z: Zayed, Zamzam Water, Zakat

Download (PDF, 333KB)

UAE from A-Z: Yola Dance, Yahsat, Yetha, Yereed

Download (PDF, 401KB)

UAE from A-Z: Xtra Large, X-iya

Download (PDF, 66KB)

Arrival and Visa Information

We hope you are as excited about your upcoming trip to Abu Dhabi as we are to welcome you to our campus community!

Shortly you will be emailed the final copy of your UAE Entry Permit, which you should print in color and carry with your original passport when you travel. If you have valid passports from two or more different countries, we advise you to bring all passports with you but you must enter the UAE with the passport (and nationality) noted on your Entry Permit.

We recommend that you review your airline(s) baggage policy before you pack — contact the airline(s) directly for the most up-to-date information.

Upon arrival at the airport in the UAE, you will be met by a representative of the airport welcoming services called “Golden Class”, who will assist you through the arrival process at the airport.  Please look for their staff member holding a sign with your name on it as soon as you get off the plane.  They should be waiting for you on the jetbridge or immediately as you enter the airport terminal.  They will escort you through the airport, assist with the immigration process, customs and security screenings, and help you collect your luggage.

Once you exit the secured area of the airport and enter the arrivals lounge, please look for the Nirvana Travel coordinator who will escort you to the vehicle that will transport you to campus. Transportation to campus will be arranged only for August 27. You will be emailed with the shuttle timings to select one that best suits your arrival. If you arrive before or after August 27, you will be responsible for arranging your own transportation to campus.

Here is how the next steps in the visa process will work:

  1. NYUAD will deposit your original Entry Permit at your arrival airport terminal to notify the UAE authorities of your pending entry into the country.
  2. You will enter the UAE with the COLOR copy of your Entry Permit. When the immigration process at the airport is complete, you will be given your ORIGINAL Entry Permit. Please keep this document safe together with your original passport — you’ll need to bring these documents to orientation. IMPORTANT NOTE: At this point, you must remain in the UAE until the completion of the visa process (approx. four weeks). Of course, you will be here for the entire semester, so this should not be a problem.
  3. You will be contacted with information regarding the required medical test. This test is administered by the Abu Dhabi government on campus. NYUAD representatives will be available to assist you with this simple and safe procedure.
  4. After receiving the medical test results, the government will grant the Student Residence Visa. NYUAD representatives will take the students’ original passports to the government agency, have the Student Residence Visas stamped in the passports, and return the passports to the students. Later on in the semester, you will also receive an Emirates ID Card issued by the UAE government.



Check-In at Saadiyat Campus

The airport transfer will drop you off on campus and you will be directed to the Welcome Center.  A staff member from the NYUAD Office of Residential Education or one of the Resident Assistants will help you check in and find your dorm room.

Mandatory Orientation on Site

The orientation program will begin on August 28 at 9 AM.  Please meet us by the palm trees in the center of campus at 8:45 AM. We will meet you there and take you to the room where orientation will be held.  Please be on time! 

If you experience any difficulties during your travels to Abu Dhabi that you think you should report to us, please contact Momchil Dikov by email (md2729@nyu.edu) or on his mobile number +971 50 106 6892 .


Practical Pre-Departure Checklist & Packing Tips

As you prepare to get on a plane, it is now time to review the below final checklist full of practical items and packing tips to ensure your travel goes smoothly.  Also, take note of what NOT to pack by visiting this website.

  • Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad.  Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
  • Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on.  Your carry on should also have all important paperwork, phone numbers, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late.
  • Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on.  That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
  • Bring your flight confirmation printout to the airport.
  • Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack.
  • Regarding money: You can change dollars at the airport when you arrive but the exchange rates are notoriously bad. To avoid the bad exchange rates many travelers prefer to withdraw money when they arrive from an ATM machine at the airport. You might have to pay withdrawal fees, but with ATMs you’ll get a much better rate of exchange because your bank itself sets the rate. There is also an ATM (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.
  • Have a copy of the NYU Abu Dhabi airport transportation schedule (this will be posted to the blog soon!) – and leave one with your family.
  • Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your parents will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
  • Buy a journal.  Study Away is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing.  Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.
  • Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use currently. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
  • Bring a small weekend-size bag/backpack/collapsible duffle bag for trips you’ll take during your time abroad.
  • Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas.  Airport security can be very stringent. Make sure you follow all the rules when it comes to flying!
  • If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
  • Last but definitely not least, try to pack LIGHT.  Layers, layers, layers!  You will inevitably come home with more than you started with.
  • You can find more packing information linked in the Study Abroad at NYU Abu Dhabi Student Handbook.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi

There are several things that you can do to prepare your finances before you arrive in [city]. Figure out: what is the cost of living in Abu Dhabi? What can I do now to make sure I save money? This site, Numbeo, can help you compare the cost of living in your home city and your study away location!

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