Our connection

student reading15 students from UAE study at Waterloo (fall 2018)

graduation cap icon207 Waterloo alumni live in UAE (fall 2018)


Resources for students from UAE

Meet students from around the world

Students from more than 120 countries choose to study at Waterloo each year. Through your classes and our many student experience opportunities, you'll meet students from across Canada and around the world.

Here are some ways for you to connect with students from UAE or with other international students.

Student spotlight: Maarij

Maarij is studying Physics and is originally from Dubai, UAE.

What were you looking for in a university?

For me, the first criteria was the national reputation of the faculty and department within the university that my major was a part of. The second criteria was the academic reputation of the university overall within the country.

Within Canada, I applied to 2 universities for their Physics programs. I chose Waterloo because of its higher rankings in Physics. I was more interested in Theoretical Physics at the time and Waterloo had a more robust program for that, as well as better professors.

What did you expect from Waterloo before arriving?

A diverse community coming from various locations around the world, united by their passion for academia and their love of the subject they are studying, resulting in an environment that I hoped would foster intellectual discussions and healthy debate.

Was there anything that was different from your expectations?

It took me until my second year to find that sweet spot between intellectualism and socializing. In terms of a diverse community, I did find that. Though, that might be because the residence I chose to be in (CLV) was mostly reserved for international students, so that might have helped with that. I did enjoy living there though, and becoming involved with the Residence Council.

Male student looking at camera

For Maarij, having a passion at Waterloo was simple. "I found that Waterloo had everything I could need to pursue that passion. There are so many resources here, and all you need to do is ask to use them."

Why do you think Waterloo is a good fit for students from your country?

I would say that for people in the UAE, Waterloo is great if they are willing to work hard and focus on a good academic education. There are clubs and societies to help you integrate into life in Canada, but for the most part, people don't come to Waterloo for the wild parties.

If you want to expand your horizons and open your mind to new ideas and new cultures, along with getting a stellar education, this is the place. Again, there are resources here to help you integrate, but the cultural shock is not going to be insignificant, so a lot is going to depend on your mentality and willingness to adapt.

What advice do you have for other students?

Keep an open mind, regardless of where you are from. You will find that you will learn better when you do and I don't mean only in academics. Stay curious, keep asking questions, and keep learning. That approach has always worked for me.

Helpful resources