NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced the 24 inaugural recipients of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholarship for Outstanding High School Students. These high-achieving, Abu Dhabi-based Emirati high school students are participating in the newly launched NYUAD Summer Academy, a two-year summer program designed to prepare young students for entry into top-tier international universities.
The Summer Academy introduces students to the principles of a liberal arts education0 in the summers following their 10th and 11th grades through a rigorous educational experience set across three of NYU’s international locations: Abu Dhabi, New York and Florence, Italy. The curriculum include courses that emphasize critical thinking, writing and discussion in English, quantitative reasoning for the sciences, standardized test preparation, leadership development, and college admissions counseling.
“This scholarship program helps to ensure that our very best high school students continue their journey of academic excellence as they enter university life,” said Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, co-chair of NYUAD’s Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars Program. “The NYUAD Summer Academy not only provides our students with the intellectual resources and skill development they require for future success, but also offers them a character-building life experience.” The program is designed to help high-achieving students further succeed in challenging higher education programs by providing early exposure to the academic standards, norms, ethics, and values appropriate to the culture of leading international universities. Courses are taught by faculty appointed by NYUAD, and provide intense immersion into an English-language academic environment. Ongoing coaching for standardized testing and mentorship throughout the college application process are also integral components of the program.
The inaugural NYUAD Summer Academy kicked off on June 25th, 2011; summer sessions last five weeks and include both classroom and co-curricular activities. During the first summer, students are spending three weeks in Abu Dhabi, followed by two weeks of study at NYU’s academic center in Florence, Italy. The second summer session will be similarly divided between Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. These international trips will provide valuable cross-cultural experiences, including guided visits to museums, places of historical and intellectual interest, and other cultural events. To sustain and build upon the summer-based learning experience, students will also participate in two weekend programs during their 11th and 12th grade academic years.
Selected students were first nominated by principals at Abu Dhabi public and private high schools, before participating in a formal interview process. Students were considered for the program based on their records of academic achievement, English-language comprehension levels, motivation, potential for growth and improvement, leadership ability, interest in applying to English-language universities, and academic progress.
Diane C. Yu, Co-Executive Director of the Summer Academy and the chief of staff and deputy to NYU President John Sexton, said: “We are extremely pleased with the exceptional caliber of our inaugural class. We are confident that the NYUAD Summer Academy will provide a significant vehicle for the academic and personal growth of these students, helping them develop strong foundations for admission into top universities around the world, including NYU Abu Dhabi.”