Five American students from Northwestern University’s home campus in Evanston, Illinois arrived in Qatar for an inaugural 16-week academic programme called ‘Semester in Qatar’.

Specialising in media industry technologies and journalism, the US students join students based at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) to explore local media, education and culture and to experience the variety and vibrancy of the region through academic study.

The inter-campus programme complements the successful Evanston Exchange Program for NU-Q communication students who spend the spring term on the US campus, where they attend classes and get to experience American student life.

NU-Q draws from its parent organisation, Northwestern University, a distinguished history, famous programmes and an exceptional faculty. Founded in partnership with Qatar Foundation, NU-Q provides a framework through which students explore the world and, ultimately, shape its future through its distinguished schools of communication, journalism, and liberal arts.

The American students are Matthew Connor, Aric DiLalla, Sarah Mustian, Jack Olin and Theodore Tae, whom collectively pursue coursework across the media, communication and liberal arts at NU-Q. The five are majoring in: journalism, radio-television-film, and theatre studies, with minors in international studies and political science.

Dean and CEO of NU-Q, Dr Everette E Dennis, welcomed the new students noting:

We’ve long awaited your coming and are excited that you will be immersed in the life of NU-Q, Doha and Qatar. This programme has been three years in the making, involving the efforts of faculty, staff and students here and in Evanston…This experience will allow US students to gain firsthand familiarity with a region that is increasingly important in the global development of media, education, culture, architecture, health, medicine and sports.’

Jack Olin, undergraduate in communication said:

I applied for the NU-Q semester because of its reputation as a tight-knit and open campus community. Since arriving, it’s evident the peer-to-peer respect students have for one another, shown through the cooperative discussions on political, cultural and social topics, undertaken in a thoughtful and fun way. I am keen to bring and encourage this kind of spirit to the Evanston campus.’

The Semester in Qatar students also take part in in The Doha Seminar, an honors seminar that brings together students from NU-Q and other Education City campuses as well as distinguished Education City faculty and special guests from government, the arts, the media and business to study the dynamic cultural interchange of modernity and tradition, economics and politics, and geography and trade that is Qatar today. Professors Sandra Richards and Khaled Al Hroub teach the course.

The five students, all juniors, began the semester by taking part in NU-Q’s ‘Wildcat Welcome’ with the class of 2018 whose student body hails from 20 different countries and five continents around the globe, with the majority speaking at least two languages. To further advance the Evanston campus students’ academic studies, the pupils will be escorted on an excursion to neighboring Oman to complement their semester in Qatar.

All NU-Q students receive instruction from a world-class international faculty as part of a university boasting more than 200,000 living alumni, including countless public figures, statespersons, and societal leaders. NU-Q is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research and the personal intellectual growth of our students within a diverse academic community.