Living in NYU Abu Dhabi housing is a mandatory part of program enrollment. Housing is only available for the dates of the program.

Student Life & Housing FAQs

  • When do I need to arrive?

All students MUST arrive on January 20 as indicated on the program calendar. Late arrival is not permitted.

  • When will I sign up for housing and what are my options?

You will sign up for housing starting in October – November, when the housing application becomes available. You will have approximately 4 weeks to enter your housing preferences there, along with other details such as your emergency contact and passport info.  Ultimately, all items will be due in mid-November, including your $1000 housing reservation fee is not due until this time.  More information about the Portal will be made available on this blog.

For more about housing options in Abu Dhabi, please visit the Housing section of our web site.

  • When will I receive my housing assignment?

You can expect to be notified of your assignment approximately two weeks before the beginning of the semester.

  • Can I choose my roommate(/s)?

Yes, you can request to live with other students of your choice on the study away program . You will be able to do this when you fill out your housing preferences in the housing application. Please make sure all students wanting to live together request one another.

While we cannot guarantee we will be able to meet your request, we do make efforts to accommodate these requests where possible.

  • Can I find my own housing?

All students are required to live in NYU provided accommodation although exemptions may be granted in limited circumstances (such as staying with a close relative who is already living near the academic center). You can submit a petition by the link below.

Student Exemption Request Form

The student must also ensure that the proposed host completes the following link and sends proof of residence as per the instructions on the form.

Proposed Student Host Form

Please note that submitting a request does not guarantee exemption and appeals will be evaluated by a housing committee on a case-by-case basis.  All completed exemption requests (i.e. both forms and proof of residence) for the fall semester must be received by April 15; all exemption requests for the spring semester must be received by November 15.  Students will be notified of the decision via email following the respective deadlines.  Completed requests submitted after the deadline will not be considered

  • Am I able to cancel my NYU assigned housing? Will I receive a refund?

The Housing License binds you for the entire period you will be enrolled at the site unless you submit a written cancellation request to the Office of Global Programs that meets particular conditions by the designated cancellation dates. All appeals are subject to the cancellation fee schedule.  You can read the Housing License and cancellation fee schedule at www.nyu.edu/global/housing-details

  • How do I get a phone for use abroad?

For your safety, it’s important to obtain a phone that can make and receive calls in Abu Dhabi (without relying on wi-fi availability).

If you do not have an unlocked phone, you can either purchase one in your home country or wait until you arrive in the UAE.  Depending on where you live, it may be much less expensive to purchase an unlocked phone prior to your arrival in Abu Dhabi. Please check with your provider to confirm that your phone is unlocked or to inquire about how to unlock your phone before you depart for Abu Dhabi. If you are coming from a country in which the cost of phones is subsidized by the carriers (which is usually why they get locked) the price of an unlocked phone will seem very high – but the benefit is that it can be used in any country with GSM service, with a local SIM card.

Etisalat is the local Abu Dhabi phone company and you can find information about their prepaid calling rates – including charges for voice calls, text messaging, and data – on their website.  The prepaid plan will ultimately make the most sense for most of you since it does not require an annual contract.

Of course, students will have access to internet at all NYUAD locations which means you will be able to access a wide range of Internet-based communication programs including Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

If you prefer, some phone companies, such as AT&T, also offer study abroad plans that allow you to keep your U.S. number and pay lower rates. Ask your provider!

  • How do I access money abroad?

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 abroad 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 an ATM (Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank) on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus.

Some students feel more comfortable arriving in their host country with some local currency to cover initial expenses at the airport and over the first few days.  If you want to do this, you should contact your bank a few weeks before you need the money as requests for foreign currency can take several weeks to process and certain currencies (such as the UAE dirham) may be unavailable. You can find up-to-date currency conversion rate information at http://www.xe.com/ucc/.

Money matters can seem complicated.  Here are some recommendations to consider:

  • Avoid opening a local (UAE based) bank account. Given that you will be abroad for a relatively short period of time, we recommend that you maintain a bank account in the US and use ATMs to retrieve local currency from your US-based account. (Note: If you currently have an HSBC bank account, you may be in luck!  HSBC ATM’s are fairly prevalent in Abu Dhabi.)
  • Find out if your bank charges a fee for international withdrawals and check to see if they have partner banks abroad – that will help ensure that ATM withdrawals are as inexpensive as possible.
  • Inform your bank (and credit card company!) of your change in residence and the length of your stay abroad to prevent them from blocking your purchases or placing a “hold” on your account.
  • Set up online banking; you are unlikely to find a branch of your bank abroad and will want to keep track of your spending and ensure that your purchases are legitimate (unfortunately, fraud can happen anywhere).
  • Make sure your debit/credit card has a 4-digit PIN number – other lengths of PINs often will not work abroad.
  • What is my address in Abu Dhabi?

Your address in Abu Dhabi is below. All mail should be sent here.

Your Name
C/O NYU Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island Campus
P.O. Box 129188
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

For other important Site contacts, please visit the Contacts page of our site.

  • Can I mail items to the campus in advance?

Students are not able to mail items ahead of arrival.

  • I don’t know anyone else on the program. Help!

Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone else on the program. Many of the students who study away on our programs go independently and are looking to meet new people.  In fact, most students who go report feeling comfortable abroad because of the small, intimate communities there.

We’re confident that you’ll make friends and find your niche within your NYU program. We’ve created the NYU Abu Dhabi Study Away Spring 2017 Facebook Group specifically for students to “meet” each other before the start of the semester. This is particularly helpful for students that are not in the NYU NY or NYU Shanghai areas who may not be able to attend pre-departure events. So make sure you join and don’t be shy!  Once you arrive on site, various orientation activities, social and otherwise, will help you to further get to know your new classmates.