I am part of a subgroup of students known as the StudyAways (well we call ourselves that) and we compose of several NY students and Shanghai students. We absolutely love the campus and simply how everything is free. However, whenever we go on and on about what we love about this campus, there is always that “but” at the end of the sentence. The campus is in the middle of a desert in the middle of an island miles away from a city that we can see in the distance but never feel like we have easy access to. And although we have shuttles to take us to and fro, we find ourselves competing with other students and if any of our fellow StudyAways get late, they get left behind as we wave goodbye from the window. Most of us are used to our campuses being surrounded by vibrant places to visit and things to do that is only a walking distance away. Now before you say anything, I know there’s not much the University can do. Some may say that the shuttles are the University’s acknowledgement to the fact that there is a considerable distance from us and civilization. But it is one thing that stands out to a lot of us. Perhaps in the years to come, when Abu Dhabi becomes more developed and those museums are completed, the campus will be surrounded with people from all over the world and small businesses that don’t require us to take a shuttle so packed that we need to pull that awkward extra seat in the middle of the aisle down. When you look out your window and see sand for miles right outside the campus, just imagine what coffee shops, convenience stores, fresh food markets, pubs, creperies and other food places could take it’s place.

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