Our Students’ Favorite Things About KAUST

As KAUST attracts students from all over the world, traveling to Saudi Arabia brings unique surprises and unexpected delights. We asked our students what are some of the favorite things they’ve found after moving abroad to study and live at KAUST.

Meeting people from other cultures

“When I first arrived, I was astonished with all the diversity, all the different cultures and nationalities that came together in a single place,” says current Ph.D. student Micaela Justo. Nathalia Delgadillo Ordonoz, a Ph.D. student in Marine Science, added that “KAUST is the perfect place to challenge yourself, because you really need to learn how to communicate with people from all over the world. This is essential in a research environment.”

Facilities & equipment

Students are also continually impressed with the quality of the facilities and equipment they have access to at KAUST. Ziqiang Yang, a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering and Physical Science and Engineering from China, recalls the first time he worked with the high-speed cameras. “I was totally shocked. The high-speeds fluids imaging laboratory is the best in the world. Other universities don’t have the ability to buy this equipment.”

“Many people don’t believe it until they come here and see all of this equipment,” added Marcelo Benitez, a Ph.D. student in Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering. “It helps us to get results that impact the world. All of us are proud of what we do here.”

Life on the Red Sea

The physical beauty of KAUST’s proximity to the Red Sea surprises many students, who envision only a desert. Alejandra Perea Barreto, a Ph.D. student in Earth Science and Engineering, came to KAUST from Colombia with no idea just how beautiful the desert could be. “The Red Sea is very beautiful and here I can do many activities that I could not do back home.” This includes snorkeling, diving and swimming. “Being in the water gives me peace.”

Additionally, many women discover that Saudi Arabia is not the place often presented in the media and find their misconceptions proven false. “I thought it was going to be harder to be a woman here, but…people are very warm and welcoming,” Barreto said. 

Full scholarships for all students

KAUST ensures that students can relocate and study without distractions by offering a generous fellowship (worth around $75,000 USD per year) for all students. For Mireille Hantouche, a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering, “It was an essential element in enabling my studies and research,” she said. “It provided stability on different levels, which was crucial to maximize the time spent on research and minimize the distractions.”

For more information about life at KAUST, visit: https://masters.docsity.com/kaust-masters-phd-programs-2021/

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