The exchange program at VCUQatar is a unique opportunity to earn VCU credits while studying design in a fascinating location. You will have an insider's view of life in the gulf region and the rich culture that suffuses the area. The turquoise-blue waters of the Persian Gulf provide a picturesque backdrop for the constantly changing landscape of Doha.
Located in the heart of a city and region with an extraordinarily vibrant and diverse cultural heritage, VCUQatar plays a central role in the modern cultural life of Qataris and Middle Easterners. Whether in the studio, library, computer laboratory or lecture halls, students can expand their cultural perspectives as well as acquire expertise for the workplace within an energetic and compassionate learning environment.
The university's multicultural surroundings cultivate artistic expression as well as individual growth. The presence of VCUQ within an Arab/Islamic environment enables students to foster a critical outlook toward the globalization of visual cultural and its impact on design.
Interested students should email Mrs. Jody Symula, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the School of the Arts, at email@example.com prior to applying to this program. Applicants must have the endorsement of their department to participate in the exchange. Students should also contact Ms. Sarah Carrier if they have questions regarding the online application, financial aid, and scholarships. When contacting Ms. Carrier for an advising appointment, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and list the days and times you are available to meet over a two week period.
Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to apply. The Richmond Doha exchange is dependent on an equal number of students participating from each campus every academic year, therefore the number of accepted students may vary from semester to semester but typically ranges from one to five. All students within the departments of Art History, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Painting & Printmaking are encouraged to apply. Candidates should demonstrate maturity, flexibility, patience, a tolerance for differences and an open attitude. Students should be able to adjust to different cultures and stresses and should demonstrate assertiveness and self-direction. Upon the completion of the online application, applicants will be notified by the School of the Arts about their acceptance.
The exchange program is open to students majoring in Art History, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Painting & Printmaking. Students will follow a curriculum of study similar to VCU in Richmond. In addition to earning credit in your major, you may also take general education requirements and cross-register at other universities nearby.
Transfer of credit:
Students will be awarded VCU credit for all courses successfully completed at VCUQatar.
Fall semester: late August until mid-December
Spring semester: mid-January until mid-May
The university observes the Ramadan period during which there is a modified schedule of classes.
Housing and meals:
Exchange students will be housed on campus in a large double room inside an apartment with a full kitchen, large living room, dining area and bathroom. The kitchen is equipped with dishes and students are given a care package with blankets upon arrival. There is no meal plan; however, students may cook in their dormitory, eat at the school cafeteria or purchase meals at one of the restaurants around the city.
The dormitory provides 24-hour security and is single-sex with no overnight guests allowed.
The dormitory is located inside the Education City campus close to the VCUQatar building. The dormitory provides shuttle service to the mall and downtown areas according to a weekly schedule. There is no public transportation in Qatar and you will have to rely on the shuttle for transportation or plan on taking taxis. There are no stores within walking distance of the dormitory.
Tuition and fees:
Students pay VCU tuition and fees. Housing costs are paid directly to the VCUQatar dormitory. Students should also budget for mandatory 10-day international field excursions with their class. The total estimated cost per semester, including airfare, VCU tuition, housing and meals, international field excursions, books and supplies, passport, local transportation, and personal expenses ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. This cost can vary depending on personal spending habits.
Students enrolled at VCUQatar will be welcomed by the student services staff, which will arrange orientation for Richmond students.
The student body at VCUQatar is very diverse, with many students coming from different countries. There are also international students studying at other universities in Education City. The official language of Qatar is Arabic, but students will find they can live easily in Doha with little or no Arabic skills. Most signs and menus are in English and most residents speak basic English.
Students who want to learn Arabic should be aware that the prevalence of English will make their task harder.
Qatari residents are very warm and welcoming. Students will find that the standard of dress is very fashionable. Adventure activities in and around Doha include scuba diving, sailing, swimming at the beaches and sand dunning.
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