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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Recommended Program: Yes
Program Description:
Abu Dhabi

Life in Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a modern metropolis on the shore of the Arabian Sea. Considered Dubai’s sister city, Abu Dhabi now has its own skyline of starchitect-designed bridges and buildings, as well as a growing cluster of international museums and high-rise apartment blocks rising from the desert, making it an increasingly attractive place to live and study.

Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of cuisine at restaurants at extremely reasonable prices. Pakistani, Indian, Lebanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Ethiopian are just a few of the national foods on offer. Take-out food is also much less expensive than elsewhere in the world; a network of drivers on motorcycles will rush to get the food delivered to one's door.

Abu Dhabi is home to people of many nationalities, each contributing to the mix of languages and dress, not to mention food and languages. Some of the most breath-taking and interesting locations in the world are less than a four-hour flight away: Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia; destinations throughout the Middle East; much of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka; Turkey; Greece; and so much more.

About Rabdan Academy

The Academy is a government-owned world-class education institution established to coordinate and enhance learning outcomes for organizations and individuals in the safety, security, defense, emergency preparedness and crisis management sectors.

The Academy is the first in UAE to provide learning in a dual approach, combining academic and vocational education in one place whilst recognizing prior learning and experience and providing accredited and transferable credit from course to course and job to job.

Rabdan Academy at the forefront of collaborative training and education for a cadre of safety, security, defense, emergency preparedness, and crisis management (SSDEC) specialists. This integration and co-ordination of education and training opportunities, capabilities and standards, in a cohesive and world-class environment, will result in a continuously improving capability for the field of national security.


Interested students are required to meet with Sarah Carrier prior to applying to this program. When contacting her for an advising appointment, please email her at and list the days and times you are available to meet over a two week period.  

To Apply:

Applicants must be nominated by the Wilder School and should contact Maureen Moslow-Benway ( if interested in the exchange.  Students must have a 2.75 GPA to apply and are selected on the basis of their academic record and emotional maturity.  Applicants should be majoring in Homeland Security or Criminal Justice.  Applications should be submitted to the Education Abroad office by April 15 for the fall semester and Oct. 15 for the spring semester.

Language of Instruction

English is the language of instruction at Rabdan Academy for all programs with the exception of the Crime Scenes program. All core, concentration and elective courses in IEM, BCM, PAS, and MIA are taught in English.  Faculty members and academic staff come from various nations such as the Australia, Canada, Jordan, Tunisia, USA, UK, and UAE.

Course descriptions are available in the academic catalogue available here.

Transfer of credit:

Students must earn the equivalent of a C grade or higher in a given course to be eligible for transfer credit. Students are required to take the necessary steps to ensure that transcripts are received from the university upon return to VCU. Grades at Rabdan will not be calculated in your GPA, unless you are attempting to graduate with Latin honors.

Tuition and fees and accommodations: Tuition for VCU students is based on VCU tuition and fees. Room and board are paid directly to Rabdan.  As part of its commitment to providing a safe, secure and student-friendly environment, Rabdan Academy provides fully-equipped and furnished deluxe hotel apartments in Danat Residency. Located within walking distance of Rabdan Academy, the hotel offers a holistic living-learning environment contributing to positive campus life experience. Proximity to the campus provides accessibility to the Academy’s learning resources including academic staff, library, etc.  Students are housed in shared bedrooms (2 students per room) and the monthly cost is approximately 1,200 USD per student. 

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Registration Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 11/15/2019 11/15/2019 TBA TBA