Friday, August 2, 2013

[CAMPUS SPOTLIGHT] American University (AU) - International Student Life and Support

[Source: American University]

Living in Washington, D.C. as an International Student

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is a truly cosmopolitan city with many points of interest. Here students can visit the U.S. Capitol, see Congress in session, tour the Supreme Court and learn about the U.S. system of justice. They can also visit the city's many free museums too.

Some of the most beautiful sights of the city are monuments to American leaders and heroes. Students can also enjoy concerts at the Kennedy Center and festivals on the National Mall. Don’t forget the wildlife at the National Zoo and nightlife in Georgetown and Adams Morgan. Students can also visit a variety of parks and bike trails and travel to beautiful mountains and beaches located only just a few hours away.

Campus Life as an International Student

American University (AU) is a private doctoral institution in one of Washington, D.C.’s safest neighborhoods. The university is home to more than 1,300 international students from over 130 countries. There are also an increasing number of U.S. citizens or “Global Nomads” who have grown up outside the United States. The school’s faculty and academic programs also reflect this diversity.

On campus, international students have the opportunity to work with professors who are making a difference. At American University, doors are opened and minds expanded as world leaders and leading professionals speak on campus and classes venture off campus into the community.


  • Private, 4-year or above college/university
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • Located in Washington, D.C.

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kogod School of Business
  • School of Communication
  • School of International Service
  • School of Professional and Extended Studies
  • School of Public Affairs
  • Washington College of Law

Academic Programs:
  • Bachelor’s: 61
  • Master’s: 54
  • Doctoral: 11
  • Additional programs: JD, LLM, JSD degree programs, as well as graduate certificate degree programs
  • 798 full-time faculty
  • 12:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 22.4 average class size
  • 17.4 average class size (for graduate courses)
Student Body (Fall 2012)

Total student population: 13,165
Total international student population: 1,363

Undergraduates: 6,776
  • Females: 59%
  • Males: 41%
  • International: 8%
  • Countries represented: 130

Graduate and Law Students: 5,230
  • International: 7.4%
  • Full-time: 55%
Non-degree, certificate, Washington Semester, AU Abroad: 1,159


Princeton Review Best Colleges (2013)
  • #1 Most Politically Active Students
  • #10 Best Career Services
  • #6 Most Popular Study Abroad Programs

U.S. News & World Report America’s Best Colleges (2013)
  • #1 in percentage of students completing at least one internship before graduation
  • #77 Best National University

     Office of Admissions – ATT: International Admissions
     4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
     Washington, D.C. 20016

Support Services

  • The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office is dedicated to meeting the special needs of international students. In addition to providing visa and immigration support, the office organizes orientation sessions for international students and offers individual counseling.
  • The Academic Support Center (ASC) has a dedicated counselor for international students, who can assist individuals in gaining the tools necessary for academic success in the United States. ASC services, including individual instruction and writing support, are available to international students.
  • The AU Student Health Center provides AU students with primary care medical services, health education and wellness programming. The Health Center is staffed by a dedicated team of medical professionals.
  • The Writing Center aids students with academic writing skills. International students can be paired one-on-one with a consultant to improve their writing fluency.
  • The Career Center provides help with writing resumes and cover letters, and gives tips on finding internships and interviewing techniques.
  • The Kay Spiritual Life Center is the campus interdenominational religious center for more than 30 faiths. The center also sponsors a monthly lecture series and an Interfaith Council.


International students can enjoy a wide range of on-campus activities that include speakers, panel discussions, movies, concerts and plays. American University features the Kennedy Political Union (KPU), one of the premier student-run lecture series in the United States. Famous speakers KPU has brought to campus include then-Senator Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senator and Presidential candidate Bob Dole, Robert F. Kennedy, and journalist Bob Woodward.

AU also has over 200 student-run clubs in which international students can participate in. They focus on topics that range from international relations to business to community service to cultural groups and political organizations.


On-campus housing is guaranteed for all new first-year freshmen students. The university has ten smoke-free student residence halls on AU's main campus. Students in university-managed housing will live in double or triple rooms with a bed, desk, dresser, and closet space for each resident, plus in-room wiring for computers, internet access and cable TV. Clean, modern bathrooms and laundry facilities are shared on each floor.

The average age range of students living on campus is 18-21 and the entire AU campus is dry (no alcohol is allowed anywhere on campus). Students age 21 and older often prefer to live off-campus. Off-campus housing is available in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. More details can be found at the Off-Campus Housing website. Homestay accommodations can also be found through specialized agencies in the Washington, D.C., area.

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