The Adventures of Enrolling into the University of Sharjah – #Registration

**DISCLAIMER**

Just to clarify, since I received a complaint. Whatever is written in this post is based on my firsthand experience. The info shared here is meant to only help prospective international students get an idea of what they may encounter, so as to be better equipped. Prospective students must still get as much info as possible directly from the university itself. This is a blog post, it is NOT an official university article. Thoughts expressed are my own. Thanks for the understanding.
Assalamu’alaikum 🙂

After thoroughly reading through everything on the university’s website, the following information **may** help to fill in the gaps. Or at least warn you of what may happen 😛

 

#1. You’re gonna need a lot of money

From the online application all the way to the reservation fee, your gonna be handing over a lot of money. So hopefully your pockets do run quite deep.

 

#2.  What you should know about the required documents

required docs

a) “Copy of Residence Visa for non-local students”

The residence visa will actually be given to you right at the end of the whole admission process. After your online application has been completed and you have submitted all your documents to the admission department, the passport department will apply for your security clearance first. Once you’ve got clearance they will then apply for your student visa.

A soft copy of your students visa should be sent to you before school starts, and once you arrive in the country (i.e. if you are an international student) you will hand over your passport to the passport department so that they can put the official seal in your passport.

Be sure to print out the soft copy and take it with you when you are travelling to the country!

Also, some students from certain countries may face difficulties in obtaining a student visa from the UAE. For me, because I am ethnically from one of these countries, my student visa application got rejected at first…I couldn’t get the security clearance. However, since my nationality is not from the same country, the passport department reapplied with a special letter from the university along with my documents proving my citizenship of an “approved” country. Alhamdulillah it got accepted, but man was it stressful. You can check the various UAE government websites to see if you will be able to get a visa.

 

b) “Certified Copy of Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent”

I studied in a system that combines both the Cambridge system as well as my country’s local system, so I went through O Levels and A Levels in my 10th and 12th year of education respectively. So I needed to get both my O and A Levels certs copied and certified, and this is how I did it:

  1. photocopied my certificates
  2. I took my original certificates and the photocopies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country (in my country the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes care of authentication of educational certificates. It may differ in yours), they will put a stamp/seal on your photocopies saying that they are true copies.
  3. I took my authenticated photocopies of your certificates to the UAE embassy in your country. They will put another seal on your certificate.

Up to this point, this is all I could possibly do in my country.

As you know, you are supposed to send all these documents to UOS via registered mail. So I had sent all of the documents they required, except for the Equivalent certificate, via FedEx. A good 3 weeks later I arrived in the UAE to complete the admission process, only to find out they didn’t even open the envelope I had sent them with all the documents, despite many emails I had sent telling them that I will be arriving there soon.

I encountered admission officers who literally scolded, with no exaggeration, both my parent and I because apparently I was missing a seal from the Ministry of Education of my country on my photocopied certificates, and she said this would hinder the application for the Equivalent cert (which is mandatory for admission). This made no sense to me because my original certificates already have official signatures from the Ministry of Education of my country.

This is how I eventually got my Equivalence cert:

  1. I took my authenticated certificates (I took it back from UOS as it was needed) and the originals to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE (So it turns out the “missing seal from the Ministry of Education in my country” wasnt what was needed), they put another seal on my photocopies. Now my certs were completely authenticated.
  2. I took my authenticated photocopies and original certs to the Ministry of Education in Dubai, which is the building next to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along Al-Nahdah Road.  UOS gave me the wrong address accidentally and sent me to some weird international relations government building initially.

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On the Ministry of Education website it says that the processing of your Equivalence cert would take 5 working days if I’m not wrong.

When I went there, they took my originals and authenticated photocopies and told me to come back 3 weeks later! My parent and I were only gonna be in the UAE that time for about 2 weeks, and we have no relatives whatsoever who could help us collect all the documents upon completion. And I was not gonna leave my original certs with them and return to my country.

After much pleading the lady at the counter said OK come back in 2 weeks, but if it’s not ready she can’t do anything. At that point we were not aware that their website said it will only take 5 working days.

We returned there the next day after finding out about the 5 day promise on their website and again pleaded with them to hasten the process as we are not able to stay so long in the country. This time we were served by a different, more understanding lady, and she told us to come back a week later.

When we came back one week later, it was the first lady we had encountered, and man she wasnt happy to see us. When we sat down in front of her, she didn’t say a word to us, but she haughtily tapped her fingers on the table and just stared at us. My parent began in an apologetic tone, trying to explain why we came back relatively early, but she interrupted, demanding to know why we came even though she said it would take 3 weeks. When we asked why we had to wait so long instead of 5 working days, she rudely told us to forget about what the website said because their board members had been on holiday, so now they were clearing backlog and can’t tend to our needs so quickly.

This time my parent had to beg, literally. I was so upset by the mistreatment my parent received. There was nothing I could do, so I just bit my tongue as I watched the nonesense.

In the end after a nerve-wracking 2 hour wait we were sent upstairs where another officer typed out my Equivalence cert in a mere 5 minutes. And guess what, they didn’t even look at all my original or authenticated certificates. Sigh.

 

c) “Medical health fitness certificate including a blood test…”

This is one of the 2 medical tests you have to do. The other one would be when you are applying for the UAE residence card, and that was more painful in terms of the blood test. If you get the same nurse as I did, expect some internal bleeding :/ They will also take your picture for the card right after she stabs your arm, so try to hide your pain. Otherwise you’ll end up looking like a drug addict on the card, like I did.

 

d) “Document proving that the student has completed 12 years of school”

The Ministry of Education in my country doesn’t provide such documents, so I hauled all my educational certs to UOS to try and prove to them that I did my time.

Perhaps in your countries you may be able to get such a document.

 

e) “Students who obtained certificates from outside the UAE must provide a document proving that the High School Certificate is accepted by government universities in the country from which the certificate was obtained…”

This was confusing because all my certs were given to me by the government of my country with their official signatures. Again I explained the situation to UOS. Eventually they seemed to understand.

 

Other Tips:

  • Spare about 2 weeks to come to the UAE to complete your admission process.
  • Make plenty of photocopies of EVERYTHING. No one at the government buildings will help you make photocopies.
  • Make sure you get a sim card with plently of Data cuz you’ll need to use google maps often to find your way around, as well as to guide the taxi drivers.
  • Bring as many official documents, testimonials etc as you can in case it’s needed.
  • Take your passport, airplane ticket etc with you to show them that you are here for only a limited period of time, therefore they need to hurry up with the processing.
  • Be firm yet polite with difficult people, you have to get things done in a reasonable time frame.
  • Be patient, anything can happen.
  • You can save money by skipping the expensive hotel meals and buying food from the supermarkets instead. They often have ready-made food available.

 

I sincerely hope this post has helped you familiarise with the admission/registration process, and will inshaa’Allah ease the process for you.

Feel free to comment and share.

-A.

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