Kuwait is a nation of 4.5 million residents situated in the Persian Gulf. With 70% of its residents being expatriates, it is a blend of cultures, and a country with rich religious traditions. 



Languages Spoken:

Arabic, English

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION OVERVIEW 

Higher education in Kuwait is overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education and consists of universities and other institutions such as fine arts colleges, technical institutes and training centers, which are more vocation-oriented. On the university side, Kuwait has four state-sponsored institutions and other private universities, including the American University of Kuwait. 

Universities offer bachelor’s degrees with four years of study (120 credits), master’s degrees, which require a further two years of study, and doctoral degrees, which take at least an additional three years.          

 

STUDYING IN KUWAIT 

Courses 

Courses at the American University of Kuwait are offered in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Business & Economics. The language of instruction is English.

Registration 

Once you are admitted at AUK, the Coordinator for Study Abroad & Student Exchange (host coordinator) will correspond with you and provide the “AUK Incoming Exchange Course Request Form,” which requires signature from you and your home coordinator. Once you’ve submitted the form and have been registered by the Office of the Registrar, they will send written confirmation of registration details to your host coordinator, who will in turn send it to the you to verify course registration. Any issues or questions should be directed to your host coordinator, who will assist and liaise as necessary (provide syllabi, etc.). 

Course Load 

Most students are enrolled in five classes per week, spending a total of 15 hours in the classroom each week. Most courses are taught lecture-style.  

Exams & Grading 

As an American-style university, assessment follows the U.S. model and may include a final exam, plus smaller exams or assignments throughout the course.  

Transcripts 

Please check with your host coordinator to ensure all requirements are met so they can send your transcript to ISEP to be forwarded to your home institution.

Visa and Residency

COVID-19 Update: 

Governments around the world have temporarily suspended the issuance of student visas. 

ISEP will communicate proactively with students as soon as we receive further visa guidance, but at this time we expect that all Fall and Full Year 2020 students will be able to obtain their visa in advance of their program start date.  

You should consult the visa application guidelines below to carefully review all requirements and begin collecting the necessary paperwork so that you are ready to submit the required materials as soon as student visa processing resumes. Please contact your Student Services Coordinator with any questions you may have at this time. 

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Visa regulations can change at any time and without notice. Students should consult the Program Manager or host coordinator for guidance, and always consult their local Consulate or Embassy to verify the most up-to-date visa information. All students are required to obtain a visa to enter Kuwait. Visa requirements can vary depending on the country your passport is issued in. 

Type of visa: Student visa

Visa fee: $175.00 (for U.S. citizens) along with $25.00 for the authentication of the Police Clearance.

Fees should be paid by cash, money order or company check. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.

When to apply: Immediately upon acceptance

 

View the application here

Kuwait embassy in the United States consular services

 

Application Requirements if applying through U.S. Embassy:

• Valid passport with a minimum of two (2) years prior to expiration date.

• One completed current visa application form as issued by Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

• One passport-size photo.

• HIV test (AIDS test).

• Health Certificate: Obtained from the local doctor certifying that the patient is in good health and free from contagious diseases. Lab test results for the following: Hepatitis B & C, Malaria, Filariasis, Syphilis and Chest X-Ray for Tuberculosis.

• No Criminal Record: Obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), valid within three months of the issuance date of the Permit. The “No Criminal Record” has to be certified first by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., then legalized by the Embassy with a $25.00 Authentication fee.

• The Student Permit.

• Stamped, self-addressed return envelope

 

Application Requirements if applying through consulate in Los Angeles:

• Valid Passport with a minimum of six (6) months prior to expiration date.

• One completed current visa application form as issued by Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

• 1 x Passport photo.

• Police record.

• HIV test (AIDS test).

• Health Certificate: Obtained from the local doctor certifying that the patient is in good health and free from contagious diseases. Lab test results for the following: Hepatitis B & C, Malaria, Filariasis, Syphilis and Chest X-Ray for Tuberculosis.

• Police Clearance of No Criminal Record obtained from the: Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI, and should be dated after the issuance date of the Work Permit. The Police Clearance has to be certified first by the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC (Tel: (202) 647-5002 or (800) 688-9889), then legalized by the Consulate with a $25.00 Authentication fee. The Authenticated Police Clearance should be presented to the Kuwaiti Authorities for residency purposes.

• The Student Permit.

• $175.00 company check, money order or cashier check.

• Stamped, self-addressed envelope.

 

General Processing Time: 10 business days

 

Culture

With 74.6% of Kuwaiti citizens being Muslim, the country follows many Islamic customs and laws. Kuwait is a dry state; the consumption, possession and appearing under the influence of alcohol are forbidden. Pork products, both food and leather, and narcotics are also illegal in Kuwait. During the Holy Month of Ramadan in Kuwait, it is prohibited for both Muslims and non-Muslims to eat, drink (including water) or smoke in public.  

 

Many Kuwaiti men wear a dishdasha, a traditional long white robe with a headdress. Kuwaiti women wear Western-style clothing, which may or may not be accompanied by a hijab, or headscarf. Although traditional dress is not required or even the norm, dressing conservatively is strongly recommended in accordance with local customs for both genders.  

 

LGBTQAI+

It is recommended that LGBTQAI+ students conduct personal research on their host country before departing for their program. The articles BELOW may be a good starting point on such research. However, students should keep in mind that social attitudes and acceptance may vary based on a number of factors including region, age, and the local political climate. If you would like to be connected with your host coordinator or an alumni who identifies as LGBTQAI+ before your departure, please contact your Program Manager.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/gay-lgbt-muslim-countries-middle-east

http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/stay-closet-stay-safe/

 

 

Daily Life

The best time of the year to explore Kuwait is between October and April which are the cooler months encompassing the season of fall, winter and spring. The remaining months typically have extremely high temperatures.  The country has beaches, water activities, museums, shopping malls, cinemas and numerous other activities. Bargaining is typical in Kuwait not only in souqs, but also in some Western-style shops and businesses, including some hotels. Numerous North American and European restaurant and fast food chains exist in Kuwait, along with a number of regional options. 

Tipping is only expected in upscale restaurants, where a 10% service fee may be built into the bill. A 10% tip for a taxi driver is also acceptable. 

Kuwait has a limited public transportation structure (buses), but taxis are easily accessible as are several app-based transportation options (Careem & Gocity).

LGBTQAI+

It is recommended that LGBTQAI+ students conduct personal research on their host country before departing for their program. The articles BELOW may be a good starting point on such research. However, students should keep in mind that social attitudes and acceptance may vary based on a number of factors including region, age, and the local political climate. If you would like to be connected with your host coordinator or an alumni who identifies as LGBTQAI+ before your departure, please contact your Program Manager.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/gay-lgbt-muslim-countries-middle-east

http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/stay-closet-stay-safe/

 

Health and Safety

Your health and safety is our number one priority. Please read and reference the Health and Safety section of the ISEP website for general information regarding health and safety abroad.  

Kuwait has a low level of crime but everyone should be aware of their surroundings. Detailed information about Kuwait can be found here. Please pay special attention to the Safety and Security, Local Laws and Special Circumstances and Health sections.  

Note: Information sourced on this page is provided by the United States Department of State. Non-U.S. nationals should disregard the Embassies and Consulates and Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements sections and instead refer to your home country’s resources.  

- Please review the CDC's Health Information for Travelers to Kuwait

-If you’re planning to bring your prescription or over-the-counter medicine on your trip, you need to make sure your medicine is travel-ready. More information can be found here, and please contact your Program Manager and host ISEP coordinator with any additional questions.  

 

Currency

Kuwait’s currency is the Kuwaiti dinar (KD). One dinar consists of 1000 fils; bills come in denominations of 250 fils, 500 fils, and one, five, 10 and 20 dinars. Coins come in five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 fils.

Sources of Information

http://stat.paci.gov.kw/englishreports/  

http://www.expatarrivals.com/middle-east/kuwait/pros-and-cons-moving-kuwait   

 

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