Studying in Saudi Arabia

Hello everyone,

Would you recommend studying abroad in Saudi Arabia?

Every year, 4 million young people from all over the world choose to study abroad for one semester or a full academic year. Would you encourage them to come and study in Saudi Arabia?

In your opinion, what are the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country/area? Are these free of charge? If not, are tuition fees expensive? Are there many foreign students enrolled in these schools/colleges/universities? What is the main language of instruction at the university?

Thank you in advance for sharing!
Priscilla

Le sigh, another thesis ....

In KSA post secondary education is limited to Saudi students, however, expats can be considered if their academic merit is up to par with the requirements. From what my colleagues tell me, the teaching method is in English but gets switched to Arabic if students are not understanding the subject.

The most prestigious uni in KSA is KFUPM followed  KAU is getting up the ranks lately.

PNU is all female university which has a high ranking too.

Then again you have Islamic universities which are dedicated to teach sharia, Islamic laws etc. which is filled with expats so that they can go back to their countries and spread the knowledge. Some stay back for the love of islam by finding a local girl to marry.

its not a bad idea actually if you are going on some petroleum oil & gas engineering.i mean you can get a job after that may be its also affordable in Saudi Arabia coz fo no tax-cession

I am a third year medical student at Alfaisal University (private non-profit, research-oriented), so I can certainly talk about it. I did my highschool (Cambridge A-levels) in Malaysia and scored pretty well. I then found out about Alfaisal through a family friend.

I had my reservations about studying medicine in KSA, but those reservations were quickly blown away as I joined Alfaisal. The education standards are at par with international standards. Alfaisal's biggest strengths lie in its cultural diversity and highly impressive English standards.  English is the language of instruction, and you'll meet some of the best English speakers here lol.   We've got some pretty respectable professors from around the world. Student activities are well funded (eg, research activities at top universities in the US like Harvard, Yale, Brown in the summer). I must also add that it is also "partially co-ed". Classes are separate, but male and female students do meet near the faculty office area (which we call the RED ZONE  :lol:  ) for say, committee and student association meetings, research projects, etc.

Our students are doing amazingly in national-level progress tests, and more importantly exams like the USMLE. There is a solid number of foreigners studying at Alfaisal (Only about 60% are Saudi). And we have many of our graduates now pursuing their post grad studies (including medical specialization) in countries like the US, UK and Canada. Also Alfaisal is affiliated with King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, considered to be one of the best hospitals in the Gulf region. Recently, Alfaisal was ranked 12th in the Arab region by US News.

(http://www.usnews.com/education/arab-re … ity-513413)

Alfaisal medical students are simply shining in their hospital rotations, and I've heard that many consultants have nothing but praise for them. So I'd say they are potentially a step ahead of all other medical students in KSA, with regards to knowledge, English proficiency and professionalism.
Fees may be a bit steep, but there are loads of scholarships available (merit-based, need-based, dean's list, sibling discount). A large proportion of the students are on full or partial scholarships.

So yeah, I can tell you that Alfaisal is doing a lot of things right. I'm highly satisfied with the education I'm receiving and I dont think I couldve done my undergrad studies at a better place :D

Consider going to KAUST, the one and only co ed university in saudi arabia. Each year, lots of international exchange students visit at all levels.   40% of students are saudies, rest from around the world. The uni has very high standard of research and is equiped with some of the most advance labs in the world. For more info, visit www.kaust.edu.sa

About me
I studied 12 year in Saudi Arabia
If you want to learn I think you came to the wrong place ( except Islamic lessons ) if you want the certificate you will love to study in Saudi Arabia cause you will get it Easley

Dear Priscilla,
Blessed 2017 to you and your loved ones!
I have worked and lead schools in Saudi Arabia and I will truly recommend families who may want their kids to pursue their studies to consider the same.
Safety and work ethics are clean and MOE is revamping the delivery of assessments and the entire education segment is getting qualitative.
Thank you
Warm regards,
Padma

AlfayzalMedStudent :

I am a third year medical student at Alfaisal University (private non-profit, research-oriented), so I can certainly talk about it. I did my highschool (Cambridge A-levels) in Malaysia and scored pretty well. I then found out about Alfaisal through a family friend.

I(http://www.usnews.com/education/arab-re … ity-513413)

So yeah, I can tell you that Alfaisal is doing a lot of things right. I'm highly satisfied with the education I'm receiving and I dont think I couldve done my undergrad studies at a better place :D

Wow never heard about this uni until now. Good to know.
Just out of curiosity, are you under sponsorship of university ?

Lol not surprised you've never heard about it. They dont promote themselves excessively, coz after all theyre non-profit! :D
If by sponsorship, you mean visa-wise, yes. I'm on a student visa.

hamudi :
AlfayzalMedStudent :

I am a third year medical student at Alfaisal University (private non-profit, research-oriented), so I can certainly talk about it. I did my highschool (Cambridge A-levels) in Malaysia and scored pretty well. I then found out about Alfaisal through a family friend.

I(http://www.usnews.com/education/arab-re … ity-513413)

So yeah, I can tell you that Alfaisal is doing a lot of things right. I'm highly satisfied with the education I'm receiving and I dont think I couldve done my undergrad studies at a better place :D

Wow never heard about this uni until now. Good to know.
Just out of curiosity, are you under sponsorship of university ?

You mean if he is like a Scholar of the university?    :)

Saudi Arabia is not very popular while evaluating one's options to select higher studies, since one would be confined to Saudi Arabia and GCC countries who recognize the value of Saudi degree.

The exception of course  is Islamic subjects like Quranic studies, fiqa and Mufti courses. The best muslim Ulimas studied at Madina  Islamic University. This university is also a dream for western new muslims coming from all corners of the world. :)

Hi..
Yes i recominded that ..

Honestly, I wouldn't ever come here to study being an American. If you don't mind the ridiculous double standard rules for men and women.

If you don't mind the reckless and inconsiderate driving habits. And as a woman having all your right beings stripped away from you then yes it's for you.

The reason people most likely come here to study is because the education is cheap and it's not too big of a hassle to get into this country. Outside of that Saudi Arabia isn't what I would consider "a place to enjoy life" unless you're the type looking to be controlled as a woman.

And as a man if you're looking to getaway from women this is the place. Although so many men get to travel to other countries and do what they want.

I read all above views I think to get education outside Saudi is quite important for both men and I woman to get nternational exposure and to learn from foreign expertise very important .I also think Saudi students can get education in the kingdom and they can get hold of all faicilities in the advancing years and few exceptional can study abroad but most men and women can study in their own country the educational standard has to be high at Saudi Arabia without eduction a nation becomes deaf blind and dumb

As far as the academic standard is concerned, I have a fairly positive experience. I hired young Electronics and System Engineering graduates of UPM (University of Petroleum and Minerals) while working for IBM Saudi Arabia , The reason why one of them choose to study there was that his father was  employed at Aramco Dhahran.

Another Pakistani national, Engineering graduate went to USA to study a master's program in finance and became CEO of P&G (Proctor and Gamble) Pakistan.

Social life and contact with the opposite sex for an overseas student in Saudi was limited to pornography and telephone friendship with females in very risky situations.

Young foreign boys have traditionally been bullied and harassed by locals and not knowing Arabic and religious taboos have made mixing of nationalities more difficult. :sosad:

It's a strict Muslim country comparing to other GCs. Very strict in regards to women. No much freedom. Dammam or Jedha will be a better location to work as many Indians are there and better devloped. Dammam is good as its near to Bahrain. I can spend ur weekends. Climate also good as these two cities are coastal region.

Dear madam it is impossible now I am working in Saudi Arabia because I am coming for work. Thank you
Pay regards
Muhammad Sajjad

Hi Priscilla and all viewers,

Many people have already answered in variety of ways Mine is a bit different.

Your first question was about recommendation of studying in KSA.
Yes it is recommended. But not for Westerners, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Australians etc., (I would tag them as 1st category here) as they'd be least bothered to study here except if Islamic studies is concerned.

The main reason for a YES is the early education (schooling) until before graduation is very straight forward no hassles with good education for less fees (mainly for Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi etc and they get a tag as 2nd category).

Second main reason for that YES and the answer to your second question is, I would surely encourage students (not from 1st category though) who are had good academics until 12th grade to try down here in KSA as they'll get quality education mainly at less cost in KFUPM, KAUST, Al Faisal University and a very few other universities (Which answers your thrid question briefly).

All universities mentioned here are prestigious. There is no concept of colleges here (Or if any available, they are only for Saudis). There are many foreign students enrolled in all universities mentioned here. When international students are involved, main language of instruction will be "English". Here mostly you'll find American ways rather than British.

NO,Never

Hello Priscilla,
About the standard of education in saudi Arabia I can not answer that. You should research each college and check the world ranking as well as what subjects each university excels at.

I can help you with whether you should come or not. If you are non-Muslim I really don't recommend coming to saudi Arabia. Boredom is like the plague over here.

Yousufaws :

Hello Priscilla,
About the standard of education in saudi Arabia I can not answer that. You should research each college and check the world ranking as well as what subjects each university excels at.

I can help you with whether you should come or not. If you are non-Muslim I really don't recommend coming to saudi Arabia. Boredom is like the plague over here.

you've no idea how super excited she is to come and study in KSA.

She gonna make her country proud

Hi everyone,

very interesting thread.
So I understand that there are universities for women, and universities for men. There is no mixed university?

The Top Universities ranking ranks King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals at the 189th place, then comes King Saud University (227th position) and King Abdulaziz University (KAU) (283rd position). Are they all reserved to men only?

rashedishussain says that western students would be least bothered studying here. This comes in contradiction with other comments. Is teaching quality good enough for western students?

Only mixed university is KAUST which specialises in Masters and PhD

all others have male/female divisions.

As per Al faisal student, they have mixed classes but not allowed to mingle.

They must come here only for Arabic and islamic studies .For any other degree they have to find anaother country .

Which university you are thinking about? Because of the visa restrictions it is more difficult for expats. I would say that KAUST university (king abdullah university of science and technology) ,https://www.kaust.edu.sa/en)  is the best place to study but the university doesn't offer graduate program, only post graduate like master or PhD.

AlfayzalMedStudent :

Lol not surprised you've never heard about it. They dont promote themselves excessively, coz after all theyre non-profit! :D
If by sponsorship, you mean visa-wise, yes. I'm on a student visa.

Asalamo Alykuim,

My name is Sarah and I'm from the United States. I'm interested in applying for Alfaisal and is wondering how competitive the admission process is. More specifically, do you mind giving me insight on the average percentile you scored on your standardized tests and what your G.P.A was? I know you did a different curriculum, as I am doing an American based curriculum, but the standardized percentiles should give me a good enough prediction factor base. Thank you! Oh and I am an emerging  Senior with a 4.0 G.P.A, however I'm not so proud of my standardized test score (I'm taking the ACT) haha :)

.

hamudi :

Only mixed university is KAUST which specialises in Masters and PhD

all others have male/female divisions.

As per Al faisal student, they have mixed classes but not allowed to mingle.

I must correct you here.

I study at Alfaisal, and our student committees are mixed. Naturally, we need to sit together to discuss, plan and strategize. The mixed meetings and gatherings happen mainly on the 3rd floor in an area open to both genders.

2nd floor is only women. 1st and Ground floors are only men, although the ladies can be seen walking around quite freely (particularly buying food from the male cafetaria).

There, I laid out the whole floor plan for you lol.

RajaRaiees :

They must come here only for Arabic and islamic studies .For any other degree they have to find anaother country .

The inaccuracy of this statement is eye-watering.

Sarah918 :
AlfayzalMedStudent :

Lol not surprised you've never heard about it. They dont promote themselves excessively, coz after all theyre non-profit! :D
If by sponsorship, you mean visa-wise, yes. I'm on a student visa.

Asalamo Alykuim,

My name is Sarah and I'm from the United States. I'm interested in applying for Alfaisal and is wondering how competitive the admission process is. More specifically, do you mind giving me insight on the average percentile you scored on your standardized tests and what your G.P.A was? I know you did a different curriculum, as I am doing an American based curriculum, but the standardized percentiles should give me a good enough prediction factor base. Thank you! Oh and I am an emerging  Senior with a 4.0 G.P.A, however I'm not so proud of my standardized test score (I'm taking the ACT) haha :)

Hey there Sarah!

Well, competition varies from college to college. Obviously, I'd consider the medical college to be the most competitive. Then again, I remember from last year they took in a huge number of freshmen students.

I did the Cambridge A-levels and I had AAA grades in Bio, Chem, Phys. An A is usually 80-90%. What I can do is share the Alfaisal admission criteria website, which lists down the requirements for all colleges and for the common education systems (Saudi, US, UK) : http://admissions.alfaisal.edu/en/criteria

Additionally, students who dont meet requirements for direct admission, can do the UPP year (Foundation or Preparatory year) and then can be admitted into their college of choice.

Hope this helps!

Thank you! I'll be sure to check it out and I finished honors level physics chemistry and bio with an A as well! However, I'm going to try and take college classes near me (I have nothing to do in me senior year of high school anyway, haha) just to make my resume more appealing. I hope I get in when I apply next year, good luck!

Sarah918 :

Thank you! I'll be sure to check it out and I finished honors level physics chemistry and bio with an A as well! However, I'm going to try and take college classes near me (I have nothing to do in me senior year of high school anyway, haha) just to make my resume more appealing. I hope I get in when I apply next year, good luck!

That's wonderful! I must break it to you tho, I have noticed that the admission process generally in Saudi and many other countries is somewhat different than in the US. I am aware that in the US, things like your resume, extracurricular activities, volunteering, interview, etc are taken into consideration when applying especially to med school. Not so much here. It essentially mainly boils down to your score.  :)

Alfaisal is a wonderful place to be tbh, and I don't think I could ask for a better place to be in.  Feel free to hmu anytime should you have more questions. Good luck and best wishes :top:

AlfayzalMedStudent :
Sarah918 :

Thank you! I'll be sure to check it out and I finished honors level physics chemistry and bio with an A as well! However, I'm going to try and take college classes near me (I have nothing to do in me senior year of high school anyway, haha) just to make my resume more appealing. I hope I get in when I apply next year, good luck!

That's wonderful! I must break it to you tho, I have noticed that the admission process generally in Saudi and many other countries is somewhat different than in the US. I am aware that in the US, things like your resume, extracurricular activities, volunteering, interview, etc are taken into consideration when applying especially to med school. Not so much here. It essentially mainly boils down to your score.  :)

Alfaisal is a wonderful place to be tbh, and I don't think I could ask for a better place to be in.  Feel free to hmu anytime should you have more questions. Good luck and best wishes :top:

Thank you, I really appreciate it! Better boost my scores even more further then, haha :)

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