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Bc. Martin Horňák, CTU Prague, ročník 4

Faculty Faculty of Civil Engineering
Field of study Engineering, Other
Field of internship Civil Engineering, Geology and Mining
Specialization of InternshipAny
Internship period (from - to) 05-09-2021 to 12-12-2021
Internship duration (weeks) -
Transport (means, price) -
Insurance/Insurance company -
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) -
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  United Arab Emirates, Sharjah
Internship reference number AE-2021-16-SUS21

About the country

Location of the place

I have been working for the University of Sharjah, lcoated in the Emirate of Sharjah, which is located right next to Dubai Emirate. The campus is very spread, the distances in the UAE are crazy, it is almost impossible to live without a car. Fortunately, there are shuttle buses within the campus from one end to the other one. Also some people were working in Dubai, so they had to take those buses provided by the university (for free of course). In the campus, there is a small supermarket, but for bigger grocery shoppings, we got used to take taxis (there are like 4 shopping malls nearby and taxis are usually cheap in the UAE).

City

The University is located in Sharjah. It took us like 20 min by taxi to get into the city centre. There is a nice water front, historical centre and nice restaurants. This Emirate of Sharjah is the strictest Emirate of the UAE, so no alcohol, no loud music, no dancing or bars. Lots of things are not allowed there, but during weekends, we have been traveling to Dubai, which is great for tourists and you can buy and drink alcohol there

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

There are many possibilities for having a good time. Of course we all came to the UAE because of Dubai. Dubai is the craziest city in the world with all of the world records (Burj Khalifa, Frame, Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab, JBR beach, Palm Island etc). There is always something to explore in there. Other trips we took were Abu Dhabi, Dubai Desert overnight stay with camel rides, sandboarding, quad bikes, then Al Ain for hiking or Khorfakkan.

Employer

Employer

The University of Sharjah is a public institution, so there are many employers but we all had the feeling they did not work effectively. Almost everything takes a long time, that is also because of the Arabic spirit. On the other hand, all co-workers I have met were really kind and helpful. They udnerstood that was an intership for students/graduates, so they did not expect you to work too hard. It is of course about enjoying your time in a foreign country

Work description

I have been working in the Sustainability Office, which plays the important role in spreading awareness about sustainability at the university. I have been working on several tasks, but they were all related to application of the university for some ranking systems within sustainability. Mostly it was working with Excel tables (nothing complicated, like reviewing courses in particular academic years and so on), or reviewing articles regarding sustainability and writing some short articles on my own.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

Yes, the salary has been sufficient as 3000 AED per month, the accommodation was provided by the university, we have been living at the dormitories, so we paid less than if we had to find accommodation on our own.
Even prices of groceries in supermarkets are slightly lower than in Czechia. Eating out in restaurants is similiar or slightly higher compared to Czechia. The most expensive is alcohol

Language requirements

A lot of workers at the university or drivers are Pakistani, so they do not speak good English. However, co-workers have had a good English level. So it is fine to have C1, but even B2/C1 would be sufficient.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Accommodation as mentioned was provided by the university, it cost 30 AED per a day, so 900 AED per a month as it is subsidised by the university. I have had my own room and the kitchen and bathroom is shared with another intern. The dorm is for both students and interns, but interns have been living together.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

Unfortunately, there was not any pick up at the airport, neither any organised events. We had to orginise trips on our own, which was not bad, we got a contact on some bus drivers so we could arrange trips all together by bus to Dubai.
We met a few IAESTE comittee members, they were helpful, we had a few meeting with picnic and playing music with them, which was nice.

Meeting other foreign students

In total we were a group of like 20 interns there, so the social life have been amazing. People came from all over the world, so it was truly an international environment.
However, girls had to live outside of campus, as there are strict rules when it comes to boys meeting girls on the campus. So we usually met girls members on weekends or even sometimes after work when we planned some dinners, walks, ice skating, exhibitions and so on

Sport and culture

In the campus, there is a sport complex for free, including a gym hall for volleyball, basketball, badminton, then fully equipped gym for working out and swimming pool. Also there are outdoor football pitch and tennis courts

Food, local specialties

There are many of local specialties, people eat lots of Arabic bread, hummus, drink watermelon or mango fresh juice or a tea with spices called karak.
There was a canteen open every day for having a lunch for a reasonable price of 18 AED.
As the country is multi cultural, there are many different restaurants available

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Whatsapp calls have been blocked unless you used VPN. It is possible to use Skype, MS Teams for calling home
Also it is important to get an Emirati SIM card, preferably right after landing on the airport. Prices for data and some calling are similiar to those in Czechia.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Definitely do not hesitate and go. It had been always my dream coming to the UAE and Dubai for a longer period of time. It is completely different culture, but people are mostly nice here. There are no violations, thefts or pickpockets, it is one of the safest countries in the world.
Be aware of very high temperatures. When I came in September, it was like 42 degrees during the day and the sun was killing me. But one can get used to it and as the time goes, it starts to be more bearable. Only 35 degrees at the end of October and December is already around 25-30 in December.

What not to forget with you

Sunscreen protection, sunglasses, maybe a hat. Long trousers as on campus it is very strict when it comes to clothes and entering buildings! But outside of campus it is fine wearing shorts.
However, you do not need to bring much - shirts, T-shirts, trousers, shorts, as the weather is still so hot and never ending summer

Benefits of the internship

Definitely the experience of living abroad for some months, getting to know local culture, having friends from all over the world and mainly having unforgettable experience of many trips and crazy activities like desert overnight stay, helicopter flight, jet ski, yacht parties and so on :)

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Everything has been smooth, the local IAESTE worker is so nice and kind ready to help you with everything

Overall experience with IAESTE

I have to sum up my experience with IAESTE like great and awesome. Every time I had a problem or a question, both sides Czech or Emirati one were ready to help me and answer quickly

Student's website

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Employer's webiste

https://www.sharjah.ac.ae/en/Pages/default.aspx

Other useful links

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Other comments

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