FAQs for New Sponsored Students

Does every UAE-sponsored student have an Academic Advisor at the Cultural Division of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC?

No, only UAE students who have scholarships from one of the UAE sponsors that have offices at the Cultural Division in Washington, DC have Academic Advisors at the Cultural Division. These are:

  • Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK)
  • United Arab Emirates University Teaching Assistants Program (UAEU)
  • Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
  • Dubai Government-HH the Ruler's Court (DIWD)
  • Diwan His Highness Sheikh Sultan (DHHSS)
Does the Cultural Division of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC assist private and unsupervised students?


Only students with scholarships from the sponsors listed above have advisors at the Cultural Division. However, for general questions, you are always welcome to contact our office, and we will do our best to assist you.

How do I know which university/college I should apply to?

For scholarship purposes, each sponsor maintains a list of approved universities and/or programs they offer scholarships for students to attend. Please work with the sponsor in the UAE to determine which universities are on their approved list for study.

For general purposes, a university must be accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations in the United States. These are: 

  1. Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC)
  2. Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  3. Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  4. New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  5. Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  6. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  7. WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

In addition, if a field has a program accreditor, then that accreditation is also required. 

For clarification regarding whether a program is approved for study, please contact the Authentication Office at the Cultural Division, or the Equivalency Department at the Ministry of Education.

When do I have to arrive in the US?

You should attend the orientation session at your university/college on the date shown on your I-20 Form.

SEVIS regulation allows you to arrive no sooner than 30 days before the start date on your Form I-20.

Please contact your Cultural Division advisor to ask about what arrangements might be in place for students under your scholarship.

What do I need to send upon arrival to the US?

Upon arrival to the United States you will need to email your Scholarship Academic Advisor at the Cultural Division with the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of F-1 Student Visa
  • Copy of I-20
  • I-94, available here.
Does the Cultural Division assist with airport pickup or housing?

The Cultural Division can only offer airport pickup to students who are flying into Washington, DC. We also do not arrange housing for students, as we cannot be in the city of study to know what is available or what the student is looking for in accommodations. Please contact your school’s international office for assistance regarding housing.

Some universities require that their freshman students or students under 21 live on-campus. In these cases, you will have to follow the university rules and live on-campus. The Cultural Division will not intervene in the rules of the university and will not contact the university on your behalf to request an exception.

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