”The University shall be a beacon for peace, hope, and reconciliation and shall serve the people of the Kingdom and benefit all the peoples of the world.”
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Over the past years, the Middle East has experienced a remarkable increase in state-of-the-art facilities for research and education. This innovation-driven environment with extraordinary financial resources has attracted top-notch faculty, staff, and students from all over the world.
My name is Michael Bogdan MĂRGINEANU and I am currently pursuing my Master studies in Cell and Molecular Biology at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
Founded in 2009 and located on the eastern coast of Arabia on the Red Sea, KAUST is a graduate co-educational research university which focuses exclusively on graduate education and research. It offers programs in Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering; Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Science and Engineering; and Physical Sciences and Engineering. The excellent research facilities at this state-of-the-art institution are reflected by the world’s highest field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) systems for structural biology and solid state research as well as KAUST’s newest supercomputer: Shaheen II – one of the most powerful supercomputers in the Middle East. KAUST has one of the largest endowments of any university in the world, and one of the fastest growing research and citation records.
Often referred to as the new ”House of Wisdom” or the ”Arab MIT,” KAUST has attracted top-notch faculty from all over the world, especially from countries such as USA, Germany, China, Japan, and Italy. The high diversity among the faculty is also reflected by the student body, with more than 70 nations represented on campus.
This multicultural environment, in which creativity and teamwork is much valued, fosters great knowledge exchange and innovation.
KAUST offers generous funding to all admitted students, including free housing and health care, as well as a personal stipend. Students are also eligible for repatriation flights to their home country once per year as an additional benefit. As a member of the KAUST community, one has access to excellent indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities: swimming pavilions, tennis and squash courts, athletic tracks, and even a world-class grass golf course. At the same time, one can enjoy private chartered boat cruises, snorkeling and diving trips as well as other water sports such as windsurfing or kayaking. Periodically one can also participate in cultural and artistic events on campus.
How did I start this academic journey at KAUST? Following my graduation from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, with a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, I was determined to continue my graduate studies at Oxford. At the same time, I found out about KAUST from a research article I came across. Curious to learn more about this new institution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I went on the official website and discovered a university with great vision and potential.
I applied for admission to Oxford and KAUST and I received admission offers from both institutions. What motivated me to choose KAUST? Along with the generous KAUST Fellowship I was offered, it was the excellent research facilities and especially the opportunity to bring my contribution to the scientific efforts to this region of the world that helped me decide. I should also mention my desire to learn Arabic and learn about a new culture with a rich heritage and history. Last but not least, the beautiful campus located on the shore of the Red Sea and the climate of Saudi Arabia, also attracted me – especially after three years spent in northern Germany.
I encourage students from all over the world to apply to KAUST and to consider educational opportunities in this region of the world with great potential for scientific discovery and technology development. KAUST offers a model for advanced education and cutting-edge scientific research in the Middle East and can make a difference in the global landscape of science and technology.