New and Returning Students, Staff and Faculty Start the Academic Year

August 20, 2023
Vcuarts Qatar Students Orientation Class Of 2027

The semester begins with an exciting orientation program for the Class of 2027

VCUarts Qatar welcomed new and returning students, staff, and faculty to the 2023-2024 academic year this week.

This year, 101 new students from 19 countries joined the country’s only university dedicated to art and design, set up in 1998 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  

The first week kicked off with an immersive and motivating orientation program for new undergraduate and graduate students.

The new students were accorded a warm welcome by VCUarts Qatar’s faculty, staff, students, and the University’s senior leadership including Dean Amir Berbić.

“Congratulations and welcome to VCUarts Qatar,” Dean Berbić said. “You are in the right place. This is where the creative energy is, this is where the future you are looking for will unfold. We are celebrating 25 years in Qatar, and you, the Class of 2027, kicks off our next exciting 25 years – years of innovation, growth, curiosity and bold creativity.

The Dean added, “We are delighted for you as you begin your journey with us. We hope that you are energized by your orientation week, that you learn a lot, get immersed in all that we have to offer and the resources we have, meet some of your classmates and learn about your many study options. Thank you choosing VCUarts Qatar.”

The new students were then introduced to the Directors, Heads, and Chairs of the various academic and non-academic departments, who gave the students an overview of VCUarts Qatar’s BFA, BA and MFA programs. 

The orientation program for new students was a four-day activity-driven introduction to VCUarts Qatar. The icebreakers, brainstorming, and team-building activities were all linked to a theme to provide participants a taste of the academic pathways and help the new students get comfortable in their new surroundings. 

According to new student Dayna Balough, a Graphic Design exchange student from VCU in Richmond, “It’s the kind of environment I wanted to be in. I saw the work of VCUarts Qatar students in Richmond and that inspired me to come to Qatar. It was like a magnetic pull. For me, moving to Qatar was worth breaking from my comfort zone in the pursuit of excellence.”

International student Nazanin Towhidkhah said: “The first time I travelled to Qatar I fell in love with the country, and then I found out about VCUarts Qatar. It was the perfect combination of culture, tradition, and modern education.“  

During the same week, the University’s Department of Human Resources held a one-day off-campus welcome at Al Messila Resort for new and returning faculty and staff where the leadership team shared priorities and strategic developments for the upcoming year.  VCUarts Qatar is the international branch campus of the highly-rated Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. The Qatar campus currently has 175 faculty and staff, including 15 new hires.