A New Cohort of Art and Design Students Joins VCUarts Qatar


Students with Dean Amir Berbic during the orientation program.

Doha: The fourth week of July saw Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), a partner university of the Qatar Foundation (QF), welcome new students, staff and faculty for the academic year 2022-2023.

This year, more than 75 students from more than 20 countries joined the country’s only university dedicated to art and design, which opened in 1998. The first week began with an orientation program for new undergraduate and graduate students.

The orientation program for new students was led by the Student Government Association (SGA) of VCUarts Qatar and the university’s Student Life and Engagement Division under the Student Affairs Department. The new students were welcomed by VCUarts Qatar faculty, staff and students, including Dean Amir Berbić.

“Congratulations on being accepted to VCUarts Qatar,” said Dean Berbić. “That in itself is an accomplishment. I know that getting into a center of excellence like VCUarts Qatar involves months and months of preparation, building a portfolio and getting good grades. And now that you are here, I have to thank you for making VCUarts Qatar your university of choice.

He added: “You are in a very exciting and energetic place where you will be engaged in many creative processes. Our standards are high and there will be projects that will test you and demand more of you.

“Be curious, be ready to explore, seize new opportunities, meet new people and make the most of the excellent resources we have. Welcome to VCUarts Qatar, Class of 2026!”

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 the programs at VCUarts Qatar.

The orientation program for new students consisted of a four-day activity-based introduction to VCUarts Qatar. Icebreakers, brainstorming and team building activities were all linked to a theme to give participants a taste of the four academic paths – art history, graphic design, interior design and painting + printmaking – at VCUarts Qatar.

Sarah Faheem, Acting Director of Student Life and Engagement, said, “This year, SGA spent nearly a month planning hospitality activities.

When one thinks of a university, it is almost always the academic programs that come to mind. But college life is much more than that – it’s the sum of a student’s whole experience. And if incoming students are aware of the facilities, resources, tools, and expertise available at a top-notch art and design school like VCUarts Qatar, the more they will be able to use during their undergraduate years. undergraduate or graduate.

“Additionally, orientation week gives newcomers a chance to network and get to know their peers better before splitting up to take specialist modules.”

Members of the Qatar Foundation Student Life team were present at the orientation. They shared information about “Marhaba” – the next education city-wide orientation event – ​​organized by QF every year.

Sruthi Subash, one of the new students joining the University this year, said she had set her sights on VCUarts Qatar since high school.

“VCUarts Qatar was one of my top picks since high school, so I’m very happy to be here,” she said. “I love painting and the hands-on process of creating artwork. So I hope to join the Painting + Printmaking program for my degree.”

Subash said the orientation program helped calm his initial nervousness.

“Being the first day of orientation, it felt a little scary, but I’m delighted to see how friendly and helpful everyone has been, and it motivates me to start my studies here. The welcome program itself was fun and exciting,” she said.

Saif Saleh Abdulaziz Al Ansari, another new student, explained his reason for joining the university’s art history bachelor’s program: “After high school, I went to the United States with the intend to study a degree in design such as graphic design or fine art. My plans changed once I started taking art history classes at Scottsdale College, USA. I realized that art history fascinated me. Eventually, when I learned that there was a degree program in Art History back home at VCUarts Qatar, I jumped at the chance and transferred here. Now that I’m here, it’s been great so far. The guidance people were very welcoming and responsive to my questions, making me feel at home.


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