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International Students

Ahlia University

Ahlia University (AU) was established in 2001 as the first private university in Bahrain. AU is accredited by the Bahrain Higher Education Council, and our programmes and courses are accredited by numerous international professional bodies such as the ACCA, CIM, and CIMA. AU consistently ranks amongst the top 50 best universities in the Arab region, as recognised by QS World University Rankings.

Based in the island nation of Bahrain, AU offers international students the opportunity to live and study in a different culture and learning environment; in one of the safest, friendliest, and most welcoming countries of the Arabian Gulf.

International students wishing to expand their educational and cultural exposure have multiple avenues available to them.

We will provide guidance and assistance to all international students that wish to apply. Once you have submitted a formal application and after you have received a letter of offer or acceptance, the international team will assist students with visa and immigration documents. This process may take anywhere between 1 week and 2 months and is entirely contingent on the outcome of the application lodged with the Nationality, Passport & Residence Affairs.

Applicants for any of the degree programmes offered by us will not be considered fully registered unless they have obtained a Higher Education Council (HEC) number. Once the applicant is accepted, we will proceed to forward the application to the HEC.

Students need to provide authentication and/or endorsement of their transcripts and certificates, as part of the HEC request. This process may take some time, so students must be prepared to provide the HEC with original copies of their transcripts and/or certificates, accredited by their country’s Ministry of Education, to proceed with the request for endorsement.

Study Abroad

If your institution has a partnership or formal agreement with Ahlia University, you may be eligible to study at Ahlia University for up to one full academic year. No tuition fees are applicable, and you would pay tuition fees only to your home institution. Credits earned whilst studying at Ahlia University may be transferred back to your home institution towards your degree.

Study Abroad Options

Exchange Programme

If your institution has a partnership or formal agreement with Ahlia University, you may be eligible to study at Ahlia University for up to one full academic year. No tuition fees are applicable, and you would pay tuition fees only to your home institution. Credits earned whilst studying at Ahlia University may be transferred back to your home institution towards your degree.

Study Abroad

If your institution does not have any formal agreements with Ahlia University, you may still apply to study at Ahlia University as a visiting student. A visiting student can spend up to one full academic year at Ahlia University and would pay tuition fees directly to Ahlia University. Credits earned whilst studying at Ahlia University may be transferred back to your home institution towards your degree.

International Study Tours

Ahlia offers an exciting 5-day ‘Entrepreneurs Across Borders’ programme that is carefully designed to engage, inspire, and challenge students to challenge themselves. The 5-day programme includes a number of cultural tours and site visits that will support students’ informal learning and allow them to socialize, relax, and reflect on their experiences. The cultural tours allow students to learn more about Bahrain; its history, people, and culture, and inspire them to consider it as a launchpad for their future startup!

Ahlia University offers international students and partner institutions the opportunity to engage in other customised short-term study abroad programmes that range from 1 week to 2 months.

What Our Students Had to Say

Discover Bahrain

Student Care & Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Not really, although learning a few Arabic words would be helpful. English is our main business language and it is commonly spoken in most retail stores and services.

Bahrain is very safe. The crime rate is extremely low and violent crime is rare.

No. Women can dress as they wish, although it is recommended to dress modestly in public.

Bahrain is known in the Gulf for being open and tolerant. Bahraini men and women socialise at local cafes, and expatriates mix with Bahraini nationals across all social settings. People from all over the Gulf come here to relax.

Although Muslim Bahrainis generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol, supermarkets sell pork in special sections, and alcohol can be purchased from licensed stores, hotels, and restaurants.

The average temperature during the summer is 37- 40°C. However, most outdoor locations have shade and buildings are climate controlled. Temperatures are milder between October and May, averaging 21–27C.

Sport is a major cultural pastime in Bahrain, with driving, golf, horse-riding, rugby, tennis, sailing, soccer, cricket, and basketball facilities located throughout the island. Private resorts and clubs have beaches and pools for swimming.

Ahlia offers students a wide variety of programmes, courses, and specializations. We currently offer students 18 programmes across five colleges, at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels. Please refer to the following page for detailed information: 

Ahlia University’s diverse portfolio of programmes span five colleges:

  1. The College of Arts & Science
  2. The College of Business & Finance
  3. The College of Engineering
  4. The College of Information Technology
  5. The College of Medical & Health Sciences

Tuition for all undergraduate degree programmes varies between 100 – 140 BD per credit hour. Tuition for postgraduate programmes will vary. For more information regarding tuition fees please refer to the particular programs on the following link.

How you apply for a Visa will depend on your nationality and the type of acceptance you receive. If you are an exchange student however, the Ahlia International Relations team will assist you throughout the entire application process. Please refer to the Bahraini government’s immigration website for more information.

There are a few things to consider when packing for your trip to Bahrain:

Essentials
  • Passport
  • Student Visa or Immigration Certificate (provided by the university)
  • Ahlia University Letter of Offer

Keep in mind that you will have to purchase food and book a hotel to stay in before opening a bank account and finding a permanent place to stay. Almost every shop in Bahrain accepts credit cards. Ensure that your bank is aware of your travels, to avoid any issues that may arise while using it abroad.

Note: most Bahraini banks limit daily cash withdrawals to 500 BD.

Make sure that you bring appropriate clothing for the climate. Bahrain is quite warm for most of the year, so heavy winter coats will not be needed. Sun screen is highly advised if you plan on spending time at Bahrain’s beaches during the summer months.

The university welcomes students to Bahrain with a ‘meet and greet’ service at the airport. The team will be available, regardless of your time of arrival, to help ease the immigration process. When all immigration procedures are successfully completed, the meet and greet team will then provide transportation to your accommodation.

If you have not already found accommodation in Bahrain, the team will recommend a temporary hotel to stay in while you look for a permanent place in Bahrain.

Keep in mind that finding accommodation is the student’s responsibility, however the International Relations team will support and assist the student, as well as provide some contacts to start their search.

Connect With Us

Directorate of International Relations​

Ahlia University