Three months ago I was moving to KAUST, following my husband who is pursuing his doctoral degree here.
FYI, KAUST is a research university located in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, around 100 km from Jeddah.
I’ve never imagined that one day I will have to live in this country, with all of their strict rules. Long before my departure, my mother already advised me this and that; take care of yourself, don’t go anywhere alone, don’t take a taxi by yourself, use sunblock, etc etc etc. Well, her anxiety is understandable, tho. :))
In Saudi Arabia, there are several compounds which have quite different rules with the local norms. And KAUST is one of them. Here in KAUST, people can dress up more freely (but still appropriate) and women are allowed to go anywhere within campus by themselves.
Turns out, living in KAUST is very different from what I’ve imagined, in a positive way. Yeayyy! :D
One of the best thing of KAUST is that they support the relocation of their faculty and staff members (and families) very well and smooth. They helped to book our travel, and then on the appointed date of our arrival to Saudi Arabia, one of KAUST team greet us in the arrival gate and assist us through the immigration and customs, which is great. More than that, one driver were already assigned to pick us up at the airport and take us to KAUST. :’)