Traveling With KAUST Friends

By | March 11, 2016

This is an article I wrote for the F&C Focus, the KAUST Community Newsletter. The writer of this newsletter is due to leave KAUST soon, and I want to take a moment to thank her for her dedication to information sharing within the community and all her hard work on behalf of everyone that lives here. Thank you Claire Morris. You will be missed!

Traveling With KAUST Friends

from the F&C Focus, September 2015

One of the commonalities that many of us at KAUST share is that we seem to be adventurers at heart. In the four years my husband and I have lived here, we’ve become close with several of our friends, even agreeing to travel or meet-up abroad with them. Seeing friends outside of our small community brings us even closer together. Traveling the world and experiencing new sites, sounds, foods, and customs – it enlightens and enriches us.

Here are a few memories from our trips abroad with KAUST friends:



Bahrain, March 2012 – Turkomani Family and Sale Family – The Turkomani family welcomed us to their home in Bahrain after they moved from KAUST. They showed us their new home, much of the small country, and even took us to a little league baseball game!


Dubai, July 2012 – Grace Grundler and Claire Sale – Grace and I took a ladies shopping trip to Dubai for the weekend. There is nothing better than spending some hard-earned cash to look fabulous with a good friend!


Saffron Walden, UK, May 2013 – Sale Family, Lisanti Family, and Rowden Family (not pictured) – We visited the Rowden Family’s hometown as well as my husband’s hometown with our own growing families. It was fun to meet extended families and eat lots of British food (the greatest British cuisine is Indian curry!)



Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, March 2014 – Rowden Family, Lisanti Family, and Sale Family – Here we are hiking with all the little ones in South Africa just after the Rowdens moved from KAUST. We spent two weeks together traveling in and around Cape Town with 5 small children and 6 adults.


Punting on the River Cam in Cambridge UK, July 2015 – Sarathy-Rajawat Family and Sale Family – We enjoyed showing our friends around my husband’s hometown doing the best touristy thing in the world: punting on the River Cam. We can highly recommend this day trip to anyone visiting London or elsewhere in the UK.

I really encourage you to travel with your friends. Visiting their homes or other places further afield brings greater appreciation of culture and a deeper friendship between you. The friends that we have traveled with now feel more like our family. Together we are fostering a passion for adventure in ourselves and our children while simultaneously building relationships that will last a lifetime.

  • Hi Claire, Wanted to know if i have good research papers, Will i be able to get into KAUST easily, wanted to join material science and engineering for my MS, It would be a great help for me if any faculty member could be contacted

  • Hi Shoaib – KAUST is a very competitive university. If you are interested in applying, I encourage you to check out the application as soon as possible as the deadline for the fall semester is tomorrow. Here’s more info:

  • Actually i am still in my 3rd year of bachelor’s degree and i will be applying for fall 2017, Just wanted to know if something other than TOEFL or GRE matters..So wanted some help with any faculty member…Hope you understand

  • Hmm… probably best to go through the official channels for that. You can get all the info you need at

  • Nawazish Azim

    Hi Claire, I moved to KAUST a few days back and I discovered your blog today completely by chance. It’s so good to finally get an insider’s view of things! Thank you for the really amazing job you’re doing!

  • Hi Nawazish – thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you like it! Hope you’re settling in well at KAUST :)

  • Ayder-1990

    I like it