Helen is off around the world – part holiday to visit her son who is playing cricket in Australia for six months, and part visiting universities in Abu Dhabi and North America to promote Our Moon and its students. Helen decided to do a challenge to raise funds to help to meet Our Moon’s target to raise money for 10 scholarships this year. She is running 10k on each continent she visits over the next three to four months.

Her first stop was in Abu Dhabi to visit New York University’s campus there (NYUAD). She has four former students who are studying there and who gave her a tour of the campus. It is a brand new campus – they only moved in last September. Chandan, a student from Nepal, said that there is absolutely nothing that you can possibly complain about there. Everything is new, the facilities are very high quality with all the latest equipment available.

Pearl, from Zimbabwe, went on to say that the scholarship is very generous. Students are given the opportunity to return home twice a year, can study abroad for up to two semesters in any of NYU’s campuses or study centres around the world, and that he enjoys mixing with students from all over the world and from all walks of life. Krishna from Nepal has been involved in a research project to try to eliminate mosquitoes and Prashant has already spent time at the Shanghai campus and been involved in a volunteering project in Uganda.

There are still only around 1000 students on campus, though the campus is huge and can accommodate many more. But the size of the campus means that there is a real family atmosphere there. Most students know each other and professors know their students.

The admissions officer Helen met, Sager Almannai, was very interested in Our Moon’s approach and its students. He confirmed that NYU will not accept students from Zambia who only have the school certificate and said that it was important that they were given the opportunity to study A levels or the equivalents in Zambia so that young people can get to study at universities at home and abroad. He hopes that in the future NYUAD will receive applications from Our Moon students.

Helen also managed to get in some sightseeing. In Abu Dhabi, the most impressive sight she saw was the new mosque that has just been built. It is made of white marble with ornate flowers carved into it in different coloured marble.
It has the world’s largest carpet. It probably cost in the region of $1 billion. Helen said finds it difficult to understand how so much can be spent on one building when there is so much need all over the world.

Helen completed her 10k challenge in Asia. She ran along the Corniche which is just along the coast. For once, it was a flat path, which made it marginally easier. Next stop, Australia! Last stop before going to the airport was Dubai. Helen said that it is insanely opulent. She managed to see the dancing fountains where water and light is choreographed to music. She saw the world’s tallest tower and the view from it. There were many people out to eat and socialise.

There will be more news soon of Helen’s challenge and how you can sponsor her on Facebook. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing how her next run goes.

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