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Meet the Students: Abby Sembuche from TanSAO

Meet The Students

Hello there! My name is Abby Tumaini Sembuche. After completing my A-Level studies at Msolwa Secondary School, I took a gap year and interned at the Tanzania Student Achievement Organization (TanSAO) while being assisted with college application preparation. I am now in my second year at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)!

When the TanSAO Director told me that NYUAD was where I would be making my Early Decision application, I wasn’t that happy with the idea of going to a university in the Middle East instead of one in the United States. But right from my first contact with NYUAD, I saw how correct his choice for me was. I would not change this decision for anything and will always be extremely grateful for being in this wonderful place and for all that I am gaining from it!

I can honestly say that NYUAD is the best experience of my academic life, starting from attending the Candidate Weekend to when I recently completed my first computer programming project (creating my own space-related game). It is a place where people of different cultures come from all over the world to study, eat, play, and live together harmoniously.

Me in front of the Dining Hall waiting for class.


Before being at NYUAD, I fully expected to easily and peacefully co-exist in this environment without facing any challenges. However, this wasn’t the case. I had to change some of my ignorant ways of thinking and learning to be tolerant and live with people with whom I might not share ideas, perspectives, religion, or even values. I’m grateful, though, because confronting all these issues has made me grow as a person and as a potential leader. Living in such an environment encourages all the people on campus to search for commonalities between one another instead of highlighting our differences. And, to our surprise, there are far more commonalities than differences that humanity shares within itself!

My university’s campus, located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, is very beautiful. The faculty, students, staff members, and even campus cats are helpful and encouraging!!! The Liberal Arts Education Program and Core Curriculum are designed in such a way that students are allowed to study their major and minor areas while also pursuing other fields of interest that may completely have nothing in common with a student’s major. The school also provides many research opportunities where students are encouraged to do extensive additional study in their fields of interest.

Me in one of the library study rooms.


At NYUAD, the inquisitive, daring, and exploring parts of my mind have truly been activated! I am studying Mathematics, which I’ve always loved since childhood, and Computer Science, which I never knew about and thought I disliked, but which I love right now. In addition, I’m pursuing my passion for music by taking various music lessons. I have even learned to play the piano, something that I’d always wanted to do since I was a little girl! As perplexing as this sounds, I also look forward to creating a way where all my three fields of study co-exist.

A photo from my piano recital where I played a simplified version of Canon in D minor.


There’s even more than this at NYUAD that I never expected to be part of before attending this superb university. I’m grateful to God, my parents, my teachers, TanSAO, and all that contributed to me being where I am today. Seeing everything that NYUAD provides to its students, faculty, and staff makes me want to reach out and serve whatever community I’m in to the best of my ability, either in Abu Dhabi or wherever else I’ll be, including of course, my beloved country, Tanzania.

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