This page will help guide you through some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about being an exchange student living in the residence halls.  Just follow the links below to get your answers.  If you find that there is a question that we haven’t addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us at .


Frequently Asked Questions


1)      How soon can I arrive to Education City?

2)      What will happen when I arrive?

3)      How much cash should I bring for my first few days in Qatar to get started?

4)      How do I open a bank account?

5)      Where can I get a SIM card and/or mobile phone?

6)      What will happen the day of orientation (August 21st)?

7)      Which events am I required to attend?

8)      What will happen during Eid break?

9)      How can I get around in Qatar?

10)   Where can I get groceries?

11)   Where can I eat on campus during the year?

12)   If I’m fasting during Ramadan, is there a place I can get food?


1)      How soon can I arrive to Education City?


Exchange students should arrive between August 29th and September 1st.  All exchange students will begin their mandatory orientation to Education City on the morning of September 2nd.  There may be many things you need to do before the morning of September 2nd (such as opening a bank account or getting a SIM card and/or mobile phone), so please book your travels accordingly. 


2)      What will happen when I arrive?


Once you arrive to Doha International Airport, a representative from your branch campus will meet you to bring you to campus.  Additionally, you should go to the currency exchange kiosk at the airport if you need any currency exchanged into Qatari Riyals before heading to campus.  Upon arrival to campus, you will check into your residence hall to get settled in for the night.  Depending on your arrival time, there may activities occurring on campus after your settle in that you are welcome to come to!


3)      How much cash should I bring for my first few days in Qatar to get started?


We suggest that you bring an equivalent of 400 to 500 QAR to begin with.  It may also be possible to use your ATM card at any ATM machine for cash withdrawal, but please check with your bank to ensure that your card will work in Qatar, and to find out how much you could be charged per international cash withdrawal.  Though our recommended 400 to 500 QAR will not account for all extraneous expenses, it will aptly cover food and incidental needs upon your arrival until you have established a bank account here in Qatar.


4)      How do I open a bank account?


Students can create a bank account with QNB (Qatar National Bank) branch located near Education City Community Housing.  There will be bus service to this location throughout the week after your arrival.  QNB staff will guide you through the process of opening the account on site. They will ask for your passport or Qatar ID. You will get Qatar IDs once the immigration process is complete; thus, it is recommended that you work to set up a bank account prior to September 2nd, because your passports will be collected that morning for immigration purposes. Otherwise, you will have to wait until your passport is returned to complete these tasks, which may take several weeks.


5)      Where can I get a SIM card and/or mobile phone?


There is a Qtel outlet in the Education City Recreation Center and in Villagio, Landmark and City Centre Malls. Shuttle buses will be running to and from the Recreation Center from the time of your arrival.  You will need to provide your passport or ID card in order to purchase a SIM card for 50 QAR. To purchase a cell phone, you can take one of the QF shuttle buses to any of the malls previously mentioned where multiple mobile phone shops are available for mobile phones purchase.  Shuttle service to the malls will also be available upon your arrival.


6)      What will happen the day of orientation (September 2nd)?


The day of orientation will be full of informational sessions and fun activities that will you get better acquainted with the Education City campus.  Orientation is mandatory for all new students at begins at 1:00pm and ends at approximately 9:00pm.


7)      What will happen during Eid break?


As many of you will be arriving towards the end of Eid break, we will be keeping you entertained with a variety of activities both on and off campus.  These activities are designed to be fun and to get you better acquainted with all the exciting things to do in Qatar.  Continue to check the orientation calendar for the most updated information on events and don’t hesitate to ask your Orientation Peer Advisors (OPA) or Community Development Advisors (CDA) for more information!


8)      How can I get around in Qatar?


QF Transportation provides regular bus service to favorite locations in Qatar.  There is frequent service to most of the local malls including Villagio Mall, Landmark Mall and City Centre Mall.  Additionally there is bus service available to local mosques, Souq Waqif and the Education City Clubhouse located just off the main campus.  You can find bus schedules posted on bulletin boards in your residence halls.  For additional information regarding bus schedules, don’t hesitate to speak with an Orientation Peer Advisor or a Community Development Advisor. 


If the bus schedule doesn’t fit with your needs, you can call any local taxi or limousine service to reach your desired destination.  Karwa and Fox Taxi Companies are frequently used by students to get around Doha.  You can request a Karwa Taxi by calling 4458.8888, and you can request a Fox Taxi by calling 4462.2777.  There are also buses run by the Karwa, with a bus stop located just outside of Gate 2 here on campus. 


QF shuttle buses are free of charge for Education City students.  Taxis can cost anywhere from 30 to 70 QAR depending upon destination and Karwa buses are 3 QAR per trip. 


9)      Where can I get groceries?


There are several locations in Qatar where you can get groceries.  Carrefour supermarkets are located at Landmark, City Center and Villagio Malls. Additionally, a Lulu Express market is available near the Education City Clubhouse for your convenience.  Near campus, you can also find Family Food Center, which is located next Jarir Bookstore (for those who like to multi-task while out).  Most grocery stores mentioned here have all the basics you need for making meals at home such as fruits, vegetables, spices, rice, pasta, eggs, bread, milk, etc., as well as basic household supplies such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, mops, cleaners, etc.  All these locations are accessible using QF shuttle services. 


10)   Where can I eat on campus during the year?


You will find that every branch campus has a cafeteria where you can get a variety of food.  Additionally, LAS (the Liberal Arts and Sciences building) is the common meeting ground students from all branch campuses to come and eat.  You’ll notice that the branch campus cafeterias are not open for dinner, so LAS is your best bet for on campus dining.  The Student Center will also be providing food services for lunch and dinner sometime this fall 2011 semester (date of opening to be announced).  But don’t worry!  If all else fails, you can also order food from the many restaurants located near campus.


11)   If I’m fasting during Ramadan, where can I eat on campus?


During Ramadan food services will be limited to cater to the needs of those who are fasting.  During Iftar times, the LAS building will be open for dinner services.  Other options for eating on campus are limited.  QF Housing and Residence Life as well as the branch campuses will be having events through orientation, some of which will include community Iftars, which students have the opportunity to participate in.  Other options for food for Sahoor and Iftar include purchasing food from local super markets or ordering in.  Don’t hesitate to talk to an Orientation Peer Advisor (OPA) or Community Development Advisor (CDA) once you’re on campus to get the best information regarding eating during Ramadan.


12)   If I’m not fasting during Ramadan, is there a place I can get food?


Yes. However, please remember that it is prohibited to eat in public or in front of others during the times of fasting during Ramadan.  During Ramadan food services on campus have limited hours and also work to provide a separate area private area for people who are not fasting to eat. As we receive information on timings for these food services, we will post them here at the New Student Orientation Web site.

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