Awesome Experience in Cairo Past Review

By (International/Global Studies., American University) - abroad from 01/15/2012 to 05/11/2012 with

AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I absolutely loved my time in Cairo and that was mostly because of the opportunities provided by AMIDEAST. I made long-lasting friendships with both the students in my program and with Egyptians. The thing I really love about the program is that it is great at creating an environment where students are challenged academically, but where they still have time to explore and get to know the country.

Review Photos

AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt Photo AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt Photo AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt Photo AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt Photo AMIDEAST: Cairo - Area & Arabic Language Studies in Egypt Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The Arabic professors were outstanding and probably the best language professors I've had in the 3 years I've been taking Arabic. The Arab Spring class I took was also excellent. I loved the Community-Based Learning class because I had a great internship teaching English to Egyptian students. The internship you choose greatly effects you're experience with the class, so my advice is to choose carefully. My Egyptology class was interesting but not what I expected.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The staff was always helpful and great at answering any questions we had!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed in a Shared Apartment with other girls from my program. The apartment was very nice and spacious. The location was only a short walk from where we had classes and there were three large grocery stores, as well as, several restaurants in the vicinity.

* Food:

Food is amazing in Cairo! These are some things you should definitely try: koshary, juice (from a shop), mahshy (stuffed grape leaves), fool and t3maya (beans and falafel), and konaf

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One of the best things about AMIDEAST programs is that it gives you multiple opportunities to interact with the culture and get to know Egyptians. This is done through dialogue sessions (with Egyptian students), language buddies, group excursions, and special activities throughout the semester (calligraphy classes, cooking classes, mosque tours, guest lectures, Arabic movie screenings, ect...).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health issues while abroad. However, the AMIDEAST staff made it very clear that if anything should come up that they were there to help .

* Safety:

I never felt unsafe when i was in Cairo. The area where students live is slightly more "western" (there is a McDonalds and Pizza Hut around the corner) and very safe. When there are protests happening somewhere in the city, the staff are great at making sure students don't go near there. If you use common sense and listen to the AMIDEAST staff, it is no more dangerous than anywhere else you might go in the world (including parts of the United States).

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

5+ Everything is fairly cheap in Cairo, so it is easy to live on a student budget. At the same time though if you do want to splurge and spend more money while abroad there are opportunities to do that.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice speaking as much as you can. When you get there you'll realize quickly that you have to actually use the language to communicate with people. You'll still make mistakes but always just try. People become so much more receptive and helpful when you just attempt to use their language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions to Aswan, Luxor, Siwa & Black/White Desert
  • Dialogues with Egyptian Students
  • Community Based Learning Internship
* What could be improved?
  • N/A - My time abroad was fantastic and the AMIDEAST program is well balanced
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had participated in the Fall program so that I could have stayed longer. I would have definitely extended my stay into the Spring and stayed for the Academic Year if i had the chance.