Magnificent Beast of a City Past Review

By (Sociology., Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/28/2013 to 05/29/2013 with

Study Abroad in Egypt at the American University in Cairo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about how I interact with people in different political settings and I gained a lot more confidence in handling hostility.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academically speaking, my experience at AUC was mediocre at best. Many of the students are disinterested, as well as some of the professors, which creates a cycle that feeds off itself. I spoke with many people across the departments and the experience was much the same.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was some good programming for international students, but the office is still find its way in terms of how much the students feel engaged with and immersed in the Egyptian college experience or even just the Cairo experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in an apartment and loved it! Cairo is an amazing city albeit crazy much of the time.

* Food:

I cooked a lot, but the food when I went out was also really tasty.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As a foreigner you might never be fully integrated, but I felt, especially living in an apartment, that I was definitely working toward it every day.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Just be careful, you're in a big city; it's important to be aware of different neighborhoods' relative danger as well as socio-cultural values.

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)

Egypt is very affordable for Western student budgets.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? indulge, but not too often


* 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

Generally, at AUC, all business interactions, teaching, and hanging out is done in English.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
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? Don't live in a foreigner infested neighborhood, try to make as many local friends as possible.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • I had a lot of freedom
* What could be improved?
  • More non-American internationals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Bring another bag.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'