People who love ancient history, archaeology, and even pop culture should consider studying abroad in Egypt. This mystical land evokes images of ancient royalty, pyramids, and magnificent monuments (not to mention tales of mummies running amok, haunted tombs, and cursed catacombs!).
Seeing the Pyramids from the back of a Camel Photo courtesy luc legay on Flickr
Modern-day Egypt is a far cry its golden age more than 2,000 years ago, but its cultural significance remains strong. The country retains much of the charm and romanticism associated with its past, thanks in part to the pyramids and other ancient structures that have weathered the millennia — a testament to ingenious engineering principles and globally influential architectural aesthetics.
The possibilities for learning are limitless, but here are a few of the best programs we’ve found for those interested in studying in Egypt.
Egypt Then and Now. For students who desire a deep cultural experience, Languages Abroad offers an Arabic Study and Cultural Immersion program in Cairo. With side trips to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, and to the shopping center of Khan el-Khalili, the program steeps its participants in modern and ancient Egyptian culture. As with most Arab countries, the weekend in Egypt starts on Thursday night and ends on Saturday, so studying abroad in Cairo will mean classes on Sundays.
For students who prefer a more Western education while studying in Egypt, the American University in Cairo offers general course offerings year-round. Participants enjoy sports and extra-curricular activities along with their academic courses. Naturally, opportunities to travel around the country are included in every term. The university offers study abroad scholarships to qualified students interested in Egyptology, the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, religion, art, and literature.
اللغة العربية والثقافة . Studying in Egypt is ideal for those wanting to learn the Arabic language. The Georgetown University Office of International Programs offers a summer course for students who want to study Arabic in Egypt’s second-largest city, Alexandria. The program is taught at Alexandria University’s Center for Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language. What makes it appealing to those serious in learning Arabic is that the course encourages frequent interactions with locals, and requires foreign students to speak Arabic at all times.
Alexandria’s charms include ancient ruins including the Roman triumphal column known as Pompey’s Pillar, and dozens of Roman-era baths. Excursions to the Alexandria Museum, Montaza Gardens, and the capital city of Cairo are part of Georgetown’s eight-week course.
A Lot of Egypt in A Little Time. A summer program is perfect for those who can’t commit to a full year or semester, but still want to study abroad in Egypt. The U.C.-Davis Summer Abroad in Cairo program brings students to Egypt’s largest city, a cosmopolitan mecca that combines the best of what ancient and modern Egypt has to offer. The program covers a wide array of subject areas including archaeology, architecture, culture, history, literature, and sociology.
Will you get to dig up scarabs and moldy mummies? Probably not, but you go on the program's version of a history walkthrough, giving you an opportunity to examine ancient Egyptian artifacts and then unwind at the Cairo Jazz Club.
U.C.-Davis offers scholarships to summer abroad participants through its Education Abroad Center. To qualify, applicants must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and be in good disciplinary standing with their college or university.
Still thinking about studying abroad in Egypt? Stop thinking and start acting! This fascinating and dynamic country is an important player in our global history, and to study in Egypt is an amazing opportunity.