Start your study abroad experience in the “cradle of civilization” where you can see the last remaining wonder of the ancient world—the Pyramids of Giza—and walk along the banks of the world’s longest river—the mighty Nile—which divides a harsh, yet beautiful desert. Explore the Cairo Opera House, the Bibliotheca in Alexandria or go shopping at local bazaars and visit old Fatimid Cairo. Egypt is a unique mixture of ancient and modern texture blended together into a unique mosaic.
Egyptian teenagers enjoy meeting in cafés, sports clubs, the cinema or shopping malls. Although mingling at schools and universities is acceptable, it is not very common for young women and men to go out on their own. Group activities are more the norm.
Host Family & Community
Life in Egypt usually revolves around extended family, religious events and activities. You can be hosted throughout Egypt, most likely in urban and suburban areas of Alexandria, Cairo, El Fayoum, El Menya, Giza, Ismailia, Port Said and Tanta. If you’re in an urban area, expect to live in an apartment, while people in more rural areas usually live with extended family in a big house. Jokes are a common way to socialize, so join the fun.
You will probably attend a regular Egyptian high school, although some students attend an international U.S. schools. The school year runs from September until May, with a two-week break in January. School week starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Most students wear uniforms. Some classes may be taught in English, others in Arabic, and you may choose some subjects, depending on the school.
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, with many regional dialects spoken all over the country. English is also commonly used and is taught in schools starting with first grade. Having a good knowledge of English will help you adjust and enjoy your program. AFS will also help you find a course in Arabic and your host school might have classes of Arabic as a second language.
The Egyptian diet is typically rich in beans, bread, rice, vegetables and fruits. Lunch is the most significant meal of the day and is often followed by an afternoon rest. Falafel(fried bean balls), and koshary (a dish of rice and lentils) can be purchased from street vendors all over Egypt.