Study in EGYPT with YES Abroad!
Egypt, known officially as The Arab Republic of Egypt, is a presidential republic. Egypt was the home of one of the principal civilizations of the ancient Middle East and, like Mesopotamia farther east, was the site of one of the world’s earliest urban and literate societies. Egypt established its independence from Britain in 1922 and was declared a Republic in 1953. 90 percent of the population is Muslim, however, Egypt is also home to a minority of people practicing other religions. Likewise, the official language is Arabic, but there is some diversity in dialects spoken across Egypt.
Egyptian food frequently features various legumes, bread, vegetables, and local fruit. Common meats in Egyptian cuisine include rabbit, pigeon, chicken and duck. Lamb and beef are commonly grilled to make dishes such as shawarma and kebobs. Spices are integral to the cuisine including cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon. Although the Egyptian cuisine includes many delicious vegan dishes, a vegetarian or vegan diet is uncommon. Many people in Egypt eat halal food and it is very rare to find pork in shops and restaurants.
Egypt’s climate is mostly desert with hot, dry summers and moderate winters. Its largest cities are Cairo, Alexandria and Giza. The capital of Egypt is Cairo, located along the banks of the world’s longest river, the Nile. Many people wear western-style clothes, especially in the larger cities, but dress is still relatively conservative. It is common to find people dressed modestly in pants and long sleeves, even on the hottest days.
Most host communities are urban or suburban, and while host families may own a car, the most common forms of transportation include buses, microbuses, river busses, trams, taxis, car services, metro (underground), and walking. Students typically commute anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes each way by bus, car, metro (underground), river bus, or microbus to their host schools.
Egypt is home to historic sites such as the Giza Pyramids, the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.
Learn more about being a YES Abroad student in Egypt:
Students will live with host families in order to experience true immersion in the local culture. Families are selected based on recommendations by members of the local community, and each is carefully vetted by AFS staff and volunteers. While highly regarded by their relatives and neighbors, host family situations and accommodations vary, providing a unique experience for each student. Host communities exist through the presence of a strong support network, with a local volunteer, staff member, or “liaison” available to each student.
Students will attend either a private, or private international school. The primary languages for Egyptian private schools are both Arabic and English, while the language of instruction for international schools will be in English. School typically runs Sunday to Thursday, and uniforms are customary. Students may have opportunities to participate in a limited number of extramural and extracurricular activities, such as art, music, and sports.
Egypt is an active member in organizations such as UNESCO, and the WTO.
For more information, visit the CIA World Factbook.
With a 60-year presence in Egypt, AFS draws on strong local connections for a deep understanding of intercultural, health, safety, and security issues. Students are given safety briefings by AFS and are registered with the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to receive travel alerts. AFS works closely before arrival and throughout the exchange year to discuss and prepare for students’ well-being. Students are supported on the ground by AFS staff members and volunteers. Each student is given a mobile phone upon arrival for emergency use, along with the contact number for the local support representative and the national AFS Egypt office. Students are covered by medical as well as political and security evacuation benefits. Students, host families, and natural families have access to a 24-hour emergency number, and AFS staff and volunteers are trained to respond to incidents that may occur on-program. For further information on Egypt, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in various activities to increase their interaction with local peers in Egypt. Activities may include field trips, sporting events, cultural excursions, social outings, or community service activities. Examples of previous enrichment activities include:
- Meeting with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy;
- Exploring historical sites;
- participating in cultural and religious holidays;
- engaging with schools as community service;
- volunteering with events and community activities.