Official EDUNIVERSAL Reporter

First name: Ahmed
Last name: EL HALABY


#2 LFC CONTEST: International Students Choose AUC!

03/08/2013 02:21:44

#2 LFC CONTEST: International Students Choose AUC!



''Studying abroad is a defining moment for any student's life - a personal journey that will add to anyone's growth and learning as an individual for years to come. The experience of studying in Egypt and especially at the American University in Cairo (AUC) is a one of a kind adventure that I personally describe as a roller-coster!''


(Johny Likins, AUC International Student, Senior Business Admin. Major) 




When I sat down with John, he told me that the choice to live and study abroad is a major undertaking in cross-cultural living and learning. Taking the step and the courage to study abroad is not easy and the process will progress over a number of months. The payoff, if successful, is immense! You will learn about yourself, your home culture as you also learn about Egyptians and their culture! When I asked him about his arrival and how he experienced his first period in Egypt, he told me, ''It is common for new arrivals to go through a period of culture shock, a (sometimes) exciting period of reaction and adjustment to a new, unfamiliar environment, however, things get going and its really a fabulous adventure''. 

Orientation is something very beneficial for all new international students.  John tells me, at AUC, the International Programs Office (IPO) aims at providing international students with information crucial to the success of their experience at AUC in particular and in Egypt in general. One of the things that John really enjoyed very much are the Cultural Nights at AUC, they're basically a series of events in which international students from various continents of the world present the traditions and customs of their countries. AUC did that initiative to introduce International students to diverse cultures of the world, to provide a platform for people from different countries to get to know each other and to encourage intercultural understanding and cooperation. 


Another international student I sat with is Jessica Wilson (shown below), an International Chemistry student from University of California in the United States. When I sat down with Jessica to ask her about her first impression about Egypt, here's what she told me: 


"Driving from the airport to Zamalek, the neighborhood in which my dorm is located, was a very good introduction to Cairo. I was struck immediately by the history of the city; there are so many ancient buildings, churches and mosques that exude the history of Cairo. Along with these historical aspects you are definitely struck by how modern Cairo is. AUC was located in the downtown area of Tahrir, where the buildings are spread out across city blocks in the middle of a busy area. The new campus is located in a relatively isolated area outside suburban Cairo, over an hour away from the old campus. So the feel of the two campuses is incredibly different. Despite being isolated, the new campus is stunningly beautiful and enormous.


Jessica tells me that students have various possibilities and are offered decent places for housing and hosting. International students can choose to live on campus or off campus. Living off campus is a popular choice, because students are more independent and learn more about the new culture when they are on their own, Jessica tells me. Students come from different parts of the world, living off campus enables students like Jessica a chance to learn about the domestic culture and lifestyle of the housing country, as well as, spreading the culture and lifestyle of it’s own country trough communication with the native Cairo people. 



(Jessica Wilson, AUC International Student, Senior Chemistry Major) 


Below are some questions that I thought it would be interesting to ask John and Jessica:


What can you say about the American University in Cairo? Did you enjoy your time here in Cairo?

I really only have positive things to say about AUC. I love my faculty and the small class sizes. I’ve been able to get to know my peers and professors well, and I believe this helps spark more conversation within the classroom. Knowing everyone in the room makes participating in discussions less intimidating. I also love the international aspect of this university. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people from different parts of the world. I really value the chance I’ve been given to learn about many different cultures.


What is your opinion about the education system in Egypt? Did you notice any differences between the studies in USA and the studies in Egypt?

I’ve really been enjoying my experience within the Egyptian education system thus far in my studies. This actually is the first time I’ve been in an education system that is inherently different than my native one. Though they are structurally different, and I am not as used to this system than the American system, I still feel like I am being intellectually challenged. I enjoy the amount of time each class devotes to topic discussions and I’ve gained much insight into cultural aspects of Egypt.


It would be interesting to know your opinion about our students and professors. What can you tell me about it?

I absolutely love my faculty, and my professors. They are extremely accommodating, friendly, and always express concern about my group’s satisfaction with how the lectures are structured. I’ve never felt too intimidated to ask questions in class, or ask for more explanation about a topic. I feel really comfortable in my program.The students in my group are equally friendly, and I’ve made some great friendships. I’ve been able to learn a lot about the Egyptian culture through them, and they are always willing (and excited) to share about national holidays and traditions here. I’ve also had the chance to make some great friends almost everywhere!




Below is a small message from John and Jessica that I would like to share with all students who are thinking of going abroad: 

Its such a great experience to study abroad because I’ve met so many different people that I would not have had the opportunity to meet if I had continued my studies in the US. I deeply value the friendships I’ve made here. Thank you very much Egypt for providing me this great opportunity. Thank You, I truly love you and I will never forget you!



John and Jessica 


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