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Visit spectacular sites like the pyramids of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) while learning about both historic and modern customs in Egypt. During this two-week Global Prep program, you’ll take Arabic lessons and experience local culture by living with a host family to learn how to form bridges between two different worlds. Your focus will be on discovering religious diversity and understanding the role of Islam in Egyptian society, developing an understanding of what peaceful coexistence can look like in an ever-evolving culture. You and your group will visit a university in Cairo, where you’ll meet with Islamic scholars and take part in activities like discussions and debates. To unwind, you’ll get to explore the wonders of Old Cairo and go on a boat ride along the Nile River.  

On this program you are likely to learn about these Sustainable Development Goals:

Eligibility

Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible to participate.
Minimum GPA 2.0
Age Range 15yrs, 0 months to
18yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Sample Program Itinerary to Egypt

The below itinerary serves as an outline for the program, and each Global Prep experience will vary based on group size and opportunity.

Egypt

I. Arrival in Egypt

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience.  

AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you. You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Egypt will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff, volunteers and meet your fellow AFSers from around the world. Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Egyptian and Islamic culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures. 

Egypt (1)

After meeting your host families and settling in, you will have some free time to spend with them before visiting the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to learn all about the oldest civilization in history! You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a boat ride on the Nile River with your fellow classmates, AFS volunteers, and host families!  

Egypt (2)

II. Building Bridges Through Cultural Activities

With your fellow students, you’ll participate in fun cultural activities such as cooking Egyptian food, taking an Egyptian Folkloric Dance workshop, and solving mathematical problems using the system invented by the ancient Egyptians! An important part of these immersive activities is your Arabic classes, where you will learn the basics to help you communicate with your host family and better connect with Egyptian culture and people 

Cityscape of Cairo

III. Visit to Al-Azhar Mosque, Old Cairo, and attending a Sufy Dance show

Al-Azhar is the oldest Islamic university in the world, established in year 4 Hijri. It is Egypt’s oldest degree-granting university and students come all over the world to get certifications! You’ll also visit Old Cairo and attend a Sufi performance, which is a traditional Islamic dance focused on whirling and prayer. 

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IV. Pyramids of Giza

One of the highlights of your trip is sure to be your visit to the pyramids of Giza, which were built in the 26th century BC and include the oldest site of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! You’ll also continue with your Arabic classes as well as participate in an art workshop.  

Cairo, Egypt –  November 13, 2021: Coptic Cairo in the old city of Cairo, Egypt

V. Tour of Religious Complex, Sustainability Visits, and Host Family Time

Your trip continues with a guided tour of the Religious Complex in Old Cairo near the ancient fortress of Babylon. The Complex includes the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas, the Hanging Church, the Jewish Temple of Ibn Azra, and several other churches. Here you’ll learn about the historical context and religious culture of Islam. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a sustainable farm, a recycling village!, and spend a free weekend with your host family! 

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VI. Saint Samaan Monastery and Farewell

Before departing Egypt, you’ll visit the Saint Samaan ‘The Tanner’ Monastery, one of the largest churches not only in Egypt but also in the Middle East that is also known as the “Cave Church” due to its unique location carved within the caves of Mokattam Mountain. You’ll wrap up your Egypt experience with a farewell party to reflect on your adventure abroad and participate end-of-stay orientation activities with your fellow AFSers before heading back home! 

Egypt (3)

Your Accommodations

During your time in Egypt, you’ll stay with a local host family and take Arabic language lessons to help you communicate with them. As you try out some of the new phrases you’ve learned, you’ll get to experience what life is like in Cairo and see how religion plays a part in everyday activities. For fun, you and your host family might visit some neighborhood hangouts together or prepare a traditional Egyptian meal! Your host family will be a great resource for learning about different aspects of Egyptian culture! 

What's Included

  • Round-trip international airfare
  • Accommodations, meals, and transportation
  • International secondary medical travel coverage 
  • Access to a 24/7 Emergency Duty Officer 
  • Visa Support
  • Please review the Terms and Conditions for complete guidelines.
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Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do. That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning. It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Egypt. In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.