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When you study abroad in Egypt, you will attend a local high school and live with a host family, fully immersing you in Egyptian society and culture. Classes in school will either be taught in English or Arabic, and most schools will also allow you to select courses based on your past educational and personal interests. When you’re not at school, you’ll be spending your time with your host family and friends, shopping at local bazaars, playing sports, and enjoying delicious meals. Throughout the year, you might also have the opportunity to visit amazing cultural sites like the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile River. Get ready for an experience unlike any other!

Things to know about Egypt

Egyptians like to relax and have a laid back approach to things; a common response to small problems or disagreements is ‘ma’alesh,’ or ‘never mind.’ One example of how casual Egyptians can be is their sense of punctuality. It’s not considered rude to be late, even by a couple hours! Egyptians are also known for their excellent sense of humor and their love of jokes and sarcasm. Vegetarianism is not common in Egypt but many traditional dishes happen to be vegetarian anyway.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare


Graduates Eligible? No, participants cannot have graduated high school prior to the start of the program
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range
15yrs, 0 months
17yrs, 0 months at start of program
Language Skills No language requirement
COVID-19 Vaccine Required

Your Journey to 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 culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.

On your way you’ll get to see the ancient and mysterious Nile River. Since so much of Egypt is desert, almost everyone lives near the river. In the cities and larger towns you’ll see people wearing everything from jeans to traditional robes. Donkeys share the streets with BMWs and simple dwellings made of mud can be seen next door to skyscrapers.


Meeting your Egyptian Host Family

AFS students have lived in communities throughout Egypt but chances are you’ll be in an urban or suburban area. Past host communities have included Alexandria, Cairo, El Fayoum, El Menya, Giza, Ismailia, Port Said, and many others.

Family in Egypt is extremely important and plays a major role in people’s lives. When you refer to your family in Egypt it doesn’t just mean your parents and siblings but your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins’ cousins, and so on. The role of family does vary a bit depending on region; in the more rural areas family structures are very traditional, while urban and suburban Egyptians are a bit more flexible. For example, if you’re in an urban area, you can expect to be in an apartment rather than living with extended family in a big house. Egyptian mothers take pride in their cooking and it’ll really make your host mom happy if you are willing to try whatever she puts in front of you!


Settling into daily life

Teenage life in Egypt

In their free time, Egyptian teenagers enjoy hanging out with their friends at cafés or shopping malls, playing sports, and going out to the movies. Soccer is the national sport and there is an intense rivalry between the two top teams. If you get a chance to watch a game live it might get a little rowdy! Egypt has a great café culture and cafés are a great place to hang out with friends, watch TV, or play games.

Food you’ll encounter

Egyptians like to prepare elaborate feasts for special occasions. Some things you’ll find in almost every meal are bread, lentils, and fava beans. For breakfast most Egyptians eat beans and eggs. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and people often take a nap afterwards. Falafel, fried chickpea balls, and koshary, a dish of rice and lentils, are both popular and can be purchased from street vendors all over Egypt.

Dessa in Sharm Elsheikh

Your high school in Egypt

The Egyptian school year runs from September until May, with a two-week vacation in January.  Unlike high school in the US, the school week in Egypt begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday. During your study abroad in Egypt, you’ll probably be attending a private language school where you’ll be required to wear a uniform. There are also American international schools in Egypt, which use the same system as high schools in the US. Some classes will be taught in English, others in Arabic. You’ll mostly likely be free to choose your classes, depending on the school.

Available Scholarships

AFS-USA scholarships are made possible by the generosity of numerous donors who all have a deep connection with AFS and value intercultural exchanges as necessary for the promotion of peace and justice in the world. Upon submission, applications will be reviewed and matched with the most applicable scholarship, if available. All scholarships are partial, and scholarship award amounts will be determined based on program length. For additional funding resources, check out our Fundraising page. You can view all available national and local scholarships on our Scholarships page. 

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Egypt? YES. Visa
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country) In-person
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex) Average
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$)
Frequently Asked Visa Questions Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information.

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 from your study abroad in Egypt, 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.