Global Prep — 2018
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
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. Your focus will be on discovering religious diversity and understanding the role of Islam in Egyptian society. 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.
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you’ll meet your fellow AFSers and travel with your Group Leader to Cairo. There you’ll attend an orientation to familiarize yourself with Egyptian culture and the Arabic language so that you can jump right in and interact with locals. As you settle in to your home for the next two weeks, you’ll be able to feel the energy of Egypt all around you. Breathe in the scent of deep-fried falafel and freshly-squeezed citrus juice, and listen to the calming and beautiful call of the mosques at prayer time. This is your chance to experience Egypt with all five senses!
To learn about the role of Islam in Egypt, you and your friends will tour historic mosques. You’ll also have the chance to observe international diplomacy at work as you visit the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. There you’ll talk about the relationship between the U.S. and Egypt and gain insight into how Islam is perceived abroad. Your activities will focus on learning how to understand and empathize with what we see as “the other.” Then you and your group will visit Al-Azhar University in Cairo—the oldest Islamic university in the world—to meet with scholars and discuss issues like globalism and current affairs.
During your time in Egypt, you’ll take Arabic language lessons to help you communicate with your host family. 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.
In Old Cairo, you’ll visit sites like ornate mosques, bustling bazaars, and the majestic Saladin Citadel (a historic fortress). You’ll get to experience the city’s vibrant culture by attending a Sufi dance show dedicated to the prophet Muhammad. You and your group will also follow in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs as you explore the pyramids of Giza. To get a sense of Egyptian culture and history outside of Cairo, you’ll take a day trip to destinations like Alexandria or Port Said (a city on the Mediterranean Sea). Finally, as your adventure comes to an end, you’ll have the chance to take a boat tour on the Nile, the ancient waterway known as the “life blood” of Egypt (and the only river in the world to flow north).
"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 feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though - others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. "Life-changing" means it’s only the beginning.
Please Note: Travel date ranges are meant to help with general scheduling and are subject to change; please don’t book any travel based on these dates until you’ve received confirmation from AFS. All programs, prices, and travel dates are subject to change without notice.