Studying in Egypt

Studying at an Egyptian university

Egypt is a popular study abroad location for students from all over the world. The American University in Cairo, by far the most popular choice, is unofficially known as the “Harvard of the Middle East.”

If you are currently an undergraduate university student, your school may very well be able to help you find a study abroad program in Egypt through its Off-Campus studies or Study Abroad office. If you would like to study in Egypt for your entire university education, however, or if your school does not have a relationship with a program operating in Egypt, you may have to go through the process.

In order to be eligible, you will need to have completed 11 years of schooling, having earned either an American high school diploma, 8 IGCSE subjects, or another foreign secondary school certificate/diploma (e.g. completing the German Abitur or obtaining an International Baccalaureate).

University applications

To apply at an Egyptian university, you will need to supply the school of your choice with a completed application form (available through the school) and any requested documents. These frequently include academic transcripts, the abovementioned certifications, and potentially also an ESL certificating proving your proficiency in the English language (this last item will vary from school to school).

Your university of choice will be able to provide you with specific application deadlines, and you should take care to submit items well in advance of their due dates (bokra insha’allah, remember?). The university will also assist you in the process of obtaining a student visa.

Tuition costs

Tuition costs vary by university and the number of credits taken. You will not likely pay more than USD6,000-7,000 per semester, though additional fees will be charged for room and board (even if you choose to live off-campus, you will still have to pay rent on a flat and have money for food and other essentials).

Check with the university to which you are applying and your home university (if you are currently a student) to see whether you are eligible for any financial aid packages or academic stipends, especially those aimed to encourage cultural exchange with the Middle East.

Student accommodation in Egypt

Most universities provide some form of student housing. This may or may not appeal to you, depending on your social habits. While the legal drinking age in Egypt is technically 18, alcohol is strictly forbidden in many dorm complexes. Similarly, most are militantly segregated by gender (one foreign student admitted he coped by renting hostel rooms to spend the occasional night with his girlfriend).

Fortunately, if university housing is not your cup of tea you will have no problem finding an affordable flat in Egypt. For more information, see our section on housing.


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