Life in Egypt usually revolves around extended family, religious events and activities. You can be hosted throughout Egypt, most likely in urban and suburban areas of Alexandria, Cairo, El Fayoum, El Menya, Giza, Ismailia, Port Said and Tanta. If you’re in an urban area, expect to live in an apartment, while people in more rural areas usually live with extended family in a big house. Jokes are a common way to socialize, so join the fun.
You will probably attend a regular Egyptian high school, although some students attend an international U.S. schools. The school year runs from September until May, with a two-week break in January. School week starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Most students wear uniforms. Some classes may be taught in English, others in Arabic, and you may choose some subjects, depending on the school.
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, with many regional dialects spoken all over the country. English is also commonly used and is taught in schools starting with first grade. Having a good knowledge of English will help you adjust and enjoy your program. AFS will also help you find a course in Arabic and your host school might have classes of Arabic as a second language.
The Egyptian diet is typically rich in beans, bread, rice, vegetables and fruits. Lunch is the most significant meal of the day and is often followed by an afternoon rest. Falafel(fried bean balls), and koshary (a dish of rice and lentils) can be purchased from street vendors all over Egypt.
Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.