Study a graduate program in Egypt
Graduate programs in Egypt
Egypt might be a surprising choice for a study abroad program, but there are many reasons you should choose the home of the pyramids.
Studying a graduate program in Egypt will allow you to study at well-respected, low cost institutions, while immersing yourself in the country’s unique history and cultural traditions. Egypt has an amazing mixture of Arab, African and Mediterranean influences, which all contribute to a society that is hectic, confusing but ultimately fascinating.
While the recent political upheaval in Egypt may make studying here more of a challenge, there are still opportunities for adventurous – and careful – international students to take up genuinely challenging graduate programs in Egypt.
Egypt has one of the largest education systems in North Africa and the Middle East, which has been developing rapidly since the early 1990s. Moreover, Egyptian universities are increasingly focusing on attracting international students to their courses.
Egypt is home to 20 public universities and a further 23 private institutions offering graduate programs. Many universities are based in the capital Cairo. A growing trend in Egypt is for foreign universities to set up satellite campuses in the country.
Egypt is also home to the British University in Egypt and the American University in Cairo, which both deliver programs taught entirely in English.
Immigration and visas in Egypt
The visa and immigration procedure for studying a graduate program in Egypt is different from many other countries. Egyptian consulates outside of Egypt are not authorised to issue student visas, so you will have to enter Egypt on a tourist visa and then upgrade to a student visa once within the country.
Students looking to study a graduate program in Egypt once with the country will usually need to demonstrate the following:
- You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution
- You have sufficient funds in place to support yourself during your studies
- You have registered with your local police station with seven days of your arrival
You have started your student visa application within 30 days of arriving in Egypt
Life in Egypt
Egypt is a country undergoing transition, with the Tahrir Square protests leading to the overthrow of the Mubarak government in 2011, who had been in charge for 20 years. Since then, Egypt has remained politically unstable and protests are still common.
Despite this, Egypt is a fascinating and sometimes overwhelming country in which to be a graduate student. An Islamic and socially conservative country, Egypt has many restrictions which might be odd to international students. Pre-marital sex is illegal, as is homosexuality, while it’s only possible to drink alcohol in registered bars and hotels. Students are advised to dress modestly, covering legs and shoulders.
However, Egypt is also home to the Pyramids, the river Nile, some of the world’s best markets and amazing food like kebabs, falafel and baklava. It might be a culture shock, but Egypt offers plenty of exciting opportunities for adventurous international students.
Working in Egypt
Egypt’s economy has started to improve after several years of stagnation, although the protests and change of government has had an effect on the strength of the country’s currency. Egypt’s economy depends largely on agriculture, media, natural gas, and, of course, tourism.
International students in Egypt are not permitted to work in the country as part of the terms of their student visa.
Most international students in Egypt will live in accommodation provided by the university, either in flats or halls of residence. You should be aware that university accommodation will be provided single sex.
Alternatively, you could also live in either of the following types of housing:
- Private accommodation
Private accommodation may be a better fit for students travelling with families or those who want a bit more privacy, but is much harder to organise from outside of Egypt.
A good compromise may be to try a homestay for a couple of months, where you will get to live with a local Egyptian family first. This will allow you to settle into the Egyptian way of life and also give you an opportunity to investigate different neighbourhoods.
Climate in Egypt
Egypt is a hot, dry country with little rainfall. You should expect temperatures to hover around 30C during the summer months, although temperatures can get as high 45C on the Red Sea coast. What little rain that Egypt gets falls during the winter months, while it’s also not unheard of for snow to fall on the Sinai mountain range and even in some of the northern coastal cities.
National transport in Egypt tends to be centred on capital city Cairo and flows out along the path of the Nile. Egypt’s main rail system follows the Nile, as does the patchy road network.
Cairo is home to one of only two fully-fledged metro systems in the Arab and African world, consisting of three operation lines.
The currency of Egypt is the pound.
What to do next
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