YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
Study in EGYPT with YES Abroad
Egypt has lived under the control of a number of civilizations throughout its history. In 1922, it finally declared its independence from the British. A few decades later, in June of 1953 Egypt was declared a republic. Over the course of the next few decades, Egypt’s relationship with the U.S. grew stronger over the Camp David Accords of 1978. Three years later, Hosni Mubarak rose to power and ruled until 2011.
In 2011, millions of Egyptians from varying socio-economic and religious backgrounds pressured Mubarak to step down through predominately peaceful protest, known to the World as the Egyptian Revolution during the Arab Spring. In 2012, Egypt held its first democratic elections and Mohammed Mursi was elected President.
With the rise and maturity of the Revolution, culture flourished, spearheaded by Egypt's youth. Different forms of art budded in Tahrir Square and the effect took the country by storm, influencing the underground music, drama, art, and even cuisine scenes. Building on this growing interest, a number of art centers, music halls, galleries, bookstores and specialty cafés opened. Cultural and socio-political gatherings and discussion forums have thrived where everybody is welcomed to participate. On the same note, Egypt's young population is new-media savvy, this was evident in the making of the Revolution and is a continuous quality that is developing into something more.
Through time the citizens of Egypt have maintained a tightly-knit community life. Muslims (mostly Sunni) comprise 90% of the population, Coptic Christians 9%, and 1% other Christian religious groups. Religion was sometimes used during the past twenty years as a trigger to break down the harmony in the society, and the Revolution played a very important role in bringing back this harmony and 'one-community' spirit.
Colloquial Arabic is spoken nation-wide and English and French are often spoken and understood in major cities; therefore, language is hardly a barrier.
Molokhiyya, foul (fava beans), taamia and koshari are staples of Egyptian cultural cuisine. Koshari is Egypt's famous, traditional wholesome meal, which tastes best if homemade, although it is also served in specialty restaurants nationwide. The dish is composed of rice, lentils, macaroni, topped with browned onions, and hot tomato sauce. Part of every Egyptian meal is “Baladi” bread; its main ingredient is barley.
Cairo, the nation’s capital, presents a compact microcosm of Egyptian culture to the outsider: the dense overpopulation, and yet the kindness of the stranger; the inability to be on time due to traffic, and yet the complacency—even embracement—of tardiness; the attitude of mafish moshkela, “not a problem,” and yet the dedication to charity to help those struggling.
Egypt carries a complicated past and embraces an ever-complicating future; this is what makes the Egyptian culture so unique, and the Egyptian people so resilient and proud.
Students will live with host families in order to experience a true immersion into Egyptian culture. Families are selected based on recommendations from members of the local community, and each is carefully screened by AFS staff and volunteers. Many families hold a position of influence within their community, and all are highly regarded by their relatives and neighbors. Hosting communities exist through the presence of a strong volunteer support network, with a local counselor, or “liaison,” available to each student hosted in the community.
Students are supported through a strong network of AFS staff and volunteers both in the United States and in-country in Egypt. Within the larger volunteer community, each student will have a local counselor, or “liaison,” assigned to him or her, who is often either an alum of the YES program, a past host parent or a teacher at the student’s school. Each student will be given a cell phone after arriving, and will have the contact number for the AFS-Egypt office. In the case of emergency, a Duty Officer is on-call 24/7 in both Egypt and the U.S., and this number is made available to both students on-program as well as their parents.
Numerous cultural enrichment and community service activities will be available to students through the local volunteer and YES alumni network in the host community. All activities include an aspect of language learning, and incorporate opportunities to learn about the given area through first-hand exploration. Whether visiting the pyramids in Giza, or working with local school children, YES Abroad students will have an opportunity to learn about the dynamic, changing environment in Egypt through engaging with people from many parts of the country.
Students attend class from Sunday to Thursday. Like many countries in the region, students remain in the same class all day, with teachers who rotate, creating a very close-knit group of classmates. Each day starts with a short assembly and salute to the flag. In addition to classes at the local high school, YES Abroad students will receive 40 hours of Arabic language tutoring, either through an institute or private lessons. These lessons will focus on colloquial or spoken Arabic.
The Political and Security Environment
A key strategic ally of the U.S., Egypt has partnered on a number of issues relating to regional stability and counterterrorism. The U.S. and Egypt share membership to several international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Egypt is also a non-party state to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and an observer to the Organization of American States (OAS). At different times the U.S. has supported Egypt through its transitions and assisted in its efforts to provide civil liberties for its people and transparency for its government. US-Egypt collaboration flourished during the current administration, beginning with the strong message sent to the region when President Obama made his famous speech 'A New Beginning' from the Convention Hall of Cairo University in June 2009.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
A limited number of applicants who are high school graduates at the start of the program will be considered for placement in the following countries: Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, South Africa, Oman, Thailand and Turkey
For the following countries, prior French skills are required: Mali, Morocco, Tunisia
Additional Eligibility Information:
The Youth Programs Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks to make youth exchange programs funded by ECA available to a wide and diverse American audience. Also, ECA wants to prevent conflict of interest issues from arising with regard to Department employees who are involved in particular scholarships and exchange programs. Therefore, in addition to the specific requirements for each program, an applicant for ECA-funded youth exchange programs must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Participation of Egypt as a hosting community in the 2013-14 YES Abroad program is tentative.
Studying abroad in high school can benefit your child in a multitude of ways. The decision to allow your child to participate can be difficult. There are numerous factors to consider when deciding whether or not YES Abroad is the right choice for your child. We compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have. For further information, e-mail the YES Abroad Advisor or call us at (800) 237-4636 x2151.
Who will support my child while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are supported in the host country by established and reputable organizations that have competitively been awarded grants by the U.S. State Department to implement the program. While organizational structures vary, field staff and/or trained volunteers in the host country and here in the U.S. support participants, host families, and natural parents. While on the program, your child will have regular contact with a trained coordinator in their community who will provide support, assistance, and guidance, and will be in regular contact with a staff member here in the United States. All YES Abroad students are provided a local cell phone for emergency use after arrival in-country.
As a parent, how can I help promote the well-being of my child?
One of the ways you can help YES Abroad plan for your child’s successful participation in the program is by providing all relevant information regarding your child’s personal health and family history in the forms provided in the application. This information will not be evaluated as part of the selection process, but is considered in making country and host family assignments. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to, a diagnosis of or treatment for an illness, a physical disability, a learning disability, a behavioral or emotional disorder, a dietary restriction, or drastic changes in weight. Recent traumatic experiences or significant changes in the student’s natural family, including serious illness, death, divorce, incarceration, or custodial changes, can also influence a student’s participation. Living and studying abroad can be a stressful and challenging experience for people of any age. These stresses can be compounded by any existing physical or mental health issues or concerns at home that arise prior to the start of the program. In order to help YES Abroad staff make appropriate decisions about your child’s experience, please inform us of relevant situations as quickly as possible throughout the application process and program.
What is the involvement of the U.S. Department of State and embassies abroad?
YES Abroad is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Communities where YES Abroad students will be hosted are selected in cooperation with the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the host countries. The Department of State and implementing organizations continuously monitor current events in each of the YES Abroad countries. All YES Abroad students are registered with the Office of Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host country. Students will only be placed in countries that have been approved by the U.S. Department of State.
Where will my child be living?
All YES Abroad students live with host families who have been carefully screened and selected. Host families receive formal orientation and training to introduce them to cultural differences and to prepare them for the hosting experience. These families may or may not speak English. Local coordinators, who are proficient in English, provide support to participants and host families throughout the program. Students attend a school in their community alongside local peers.
What happens in the case of an emergency?
YES Abroad implementing organizations are prepared to respond to emergencies in the host countries. Each organization provides 24-hour assistance in the event of an emergency and facilitates appropriate medical treatment, including evacuation, if necessary. YES Abroad consults with the U.S. Department of State and external risk management organizations to monitor the safety of U.S. citizens in the host countries.
Will my child have medical coverage while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are provided with secondary medical coverage to ensure that, in the case of an emergency, students will be treated as soon as possible in the host country.
What costs are covered?
The YES Abroad scholarship covers costs related to: room and board for the In-Person Selection Event (for semi-finalists); round-trip airfare, room and board for the Pre-Departure Orientation (for finalists); round-trip airfare between the participant’s home region and community abroad (for finalists); in-country support; cultural activities; school tuition (where applicable); room and board with a host family; secondary medical benefits; and visa fees.
What costs are not covered by the scholarship?
Some costs that you can expect to incur from your child’s participation in the program include: costs associated with obtaining a U.S. passport; required medical examinations and immunizations; and extra pocket money while on program.
How will YES Abroad help my child prepare to go abroad?
YES Abroad provides a wide variety of support mechanisms for students preparing to go abroad. Preparation for the YES Abroad experience begins shortly after the finalists are selected, with activities that may include online resources, handbooks, conference calls, opportunities to speak with YES Abroad and YES alumni, and local events with other exchange students. Participants are also encouraged to be proactive in engaging in their own research on the host country and its culture. Prior to departure, students attend a national orientation in Washington, D.C. that addresses how to stay healthy and safe while living in the host country.