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The Charms and Challenges of Studying Abroad in Egypt

April 4, 2021
Students from AUC’s Centre for Arabic Study Abroad programme (Image Credit: American University in Cairo)

“Non-European languages and literatures” was reportedly the least popular degree choice for UK students in 2019. Every year, Egypt welcomes a number of students studying Arabic at universities in the United Kingdom who make the seismic shift of moving from Britain for their ‘year abroad’ to further their grasp of not only the Arabic language, but of Egyptian culture. Twelve universities in the UK currently offer undergraduate degree programs with the opportunity to study Arabic. According to a 2014 study by the University Council for Modern Languages and the Association of University Language Centres, there has been a ‘continuing upwards trend’ in the number of students studying Arabic at UK universities whilst European languages’ popularity amongst students, such as French, has been declining. Teaching methods vary, with most universities opting to focus study around Modern Standard Arabic. Knowledge of dialects is then increased when students spend time studying in an Arabic-speaking country. This is known as ‘year abroad’, and most students are required to spend around eight months living in an Arabic-speaking country as an integrated part of their degree program. The most popular and renowned year abroad location for…

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