Below are a few topics of typical concern to students intending to move to Cairo for the first time for Arabic study. Note that we have tried to be concise in this section, only dealing with big questions. If the student has any questions, all members of our staff are native speakers of Arabic and we are all willing to answer any questions or help you to solve any problems. Each of our teachers is likewise available for the student who has already arrived. Sometimes Cairo can be overwhelming, but we would like to make it enjoyable rather than stress inducing.
Most students coming to Egypt in order to study Arabic obtain tourist visas. Upon arrival, one-month tourist visas are dispensed at the airport. They cost around USD 15. For those intending to remain in Egypt longer than the initial one-month visa allows, visa extensions are quite easy and painless. The process takes about 2-3 hours and it is accomplished at the ‘Mogamma’ in Tahrir Square, directly across from our Downtown Branch. An extension costs about 15 LE, including photos, which may be obtained at the Mogamma. Student visas are unnecessary in Cairo as tourist visas are sufficiently uncomplicated. Students should be responsible about their own visas. Note: there have been cases of Visas taking longer than 2-3
Safety is sometimes a concern for those who have never been to Cairo. Despite the teeming population of this metropolis, this city remains one of the safest. People in Cairo are usually kind and hospitable and provided students stay out of the poorer areas on the outskirts of the city at nighttime, there should be no problem concerning safety. The best way to know about safety issue is to contact one of our current students whoa re living here to give you and idea about the real life and safety issue.
Cairo is not an ultra-conservative city, though there acceptable ways to dress that the stupid is likely to notice when he or she arrives. For men, pants are more acceptable than shorts, although shorts are not culturally forbidden in any way. Woman should avoid bearing their shoulders or wearing skirt or dresses that expose their knees. This goes for the summer as well. Of course there are areas where one will notice the dress is a bit more liberal, other neighborhoods that are more conservative. Students are encouraged simply to observe the customs. When visiting mosques, or religious areas in general, the woman’s arms should be completely covered.
Average monthly expenses, excluding tuition and rent, are about USD 300 . This is for a relaxed budget, in between those with a real tight budget and those who choose to eat in expensive restaurants, etc, frequently. In Cairo there is an extreme spectrum of social class/income distribution. Those familiar with society in Cairo will already know this. It is therefore possible to spend money like one would in any major European city. But it is also possible to live very frugally. In almost every aspect of life here there are more and less
In Cairo, there are three main modes of transportation: Taxi, Metro, and Bus. There are two types of buses: Microbus and Autobus. Microbuses are smaller and more cramped, but also slightly cheaper (about 75 and 1LE respectively). The Metro is a very efficient and cheap way to travel in Cairo although it helps to be near metro stations as there are only two lines. .
Taxis are always an option in Cairo, as there is an abundance of them. Older taxis, the black ones, require that one bargain and reach an agreement with the driver before his or her trip. It helps to know the length and price of the trip, though if one doesn’t know he or she can always ask someone. White have meters in them that eliminate the necessity of bargaining
Our school in the most well known location in Downtown Cairo among the commercial heart of the modern city of Cairo, Nile Ritz Carlton. The other imposing building on Midan Tahrir opposite the Egyptian museum, is the bay-fronted government Moga'maa building opened in 1952 which houses the bureaucratic offices, and where visitors can renew or extened their Egyptian visas. Although lacking in obvious tourist "attractions", Downtown is nonetheless the convenient location of many smaller hotels, retail outlets, travel agencies and restaurants that would be of interest to the most of our students .
The district's central location makes it, together with Midan Tahrir, a natural "jumping off point" for exploration of the
Mohandseen is an upper-scale neighborhood, home to more western-style cafes, such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Cilantro as well as restaurants such as Mori Sushi and Chilis. There are also plenty of restaurants serving various cuisines such as Lebanese or Indian. It’s main strip, Gameat il-Dowal il-Arabia (Arab League Street) cuts through Mohandseen, lined with shops, clubs and restaurants. It also offers a slew of Middle Eastern-style markets and shopping. Living in Muhandseen allows the student a true experience of the diversity of Cairo.
Students who are new to the Arabic language are encouraged to do some research of their own in order to establish a historical/linguistic background for their studies. Nevertheless, we will provide an introduction.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), or “fusha”, to give a loose phonetic rendering of the Arabic word, is the language of the media, literature and some “educated” conversation. Most, if not all, Arab children learn MSA in school. It is derived from the Classical Arabic that has its most standard example in the Qur’an. In order to follow political developments in the Arabic-speaking world it is necessary to have a command of MSA. It is arguably one of the most difficult languages in the world, considering its