New Campus, New Cairo

8 Feb

AUC (American University in Cairo) has recently moved to their new campus in New Cairo, an hour’s ride from downtown Cairo.  As a new student at the university, I did not have the experience of living on the downtown Cairo campus, but many of the students seem upset about the location change.  Having lived here at the dorms in New Cairo for only a few weeks I can understand their frustration.  The new campus is undoubtedly beautiful and spacious, but there is nothing to do within walking distance, in fact the nearest city (or even sign of life) is a 10-15 minute car ride away.  Being a study abroad student, my access to a car is clearly limited and the buses run on a very annoying schedule which thankfully the Res(idential)Life staff is working on improving.  Also, it seems that all of the places to eat food on campus are run by a single monopoly who charges outrageous amounts for mediocre food and won’t allow any competition on campus, going even so far as to forbid students from ordering food from elsewhere to be delivered to the campus.  I must say that I am at the moment extremely disillusioned with the new campus.  I was told, or at least it was suggested to me, that the new campus was completely up and running with no problems whatsoever.  I arrived to discover that most of the food places and stores weren’t yet open, the gym was unfinished and would continue to be so until near my time of departure, and the campus was much further away from downtown than I was told and there was little in the way of transport for me to even get there.  In all honesty, I find the campus gorgeous and I’m sure the move allowed them to build and expand more than they could possibly do in downtown Cairo, but they have removed most of the incentive for my coming here (I applied before the move to the New Campus) and with the numerous operational difficulties still affecting the campus (a result of continuing construction despite allowing students to live on campus) I would suggest that most students wait a few years for the campus and surrounding environs to really reach a decent state of growth though I wonder if this move will translate into declining rates of student enrollment.

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6 Responses to “New Campus, New Cairo”

  1. ym Monday, 9 February 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    glad to see a updated post. I hope that you make the effort to continue to experience downtown Cairo. inspite the distance sounds like a awesome place to go enjoy and keep posting

    ym

  2. fwa Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Michelle:

    My son is also spending this semester at AUC. You may know him from orientation or be in the same classes. He is staying at Zamalek in downtown Cairo and truly enjoys it (so far), the two-three hours round trip to the new campus not withstanding. Perhaps you could ask to move to Zamalek, which I understand is where all the actions are with international students? Enjoy your stay in Cairo!

  3. Michelle Wednesday, 11 February 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, fwa. I really wish I could move, but apparently there was such a large migration from the New Campus dorms that they’ve stopped allowing people to move to Zamalek. Thankfully I’ve met some very nice people on campus so I’m not completely upset about having to stay here. I hope your son continues to enjoy his time here in Egypt.

  4. Tia Saturday, 14 February 2009 at 7:27 am #

    Michelle, Thanks for the update. I LOVED the pictures. At least you have found friends that will travel with you and maybe you need to be out here so you can focus on your studies and when time allows you can venture into town for some ACTION. It sounds like you have done so pretty cool things so far. Take Care and ENJOY, have FUN and be SAFE. Love and HUGS, always from Michigan.

  5. Ranya Saturday, 18 July 2009 at 11:53 am #

    Hey, can you tell me a bit about students who would like to be on the pre med track and major in science at AUC? Are there medical opportunities for us? Any information would be extremely helpful! I’m interested in going to AUC but i’m not sure it’s a good idea for pre med students.

  6. Michelle Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Hey Ranya, I wasn’t a science major at AUC so I can’t give you any firsthand information, but many of the people I met there were and they never mentioned a lack of opportunities. I’d suggest reviewing AUC’s course catalog online and checking what they have to offer to see if it fits what you’re looking for. Hope that helps.

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