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.
Culture Shock Blog
(c) Silvine Photography
Many of my photographs are taken during my travels through Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm continually seeking inspiration in the architecture I see, the local customs I engage in and the vibrant lifestyles of the people I meet. I see each photograph as a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding.
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Last night was my last night teaching at Better World and I’m rather sorry for that. My favorite experience being in Egypt was teaching English and Spanish at the Better World NGO classes in Heliopolis every Tuesday. My students were fun and energetic and always eager to learn. Even my duties as a daily manager […]
A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Luxor with a friend of mine. It was a nice diversion from classes at AUC and very much welcomed. We took the cheapest option for getting to Luxor, an 11 hour train ride in second class. We left Cairo around 1 AM and arrived in Luxor […]
A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to climb Mt. Sinai supposedly where Moses received the commandments from God. We left late from Cairo so we would be able to reach Mt. Sinai and climb before the sunrise which actually turned out to be perfectly planned. The trip took around 7 or 8 […]
After living in and traveling around Egypt for a few months, I’ve come to realize that there is a certain art to bargaining here. For starters, Egyptian store clerks seem to think the fastest and most effective method of getting sales is hitting on any female that walks by. This certainly shocked me the first […]
This year I spent the first of my two weeks of Spring Break in Israel. We traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem and then to Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea before heading back to Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Taba wasn’t bad at all, only six hours or so and I remembered to pack […]