With more than 6,000 years of culture, Cairo has numerous historical sites including the Pyramids, the Abdin Palace, the Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Coptic Museum. As a business and commercial center with many modern facilities, Cairo is home to 33,000 U.S. citizens who are attached in some way to the American Embassy. The American University in Cairo, a private institution founded in 1920, is a small oasis in the city. Located on a main square in downtown Cairo, it is surrounded by commercial areas, hotels, and government ministries, but is just a few blocks from the Nile. The main campus consists of a converted palace, gardens, and fountains; sports areas for tennis, outdoor basketball, and soccer; plus an auditorium and theater. Centers located off campus in rural, urban, and desert areas provide research opportunities in fields of interest to Egypt.
Penn State has a reciprocal exchange program option with this university. Through the exchange program option, Penn State undergraduates attend this university and an equal number of undergraduates from the university attend Penn State. As reciprocal exchange programs are generally more affordable, students are selected for the exchange based on academic achievement.
You will enroll in courses offered by the American University in Cairo (AUC). Local staff determine whether you have met the prerequisites for chosen courses. This institution offers a large selection of courses, with strengths in Arabic language, Arabic history and culture, accounting, archaeology, art history, chemistry, Egyptology, history, Middle Eastern studies, political science, and sociology. You are strongly advised to take Arabic language while on the program. A course list is available on the AUC website.
- ONE of the following: ARABIC (any level), ART H 301 (GA), ART H 330 (GA, GI), CAMS 020 (GH), CAMS 044 (GH, GI), HIST 181 (GH, DF), HIST 471W, HIST 472, HIST 473, RL ST 107 (GH, DF), RL ST 165, or RL ST 471W
- Students in the Smeal College of Business must complete two of the four junior core courses prior to departure.
Education Abroad Credits
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail basis.
Full time undergraduate students normally take an academic load of twelve to sixteen semester credit hours. The minimum credit load is 12 credits and the maximum credit load is 16 credits.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Cairo Course Equivalency List*. Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit our Course Equivalencies page. NOTE: Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
*The University Office of Global Programs is committed to making its websites accessible to all users. As such we are currently developing a new course equivalency database which will launch in Academic Year 2014-2015. In the meantime if you require an accessible version of the course equivalency information provided for this program please contact email@example.com.
Housing and Meals
You will live in the AUC dormitory with other students from the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and Egypt, and you have the option of taking your meals in the AUC dining halls.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget Sheets listed above. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates above may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships, such as the Whole World Scholarship. Eligibility is based on program location, academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Funding Study Abroad.
For More Information
For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you're not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of this program, schedule an appointment with Whitney Strickler, the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page. You must complete the following materials in your application:
- Education Abroad Questionnaire
- 2 academic recommendations
- Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Please note that you will also be instructed to complete an application with the host provider as a part of your Penn State application either at time of application or upon acceptance. Applications open approximately one year before the program term begins.