For many, the mention of “Egypt” instantly brings to mind arid deserts, the towering ancient relics of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, and a mysterious and exotic culture built around a complex and riveting mythology. Ancient Egypt produced a wealth of archeological objects of interest, and has captured the imaginations of millions, from the first explorers to the land to modern viewers of the Hollywood hit “The Mummy.” However, students who study in Egypt will find that the desert wind and swirling sand reveals not only ancient wonders, but also a modern culture and civilization worthy of further exploration.
Students of religion, archeology, geology, anthropology, architecture, art, art history, history and even literature will likely find Egypt to be a necessary destination to complete and/or enhance their studies. Although all of Egypt has something to offer, students may especially find the cities of Cairo and Alexandria to be attractive destinations. They blend ancient history and tradition with all you could need from a modern city. Cairo, the capital of Egypt, has existed as some sort of settlement or civilization for more than 9,000 years. Just outside of Cairo, in Giza (once the necropolis for Memphis), sit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids, built as the final resting place for Egypt’s greatest pharaohs, guarded in the distance by the Great Sphinx. Alexandria, too, became world renowned as a center for learning (housing the Great Library), philosophy, beauty and trade and was also the locale of another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Lighthouse. Founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. after he conquered Egypt, it is now the major port in Egypt and is situated at the delta of the Nile, on the coast of the Mediterranean.
Students of business, politics, economics and most other fields will also find study in Egypt to be useful as well as enlightening. The first country in the Middle East to sign a peace treaty with Israel, Egypt continues to be a major presence in Middle Eastern politics. In the fields of business and economics, Egypt provides an interesting study of an ancient civilization that has crossed over to become a modern society, yet is still teetering on the edges of economic stability. For students interested in studying how economies modernize and adapt, as well as how to balance a limited amount of natural resources (arable land and water) against a large population, Egypt is an ideal place to study. The country’s biggest industries include textiles, construction and tourism, and its largest trading partner is the United States. Hence, students with a knowledge of Middle Eastern issues and some experience living in Egypt will have an edge in competing for jobs in those industries and businesses looking to branch out to the region.