Life in Egypt
Egypt is predominantly a conservative Islamic country, and this is reflected in its laws and social customs. This means that clothing should cover shoulders and legs, and public displays of affection should be avoided.
Pre-marital sex is illegal, as is homosexuality, and it’s also illegal to drink alcohol outside of a registered restaurant or bar.
However, student life in Egypt is not just a list of restrictions! For those who are able and willing to adapt to the local way of life, studying in Egypt can be an adventure you’ll never forget.
As a long-term visitor, you’ll learn how to haggle at the market to get the best price, find the best places to go for kebab, falafel or baklava, and (maybe) even get used to Cairo’s notoriously chaotic traffic.
Egypt is currently in the midst of significant political change, following the 2011 anti-government protests that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year presidency, and in some regions there may still be a threat of unrest and violence. Consult travel advice from authorities such as the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office before making plans.
Universities in Cairo
Most visitors to Cairo describe the experience as rather overwhelming; with so many sights, sounds and smells to take in, the senses can be overloaded. But of course as a student, you’ll have the opportunity to move beyond this stage, making sense of the chaos to discover your own favourite cafes, markets, music venues, and views of the Nile.
Those who enjoy culture will soon discover the Cairo Opera House, where you can see opera, ballet and orchestra performances, but also jazz bands, modern dance companies and visiting performers from around the world. The city also has a thriving film industry, and hosts the annual Cairo International Film Festival.
See where Cairo ranks in this year's QS Best Student Cities >
Universities in Alexandria
If clubbing and late-night bars are important to you, then Alexandria is probably not your ideal student city. But for those willing to take a slower pace and simply enjoy soaking up the culture, history and sun, it may be worth a look, especially as it’s home to one of Egypt’s highest ranked universities.
Located in the north of Egypt, Alexandria is Egypt’s largest port, a growing industrial center, and very popular with tourists. Often called the ‘pearl of the Mediterranean’, in summer-time especially its beaches are filled with holidaymakers, from within Egypt and beyond.
Unsurprisingly, this coastal region is known for its excellent – and fresh – seafood. There’s also a strong cafe culture, with friends meeting to enjoy a game of dominos, cup of kahwa (coffee) or mint tea.
In terms of history, Alexandria competes even with Cairo. Founded by Alexander the Great, it was the site of the legendary Pharos lighthouse (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), and became a leading centre for culture and philosophy in the ancient world. A pretty inspirational setting, especially for students of classical civilizations!