General Information

Juice Stand at Ain Shams University

Cultural Events in Cairo and Alexandria

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Excursions

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Health Care

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International Calls

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Public Transportation

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Shopping

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Telephone services

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At the cross roads between East and West, Egypt has often been chosen as the site for many international cultural events. All year round, you will find a variety of cultural events to attend, such as music and film festivals, art exhibitions, book fairs, Arabian horse exhibitions, whirling dervishes, the sound and light show at the pyramids, and a host of other exciting activities to experience. Make the most of your stay in Egypt and make it an educational and culturally enriching one. Your IFSA-Butler office in Egypt will notify you of important cultural events and may arrange the attendance of some for students both in Alexandria and Cairo.

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In addition to the sight-seeing excursions in Cairo during the orientation, your IFSA office in Cairo will provide two longer week-end excursions to places of historical and cultural interests such as cities on the Red Sea, the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert, and El Fayoum, which in addition to its historical significance is also famous for its abundant bird life. Moreover, Cairo students will get a chance to visit their Alexandria counterparts and visit the historical and modern sites of Alexandria, one of the most beautiful cities on the Mediterranean. IFSA will also treat students to a memorable seafood meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria. Be IFSA’s guest on these trips with accommodation and meals provided.

Other trips to Hurghada on the Red Sea, St. Catherine Mountains in Sinai and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean to visit the famous Alalmein World War II battle field may be arranged either exclusively for IFSA students or with Egyptian students in Cairo, Ain Shams, Helwan or Alexandria University at a minimal cost to the students.

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In the orientation, IFSA will provide you with a list of reliable doctors in different specializations and the private clinics and hospitals where you can visit them. Please notify the Resident Director as soon as a health problem surfaces. You will be accompanied by an IFSA representative on your visit to the Doctor’s office, but will have the privacy of personal contact with the doctor.

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During your stay in Egypt you will need to make international calls to stay in touch with family and friends. This can be done easily through a cell phone, referred to as a mobile phone in Egypt. The IFSA office in Egypt will provide you with a chip (sim card) to use with your cell phone during your stay in Egypt. You need to have your own cell phone, and would have to return the chip to the office at the end of your stay in Egypt. You pay for your calls by charging your phone with pay cards, which can be bought for 25, 50 and 100 Egyptian pounds. These cards are available at mobile phone shops, grocery stores and kiosks.

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There are several means of public transportation in Cairo. The most efficient and reliable is the underground Metro, which due to the heavy traffic in Cairo is the fastest way to get around. However, there are some areas in Cairo that cannot be reached by the underground Metro. There is also the over-ground Metro, but it is rather slow and can be very crowded at rush hours. Avoid using buses as they are extremely over-crowded. In the orientation, you will be provided with the contact information for a reliable taxi company to call ahead of time.

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Take a step back in time and visit the historical Bazaar of Khan El khalili situated between the ancient renowned Mosques of Al Azhar and Al- Hussein. Stroll through the narrow alleys of this exotic bazaar and marvel the handmade silver, bronze, and wooden artifacts. Watch the skilled craftsmen at work and practice your Arabic numbers in bargaining for memorabilia and gifts to take back home. At Khan El Khalili you will also find items for your personal use such as leather products, T. shirts and traditional galabeyyas. Khan El Khalili’s counterpart, on a smaller scale, in Alexandria is the Attareen market.

In addition to this exotic bazaar, enjoy the more modern air- conditioned malls such as City Stars ( the biggest and most attractive mall in Egypt), Geneina mall, Yamama mall in Cairo, and Green Plaza and San Stefano Grand Plaza malls in Alexandria. For grocery shopping, practice your Arabic in the local open air markets for fresh produce, and small grocery shops near your residence. For more western style supermarkets, choose from a number of hypermarkets in Egypt such as Alpha market, Carrefour, Metro, and Spinneys.

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Students studying in Cairo will find in their apartments a telephone with a land line for making local calls within Cairo to another land-line. To make long distance calls to other cities, to another cell phone in Egypt, or even overseas, students will have to use a cell/ mobile phone as described in the International Calls section (above).

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