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Arabic Language Study Abroad Program

Arabic Language at Alexandria University

  • Required GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Academic requirement: Students need to be of at least 2nd semester sophomore standing or higher and have completed at least two semesters of college/university level courses prior to their arrival
  • Application deadlines:April 30 for fall semester or academic year (Sept-Dec/May)
    October 30 for spring semester
  • Program advisor: David Watkins
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Program Snapshot


Ahlan! We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen the Arabic Language program at Alexandria University as your destination. Alexandria is home to approximately 2 million people and the site was chosen by Alexander the Great to be the capital of his empire. Located on the Mediterranean, you'll find distinct European areas right beside Egyptian areas. We're sure you're going to love studying there!

There are just a few specific forms, as well as writing an academic statement for this program, that you'll need to complete along with your IFSA-Butler application. The forms can be found under the Forms tab and information on the academic statement can be found under the Academic tab.

What the Arabic Language program has to offer:

  • A great choice for students from any major who are interested in Arabic language study
  • No previous study of Arabic required
  • Study in the ancient city of Alexandria


  • Students live in apartments with other IFSA-Butler students
  • Apartments are fully furnished and include kitchens
  • Students prepare their own meals


  • Intensive Language program in both MSA and Egyptian Arabic combined with topic-specific program courses taught by experts in the field


Academic Structure

The Arabic Language program at Alexandria University gives a student the chance to immerse themselves in the Arabic language, both Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic. In addition to the languages, students take a core course and an elective. Yearlong students are able to opt for two electives in the spring semester.


The Arabic Immersion program is a set course load consisting of the following:

  • Modern Standard Arabic (required) Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the official language used by college graduates throughout the Arab world and is the focus of this course. Students are exposed to MSA through textbooks in order to learn more about and obtain a better understanding of the culture, religion and heritage of the Arab world.
  • Colloquial Egyptian (required) This course focuses on the day-to-day language of Egyptians. Students will study the language in class and use it in a variety of different situations, such as shopping in the market, obtaining transportation, listening to music and watching television.
  • Egyptian History and Culture (required) This is a mandatory IFSA-Butler program core course all IFSA-Butler students take, regardless of the study option they elect to follow.

(Semester students select one. Year students are not required to take Egyptian History and Culture twice, but rather can select an elective to replace it.)

  • Egypt Today
  • Egyptology
  • Comparative Literature
  • Women & Gender Studies
  • Calligraphy


Each course is worth 4 U.S. semester credits for a total of 16 U.S. semester credits per semester.


You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. The program courses and credits you take must equal a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours. The number of classes a student takes depends on the program track option (regular or intensive) selected. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

Your course registration form will serve as your official registration for classes. Your program advisor will confirm with you approximately one month before departure what elective course you have been enrolled in.


Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at Alexandria University. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting a academic follow-up for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit and grades you earned on the Arabic Language program at Alexandria University. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Academic Statement

As part of your application to the program at Alexandria University, you are required to write an academic statement. A well-written academic statement can make the difference between a regular application and an incredible one. The program at Alexandria University admits applicants who are driven, motivated and prepared for an academically rigorous semester. Writing a strong academic statement will strengthen your application and help differentiate you from other applicants.

Think of your statement as a college admissions essay. Your academic statement should be about 500 words and outline the reasons why you want to study on the Arabic Language program at Alexandria University. A statement can be especially useful for providing additional information which is not immediately apparent from your transcript, but relevant to your application. You should discuss your reasons for wanting to study in Egypt and why the program at Alexandria University appeals to you.

Your statement should also describe how and why a study abroad semester at Alexandria University will assist you in achieving your academic, personal and professional goals.

You must complete and submit your academic statement along with the study track preference and housing preference forms included in this information. Your application is not considered complete until you have sent in an academic statement.


Housing Options

Alexandria University does not have accommodation available for study abroad students; therefore students on the IFSA-Butler program will be living in self-contained apartments in the Kafr Abdu neighborhood, located in the Roushdy district of Alexandria.

All apartments are single gender, so all females will be housed together and all males will be housed together on a different floor or nearby building. The apartments consist of two to three double bedrooms, with a kitchen and living areas. The kitchens have adequate refrigerator and cupboard space and are fully equipped with pots, pans and other necessary utensils. Students share bath and shower facilities.

All beds are twin-size, with blankets and pillows provided. Students will normally share the bedroom with another IFSA-Butler student. Local shops and grocery stores are located nearby. IFSA-Butler housing is generally always near public transportation, making commuting to campus convenient. Students are responsible for the cost of commuting and should expect a commuting time between 30 minutes to one hour from their apartment to campus.

Even though the IFSA-Butler students live together, the other apartments within the building are home to Egyptians and families of other nationalities. Islamic religion and Egyptian cultural practices permeate life in Alexandria, so there are cultural rules that students need to follow in order to live successfully in Egypt:

  • Be prepared to give up some independence. Even though you will be living with other IFSA-Butler students, your neighbors' opinion of you will be formed by what they observe. Just as Egyptian students have curfews, IFSA-Butler students will need to also respect and abide by curfews.
  • Students must never consume alcohol within the apartment or arrive home in an inebriated or drug-induced state. Overnight visitors, whether they are friends or family, are not permitted.
  • While smoking is still considered socially acceptable in Egypt, it is not permitted in IFSA-Butler operated apartments.
  • Learn as much about Egyptian culture as you can before you go abroad. What may seem a small thing to you could actually be something much more significant to your neighbors. Be sure to read Preparing to Study Abroad Egypt from cover to cover, as well as other sources about Egypt.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.


There are no meal plans. The IFSA-Butler apartments in Alexandria have fully equipped kitchens, so student will be able to cook for themselves. Numerous grocery stores and local shops are located nearby.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur.

Do I have to pay a housing deposit?
Yes. IFSA-Butler requires a refundable housing deposit of $300 before going abroad. We will return this deposit to you after March 1 for fall programs or September 1 for spring programs, less any fines, damages or outstanding debts in your name.

Can I arrange my own housing?
No. Independent housing is not possible for students on our Egypt programs.

Location Info

Population: 3.5 million
Location: North central Egypt, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

City features

  • Egypt's second largest city and its largest seaport
  • A living showcase for Egypt's glorious history, once the capital of Egypt and home to ancient Greek, Jewish and Armenian communities
  • A chic, Mediterranean atmosphere replete with cafés and stunning seaside views
  • Numerous beaches, lively entertainment with a strong Arts community

Do more!

  • Explore Alexandria's amazing history and ancient artifacts
  • Explore the grounds of Montaza Palace
  • Attend a concert at the Opera House
  • Visit Cairo, just two hours away and one of the busiest cities in the world
  • Take advantage of Alexandria's seaside location by participating in water sports

Alexandria, Pearl of the Mediterranean
Bibliotecha Alexandrina
Alexandria Tourism
Lonely Planet Egypt

Dates & Fees

Program Dates


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Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the date listed as “Program ends” on the calendar.

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed. In Egypt exams are taken under formal examination conditions, and changes cannot be made for individuals.

Program Fees

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What's included in our Egypt program fees
Expense calculator

Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

† Housing Deposit
This program requires a housing deposit of $300. This payment is in addition to the program fee but is due on the same date. The deposit is held separately from the program fee and should be paid separately. The deposit is refunded to the student after the program, less any damages, fines or outstanding debts in the student’s name.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator


Applicants to the Arabic Language program at Alexandria University must complete additional forms in addition to writing an academic statement (instructions and guidelines can be found under the Academics tab). Please download, print and complete the following:

Remember, there is not a form for the academic statement you need to submit, but please remember to write it and submit it with these forms, along with the remainder of your IFSA-Butler application. Your forms can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax, or regular mail. You can track which application forms ISFA-Butler has received by logging into the Student Portal.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in Egypt:

altProgram Advisor David Watkins assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. David can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4229. David graduated from the University of Cincinnati with bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and political science. He studied abroad in France, Israel and the West Bank, and began a study abroad program with IFSA-Butler in Egypt during the spring of 2011. After political evacuation from Egypt, he continued his studies in Morocco. David currently advises students planning on studying abroad in England and the Middle East.


beckiStudent Accounts Coordinator Becki Niccum assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Becki can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 3077.





Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.


Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident director. Click here to read more about Resident Director, Dr. Mohamed el-Komi.

rhondaUpon return from your study abroad program, Assistant Director for Academic Records Rhonda Hinkle processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Rhonda completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Evansville and received her master's degree from Bowling Green State University. Currently she is working on her Doctorate in Adult, Community and Higher Education at Ball State University. For Rhonda, study abroad not only increased her awareness of the world around her but also ignited her passion for travel and education. Rhonda can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4259.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on a IFSA-Butler program, check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students

Summer Program

IFSA-Butler has a summer program at Alexandria University. Students take Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Egyptian and a Media Coverage of the Arab World course. Click here for more details.




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