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Middle Eastern Music, Helwan University

Study Abroad Program at Helwan University, Egypt

  • Required GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Academic requirements: Music majors or minors only who have completed at least three semesters of college/university coursework.
  • Application deadlines: April 15 for fall semester (Sept-Dec)
    October 15 for spring semester (Jan-June)
    We regret that our Cairo program is suspended indefinitely. Please contact our office for alternate programs.
  • Program advisor: David Watkins  
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Program Snapshot

helwan

Ahlan! We're excited that you're considering the Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University as your study abroad destination. Cairo is home to approximately 11 million people and a place where the ancient and the modern coexist. The Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University is located on Gezira Island (in the middle of the Nile) in the area known as Zamalek.

There are just a few specific forms for this program that will need to be completed along with your IFSA-Butler application. The forms can be found under the Forms tab. Information and the instructions for writing an Independent Study Proposal can be found under the Indpendent Study tab.

What the Middle Eastern Music program has to offer

  • Study at Helwan's campus in central Cairo, located in the upscale, Bohemian and historic Zamalek neighborhood
  • Ideal for Music majors or minors who are interested in applied music or ethnomusicology
  • Both performance and non-performance courses available
  • No prior study of Arabic language required

Housing

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

Academics

  • Curriculum includes a language course, one program course and independent study
  • Independent work is individually tailored to students' interests through faculty at Helwan's prestigious Colleges of Music

We look forward to working with you, in sha ‘allah!

Academics

Academic Structure

The Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University is a semester long study abroad program within the College of Music. If you wish to study in Egypt for a year, you will need to choose another Egypt University Program in either Alexandria or Cairo for the additional semester of study. The program at Helwan University is designed for music majors or minors. All students will take a mandatory Arabic language course taught at Cairo University and acore course taught on the College of Music, Helwan University campus on Zamalek. The remainder of the coursework will be from electives and individually arranged independent work within the College of Music. Please read the Independent Study tabfor more information regarding the indepedent study possibilities and instructions on how to write your independent study proposal(s).

Core Courses

All students studying on the Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University will take an Arabic language course and the core course; Introduction to Egyptian Music.

Courses

The Arabic language course is taught in the Faculty of Languages at Cairo University and specifically for non-native Arabic speakers. While Modern Standard Arabic is the main focus of the course, students also will be exposed to the Egyptian Colloquial Arabic dialect.

Introduction to Egyptian Music focuses on the music that exists in Egypt, which is varied and can be divided into traditional, folklore, popular and nationalistic. Each kind has its own unique history and development. Students will study the interaction between the different types of music and how they enhance each other. The basics of the Egyptian tonal system and Egyptian rhythmic cycles will be covered, and the aesthetics of improvisation vs. notation in Egyptian music will be examined. Students will learn to sing or play appropriate melodies and rhythms associated with each style of Egyptian music, and become familiar with composers and performers in each of the styles.

Electives

The elective courses offered by Helwan University are part of the degree programs within the College of Music. All students must complete the course preference form (included in this packet) and list the electives in order of preference. We cannot guarantee that all the electives will be offered every semester; availability depends on the enrollment of program participants.

Below is a list of the elective courses, which are taught in English. Electives generally include participation in ensembles, both Western and Egyptian. Most ensembles are available for fall semester students only. The U.S. semester credit hour value of each course is also listed.

  • Traditional Egyptian Music Day Out. Twice a month students attend a local music event in Cairo. Once a month a trip outside of Cairo is arranged. Handouts will be provided and a reflective discussion will take place after each event.
  • Egyptian Opera House Attendance. Twice a month students will attend a performance at a Western opera house. Handouts will be provided and a discussion will take place after the event.
  • Ensemble Participation. Ensembles are generally only available to fall semester students. Western and Egyptian ensembles are available in choir, traditional singing and instruments, chamber music and chamber orchestra.

Credits

  • Arabic Language course = 4 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Introduction to Egyptian Music = 3 U.S. semester credit hours
  • Performance based independent studies (vocal and instrumental), students will earn 1 U.S. semester credit hour by completing a 30 minute music lessons per week throughout the semester. Students are expected to spend at least one hour per day of individual practice time for each 30 minute lesson.
  • Non-performance based independent studies, students must complete three hours of study per week throughout the semester to earn 1 U.S. semester credit hour. For those students wishing to earn 3 U.S. semester credit hours of an independent study topic, a total of at least 126 hours must be completed.

A full course load for the semester on the Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University is 15-16 U.S. semester hours.

Exams

Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at the College of Music, Helwan 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 an academic record query for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.

Transcripts

After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned on the Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan 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.

Registration

You must take a full course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. 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. The program courses and credits you take must equal a total of 15 to 16 U.S. semester credit hours. The number of classes you'll takes depends on the number of U.S. semester credit hours each class is worth.

Please be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

All courses are conducted in English and are part of the degree program within the College of Music. Students may not study in any other faculty at Helwan University.

Housing

Housing FAQs

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

Will I have to commute to classes?
Yes. For your Arabic Language course at Cairo University, the commute is approximately a fifteen minute walk. The commute to the College of Music at Helwan University can be done by taxi, or a combination of taking the Metro and a taxi, or walking. Walking to campus will take approx. one hour. The cost of a taxi one-way should be approximately $3.00 U.S.

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?
All students who participate on the Middle Eastern Music program at Helwan University must live in IFSA-Butler arranged housing for the duration of the program.

Location Info


Cairo
Population:
12 million
Location: North central Egypt, along the Nile River

City features

  • One of the world's largest urban areas and a vast open-air museum of architectural treasures
  • A metropolis full of life and movement nearly 24 hours a day
  • An ideal home for the adventurous student in search of a truly urban but non-traditional study abroad experience

Do more!

  • Visit the city's ancient temples, tombs, churches, mosques and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum
  • Shop at a local souk (bazaar) or street market, or visit the famous Khan el-Khalili souk, which remains largely unchanged since the 14th century
  • Take a train to the beautiful, seaside city of Alexandria, which offers a modern taste of Egypt's illustrious history
  • Explore Islamic Cairo with it's beautiful and historic Islamic architecture.
  • Wander through Coptic Cairo and visit the Hanging Church.

Links

Cairo
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

Fall Payment 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.

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

Expense calculator

Fall Payment Due: November 15
Spring Payment Due:
July 1

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

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.

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Expense calculator


Forms

Applicants to the Middle Eastern Music, Helwan University program must complete additional forms and submit the necessary Independent Study paperwork for the Independent Studies you wish to take. Please download, print and complete the following:

There are not any forms for the Independent Study Proposals that you need to submit. Refer to the Independent Study tab for instructions.

Please submit these forms 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 IFSA-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, New Zealand, Australia 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.

 

donnetta

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 Affairs 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. She also has taken doctoral courses 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, onnect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Independent Study

The opportunity to study areas of academic interest related to Egyptian music in great detail is one of the strengths of the faculty and associated staff at the College of Music, Helwan University.

Students on our program can conduct in-depth study in an area of particular academic interest. The independent study is individually designed for each participant on the basis of past academic work, research schools and areas of personal interest. Depending on the topics chosen, students can earn 5-8 U.S. semester credit hours for their independent study. For example, students can earn 1 U.S. semester credit hour for music, 3 for Egyptian film music, 2 for Oud, etc.)

Possible areas of independent study in music include classical instruments such as:

  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Trumpet
  • Bassoon
  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello

Students will need to have a background in the classical instrument they wish to study with the exception of Piano, which can be studied at a beginner's level. Please note that it is not possible to study guitar since it is a Western instrument.

Possible areas of independent study in music include traditional instruments, which are available to study at a beginner's level as long as the student has a background in music: timing, reading music, etc.)

  • Ney (Arab flute that is the only wind instrument in classical Arabic music)
  • Qanoon (Trapezoidal zither used in Arabic music)
  • Oud (Arab guitar, stringed instrument similar to a Western lute)

Possible non-performance based topics in the College of Music for independent study are:

  • Egyptian film music
  • Egyptian women in music
  • Arabic music theory
  • Arabic music history
  • Nationalistic Egyptian music history

Students must specify in their Independent Study Proposal form(s) what level, topics and lesson hours are required. Independent study cannot be used for employment or volunteerism. To earn academic credit, students will be required to keep detailed time logs and submit an independent study agreement at the beginning of the program.

All students must engage in independent study in order to earn 15-16 U.S. semester credit hours for the program. Students must submit a narrative on their proposed independent study and write an independent study proposal. Students must also have a home college advisor who approves the proposed independent study topic.

The Independent Study Proposal form you must write provides a basis from which you can methodically outline the type of independent study in which you are interested and inform us of the research and skills that you bring to the project.

The Independent Study Proposal form can be written in a narrative format, including your motivating factor in undertaking the study, your goals and how you hope to integrate the independent study into your current degree program. Please provide as much detail as possible. The quality and explicitness of your proposal will have a direct bearing on the ability of our staff in Cairo and Helwan University College of Music faculty to find a sponsor for you. Return your typed proposal and any other supporting documentation you feel would be helpful in setting up your study. For instance, you might be interested in learning more about a specific time period in Egyptian music or composer. Please provide a statement that shows that you have the necessary academic foundation required to undertake this independent study project. If you have related but non-academic experience, please forward your most recent résumé.You will need to write an Independent Study Proposal for each independent study you wish to do while studying on the program.

Our resident director in Cairo and the staff at the College of Music will work with you in defining the parameters of your study(ies).

In order to carry a full course load, you must do at least one Independent Study worth the number of credit hours you need to meet the required full course load.

Independent Study Proposal Questions
Please include these questions, with your answers, in your proposal. Independent Study Proposals should be typed. There is no limited on the number of pages a proposal should contain.

  1. Briefly explain the type of independent study that you are interested in. Share the general area of academic interest.
  2. What motivates your desire to do this type of study in Egypt?
  3. What are your objectives for your proposed independent study?
  4. Is it required by your home university that you do an independent study project in your proposed area? Why?
  5. What course work have you engaged in that will benefit you as you engage in this independent study project?
  6. What is your overall educational objective?
  7. Who will your home university advisor be for this project? Please provide a contact name and academic department.
  8. What are your short and long term professional goals?

You should return your Independent Study Proposal form(s) with your course and housing preference forms.

 
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