I would like to apologize to my readers for the delay in getting this last blog out. I have been trying to think of how to end the blog and secretly delaying it as long as possible because writing this last blog means that I finally will put an end to this extraordinary experience that I wish would never end. But I think I have delayed long enough so here is my closing thoughts about my semester abroad in Egypt.
As you can tell from my previous blogs, Egypt is an amazing country. It is rich in history and culture and has so much to offer us. The country is continuously growing and changing. Since I left, politically, Egypt has taken some big steps internally and internationally against ISIS. I do not want to make this closing statement about politics, but all of you should keep up with some of the things Egypt is doing. They are such an important country and will be doing some very important things in the future.
Egypt is a place where you will see weird things at its finest. You will see way too many people on a motorcycle or in the back of a pick-up truck flying down the highway. You will see toddlers and babies in the front seat of a car or in the drivers lap. You will see people casually crossing highways while cars are going like 70 mph down the road. The door knobs on the outside of house or apartment doors never turn. It is normal to go through metal detectors and get your car searched by dogs to enter the malls. Cats are everywhere. People love to party on Faluka boats on the Nile River. You can see packs of camels caravanning on the side of the highway to the North Coast. Driving is a death sentence. It rarely rains and when it does everyone freaks out (kind of like Ohio when it snows). Shisha/hookah is like drinking coffee; it’s everywhere and it’s really cheap. The mall is a non-smoking place, except for every restaurant which is about half of the mall. And there are countless other things that I could go on and on about. Egypt has some pretty weird scenes.
AUC was more than I could have ever imagined. The students are so welcoming and the staff is so helpful. I learned so much from the classes and the trips I went on with the international office. I was able to experience all different types of people and cities. AUC is truly a great school with some much to offer its students.
Dubai was incredible. The city is one of the coolest cities I will ever go to. There is so much to do and see. It is so alive at all hours of the day and night. I had the best 5 days ever there. It is so beautiful. And where in the world can you go ice skating and skiing and then beaching in the same day? Nowhere. It pretty awesome.
I made memories to last a lifetime. I had fun; I made friends; I was able to serve the community; I traveled; and I spent quality time with my family. I could not have asked for anything more.
There are so many people to thank for making this the most amazing study abroad trip. I would like to thank AUC, the ISSA Office and the IPLs for their time and dedication to making sure that all the internationals including myself felt comfortable throughout the whole semester. I want to thank all the friends I made for the memories and the fun times we had. I can’t imagine how the semester would have gone without all of them.
Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to thank my family. They were my backbone. They supported me and helped me when I struggled. I cannot even begin to thank them enough for their hospitality, for taking me in and caring for me, for giving me a place to call home, for taking me out and showing me places, for cooking for me and getting me my favorite foods and cookies and cakes, for providing me with all of my necessities, and for always being there for me. And of course family dinners, arguably the funniest times of my trip.
I would highly recommend to anyone to go on a study abroad trip and of course I would advocate for Egypt. It is one of the most beneficial experiences you will ever have in your life. You will grow as a person and you will learn so much about yourself.
Thank you to the readers for keeping up with the blog. Thank you for letting my share my experience with you.
And with a heavy heart, my experience comes to a close.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you…Hopefully, you will leave something good behind.” -Anthony Bourdain