Monday, August 30, 2010

Golden Coast

Hi all, again it's been a long, long time between updates!  I think probably readership has dropped off quite a lot, but the truth is that I'm still going through moving-home adjustment, and post-Cairo interviews, which still feels like part of the process.  The good news is, I'm back in California finally for college!  It's never looked so beautiful as when I've been gone for over year.  I'm a senior now, so it's all going to be work work work for the next several months since I'm doing my thesis in the fall.  It's due on my birthday, doesn't that figure?

In more academic news, I'm being asked to present my findings and experiences about AUC at a study abroad committee meeting, and make a recommendation regarding whether my college should pursue an official affiliation or not.  I will be saying they should, much to my surprise, but it's not for the reasons one would expect.  All of us who went to AUC experienced major problems with the bureaucracy, from things like adding and dropping classes, to getting our tuition checks processed (that one was me), to getting refunds at the proper time.  It was frustrating, and terrifying (especially when I got dropped from my classes automatically from "lack of payment" which was simply my check lying around in the NY office), but the magic word for me was when my college called them on my behalf and threw around it's institutional weight.  Suddenly everything was resolved, and I could breathe again when my check was finally found and processed and I was re-enrolled in my classes.

The fact of the matter is that I want other students at my college to have a way to do what I did, and I don't want it to be difficult for them, because living in Egypt is challenging enough as it is.  I'm hoping if my college is supporting a program through which other students can go to AUC students going to Egypt will have less trouble with the bureaucracy, because the classes and experiences you get in Egypt are completely worth it.  I was impressed with the Political Science department over all, and clearly the Arabic department is one of the world front-runners.

I know the blog seems dead now that I'm back in America, but I still would like to share experiences, maybe some guest posts, and articles/interviews my fellow students are writing.  Here's one from a girl I met "over there" that I think was quite good and illustrates how life can go in Egypt from stagnation to breakthrough, and (if you stay long enough) back and forth all over the place again:

PS-Got an interview with Karim Nagi coming up on Gilded Serpent soon, stay tuned!


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