American University in Cairo
Semester I, Semester II or full year
Campus Program Adviser: Jamie Schillinger (Chapel 108F x3344)
Founded in 1919 by Americans, AUC is one of the most highly respected institutions of higher education in Egypt. Other than language courses, all courses are taught in English. 5000 students are enrolled in three schools: Humanities and Social Sciences; Sciences and Engineering; and Business, Economics and Communication. AUC offers courses in the full range of disciplines found at St. Olaf, but its location and faculty make it a particularly wonderful place to study the Middle East and the Arabic language. Arabic is taught by professors in the Arabic Language Institute, which is closely affiliated with AUC and offers one of the best Arabic language programs in the world.
St. Olaf has a long relationship with AUC, which has provided teachers for both the Term in the Middle East and the Global Semester during their one-month stays in Egypt . Since 2005, St. Olaf students have had the opportunity to directly enroll for a full semester. For more information about AUC, consult its website: http://www.aucegypt.edu/
AUC is located in Cairo , the capital of Egypt . With almost 8 million people, its streets and sidewalks hum with energy. From the juice vendors and schawarma stands to the busy markets, it is full of life. It contains the world-renowned Egyptian museum, numerous mosques and Coptic Orthodox churches, and is close to famous historical sites such as the pyramids at Giza . On weekends or semester breaks, students may investigate nearby ancient sites such as Memphis and Alexandria , travel further up the Nile to Luxor and Aswan or visit the famous monastery of St. Catherine and the beaches of the Sinai Peninsula .
International students can live in housing provided by the university, a short distance from the downtown campus, in the Zamalek district on an island in the Nile river.
Term in the Middle East
Program departs in late August; returns in late December
Campus Program Adviser: David Van Wylen (Regents Hall NS 216 x3979)
2012 Field Supervisor: Mark Allister (Rølvaag 506 x3492) and Meredith Allister
The St. Olaf Term in the Middle East, which has been in existence for 40 years, is based in Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. It provides students with an experience of the diverse character of this ancient and dynamic part of the world with its focus on the rich cultural achievements of the Turkish, Arab, Christian, and Moslem peoples. Throughout the semester, students encounter numerous ethnic and religious communities that have been and continue to be major participants in the complex history of the Middle East. The experiential nature of this program features a homestay with a Moroccan family in the ancient city of Fez.
The academic components of the program include study of the history and culture of the countries where participating students live and the social and political developments that have made the Middle East a geopolitical area of great international significance today.
The program offers students three courses of study taught in affiliation with educational institutions in Istanbul, Fez, and Cairo. The St. Olaf field supervisor provides a fourth course that runs concurrently with the others. Extensive excursions to sites in each of the countries are integrated into the courses of study.
The program will end with a brief unit of study and travel for the group in Israel/Palestine, if political conditions continue to be calm and stable. After the program is over, some students opt to travel independently to other areas of the Middle East or Europe.
Group size is between 15 and 24 students. The program is open to qualified students of other institutions. Sophomores, juniors, or seniors are eligible. Final selection is made on the basis of an applicant’s scholastic standing, aptitude for the type of program involved, faculty recommendations, interview and class in college.
Participants must provide their own transportation to and from the American gateway.
The cost for the 2011 program was set at $12,370 over and above the St. Olaf tuition. The program covers the following: roundtrip transportation from a gateway city (usually Chicago or New York) via regularly scheduled aircraft; tuition and fees; accommodations in standard hotels or dormitories with two, three or four persons to a room; breakfast and one main meal per day; participation in scheduled sightseeing programs and field trips according to itinerary. The program cost does not cover meals, accommodations and transportation during the break periods or during optional travel at the end of the program.
Courses of Study
Four courses are offered, taught by university faculty at the sites visited and by the field supervisor. Classes are supplemented by special lectures by scholars and community leaders. In addition, field trips, contact with local people, and cultural events add important dimensions to the experience.
The following four courses are offered:
Political Science ME 254: Political Institutions of the Middle East
This course examines social changes and political developments in the Middle East and their impact on emerging political institutions. It includes study of Islam and its relation to political institutions, the special role of Turkey in Middle Eastern affairs and in relation to Europe and the United States. The prospects for peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is also discussed. Counts toward major. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS); Multicultural Studies Course (MCG)
Sociology ME 257: Social Change in Moroccan Society
This course explores the forces that have given Morocco cohesion and continuity in a rapidly changing world. Special emphasis is given to the impact of colonialism and to topics such as the family, religion, law and politics. GE: Studies in Human Behavior and Society (HBS).
History ME 250: Egypt in the Ancient and Modern World
This course focuses on the unique role of Egypt in the political and cultural life of the ancient, medieval and modern Middle East. The course emphasizes the history and culture of Pharaonic and Islamic Egypt, with visits to sites in the Cairo area and Luxor. Also included is Egypt’s history from the period of 19th-century colonization to its role in contemporary Middle Eastern affairs. Counts toward major. GE: Historical Studies in Western Culture (HWC)
Field Supervisor’s Course
English 252 Middle East Travel Writing: Ethical and Cultural Issues
Students read travel writing of the Middle East and create their own as they experience Turkey, Morocco, and Egypt. Students study the ethical and cultural issues that such writing engages, discussing, for example, what it means to be an outsider in a culture, how insiders view “the tourist,” and how study of history and social institutions might aid in writing sensitively and ethically.
Letter grades for the three courses taught by on-site professors are recorded on the student’s transcript but not computed in the grade point average. For the course taught by the accompanying field supervisor, students have the option of taking the course either graded or S/U. If taken graded, the course is figured into the GPA; if taken S/U, no course credit is given where the grade earned is below C-.
Bogazici University (Istanbul , Turkey)
Semester I & Interim, Semester II or full year
Campus Program Adviser: Jamie Schillinger (Chapel 108F x3344)
Since 1990, Bogazici University has provided a course in September for St. Olaf's Term in the Middle East . Now students are also able to enroll at the university for either semester or for the whole year. An equal number of students from Bogazici will attend St. Olaf under an exchange agreement. One of the most prestigious universities in Turkey , Bogazici offers a full range of subjects in the arts and sciences, and many courses are offered in English. For more information on Bogazici, consult the university website: http://www.boun.edu.tr/index_eng.html The campus of Bogazici University is located on a high hill, in one of the most picturesque sections of the city of Istanbul . It overlooks the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Mediterranean and Black Seas .
Located partly in Europe and partly in Asia, Istanbul (formerly named Constantinople ) has been an important cultural and political center for centuries, first as a Greek colony, then as the capital of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. It was conquered by the Turks in 1453 and subsequently became the capital of the Ottoman Empire . This city of over 9 million continues to be the most important commercial and cultural center in the Turkish Republic . On weekends and during breaks, students have the opportunity to explore other parts of Turkey such as the picturesque Mediterranean coast or central Anatolia , the less westernized part of the country. Travel in Turkey is relatively inexpensive.
A full load at Bogazici generally involves more courses per semester than is the case at St. Olaf. However, St. Olaf students are advised to take four courses in order to leave sufficient time for exploring the area and interacting with people. Most courses are offered in English. Taking a Turkish language course is not a requirement for participation in this program but is highly recommended in order to facilitate interaction with the local culture. The Fall semester extends from late September to January. Second semester starts in February and ends in mid-June.
Students from St. Olaf live together with Turkish and other international students in a modern campus dormitory called the Super Dorm.