Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Students Settle In at Alternatives to Cairo

Though the American University in Cairo reopened the week of Feb. 14, none of the 15 Georgetown students who began their semesters there will return.

University spokeswoman Julie Bataille stated that the students, who were evacuated on Jan. 24 amid riots against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, were given four options to complete their semesters. They could choose to return to D.C. or continue to study abroad at locations in Qatar, Morocco or Turkey.

Students embarked for each location, according to Jennifer Chao (COL ’12), one of the evacuated students.

Michelle Saks (COL ’12), who chose to join the America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) program in Rabat, Morocco for the semester, expressed disappointment at the limited number of options the students were given,but felt Georgetown handled a unique and difficult situation well overall.

“I wish we would have had more choices in terms of locations and programs, but given the short time frame and fact that most programs are already well on their way I understand that there were not many options,” Saks said in an email.

Chau chose to finish her semester in Doha at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar because she felt it would allow her to meet many of the same goals she had had for her stay in Cairo. She was disappointed that her experience in Egypt was cut short but expressed enthusiasm for her new environment.

“I feel lucky to have been able to witness history in Egypt and I am continuing to witness history in the making at Qatar,” Chau said in an email. “It’s a very special time to be in the Middle East right now and I know that this will be an experience that I will remember throughout my life.”

Saks said she is going to make the most of her semester, regardless of the unusual circumstances.

“I am really looking forward to taking advantage of this semester, learning a new dialect and exploring another North African country,” she said . “Of course I wish I could return to Egypt, but given the situation it’s best that I use what … Cairo has taught me and make the most out of what Morocco and this program has to offer.”

Chau made her decision based on the courses offered at each program.

“The Turkey option offers no Arabic and the Morocco option didn’t offer many classes which would satisfy requirements for Georgetown,” she said in an email. “Doha was best in terms of fitting in requirements since it’s Georgetown as well.”

Bataille was unable to give an exact number of students who selected each program. She emphasized that Georgetown is working to ensure that the rest of the semester runs as smoothly as possible.

“At this point it’s important for them to be able to focus on the remainder of their semester and make it as successful as possible,” Bataille said.

The Office of International Programs could not be reached for comment by press time.

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