AMIDEAST to Help Cairo U. Expand Programs for U.S. Engineering Students

Washington, DC, November 4, 2010 —The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has awarded AMIDEAST a $225,000 grant that will enable it to support Egypt’s largest and most prestigious public university, Cairo University, as it seeks to strengthen its capacity to host U.S. study abroad students.

Under the grant, AMIDEAST will work with Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering and International Students Bureau to expand the university’s administrative and programmatic capacity. It will offer mentoring and training for Egyptian academic and administrative personnel to familiarize them with the learning objectives, student services, and cultural intermediation inherent in quality education abroad programs for U.S. undergraduate students. It will also create a framework for American undergraduate engineering students to participate in programs at Cairo University.

In addition, the new program includes opportunities for exchange visits of American and Egyptian engineering faculty, a pilot summer program on the history of engineering in June/July 2011, semester study abroad in civil engineering at Cairo University beginning in 2012, and $1,500 travel grants that will enable 15 students to participate in the programs in 2011 and 2012 (only students receiving Pell Grants and Stafford Loans are eligible for the travel grants).

“This project allows AMIDEAST to fulfill its mission of building bridges of understanding between Americans and the peoples and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa in very important ways,” said Ambassador Theodore H. Kattouf, AMIDEAST’s President and CEO. “We will be building Cairo University’s capacity to receive American study abroad students at the same time we will be providing unique opportunities for U.S. undergraduate engineering students in the Arab world. This is a very powerful way of fulfilling part of the vision President Obama set forth in his speech at Cairo University in June of last year.”

AMIDEAST is joined in this effort by two strong U.S. partners, the Forum on Education Abroad (the leading professional organization for education abroad professionals) and the Council for Opportunity in Education (a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities at its more than 1,000 member colleges and universities throughout the United States).

“The Forum is very pleased to be partnering with AMIDEAST in this important project,” said Brian Whalen, president and CEO of the Forum on Education Abroad, located on the campus of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “We believe strongly that this kind of collaboration is essential to expanding participation in quality international education experiences and we applaud AMIDEAST for spearheading this initiative in Egypt.”

The program got underway earlier this week with the arrival of Dr. Abdallah S. Bazaraa of Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering. Bazaraa, who headed the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau in Washington from 2004 to 2007, will stay in the United States for two weeks, visiting universities in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina to inform them about the new opportunities for their students and participating in the 13th Colloquium on International Engineering Programs in Newport, Rhode Island.

The workshop series for Cairo University staff kicks off with its first session on Dec. 29-30, 2010, in Cairo.

Topics and prospective dates of the workshop series include:

1. Introduction to U.S. Study Abroad” –history, role, processes, what the students want, what the home universities want, services required, dealing with crises. This workshop will have multiple presenters with experience in study abroad for American students in the Middle East and North Africa (scheduled for December 29-30, 2010).

2. Orientation and Re-Entry – what should be included in pre-departure and on-site orientation programs and how to prepare students for re-entry to their home institutions. The presenter for this workshop is Dr. Bruce LaBrack, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at University of the Pacific, Stockton, California (scheduled for the week of February 14, 2011).

3. Facilitating Intercultural Learning for Study Abroad Students – understanding the basics of intercultural communication and how to promote intercultural learning by study abroad students. The presenter for this workshop is Dr. Milton Bennett, Director of the Intercultural Development Research Institute and one of the founding Co-Directors of the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon (scheduled for the week of March 7, 2011).

4. Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad – the Forum on Education Abroad has developed as set of accepted Standards of Good Practice that will be examined in this workshop presented by Dr. Brian Whalen, President and CEO of the Forum (scheduled for the first half of May 2011).

5. Maximizing Study Abroad – the University of Minnesota has developed a workbook and activities to help students gain the maximum benefit from their study abroad experiences. This workshop will focus on those materials and the approaches embedded in them. The presenter will be Dr. R. Michael Paige of the University of Minnesota, one of the leaders of the team that developed the materials (scheduled for October 2011).


For more information, contact:

Dr. Jerry Bookin-Weiner
Director, Study Abroad & Outreach

America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc., or AMIDEAST (, is an American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development assistance. Working with international, regional, and local partners, AMIDEAST provides programs and services to improve educational opportunities and quality, strengthen local institutions, and develop language and professional skills for success in the global economy. AMIDEAST is deeply committed to strengthening mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in 1951, AMIDEAST is headquartered in Washington, DC, with a network of field offices in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen.