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Akher Kalam: An American Student’s Impression of the College, 1930

Imogene Ward shares her experience at AUC and in Egypt in The AUC Review, the University’s first student newspaper, published on Friday, October 31, 1930

To a student coming fresh from an American college to A.U.C., the change is not so tremendous as it might seem. Especially do the outward things; athletics on the field, assembly every morning, the extra-curricular activities of the Review, clubs and orchestra, make one feel at home.

But among the greatest differences which I find between A.U.C. and my college at home is the feeling of unusual co-operation between student and teacher. With a small number enrolled in the school, the classes are small enough for each student to feel himself an individual. In contrast to some lecture courses given to one hundred and seventy five students in my home college, to be in a class where each one of the six is doing independent, individual work, is stimulating.


After only three weeks of school, I’m more than ever convinced that if more students would make as a part of their education a transfer into the schools or educational systems of another country, there would be as a result, a marvelous decrease in some of the most stupid of race prejudice.

The advantages which every student in A.U.C. has, in coming in contact with students of other races and creeds, is to me, marvelous, For in my college, with a comparatively small enrollment of sixteen hundred, we are most of us from American homes of the same type.

Cairo in itself is proving to be so fascinating a place just in which to live, that I regret that there is not more time to see things and go various places. To a Westerner new to the near east, there is an ever present thrill in strolling into a darkened Coptic Church, exploring odd corners of the Mouski, seeing strange sight near the tombs of the Mamelukes, visiting in an Egyptian home, or perhaps just trying to get about town, and getting consistently lost, because the only two Arabic words to one’s credit are “malesh” and “saida,” which certainly are not helpful in getting home.

After only three weeks of school, I’m more than ever convinced that if more students would make as a part of their education a transfer into the schools or educational systems of another country, there would be as a result, a marvelous decrease in some of the most stupid of race prejudice. We Americans, who are here in Egypt, a foreign country to us, and the Egyptian students who are studying here under a system foreign to their own, are both gaining this sort of exchange education. It seems to me that there is unusual value in it. I can only add that the extreme courtesy and friendliness with which all of us co-eds have been treated is another thing which makes going to school in the A.U.C. a profit and a pleasure to me.

— I.W.

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