Frequently Asked Questions

  • People in any Arab country use two Arabic variants: the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and the local dialect of their country. The MSA could be defined as:

    MSA is a modernized form of the language and is typically written in more contemporary texts such as newspapers, official documents, letters, and contemporary texts. MSA is heard and spoken in various formal or official channels such as the media, diplomatic functions, and government settings, which are often recited through the predetermined script.

    It is not the first language (L1) spoken by Arabs, and it is not the form utilized for a spontaneous conversation on the streets or in homes. Typically, native Arabic speakers formally learn MSA through school, and their proficiency in MSA differs greatly from person to person. (J. HIRSCH, 2009)

    As suggested by that definition, only educated people can read, write and speak in MSA at different proficiency levels according to their education. What is not mentioned in that definition is that uneducated Arabs can still understand spoken MSA in many contexts. That means you can make yourself understood when you use the MSA in any part of the Arab world. 

    On the other hand, J. HIRSCH describes an Arabic dialect, which applies to the ECA, as "the mother tongue of native Arabic language speakers, which they learn in their home and community. Dialects differ from MSA lexically, morphologically, phonologically, and syntactically, and vary throughout countries, regions, and even cities." (J. HIRSCH, 2009).

    In many situations, we can observe the simultaneous and continued usage of both MSA and ECA, where speakers and writers constantly shift between them.


    2009. HIRSCH, B., 2009. Integrating Dialects into the Modern Standard Arabic High School Classroom. 1st ed. Moorhead, Minnesota: CONCORDIA COLLEGE, p.14.

    • It might be possible through your landlord. If not, all the mobile providers offer internet dongles on a pay-as-you-go basis.

    • Rents are approximately EGP 9000-18000 for two persons.

      You can check the cost of living in Cairo here.

    • Yes, most of the rented furnished apartments in Cairo are equipped. They are usually furnished, including kitchenware and bedding. Apartments also come with a phone, television, washing machine and air-conditioning. There may also be an internet connection and satellite TV.

    • No, you don’t, but it is not easy to find small single apartments. Similarly, if you share, you will be paying less for a nicer apartment.

    • Be advised that, if you would like to rent an apartment near downtown, we can recommend the following website: for different accommodation types. You can search by area, have many students who used it, and they successfully booked an accommodation.

    • We recommend that you try to book a couple of days until you find a flat. We do not recommend that you find a cheap hotel Downtown by yourself.

    • Yes, it is. Dress sensibly and conservatively that is paying respect to the culture. After that, it is surprising how nice people are and how willing they are to protect others.

    • Yes, we strongly advise that you buy comprehensive insurance before coming to Egypt. Thereafter, we are happy to help you and advise you about good doctors and hospitals if you need medical care.

    • You can change money easily through banks, currency exchange offices, or access money at ATMs. There are no restrictions in terms of what you bring in or how much you change.

      • Yes, of course. However, the course calendar is planned to accommodate the public holidays, and if there is more than one lost day during a course, we make them up.

      • The maximum class size is 14, although the average class size is 6-10 students or less.

      • All intensive classes run in the morning from Monday to Thursday, which gives you long weekend tours, travel, and some self-study. Below is a generic timetable for the morning classes to give you an idea of how the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) are scheduled:

        Four-week Timetable – Morning Classes






        MSA 8:30-11:00

        2.5 hours

        2.5 hours

        2.5 hours

        2.5 hours

        ECA 11:30 -2:00

        1.5 hours

        2.5 hours

        2.5 hours

        1.5 hours

        Regular classes run in the evening. Below is a sample timetable for evening classes:

        Eight-week Regular Arabic Classes Timetable






        MSA Class

        ECA Class

        MSA Class

        ECA Class

      • Yes, we do. We offer a range of special interest courses, including calligraphy, media, arabic, religion and history, business communication, grammar courses, and tailor-made courses for diplomats and universities. Contact us for more information. (contact email to be added)

      • We need to decide on this.

      • It is advisable although you still can use the PC’s on the school premises.

      • Yes, indeed. The courses run every month and are ongoing. As such, you can keep progressing through the levels.

      • For the Egyptian Colloquial Arabic courses, we use the “Kallimni ‘Arabi” series, which is available in paperback:

        For the Modern Standard Arabic courses, we use Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-Arabiya. You can obtain them as perpetual or renal access from 

      • No, you don’t. You can buy the books in Cairo. It’s also advisable that you get the books after the placement test.

      • You will take a placement test before you complete your enrollment. We are currently using this online language testing service:

        Although the assessment is based on the ACTFL framework, your assessment results could be aligned to the CEFR framework as follows:

        Rating on ACTFL Assessment

        Corresponding CEFR Rating





        Advanced High


        Advanced Mid


        Advanced Low


        Intermediate High


        Intermediate Mid


        Intermediate Low


        Novice High



      • “CEFR and ACTFL are both frameworks for assessing foreign language proficiency: the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Both are used for testing and certification as well as in textbooks, language teacher training, curriculum development and development of assessment standards.”


      • Yes, of course, when you complete a course. Furthermore, if you need a special transcript or letter/document, we are happy to help you.

      • Results of your placement test are available immediately, and so you will be aware of your level in time for the start of your classes. If, once in your class, you have any difficulties, talk to your teacher. Your teacher and the ALCP education will help you settle into your learning.

      • The usual duration of a tourist visa is one month. An extension can be arranged once here in Cairo at the local government office. This process generally takes a few days. You will need to provide both passport photos and copies of your passport to complete the application for the visa extension. We can advise you.

        • Yes. Most nationalities are granted a tourist visa upon arrival in Egypt. In the airport, before going through immigration, buy an entry visa at one of the bank kiosks, which needs to be paid in cash, so make sure you have enough cash in USD to buy the Visa. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a visa in your own country at your local Egyptian embassy.

          Egypt has also introduced an online visa application service for a list of countries that is valid for 30 days. Check the following website for more details.

        • Usually, we recommend you to arrive one or two days before the course starts.