Today, The American University in Cairo (AUC) welcomed more than 1000 undergraduates and 243 graduate students for the 2017 Fall semester. Once again, AUC is set to experience a wave of integration, diversity and multiculturalism, as the undergraduate Class of 2021 includes Egyptian students from 23 governorates and international students from countries such as Syria, Nigeria, Germany, the United States, Jordan, Palestine, Denmark, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The undergraduate class is composed of 564 female students and 448 male students. Moreover, about 100 incoming undergraduates have received scholarships and financial aid. AUC also expects to provide need-based financial aid to more than 2,000 undergraduate students for Fall 2017.As for the graduate class, 41 students come from 18 countries around the globe, which include the United States, Canada, Ghana, Nigeria, Japan, Sudan, the Netherlands, Madagascar, Yemen, China, Bahrain, Eritrea and Syria.
In addition to incoming students, 62 full-time faculty members have joined AUC this fall, hailing from countries such as Canada, Australia, Britain, the United States, Estonia, Ghana, Lebanon, Turkey, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, Pakistan and Germany, in addition to Egypt.
Last week’s orientation ended with inspirational and welcoming remarks from President Francis Ricciardone, Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman and Dean of Students George Marquis.
Ricciardone’s message enlightened students on the mission and vision of AUC, and the adamant goal of aligning its curriculum, pedagogy and research with developments taking place around the world, and to "have absolutely the best in all our academic pursuits." He also highlighted the role of parents, alumni, trustees and donors in helping AUC strive and maintain its position as one of the top universities locally, regionally and globally.
Abdel-Rahman excitedly spoke about the diversity found in this year’s incoming class, stating that it will be a rich experience for students from all disciplines and years, and inviting them to interact and learn from the cross-cultural environment nurtured at AUC. “We are a diverse community, and both our incoming students and faculty demonstrate this defining characteristic, unique to AUC," he asserted. "One of the distinguishing features AUC offers is the opportunity to meet, make friends with and learn from people of similar and dissimilar backgrounds.”
After an overview of incoming international students and faculty members, Abdel-Rahman emphasized, “These opportunities remind us that at the end of the day, despite our similarities or differences, we are here for the same purpose: to learn so we can make the world a little better.”
Abdel-Rahman reminded attendees of AUC’s unique heritage that can only be maintained and uplifted through their future efforts. “We have achieved great things in our near 100-year history, and we can always grow and improve," he said. "Let us not be content with what we have before us. Let us work together to make AUC an even better, even stronger institution than it is now.”
Marquis emphasized the University’s commitment to provide students with resources and encouraged them to pursue cocurricular activities. “Some of you may be thinking that you won’t have the time to balance both academics and cocurriculars, but we know that students who are actively engaged in campus life find their experience at AUC to be more enriching and satisfying,” he said.
Students from all walks of life are embarking on their new journeys at AUC. Egyptian student Ziad El Hares, who plans on studying construction engineering at AUC spent orientation week socializing and searching for clubs to join, “I already joined two clubs on campus.”
Leone Close, Undergraduate Study Abroad, Islamic Studies and Political Science from Germany, shared her first week experience, “For me, it’s very different. In Germany, we don’t have a welcome week like this! It’s just something new to me: the American system and Egyptian students. People have been very friendly here. I want to invite students from AUC to Germany, and likewise, I believe students in Germany would love to study at AUC.”