“Welcome to ISIS… *looks around nervously* … I mean ISSA (International Students and Study Abroad)… *nervously giggles*…” – This was the introduction all new study abroad students received on a cold and rainy morning.

As promised I am keeping this post shorter with more pictures. This is partially due to the fact that I am having trouble remembering the whole occurrence of events while writing this two weeks later. I have also had a lot of trouble with my Wi-Fi connection. Long story short, I am alive and okay and have a lot of news to share in the coming posts.

Throughout the week of orientation I got to know the other study abroad students quite well (and many of the internationals for that matter). There is sadly only 9 new study abroad students this semester (one from Norway and the rest from the US). While there are many other internationals, we make up the group of new exchange students. We attended sessions and then in the afternoon ventured out into the city. Below are pictures from Old Cairo and Khan al-Kalili (an old and extremely large market).

The entire week was surprisingly cold and the first four or five days I spent in Cairo were scattered with rainfall. I still, like a true Minnesotan wore minimal jackets which garnered a plethera of questions from Egyptians including jealous “Where is your jacket!”‘s.

P.S. Special thanks to one of the most amazing humans I know Haleigh Gulden for a last minute gift of a selfie-stick which became a group favorite on our trip to the pyramids. See picture below for evidence I used it Haleigh.


After a week of cold weather, I was rewarded with a comparatively warm and sunny Friday trip to the Pyramids. I know I would go, but just not so early in my stay. It was a nice surprise from ISSA. A morning trip in a small bus in the typical Egyptian traffic (yes it is worse than LA) brought us to our destination. The pyramids really are something special. They are so much bigger than I ever could have imagined. We spent the morning visiting the pyramids and the Sphinx. A large group of us even enjoyed a trip inside of the Great Pyramid. It however was an amazingly challenging workout that including crouching while climbing a steep “staircase”. Accompanied by an Egyptology major (who definitely has a future as a tour guide if he wishes – he doesn’t) we learned a few highlights of the pyramids history. The actual tomb was small and almost entirely barren. While the trip didn’t change my life, the mystical pyramids lived up to the hype.

Oh yeah and I made some new friends too (photo cred Hassan Elzawy).



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