living in Egypt

Living in Egypt as a Foreign Student and Study Arabic

Are you interested in learning Arabic and experiencing the rich culture and history of Egypt? If so, you are not alone. Many foreign students from all over the world choose to live and study Arabic in Egypt, as it is one of the best places to learn the language and immerse yourself in the diverse and vibrant Egyptian society.

In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about living in Egypt as a foreign student, from the advantages of living in Egypt, to the cost of living in Egypt, to the best cities and places to live in. 

By the end of this post, you will have a clear idea of what it is like to live and learn Arabic in Egypt, and why it is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to master Arabic, explore the Land of the Pharaohs and discover the wonders of this ancient and modern country. Let’s get started!

Benefits of Living in Egypt and Learning Arabic

living in Egypt

Egypt is one of the most popular destinations for living and learning Arabic, and for good reason. Here are some of the benefits of living and studying Arabic in Egypt:

  • Egyptian Arabic is the most widely spoken and understood dialect of Arabic in the Arab world, thanks to the influence of Egyptian media, cinema, and music. Learning Egyptian Arabic will enable you to communicate with millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as understand the nuances and expressions of Egyptian culture. Head to our article about the Egyptian language to know more about the Egyptian Arabic spoken by Egyptians.
  • Standard Arabic is the official language of Egypt, and the language of literature, media, religion, and education in the Arab world. Learning Standard Arabic will enable you to read and write in Arabic, as well as access the rich and diverse heritage of Arabic literature, poetry, and science. Our school offers both Egyptian Arabic and Standard Arabic courses, so you can learn both dialects and switch between them according to the context and situation.
  • Egyptian culture is one of the oldest and most influential cultures in the world, with a history that spans thousands of years. Learning Arabic in Egypt will allow you to explore the monuments and museums of ancient Egypt, such as the pyramids, the sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings, as well as the Islamic and Coptic landmarks of Cairo, such as the Al-Azhar Mosque, the Citadel, and the Hanging Church. You will also be able to experience the modern and dynamic aspects of Egyptian culture, such as the music, art, cuisine, and festivals that reflect the diversity and creativity of the Egyptian people.
  • Egyptian people are known for their hospitality, friendliness, and humor. living in Egypt provides the ideal 24/7 language laboratory. From chatting with shopkeepers to making Egyptian friends, you’ll gain fluency through moments of true engagement with locals outside the classroom. You will find that Egyptians are very welcoming and helpful to foreigners, and eager to share their culture and opinions with you. You will also be able to learn from the teachers of our school, who are native speakers of Arabic and qualified professionals in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.
  • Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to many other countries, the cost of living in Egypt is relatively affordable. This makes it a great option for students on a budget.

What is the Cost of Living in Egypt?

One of the main advantages of living in Egypt as a foreign student is the low cost of living compared to other countries. Egypt is one of the most affordable places to live and study in the world, with a high quality of life and a variety of options for accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment. Rent is also quite affordable, especially if you’re willing to live outside central Cairo.

According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different countries, the average cost of living in Egypt for a single person is about $400 per month, excluding rent. This includes expenses such as food, transportation, utilities, health care, and personal care. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center is about $200 per month, and about $100 per month in a suburban area. This means that you can live comfortably in Egypt with about $600 per month, including rent.

Of course, the cost of living in Egypt may vary depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and location. Some cities and areas may be more expensive than others, and some items and services may be more costly than others. For example, living in Cairo, the capital and largest city of Egypt, may be more expensive than living in Aswan, a smaller and quieter city in the south of Egypt.

Similarly, eating out at a fancy restaurant or shopping at a mall may be more expensive than cooking at home or buying from a local market. Based on the exchange rate of 1 USD = 30.90 EGP as of January 2024, you can consider the following aspects of living that you need to determine and make sure that they are covered:

living in egypt
  • Transportation: Getting comfortable navigating Egypt’s various modes of public transportation is an important part of living here as a foreign student. Egypt has a well-developed and cheap public transportation system but it can be time-consuming to get around, especially during rush hour. It includes buses, metro, taxis, and microbuses. The average cost of transportation in Egypt is around 7 EGP per ride for buses and metro, and around 10 EGP per ride for microbuses and around 80 EGP for taxis. You can also use ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem, UpRyde, InDrive, which are widely available and convenient in Egypt. Our school can also arrange airport transfers and private transportation for you, if you prefer.
  • Accommodation: Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose from different types of accommodation in Egypt, such as hotels, hostels, apartments, or homestays.. Our school can help you find the best accommodation option for you, according to your needs and expectations. This living arrangement not only saves money but also accelerates your cultural immersion and Arabic practice outside the classroom.
  • Food: Egypt has a diverse and delicious cuisine, which reflects the influences of various cultures and regions. You can find a variety of food options in Egypt, from street food to restaurants, from local dishes to international cuisines. The average cost of food in Egypt is around 50 EGP per meal for street food, and around 100 EGP per meal for restaurants. You can also cook your own food, as groceries are cheap and available in supermarkets and markets.
  • Entertainment: Egypt has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and leisure, from cultural and historical attractions, to natural and recreational activities. You can visit the famous sights of Egypt, such as the pyramids, the Nile, and the museums, or explore the less-known gems, such as the oases, the deserts, and the beaches. You can also enjoy the nightlife and entertainment scene of Egypt, which includes cafes, bars, clubs, and cinemas. Our school can also organize tours and excursions for you, as part of our programs and activities.
  • Health and Safety Support: While Egypt has a low cost of living overall, quality healthcare is also very affordable compared to other countries. Basic amenities like pharmacies are plentiful and over-the-counter medications inexpensive. For emergencies, most major hospitals have excellent facilities and English staff on hand.

As you can see, living in Egypt as a foreign student is affordable and enjoyable, as you can have a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle without breaking the bank. Of course, the cost of living in Egypt may vary depending on your personal choices and habits, but in general, you can expect to spend much less than in other countries, while having much more fun and learning.

What is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?

The best time to visit Egypt depends on what you want to see and do. here are some general guidelines:

  • If you want to avoid the heat and the crowds, the best time to visit Egypt is during the fall, winter, or early spring (October to April). The temperatures are lower and the major sights are less crowded. However, this is also the peak season, so you may pay more for accommodation and tours.
  • If you want to enjoy the Mediterranean coast and the Red Sea, the best time to visit Egypt is during the summer (May to September). The weather is hot and sunny, and the sea is warm and calm.
  • If you want to experience the culture and the festivals, the best time to visit Egypt is during the Islamic holidays, such as Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha. You can witness the religious celebrations, the festive atmosphere, and the local cuisine. However, you should also respect the customs and rules of the fasting month, and avoid drinking alcohol or eating in public during the day.

If You Consider Living in Egypt, You Should Also Know About:

  • Culture and Customs: Egypt is a Muslim country, and it is important to be respectful of local customs and traditions as they may differ from your own. For example, women should dress modestly in public, and it is important to avoid public displays of affection. You should also avoid any political or religious discussions, as they may be sensitive or offensive to some people
  • Safety: Egypt is a relatively safe country, but it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from crime. For example, it is important to avoid walking alone at night, and to be aware of your surroundings. You should be careful with your belongings and valuables, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or using ATMs in isolated areas.
    You should also be wary of touts, guides, and vendors who may try to overcharge you or sell you fake or illegal goods by knowing the common price for such services upon the time and season you’re visiting Egypt in. Also, you should always negotiate the price and check the quality of the goods before you buy anything. 

You can also check our article about Egyptian Culture and Traditions to know more about Egyptian culture and what you can expect when you visit Egypt.

Discover Your New Home City: Best Cities in Egypt

While both bustling Cairo and coastal Alexandria make convenient hubs for your language learning, other top cities also welcome international students. Dahab in Sinai makes a perfect choice  as one of the best places to live in Egypt, for its charming nature, sea and mood. You’ll find a lot of experiences with this special city that has a lot of secrets to tell, and to take your soul to a magic place that you won’t find in any other place around the world.

living in Egypt

In addition, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh draw many with their dazzling Red Sea reefs perfect for diving and watersports. However, the hidden gem of El Gouna on the Red Sea proves particularly popular for its scenic walking trails, art galleries and European flair. Furthermore, the island city of Luxor treats visitors to world-class antiquities against a picturesque Nile backdrop. You can also enjoy the charming nature and the full image of the Nile River in Aswan, which is one of the perfect places to visit in Egypt.

No matter your taste, you’re sure to find an ideal Egyptian home base that matches your personality and work or play style. Many discover an instant fondness for their adopted city that keeps drawing them back to Egypt again and again after graduation.

Adjusting to a New Culture Can Bring Joy and Growth

While the transition takes adjustment, embracing daily discoveries about Egyptian culture brings continuous joy and growth. Students quickly learn to appreciate simpler pleasures amidst the bustle – sweet mint tea with friends, feasts of street food, smiling at strangers.

Former challenges like navigating transport become second nature offering a sense of competence. Meanwhile embracing mishaps with patience and humor builds resilience. Local gestures of kindness remind you that humanity transcends borders. Overall, adapting successfully builds skills that deepen cultural sensitivity, empathy and independence for a lifetime. With an open and curious mindset, every day unveils gifts enriching self and relationships in ways unforeseen.


As an expat living in Egypt, you’ll be provided with rewarding lifestyle and personal growth opportunities that last far beyond your studies. You’ll gain confidence navigating new cultures independently while enriching your worldview. Making Egyptian friends and becoming part of local communities fosters cross-cultural connections that last a lifetime. Students also return home with expanded ambitions, a rediscovered self-reliance, and a passport full of unique stamps.

Many decide to turn their studies into long-term careers teaching English or working internationally. Whether for a semester or several years, your time in Egypt as an expat student promises adventures and rewards like no other. It’s an experience that shapes lives and perspectives forever.