Every year a lot of Synergy members decide to study abroad. Some of them have returned to Nijmegen the last weeks. I was curious about their adventures and experiences, so I made an appointment to speak with some of them. In the third part of this miniserie I spoke with Gerson Keizer.
Gerson went a semester to Cairo, Egypt, where he studied at the American University. He lived in one of the most traditional parts of Cairo. Gerson decided to study in Cairo because he wanted to learn about the Egyptian culture and the Islamic world.
“Because of the lower workload I got the opportunity to see other studies and orientate myself.”
The level of education is lower than in the Netherlands, but the colleges are mandatory. The workload is a lot lower: “Because of the lower workload I got the opportunity to see other studies and orientate myself. I followed one ICT course and one economy course. This helped me to decide what I want to do in the future and which master specializations I like and which not.” University in Egypt is more like high school in the Netherlands, you’re in a small group with one teacher and you got a lot of personal explanation.
Gerson had several plans when he went to Egypt: “I wanted to kitesurf on the red sea and I wanted to snorkel because Egypt has nice coral, I did both.” Beside this Gerson also made some trips. He went to Jordan and Lebanon. In Jordan he swam in the death see and went to Petra, one of the 7 world wonders. In Lebanon he went to the capital, Beirut: “Beirut is the Miami of the middle-east, everyone is free and you go there for a party!”
“In Egypt you go to a bar to smoke shisha and to play a card game.”
In Egypt Gerson made a lot of Egyptian friends. Hanging out in Egypt is different from hanging out in the Netherlands: “In the Netherlands you go with friends to a bar to drink a beer. In Egypt you go to a bar to smoke shisha and to play a card game.” I asked Gerson about the safety in Egypt: “I felt really safe in Egypt, when someone steals and he get caught, the whole community will punish him.”
Gerson learned a lot on cultural level, he understands the Islamic culture right now. The most important thing Gerson learned is that studying is not for everyone: “I felt a little bit ashamed when I saw some people who didn’t get the chance to study because they don’t have enough money, this motivates me now to always do my best.”
Gerson should recommend studying in Egypt to everyone who wants to develop his/herself on a cultural level. For the educational level you don’t need to go to Egypt. Another reason to study in Egypt are the people: “Egyptian people are very helpful and hospitable. The help each other and they always want to do their best for you!”