Interview: ‘Academic Refugees’ from Egypt Adjusting to Israel

Abril 5, 2011

In a sort of academic “ingathering of exiles,” Hebrew University last week took in 12 American students who were studying at schools in Cairo but could no longer continue due to the unrest in the country.
And while the situation in Egypt has calmed somewhat, the students will be remaining at Hebrew U until at least the end of the academic year.
The new students are all enrolled at Hebrew U’s Rothberg International School, and hail from Princeton, Vanderbilt, Michigan State and Allegheny universities and the University of California Schools.
All were enrolled in overseas extension programs sponsored by their schools and chose to study in Egypt. After it became clear in late January that it would be impossible for the students to continue to study there, their universities made hasty arrangements to relocate the students – and 12 of them chose Hebrew U, which came through with emergency placement for all of them.
So how are they doing after their first full week in Israel? For Sloane Speakman of Vanderbilt, it’s been a bit of an adjustment. “This is my first time in Israel,” he told Israel National News.
“So far, it’s been nice. There were a lot of adjustments to make, though. For one, it’s drastically more expensive than life in Cairo, which has been hard because I had budgeted for six months in Egypt. It’s also dramatically colder. I did not even own a jacket in Egypt, so I had to buy one once I arrived in Israel.”