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American University of Cairo
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dan



Joined: 20 Mar 2003
Posts: 247
Location: shanghai

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: American University of Cairo Reply with quote

Hello All

I have recently applied to for a position in the writing program at the American University of Cairo and I think I have a decent shot at an offer.

I was wondering if any of you have first-hand (or--why not?--second-hand) knowledge of the university, the working conditions, pay, neighborhood--really anything as I know very little about this school (or Cairo, for that matter).

Thanks a lot!
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15963
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my MA in their TEFL program and taught in the writing program for a short time.

There is quite a bit of information about Egypt, Cairo and even AUC here on this board. The search works pretty well. Do you have some specific questions?

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vague 2nd hand information:
A decent opportunity and good work conditions as of a couple years ago.
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7734



Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: AUC TEFL programme Reply with quote

A friend, an Egyptian, just finished his MA in TEFL from AUC.

He's currently in Australia, and he tells me they don't take his degree seriously; they don't recognise it as valid; he is sincerely dejected after all the course work and money he spent to obtain the degree -- and it's a two-year programme.

Some of the professors in that particular department are a little... insecure, to say the least.

My advice is to happily agree with everything you are told by those guys, and in an idoitically enthusiastic manner that says, "yes, yes, you're right. Everything you say is correct. Nothing could be otherwise. You seem like a genius. Aren't I lucky to bask in the glow of your intellect?"

Seriously, they'll black-ball you if you ask a letimate question, and then act as though you are challenging the second-hand ideas they have never dared to independently analyse; focus on developing your rote memorisation skills for the exams.

Check-out their 'advanced' syntax class -- the cover of the course book says 'introduction'. I guess they skipped the 'intermediate' level.

But most of academia is that way, and they're not bad guys -- just nervous. Seems most of the Americans and British professors have come to AUC from a university in the States or Britian where they didn't make tenure. And their publishing CVs look obviously 'padded'.

Like anything else, take what you can from the experience and consider it part of your personal growth and development.

There is certainly no money to be made in Egypt, unless on a foreign contract -- forget the 'local hire' approach, as they stop paying you and you have no recourse.

Laughing
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15963
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say that your friend has encountered more of prejudice against Egyptians... ie non-native speakers teaching English in Australia - than anything to do with the MA from AUC - which is fully accredited. Heaven only know what you are talking about that the professors are 'insecure.' A couple who have been there since I got my MA are tenured professors who just happen to prefer living in Cairo, in spite of your opinion of that professional choice. The others have been hired to replace professors who moved on to new jobs or retired, just like everywhere in the world. Generally I would have to say that you apparently know little or nothing of the university, the acceptance of the degree, or how good or bad its professors are compared to any of the other MA programs around the world. Just like every place else, the faculty is a mix of good, bad, and mediocre. I wouldn't expect an American based MA from Cairo to impress the Aussie educational system any more than an Aussie MA would impress in LA... especially if you are a non-native speaker trying to enter an already overfilled field where local native speakers can't get jobs.

But this person who is posting doesn't care about the MA program as that isn't his question. He is asking about the conditions as a teacher in the Freshman Writing Program.

And BTW... the pay and benefit package is very good if you have the credentials and experience - and avoid being local hire.
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7734



Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:26 pm    Post subject: dictionary Reply with quote

Yeah Veiled, you're right, 'insecure' is a really ambiguous word.

One could only guess what I really meant -- oh, those darned semantics.

And you're also right, in that I've probably never attended another university elsewhere in the world.

Maybe I simply appeared at AUC, and started taking their MA courses, after coming from Mansoura University.

Rolling Eyes
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15963
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along with the odd use of 'insecure', there was the other odd usage of the word 'nervous' that suggested that you are an Arabic speaker... as both of them were commonly misused by my students...

... so who knows what you are 'maybe' trying to say... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

VS
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stoth1972



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 674
Location: Seattle, Washington

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the question was directed at people who work at AUC, preferably as a Composition instructor. Did you work at AUC, 7734? Did your friend work for them?
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7734



Joined: 22 Oct 2005
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:25 am    Post subject: This is fun Reply with quote

This is funny; truly.

Yes VS, and, I 'love you' 'too much'.

[ana baHibik katiir]

That's right.

I'm a native Arabic speaker -- and youse-a gosh-darned flippin' gum-shoe, I says.

Shocked
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ootii



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 124
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Along with the odd use of 'insecure', there was the other odd usage of the word 'nervous' that suggested that you are an Arabic speaker... as both of them were commonly misused by my students...

... so who knows what you are 'maybe' trying to say... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

VS


When Egyptians say "Nervous" they often mean "agitated" or "edgy". It's one of those rare "faux-amis" in Arabic. They say /nerfiz/ for to annoy, irritate or put someone else's nerves on edge. The reflexive form is /?itnarfiz/. The derived noun, /mitnarfiz/.

I think this is Egyptian dialect. I haven't come across it from other Arabs. You can see how easy it is to confuse this with "nervous".
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15963
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly... It totally confused me the first time students used it in class. One of the Egyptian teachers finally explained the problem to me.

The English word 'nervous' couldn't be more different from the meaning that they think they are conveying.

VS
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Turks use nervous in that way as well- as in stressed and agitated, but I am not sure about the linguistic reasoning behind it. And they do things 'too much'. Funny that. Maybe its an Ottoman linguistic hangover from before the Great Arabic/Persian Purge of Ataturk in the 20s.
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaramaz look at all the ways sinirli can be translated.
Quote:
nervous
- quick to anger
- tense and irritable
- sinewy
- tendinous
out of temper
- choleric
- edgy
- fretful
- frustrated
- het up
- irritable
- on the jump
- jumpy
- keyed up
- like a cat on hot bricks
- nervy
- peevish
- petulant
- prickly
- sore
- strained
- tense
- unstrung
- up- light
- upset
- waspish
- wrought up
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey dmb, that list describes a significant proportion of my ex prep kids. No wonder they were always 'nervous'...
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12167
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Teacher, teacher, why you nervous me ?" - commonly heard from Saudi students who are concerned that their teacher is angry.
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