Sawiris Scholars Exchange Program

Who Is Eligible

Second and third year students from Cairo University and Orascom Construction sponsored scholars studying at the American University in Cairo with distinguished academic records and strong extracurricular activities are eligible to apply for this year-long exchange program. Students should have a background in Statistics, Political Science or Economics. Applicants must obtain an overall score of at least 104 on the TOEFL exam or at least 7 on the IELTS exam.

Application Deadline: March 3, 2017

The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is one of the world’s great intellectual communities. Located in Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side, the University of Chicago is uniquely positioned to contribute to, and to draw from, the strength and diversity of a world-class metropolis. A top ten university in the national and the global educational rankings, UChicago offers a distinctive approach to learning and knowledge.

Shaping Minds and Changing the World

Our faculty, which includes 80 past and present Nobel laureates, are pioneers, entrepreneurs, teachers, scholars and agents of change. We ask tough questions, engage the world around us and pursue knowledge with rigor because we believe in the transformative power of ideas.

Our undergraduate program is known for its emphasis on critical thinking and broad interdisciplinary exposure to the full range of intellectual inquiry. The College’s 50 majors and 27 minors have a reputation for exhilarating discussion. Conversations begun in the classroom often move to the lunch table, and into the community. A Chicago education is a portal to a lifetime of discovery and innovation.

Examples of courses offered can be found in the course catalog.

The Chicago/Sawiris Scholars Exchange Program

Due to the generous support of Mr. Nassef Sawiris/Orascom Construction group since 2007, the University of Chicago has welcomed a select group of students from Cairo University and The American University in Cairo. These students are fully integrated into life at the University of Chicago, receiving the same access to courses and educational resources as four-year students, as well as access to all that the city of Chicago has to offer. Sawiris scholars receive full funding thanks to the generosity of Mr. Nassef Sawiris, including tuition, airfare, housing, health insurance and a living stipend.

The time spent in Chicago begins with a three-week intensive program that helps prepare students academically and orients them to campus. During the first two weeks, students participate in three intensive mini-courses designed: 1) to familiarize them with UChicago approaches to Economics and Political Science, 2) to explore important aspects of American political and cultural life, and 3) to help them fine tune analytical and writing skills needed to succeed academically at the University of Chicago. During the third week, students participate in the University’s campus-wide orientation session alongside other domestic and international students who are beginning their time at the University.

Sawiris Scholars also visit the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, sporting events and regional sites.

Your Time at Chicago

If you are accepted to The University of Chicago, you will receive a packet from the Office of the Dean of Students in the College with information regarding the financial documentation that must be submitted as quickly as possible, as well as your visa application. You will be housed on campus and you will also be registered in the University Student Health Insurance Plan. Here are links to this important information:


  • Monday, September 4, 2017 - Saturday, September 16, 2017: Special courses begin
  • Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Sunday, September 24, 2017: Orientation Week
  • Monday, September 25, 2017: Autumn Quarter begins
  • Saturday, December 9, 2017: Autumn Quarter ends
  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018: Winter Quarter begins
  • Saturday, March 17, 2018: Winter Quarter ends
  • Monday, March 26, 2018: Spring Quarter begins
  • Saturday, June 9, 2018: Spring Quarter ends

Application and Important Dates

Applicants should download and complete the University of Chicago Student-at-Large application. Applications must be submited to your university contact listed below by March 3, 2017.

Interviews will be conducted in early to mid-April. Applicants will receive an email from the University of Chicago notifying them of the status of their application in mid to late-April.


Students from Cairo University should contact the Faculty of Economics & Political Science (FEPS) International Relations Office at

Students from The American University in Cairo should contact Sohair Saad at