Sawiris Scholars Exchange Program

With the generous support of NNS Foundation—a charity fund settled by Nassef Sawiris—and in collaboration with the Sawiris Foundation in Egypt, since 2007, the University of Chicago has welcomed a select group of students from Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University and the American University in Cairo into the Sawiris Scholars exchange program. The students spend an academic year at UChicago, studying up to 12 courses over three quarters (Autumn, Winter and Spring). They are fully integrated into University life, receiving the same access to courses and educational resources as degree-seeking students, as well as access to all that the city of Chicago has to offer. Sawiris Scholars receive full funding thanks to the philanthropy of NNS Foundation to cover tuition, airfare, housing, health insurance and a living stipend.

    • Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Science: Second and third year students majoring in Economics, Political Science or Statistics.
    • American University in Cairo’s Orascom Construction sponsored scholars: Second and third year students majoring in Economics.
    • Ain Shams University’s Faculty of Commerce Credit Hours English Program: Third year students majoring in Economics, Financial Markets and Institutions, or Accounting & Finance.
    • Alexandria University’s Faculty of Economics Studies and Political Science: Second and third year students majoring in Economics or Political Science.

    Applicants from all institutions must obtain an overall score of at least 104 on the TOEFL exam or 7 on the IELTS exam, and show distinguished academic records and strong extracurricular activities.

    The University of Chicago is one of the world’s greatest intellectual communities. Located in Hyde Park on Chicago’s South Side, UChicago 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.

    Our faculty which includes 80 past and present Nobel Laureates are visionaries, innovators, entrepreneurs, 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 52 majors and 45 minors have a reputation for exhilarating discussion. Conversations begun in the classroom often move to the lunch table, and into the community. The UChicago education is a portal to a lifetime of discovery and innovation.

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

    Students who get accepted into the program will receive an information packet from the Office of the Dean of the College with information on the financial documentation and other materials that are needed for their visa applications. Sawiris Scholars are housed on campus and are registered into the University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP). More information can be obtained through these links:

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

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

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

    Interviews will be held in late-March to mid-April. Applicants will receive an email from the Sawiris Scholars Liaison at the University of Chicago notifying them of the status of their application by mid to late-April.

    2023–24 Calendar

    • Application deadline for AY 2023–24: March 3, 2023
    • University Orientation: September 20–25, 2023
    • Autumn Quarter Begins: September 26, 2023
    • Autumn Quarter Ends: December 9, 2023
    • Winter Quarter Begins: January 3, 2024
    • Winter Quarter Ends: March 9, 2024
    • Spring Quarter Begins: March 18, 2024
    • Students Depart to Egypt: May 25, 2024

    2024–25 Calendar

    • Application deadline for AY 2024–25: March 3, 2024
    • University Orientation: To be announced
    • Autumn Quarter Begins: September 30, 2024
    • Autumn Quarter Ends: December 14, 2024
    • Winter Quarter Begins: January 6, 2025
    • Winter Quarter Ends: March 15, 2025
    • Spring Quarter Begins: March 24, 2025
    • Students Depart to Egypt: May 31, 2025

    For general information email

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

    Students from The American University in Cairo should contact Ms. Sally Samir:

    Students from Ain Shams University should contact Prof. Hayam Wahba, vice dean of Faculty of Commerce for postgraduate studies and research:

    Students from Alexandria University should contact the office of Vice President of Alexandria University: