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Darla Moore School of Business

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IBMENA (Egypt)

The International Business in the Middle East and North Africa program is an intensive four-year study that educates future global business leaders in an original and practical form. These students will learn about conducting and succeeding in business in the Middle East and Northern Africa with an emphasis on cross-cultural studies and language immersion. Upon graduating this program, students will have a full understanding of international business on a personal and professional level.

The University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business and the American University in Cairo have partnered to form the International Business in the Middle East and North Africa (IBMENA) program. This program provides students with the tools necessary to compete and succeed in the MENA regional business environment. The IBMENA cohort will be made up of students from the University of South Carolina and AUC who will study together for at least two years, taking courses on each other’s campuses. This program offers many tools for learning Arabic, and at the completion of their four years, students will be proficient in the language. In addition to gaining in-depth knowledge of MENA business and culture, students will develop a ready-made network among AUC and South Carolina cohort members and professionals in each market that will serve them well throughout their professional careers.

Year 1: Students spend their freshman year at South Carolina. During the summer, they are required to participate in an Arabic language immersion program in Egypt.

Year 2: South Carolina students will study in Egypt for the academic year with their AUC counterparts. During the summer, they have the option to remain in Egypt for additional Arabic studies.

Year 3: Both South Carolina and AUC students travel together to South Carolina where they continue their IB studies.

Year 4: South Carolina students will finish up their final year at South Carolina before graduating.

During their year abroad, tuition will be assessed on an exchange basis — that is, they pay tuition to their home institutions rather than the university they visit. Exchange tuition is assessed at the in-state rate for South Carolina students, regardless of residency status. Students pay AUC for six credit hours, housing, and other fees while attending the required summer language program after freshman year.  If students choose to participate in a second intensive summer course, they will be responsible for those expenses as well.  Their housing and other living expenses will be based on the accommodations secured in-country and will vary accordingly. IBMENA students will also need to budget for travel expenses between home and AUC as well as expenses related to cohort activities.

Students in the IBMENA program can double major in accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, operations and supply chain, real estate, or risk management and insurance. The curriculum is designed to be integrated across the two institutions with preparation for the program beginning as freshmen. In today’s globalized world, it is more important than ever to be able to communicate across borders, and with intensive summer immersion classes, students will graduate with high proficiency in Arabic. AUC boasts an invigorating curriculum and prestigious program and is one of the premier business schools in Egypt.

Students in the IBMENA program will be required to study Arabic, and will work to achieve business fluency by graduation. Prior knowledge or study of Arabic is not a prerequisite for admission into the program. Non-native speakers will take part in at least one intensive summer language study in Cairo.

IBMENA students have the opportunity to delve into the business world while embracing cultural exchanges. Through this program, they will learn the importance of mutual respect and tolerance, as well as the value of a well-rounded education.

The number one university in Egypt, AUC is a cultural and intellectual hub of Cairo, attracting the brightest minds from all over the world. Here, students will prepare to be global citizens, addressing the challenges facing the region and the world. The university is committed to teaching and research of the highest caliber and offers exceptional education in a cross-cultural environment. AUC builds a culture of leadership and lifelong learning while upholding the principles of academic freedom and dedication to excellence. Throughout the year, AUC School of Business holds events and activities for students that aim to provide them with networking opportunities and guidance.

Situated on the banks of the Nile River in Northern Egypt, more than 17 million people live in the greater Cairo area. On the outskirts of the city are two ancient landmarks, the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza. The city itself is a mixture of mosques and skyscrapers. Exotic markets and bazaars allow visitors to immerse themselves in a world that has both changed drastically and remained timeless over the last hundred years.

Standard Arabic is the national language of Egypt, and it has become the language of both the Muslim and Christian populations. Learning Arabic is extremely advantageous to students as it is considered of strategic importance by the U.S. government. The National Strategic Language Initiative offers many scholarship and other opportunities. Learning Arabic also allows students to not only learn a new language, but also a completely new alphabet and writing structure, greatly enhancing their cognitive and linguistic capabilities.


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