[External News] UW-Madison and Egypt: Study Abroad Students Reflect on Protests and Campus Updates

The Badger Herald — February 6, 2011

“Egyptian Crisis Unlikely to Affect UW Programs”

UW does not expect future study abroad programs in Egypt to be negatively affected by the recent protests against the government, UW spokesperson John Lucas said.

“UW students are studying all over the world and are very interested in studying abroad in greater numbers,” he said. “So the suspension of programs in Egypt is not expected to negatively affect our future study abroad programs.”

UW Dean of the Division of International Studies Gilles Bousquet said students are very interested in the current political and social situation in Egypt, and programs in the region will definitely not lose future student interest.

Bousquet said after the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there was an increase in UW students interested in study abroad programs in the Middle East, and the interest students have in that region has not since declined.

“This is an historic time for Egypt, and students are always interested in traveling to regions like this when history unfolds,” Bousquet said.

The increase in interest in the Middle East has not only been a trend at UW, but a national trend as well.

Read the full story.


The Daily Cardinal — February 7, 2011

“UW Student Evacuated from Egypt Shares Story”

UW-Madison junior Katrina Gray was studying abroad in Alexandria when mass protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak broke out. She witnessed her friends and neighbors join the nationwide democratic struggle. This is her story:

On January 24 my Egyptian friends and I sat in a café smoking hookah and drinking tea; a normal day. The topic of the next day’s protests came up. We talked about Mubarak, 30 years of marshall law and the quality of life, but overall my peers assured me that the protests of Police Day would be short-lived. They were wrong.

The days following would be beyond anything I could have imagined. In the mornings the streets were quiet and pensive, like the calm before the storm, and in the evenings the people took to the streets, regardless of religion, age or class.

Read the rest of Katrina Gray’s story.


WKOW– February 6, 2011

“UW-Madison Student Back from Egypt; Shares Home Video”

Six UW-Madison students were studying in Alexandria, Egypt when the protests began. That’s about three hours from Cairo.

They’ve since all been evacuated. 27 News sat down with one UW junior who gave us a bit of insight into what she saw in Egypt.

Katrina Gray shows home video taken on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, on January 28th. Masses of people fill the streets, holding signs and chanting in Arabic, ‘The people want to drop the system.’

A fire burns a block away, and guards line the streets.

UW-Madison student Katrina Gray was tear gassed when she ventured out into the protests, but says she wasn’t worried.

Read the full story and watch the video.


Badgers Abroad Blog — February 1, 2011

“Student Reflects on Her Time in Egypt During the Recent Political Upheaval”

The Division of International Studies invited students who were  in Egypt on study abroad programs to reflect on their time during the recent unrest within the country.  Antoinette Pick-Jones is a senior political science and economics major, who went abroad on the IFSA-Butler and Middlebury University program through the International Academic Programs (IAP) office. Antoinette shares her experiences while in Egypt early this week.

These entries were taken from Antoinette’s blog:

January 29, 2011

I woke up this morning without Internet or cell phone service. The ability to communicate within the country and to people outside of the country has been completely cut off all day.  It has left us with a feeling of anxiety and paralysis as we wanted to be in contact with at minimum family in the US as well as each other in case of an emergency. Our grocery shopping plans were canceled and we were asked to return to our neighborhood by the police.  The city of Alexandria was eerily calm this morning before noon prayers.  The riot police trucks were lined up ready for protests to begin; however, there were hardly any people on the streets.  We returned to our neighborhood and grabbed some lunch.  News came from the resident director that protests had begun and teargas was fired at the protesters.  We went back to our apartments and began watching the news.  After being in Cairo for over two weeks, it was shocking to see the never-ending barrage of teargas and fires being set every minute.  Watching the live shots of protesters attacking the riot police on the 6th of October bridge gave me the feeling that I was watching a sporting event with the commentator giving a play by play description in the background. At one point, my roommates and I clapped when the protesters took over a riot police truck.

Read the full blog entry.


Channel 3000 –February 5, 2011

“UW Student Cannot Study Abroad In Egypt”


The conflict in Egypt is disrupting a semester that University of Wisconsin-Madison student Kelsey Eaton has been planning for months.

“I was so ready. We had trips planned, we were going to go sailing in Greece, going to Amsterdam,” Eaton said.

Eaton is one of six students that were supposed to be studying abroad in Egypt this semester. Four students were already in Alexandria, Egypt, when the protests began. All have been sent home safely. Eaton didn’t even get that far. The university canceled the program indefinitely just four days before her flight to Cairo.

Read the full story.


Inside Higher Ed — February 4, 2011

“After Egypt”

Study abroad staff evacuating their students Monday and Tuesday all noticed a trend: many students did not want to leave. Were it up to them, they would still be watching the events from dorm rooftops, talking to local activists about chasing down police, and scrambling to collect souvenirs. Of course, security experts, parents, and university staff observing a volatile, precarious political situation had another view of things, and insisted the students come home. By the time pro-Mubarak forces clashed with protesters Wednesday, many of those who had wanted to stay were already out of the country.

Still, study abroad officials were encouraged by the continued interest. “I did two interviews Monday and got another e-mail that said, ‘Even more I’d like to go. Do you still have space available?,’ ” said Denis Sullivan, director of Northeastern University’s international affairs program and Middle East Center for Peace, Culture, and Development.

Read the full story.


Wisconsin Radio Network — February 3, 2011

“UW Professor Watching Egypt (AUDIO)”

A professor at UW Madison is among those closely watching events in Egypt. Jennifer Lowenstein is a faculty associate in Middle Eastern Studies at UW. She thinks it’s unlikely President Hosni Mubarak can remain in office until September when – he’s said – he won’t seek reelection. “The feeling on the street that we can see on our television screens or read about, they’re ready for him to go now,” said Lowenstein. And Lowenstein said it’s ‘hypocritical’ for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to call on the Egyptian government to listen to the people there. “This should have been the case thirty years ago. Where has the United States been all these decades, while people in Egypt have been summarily detained, tortured, in some cases executed, where there have been thousands of political prisoners.”

Read more from Lowenstein and listen to the radio interview.


Read news on UW-Madison students who were on a study abroad program in Egypt, during the political unrest in late January.