Maura Denny

“Hey mom, I was just wondering if I could, you know, go to Egypt?”

It was a sentence I never thought I would get to say seriously, and even at the time I did ask, it was more of a wistful sigh than a bold question. I had been to Europe when I was fifteen and had proven that I was more than capable of surviving abroad, but Egypt wasn’t Europe. Egypt is the land of sun, sand, and scorpions. There was no way my parents would let me go, right? But after I asked there was a brief silence on the other end of the phone.

“We’ll talk about it.”

The summer of 2008 is one I am not likely to forget. Three days after I completed my final exam I was on a plane bound for Cairo. It was surreal, landing at eight in the evening, walking off the plane into a wave of ninety degree weather and watching a huge red sun sink down into the Egyptian horizon. I like to think about it on those unbearably cold Penn State mornings.

With a group of twelve students and two Penn State faculty members I embarked on the Egypt Study Tour, a class of culture, history, and excitement. Traveling from Cairo down to Abu Simbal and then transverse the delta, our little band of explorers hit well know monuments such as Karnack Temple in Luxor, and the famous tomb of King Tutankhamen. We also visited more hidden treasures like Tannis (Indian Jones anyone?) and the monastery of San Simeon. From camel riding in the Sahara to walking through the Suke at twilight, the entire trip was nothing short of spectacular and the experience is something I will take with me.

I am now a sophomore in the Classic and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Major, with a concentration in Archaeology. Wondering why I wanted to Egypt now? Although I spent a few weeks abroad with Penn State already, I am still hoping to spend a Semester abroad as well. If you have any questions concerning my trip, the region, or just study abroad in general, I would be more than happy to answer them. ude.usp|9405dbM#ude.usp|9405dbM

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