Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo Launches "Study in Sicily" Initiative

Tue 24 Jan 2023 | 04:36 PM

The Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo organized a press conference to present the "Study in Sicily" initiative, which will last for three days in Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria.

The initiative is organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo in cooperation with the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research "INDIRE" and with the support of the Region of Sicily. The initiative reflects a true solid example of the mutual cooperation between Italy and Egypt.

It is a partnership that both parties intend to continue and develop. The initiative includes cooperation with Egypt and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria). This year, Egypt was chosen as the main and pivotal starting point for the initiative.

The main objective of the initiative is to bring together Italian and Egyptian educational institutions in order to enhance cooperation, through platforms of educational exchange programs, academic cooperation between universities, and many other opportunities, with a focus on the educational and academic opportunities offered by the Sicilian region.

Sicily has a long history of cultural exchange with countries in the Middle East and North Africa, which represents a strong foundation to strengthen the existing academic relations and to establish new forms of cooperation that will lead to positive social and economic results.

Dr. Raffaele Pentangelo, the Italian cultural attaché, referred that the initiative is represented in three focal points, which guarantee many opportunities for students in Egypt. First, there will be three open fairs that students can attend to learn all the details about the scholarships and how to apply. The first fair will be held in Luxor on the 30th of January, the second will be in Cairo on the 1st of February, and the third fair will be in Alexandria on the 2nd of February. Secondly, the initiative will provide more opportunities for grants and scholarships, as student travel visas from Egypt to Italy are usually limited to a certain number, but the initiative works in parallel with the current system, as it will provide a number of travel visas for specifically the initiative, which ensures that a larger number of entry visas to Italy will be obtained. Thirdly, fully funded scholarships will be provided, and students will also be provided with grant aid (financial aid) outside the scholarship, such as participation in sports and cultural centers, accommodation facilities and means of transportation. There is also an office for the initiative "Ufficio di Diritto allo Studio" in every university to help students academically or with any problem that might face them in general.

The Italian cultural attaché is optimistic about the cooperation between Egyptian and Italian universities and institutes, and highlighted that the region of Sicily will be as a welcoming host country for the Egyptian, as there are indeed many characteristics of influence and similarities between the two nations.

Moreover, representatives of the universities and institutes explained that the academic and educational curricula will be distinctive, which will allow the student to enjoy different cultures and civilizations and build new relationships with students of different nationalities, highlighting that the scholarship is not limited to cooperation between one country and another, or one university and another, but it is a human development and cultural and civilizational formation among the students, and the latest academic curricula will be provided and focus on vocational training and technical formation, which will provide them with a lot of job opportunities. The University of Palermo will offer many educational programs in various fields such as engineering, humanities, Finance and Economy, ecc. Many programs will be delivered in English, which means that the proficiency in the Italian language will not be a requirement for admission.

And speaking of Sicily, it is a distinguished region, and six Sicilian cities participate in the initiative, namely Caltagirone, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, and Syracuse. For Instance, Caltagirone, one of the cities participating in the initiative, has a pottery center in addition to the "Steve Jobs Academy", which cooperates with other institutions in Italy, where it is possible to provide opportunities to visit the place or to obtain applied opportunities for internships and trainings. In addition to the city of Messina, where the headquarters of the Higher Institute of Music – Conservatoire is located.

Dr. Raffaele Pentangelo confirmed the arrival of an Italian delegation of representatives of universities and institutes participating in the initiative, representatives of the National Institute for Documentation, Creativity and Scientific Research "INDIRE" and representatives of the Sicilian region, to provide all the details of the initiative, which meets the standards and needs of the Egyptian universities and to share the successful experiences of the previous students. The initiative will last for three days in Luxor, Cairo and Alexandria. The fairs will be followed by a concert by the Erasmus Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Elio Orciuolo. Concerts are held in Luxor Temple, the Library of Alexandria and the Egyptian Opera House (Gomhouria Theatre).

Regarding the requirements for admission to the initiative:

the student should have obtained 12 years of continuous education in the Egyptian education system. The cultural attaché also mentioned that there will be no complications in the paper procedures related to grants and applications, which will make it easier for students to register and join the next academic year. Students can visit the initiative's official website, to obtain all the information required.