Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Epilog : Studying Pharmacy in Egypt

Even though some might argue that I am in no position to write this, as I am a student in the Faculty, I would assure you that I will stay unbiased, transparent and highlight everything to make it all clear to you, InshaAllah (by God's will). I am posting of course, from a Malaysian point of view. Together we will delve into the requirements, course expectations, costs and life.

First and foremost, I would like for all of you to know, up till today there's only 2 students whom had actually graduated from Egypt, both of them being dean's of their respective universities. Prof. Dr. Aishah Adam and also Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Jantan. (you may click and learn more about them on the hyperlinks)

**correction, there's 20 or more students whom had graduated, the details will be posted soon, inshaAllah**

scenes at Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University


1. Time

  • The degree is an approximate 5 years (10 semesters) full time study program. Each semester is made up of 15 weeks.
  • When talking about time, I'd highly recommend those current/ fresh SPM leavers to apply. Because the duration of time is just about the same in Malaysia as 5 years in Egypt is accompanied by foundation studies as well, so its basically 1+4.
  • On the other hand students whom had already completed their A-levels, or diploma is highly advised to try out Indonesia, if you don't give 2 cents about the duration, then you're more than welcome. :)

2. Cost
  • Recently the tuition fees went up, hence as aforementioned above, its VALUE for money for fresh school leavers, but for students coming from other sort of studying backgrounds should think twice, as there are better options.
  • The cost of 5 years tuition fees is 40,000 USD which is RM 128,340.oo (8000 USD per year, RM25,668.00).
  • There's always a possible chance to tie up with some scholarships depending on your first year results.
  • Again, the fees, to be honest, is the only barricade to me, because there are better options available in Indonesia and Malaysia itself, given that you're qualified and not a fresh school leaver.

3. Language Barrier
  • It's a common knowledge for all students studying overseas that overcoming the language barrier is one of the topmost priority when studying abroad.
  • It is one of those things where I'd say you'd had to put yourself to the task, it is a MUST, in my humble opinion, to grasp Egyptian Arabic (Ammiya') as it would do wonders for you!

4. Mental

  • One of the most pivotal aspects of coming to Egypt and choosing set universities is to be mentally prepared for the challenge.
  • Honestly, you will feel an exuberance at first, but you need to continue to feel positive, that's the intent, as you will be tested many many times whilst in Egypt.
  • Not only by means of studying but also the outside world, the living, every single aspect will be tested, but I assure you, with the right positive mind and determination, you will, by God's will, be successful.



1. Education System

  • In all my years learning in Malaysia, I think there's always a flaw to the system. But trust me when I tell you that studying Pharmacy in Egypt is a different kettle of fish.
  • In my humblest opinion, the practicality aspect trumps our system in a manner we could never imagine.
  • I had never experience such useful insight towards practical/ lab work before in my entire university life.
  • Let me highlight the marking system, lets take a subject for instance, Pharmacognosy ;-
in Malaysia, generally it is broken down to ( 10% Quizzes,Presentation, 20%Mid Term, 70% Finals)

in Egypt, its rather specific ( 15% Oral Exam, 25% Practical, 10% Quizzes, 50% Finals)
  • the Oral examination is another plus side that makes the Education system stands out. It's basically one on one with the lecturer in which would determine the level of understanding the student has after undergoing the course/ subject for one whole semester.
  • the Practical exam is encompasses of all the lab work each student had undergone all throughout the semester. Mind you, that the Practical/ Lab work for each subject is a strong 2-3 hour per week, so you have a lot of practical work all week long, giving the students a broad perspective of the ability to implement theory into practicality.
  • the 5 year duration of study encompasses all kinds of material of learning that is lacking in general in Malaysia. I think its quite difficult to insert a table or such of what we learn over here in a complete motion, so if any of you want the list of studying subjects, by all means, leave your mail in the comment box, and I will try my best to send you a study guide.
  • one Last point which is worth mentioning is the strict and high standard marking system they employ over here. For instance in order to obtain A- you must attain a strong 85-90%, and A is 90% and above. Passing mark is 60, so you could imagine how difficult it is to pass and to score, which is in a long run, I believe, could help mould determination of future pharmacists!

2. Malaysian Hospitality

  • I can assure you, that the Pharmacy faculty in Mansoura, caters to each student needs. We have an unshakable committed access to voice our discontents or pleasures to the Vice Dean or Dean himself as the faculty seek to cater and improve their system from time to time.
  • Another thing is that, they have had a few subjects changed and introduced a complimentary Arabic class in order to assist the student to be better equipped with the language.
  • Another interesting point to add is that, we managed to secure deals with the Dean that our practical training be conducted in Malaysia instead of Egypt as it is more clinically relevant. The local students in our class had been all so helpful, they will always be there to guide the Malaysians students and assist with any needs or inquiries.
***Not that I can't find more Pro's but for me the Education point was the standout one and if you learn to appreciate your purpose and objectives, then that's more than enough reason for one's to endure this hardships in order to be a successful pharmacist!***

3. Others

  • In all honesty, I think going away from your hometown/ country, shapes you to be more independent and more mature. These are secondary Pro's compared to the first point.
  • I think morality is key and with the right guidance, a person could shape themselves to be more subservient towards God, Religion and Humanity. In Egypt, the platform, the richness of historical facts,sights and Islamic revolution are hidden secrets that you could learn about by talking to people and visiting sights.
  • So this will also build your knowledge towards Islam, and historical values that would shake your thoughts in an unfashionable way.
  • The other thing is that, in Egypt, Mansoura specifically, the entertainment values are on the low, so there's no cinemas or malls, so in an ominous way, students experiences a kind of an entertainment drought.
  • So, the focus falls slightly more on the studying side, but, access to internet is still available so it's still up to the student themselves to ensure that they stay focus.

I hope that the topics discussed would've clarified and gave everyone a strong hint of what studying Pharmacy in Egypt is like, if there's anymore inquiries, feel free to send me an email at Peace and Love.