Preparations before travelling
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Salam, By the Grace of Allah, I will be departing for Egypt today from the UK to pursue my Arabic learning. Here is some general advice on preparation before departing

1. Ticket: When booking tickets there are couple of things you need to take into consideration; only a handful of airlines fly directly to Cairo, most will have a connecting flight, hence this may be the reason for some flights being cheaper than others. In my opinion it is crucial to choose an airline which has an office in the city you will be staying, as there may be a need to get in contact with them whilst you are out there.

2. Visa: Holders of UK passports will require a visa to enter Egypt. Simply pop down to the Egyptian embassy and fill in a short form. It is a one day process. My advise is to buy a multiple visa. More information can be found on here

3. Airport Pickup: If you know anyone out there, arrange for them to pick you up from the airport. Many institutes offer this service and if you don't have anyone else to help you out, it is highly advisable to pay the relatively expensive cost for this service.

4. Study: Although teachers and centres are in abundance, I would definitely advise everyone to arrange a study programme before they set off. Many of the renowned centres have fully functioning websites where you can arrange lessons online. Almost all of these centres have placement tests, so it is definitely worth revising your Arabic before you take these tests to ensure that you find the right level for you.

5. Accomodation: This is without a doubt one of the toughest challenges. Finding the right place for you can take a while. Again, if you know anyone out there, try to find a place to crash out during your first few days. Centres such as Fajr and Al Diwan to offer to help students find accommodation, but be careful this service is not cheap!I will be in Egypt for the next 7 months and will endeavour to give updates of my progress. I pray that this journey is soley for the pleasure of Allah.