Student Testimonials

“Studying in Egypt was one of the most unique and amazing opportunities I have had in my life. To be studying Egyptian tombs while touring those tombs was an experience that cannot be replicated in the college classroom. For someone who has always been fascinated by Egypt and the ancient world, studying in Egypt was an opportunity that I could not let pass by.  While I was in Egypt, I had the opportunity to visit ancient sites that are famous around the world such as the Pyramids at Giza, the Valley of the Kings, and Abu Simbel, but I also visited many places that are practically unknown. The tomb of Paheri, a much less famous tomb with walls covered in almost pristine paintings that have survived thousands of years intact! I also had the opportunity to visit active archeological sites and on-going project sites at Karnak Temple in Luxor.  To be in Egypt and immerse oneself in a culture different from one’s own was most definitely a learning experience for me as well. The Egyptian people were always welcoming and on several occasions I was invited into Egyptian homes to share a meal. While there was often an obvious cultural and linguistic barrier the Egyptians never failed to make me feel welcome and I would not hesitate to visit Egypt again if the opportunity presented itself.”

– Hadassah L. Bergstrom, History Undergraduate Student, Summer 2011


“Making the information that one learns from a textbook real is what this course is about. Being able to experience the rich culture and history of such an old civilization in person made my understanding of the information so much more profound. I was part of a great group that took advantage of the program’s potential and visited many historical sites, from the Temple of Luxor, to Dendera, to the Red Sea. We explored the local markets within the community, in addition to traveling to other regions in the country.  Being given the freedom to explore, and the guidance of a Professor who is so well versed in the Egyptian culture, turned this educational course into one of the most exciting adventures of my life. Of all my travels over the years, my experience in Egypt with Dr. Diamond was truly the most fascinating and memorable.”

 – Eliza Serocki, Liberal Studies Graduate Student, Summer 2012


“Participating in the Egyptian Field Research Study Abroad program was one of the most  intellectually and personally fulfilling experiences I had during my time at Villanova. The ability to apply prior coursework in the field was priceless. Under no other circumstances would I have been able to gain such intimate access to the large number of ancient egyptian archaeological sites we were able to tour and study. Professor Diamond’s local connections helped ensure not only our safe passage but also an inside viewpoint into the inner workings of egyptological research in southern Egypt. In short, the time I spent in Egypt enriched not only my studies, but also my life experience, and will not be soon forgotten.”

– Iesha Crofoot-Lewis, English Undergraduate Student, Summer 2012


“Students of history come to field by many paths. For my own particular way, I have always had a passion for History and the root can be traced to early exposure to the history of Ancient Egypt when I was about 5. A kind person bestowed on me a piece of papyrus with the hieroglyphic cypher. This started a lifelong pursuit of the study of history, encouraged by my parents. As we progress through our schooling the conventional opportunities to study Ancient Egypt are sparse.  The passion of Egyptian history sustained me until my undergraduate carrier. During which there were no real opportunities for me to study Egyptology, and other courses of study, history, geology, archaeology, and Military Science were pursued. Taking a break from school to engage in other callings of service, the original sin of history had almost faded from my mind. Coming back from my posting overseas, and starting my Masters at Villanova, I was overwhelmed with joy to find that I could not only study Egypt but travel to Egypt to be fully immersed in the landscape of Pharaohs. There can be no words, glossy pictures or digital video that can do justice to a student of history engaged in learning about Egypt in Luxor. Spending at least 4 hours a day in the sites, tombs, and temples they are reading about, is without equal.  Studying Egypt is a remarkable academic exercise, it casts light on far stretched corners of the human condition. The human condition documented by this remarkably long and storied civilization, provides insight to students of all liberal arts. I urge all earnest students of the liberal arts at Villanova to seriously consider this option and not to take it lightly.”

– Colin McNulty, History Graduate Student, Summer 2012


“I traveled to Egypt with Dr. Diamond in Summer 2013, and I would highly recommend others to consider this spectacular opportunity. As a History Graduate Student, I’ve always been interested in all types of pre-modern history, but I can’t say Pharaonic Egypt was ever an area of intense interest or specialty during my learning. However, after high praise from past trip participants, and a desire to travel while in graduate school, I decided to sign-up. Traveling with Dr. Diamond was one of the best choices I’ve made. I went from knowing only the basics about Egypt to being very well versed in its pre-modern history, mostly through Dr. Diamond’s masterful knowledge of the topics. My research on the end of the New Kingdom also helped to guide me to my historical concentration about Collapse of States and Systems. Outside of the history, I also gained a new perspective on the world, and, although it sounds cheesy, on life as well. Interacting with Egyptians, seeing sites, both ancient and modern, and experiencing a dramatically different climate helped to expand my way of thinking. Standing inside the royal tombs or the Pyramids at Giza, and realizing how truly ancient these are is an experience which words cannot describe. Dr. Diamond provides a lot of freedom on the trip to do and see what interests you, both academically and recreationally, as opposed to other fiercely structured study abroad courses. Personally I appreciated this greatly, and it allows students to take from the trip what they put into it.”

Andrew Coons, History Graduate Student, Summer 2013


“My experience with Dr. Diamond in Egypt was a great one. I had only traveled to Mexico and within the United States, so this trip to Egypt was definitely different. I was afraid at first because I did not know what to expect from the other students or just the experience itself. When we arrived in Egypt, we were greeted by Ali, our local host. He guided us to our flats and then we were invited to dinner to his house. From there, I saw that I was going to have a good time and that I should take advantage of everything that Egypt had to offer. Going around with Dr. Diamond to temples, tombs, and other monuments, it was very interesting. As we went around, Dr. Diamond offered all of her knowledge to us and we learned while walking around Luxor and Karnak. It was an interesting experience to have day trips at these awesome monuments. Later in the day, we would have class but it was more of a discussion about what we had seen. Both our learning outside and inside coincided and helped me create the full picture of Ancient Egyptian History. Egypt has a lot to offer such as a Felucca ride down the Nile, camel rides, hot air balloon rides on the West Bank to watch the sun rise over the Nile, amazing people, delicious food, the Pyramids at Giza as well as a trip to Aswan to see what Rameses II built. Egypt has a lot to offer and if I could go again, I would. This was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone seeking learning in adventure.”

– Arivelly Escobar, Political Science/Art History Undergraduate Student, Summer 2013


“My summer abroad in Egypt experience with Dr. Kelly Diamond exceeded any expectations- or apprehensions- I had about studying and traveling in Egypt.  Although I had participated in other summer abroad programs, Egypt was the most foreign and the political climate was explosive.  Safety was a priority and at no time did we feel less than secure. 

We spent most of our time in Luxor, where Dr. Diamond has many connections and friends.  They were wonderful guides and experienced experts in Egyptology.  We learned so much from them and every day was an exciting adventure.  The people we met treated us like family and were always looking out for us.  We visited all the historic sites and more.  To walk in the Valley of the Kings and inch your way through the ancient pyramids is an exciting way to learn about Egyptian history.  To ride a camel, sail the Nile, and fly over the Valley of the Kings in a hot air balloon is unforgettable. 

My time in Egypt was outstanding.  I grew to love the people, their ancient culture, and the food!  I think the more foreign the destination, the more you learn and the more you are challenged to think outside of your comfort zone.  I feel as though I made friends for life and there is a part of me that’s still in Egypt, even though I’ve left it. 

If you want a fun summer you can go to Disney, if you want to be a tourist you can go to Europe, if you want to feel your hair stand on end go to Egypt where every day will surprise you.”

– Alexandra Wallace, History Undergraduate Student, Summer 2013