In two weeks, Northwestern University junior Alex Nitkin will learn if he skipped fall class registration for nothing or if he is leaving next month to study abroad in Egypt as planned.
After death of an American student in Alexandria and a State Department travel advisory, Northwestern temporarily suspended travel to Egypt.
On Wednesday, Egypt's military suspended the constitution and ordered new elections, removing Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president.
The school is reviewing Nitkin's application to see if it can make an individual exception. Despite any danger, he is still eager to study in Alexandria, in part because of the spike of political unrest.
"Since Arab Spring and everything that happened since, I just feel like I've become so interested in it," he said. "I've become almost attached, I need to go to see it all firsthand."
Millions of Egyptians took to the streets last weekend to demand the resignation of President Morsi.
The Egyptian army announced Monday it would intervene and restore order in 48 hours if the government did not "meet the demands of the people," and Morsi was ousted today after he refused to step down.
The death toll from the protests is in the teens. Andrew Pochter, 21, a student at Kenyon College in Ohio, was fatally stabbed last Friday during a protest.
Universities are closely monitoring the situation in Egypt to determine whether to proceed with planned study-abroad programs this fall, sparking student discussion on the safety of studying in the country.
Middlebury College, George Washington University, Georgetown University and the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler University (IFSA-Butler) all have planned Egypt programs this fall.
The AP reported that the American Councils for International Education in Washington, D.C. is evacuating 18 Arabic language program students from Egypt to Morocco due to deteriorating security conditions. The students are from Michigan State and Oklahoma universities, and included some from the universities of Michigan, Texas and Maryland, said the report.
Many American universities and study-abroad programs evacuated the country in January of 2011, during the revolution that ousted former president Hosni Mubarak.
Though some later returned, enrollment in Egypt study-abroad programs dropped to 1,096 in 2012 from 1,923 in 2011, according to data from the Institute of International Education. The number of students studying abroad in the Middle East and North Africa dropped 13% over the same period.
Like Nitkin, George Washington University junior, Alex Copeland is set to study in Egypt this fall and hopes her school does not cancel the program.
Having studied the Arabic language and culture for two years, Copeland, 20, said she is excited to visit North Africa.
"For me at least, it's about studying the culture and getting to know Egypt past this political instability," she said. "It's much more than who's taking office."
Copeland said she did not have any safety concerns — students who studied in Egypt last year told her it is easy to stay clear of demonstrations.
Middlebury junior Jeremy Kallan, 20, is currently in Cairo interning at a non-profit organization. Kallan said he feels safe — the city is big enough that he can avoid any protests.
"As an American here studying or working, it's not our revolution. There's no need to be involved, and there's no danger from behind locked doors," he said.
Though Kallan works near the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was attacked Monday by Morsi protesters, he said he would not go into work until the demonstrations settle down.
Kallan studied abroad in Egypt in fall of 2012, the first time the college offered the program since the revolution. He said he returned to Egypt independently this summer to avoid being sent home on a study-abroad program.
IFSA-Butler, which runs a program in Alexandria, is closely monitoring the situation, waiting to see administrative reactions from the Morsi government and from universities in the country before making a decision about the fall program, said Joanna Holvey-Bowles, the institute's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"We have a particularly grave concern, of course, in places where there is unrest or any opportunity for unplanned eruptions of passion like there was obviously happening in Egypt," she said.
Georgetown University suspended its 2013 Alexandria summer program in April, citing expectation of increased political unrest.
The university is still monitoring the country and will evaluate the future of its fall 2013 program in the "near future," Kathy Bellows, the executive director of the Office of International Programs at Georgetown, wrote in an e-mail.
Ross Wasserman, a Georgetown sophomore, was enrolled in the Alexandria program the university canceled.
He said he plans to study in Egypt eventually while in college, adding that it a good place to learn Arabic because the Egyptian dialect is more universal and mutually understandable than other forms of the language.
While originally upset with the cancellation, he said it makes more sense now.
"Given the news now that basically an American student died in Egypt this weekend, I'm not as disappointed with their decision," Wasserman said.