Wellbeing is a crucial topic that is gaining increasing attention in higher education and should be taken into careful consideration. This is a qualitative case study, using a phenomenological approach, which explores the phenomenon of student wellbeing in an international private university in Egypt. Data was collected through semi-structured individual interviews with a total of fourteen participants: eight purposefully selected students who have taken part in wellbeing programs, initiatives, or events at the American University in Cairo (AUC), as well as six faculty/staff members, leaders, mentors, or coaches in the field were interviewed. In addition to the interviews, conversations were held with two key informants about student accommodation letters as well as other relevant information to study wellbeing at AUC. Participant observation was another data collection tool integrated to study one of the most recent mental health and wellbeing events more closely. Key findings on students’ experiences with and recommendations for dealing with wellbeing are highlighted, along with the responses of stakeholders on this matter, the responses of key informants, and personal insights from the participant observation. Results portrayed that some of the most common wellbeing issues among AUC students revolved around stress, anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome. Some coping strategies presented to address such wellbeing issues included mindfulness and meditation, extracurricular activities, journaling, time management, positive affirmations, as well as having support systems and a healthy lifestyle.

Keywords: Higher education, students, wellbeing, coping strategies, Egypt


School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Educational Studies Department

Degree Name

MA in Educational Leadership

Graduation Date

Spring 2-28-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Malak Zaalouk

Committee Member 1

Mustafa Toprak

Committee Member 2

Maha Bali


209 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item