Of the thousands of Americans caught in the chaos, their escape has been or will likely take days.
"We're trying to leave tomorrow(Tuesday)," Montclair State Senior Jaclyn Serchuck, 21, of Hillsboro, N.J. told NBC New York from a cell phone in her dorm room at the American University in Cairo.
"We're very safe," her roommate, Adrienne Sherwin, 21, a Junior from Lawrenceville said.
The two girls said there was a 3pm local time curfew, but that school security and Egyptian Army units are very visible.
They said they would make a dash for the Cairo Airport Tuesday morning, though they have don't have a ticket on any plane yet.
"They gave us a couple destinations. Greece is one of them, Turkey is another," Sherwin said.
More successful was the experience of 16 Central Jersey residents on a trip sponsored by Bridgewater United Methodist Church.
"We were worried," Associate Pastor Christina Zito told NBC New York at her church's sanctuary, just steps away from a hand scribbled sign that said "Pray for our friends in Cairo."
At one point, one of the group emailed a relative that their bus had been stoned, but there were no injuries.
And Rev. Zito reported that by Monday morning they were on a plane to Rome.
In addition, four Rutgers students who were in Cairo are now in Athens, according to school spokesman E.J. Miranda.
As for the two Montclair State students, they are hoping to find another study abroad program instead of coming home, and the University is helping.
"We've been looking into other opportunities for them," said Dominica Dominguez, Director of Montclair State's Study Abroad program.
And Jaclyn's father, Robert Serchuk, reached by phone, said: "I have no problem with her going somewhere in Europe."
He added that when they decided to go to Egypt, "it was one of the safest places in the Mideast."