Muscat, is a city of 650,000 people with excellent modern amenities, low crime, and high quality health care. An important trading port between the west and the east for over 2000 years, Muscat was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians, the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire at various points in history. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and one of the most multi-ethnic, multicultural societies in the region. The program itself is located in Seeb, a pleasant suburb outside of downtown Muscat. CIL provides daily transportation from its student housing to its academic center.
About the Program
Hobart and William Smith Colleges have affiliated with the Center for International Learning (CIL) to offer an off-campus program in Muscat . CIL is the oldest Arabic language teaching center in Oman whose curricula are aligned with the standards and pedagogy of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. CIL serves professionals, diplomats and scholars who require intensive language training, in addition to undergraduate and graduate students of Arabic language.
Students who participate in this program will undertake an intensive Arabic language course at any level, from beginner to advanced, augmented by regular practice with a local, native speaker. Students will earn 2.0 HWS credits for this instruction. All participants will also undertake a Middle-Eastern Studies seminar and on Independent Study course to suit individual student research interests to create a full-time course of study. Independent research is facilitated and supervised by CIL’s academic director. Guest lectures for the Middle East seminar are provided by internationally recognized scholars from Sultan Quaboos University.
Due to the wide range of contacts and the diverse peoples who live in modern Oman, this program can accommodate students from a variety of disciplines. It will be of particular interest to those studying Arabic language and Middle-Eastern Studies whether students come to MES from backgrounds in anthropology, politics, religious studies, sociology or social justice. Although Omani students do not attend CIL courses, all participants can access Omani culture through their independent projects; current CIL students attended weddings, iftars and Eid parties through networks developed during the IP.
This program is open to all juniors and seniors in good academic and social standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad and the highly independent nature of the individual projects, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.
Students live in fully furnished single or shared rooms in a brand new building located a two-minute drive away from CIL. Grocery stores and restaurants are nearby, enabling students to prepare their own meals but also interact with local market owners and restauranteurs on a daily basis. All units are located on floors fully equipped with new kitchen appliances, utensils, washing and drying facilities. Students can keep costs down by cooking their own meals. The beach is literally five minutes from the building!
CIL programs are supplemented by an array of excursions in Oman that allow students to explore the multiple dimensions of this fascinating country. Examples include visits to villages that have existed for over 4,000 years, cities that have served central roles in Omani and Ibadhi history, desert locales that force one to marvel at the force of nature, and wadis (valleys/ravines) that redefine our understanding of beauty.
Some Omani adventures include hiking the towering 3,300m/10,000’ Jebel Akhdar, known for stunning Grand Canyon-like vistas, and to Nizwa, Oman’s historic capital where the restored Nizwa Fort offers a glimpse into Oman of the past, and is surrounded by a bustling market area, the souk, with its meat, fruits and vegetables, crafts, silver and khanjars, traditional Omani daggers.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees and a $600 administrative fee. (Please note that a meal plan is not included abroad and you will not be billed for board. Instead you will need to bring money with you to eat. We estimate $2600 for the semester. Fees will cover credit for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing textbooks, excursions, an orientation program and transportation each day from student accommodation to class. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, any course-related materials or travel related to your independent study and personal expenses (entertainment, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$900 from the East Coast, visa at $100, and course-related materials at $150.-250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. If you are concerned about finances, we encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation. NOTE: Gilman and “Critical Language” scholarships may provide funding opportunities to students with need who have been accepted to the Oman program. Please see Amy Teel at the CGE for information on how to apply for these scholarships.
- This program is offered every semester.
- All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
FALL HANDBOOK (COMING SOON)
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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