This program takes place in the Sultanate of Oman, one of the most intriguing destinations in the Arab world. An enchanting destination with a long history and distinctive identity, Oman is AMIDEAST’s newest locale for an Area & Arabic Language Studies Program. Well-known for its long-standing trade routes stretching from East Asia to East Africa, and notably the southern half of the Strait of Hormuz, Oman has been recognized since ancient times as one of the greatest seafaring nations of the world and that enthralling maritime identity is still seen today. Due to its strategic location on the Southeast tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and paired with the unique shipbuilding abilities of its inhabitants, Oman attracted much foreign interest throughout the centuries including the Portuguese, whose forts continue to dot Oman’s landscape today, traders from India, Singapore and China, and even Great Britain. By the seventh century AD, Oman peacefully adopted Islam, making it one of the first countries in the world to do so. This adaptation and well-established trade routes paved the way for Omani traders to spread their faith to East Africa and Southeast Asia. A century later, Ibadism had become the dominant sect of Islam practiced within the country, and even today Oman is one of the few places in the world with a majority Ibadi population.
Students who study in Oman with AMIDEAST spend the semester living in its capital city, Muscat. Situated along a natural harbor on the northern coast of Oman, Muscat has been an important trading post for much of its history. During the 18th century, Oman emerged as a regional power, controlling the traditionally Persian lands on the opposite side of the Strait of Hormuz in addition to cities along the coast of East Africa as far away as Zanzibar.
Due to its location as a trading city and the efforts of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, Muscat is currently a thriving multi-ethnic city with rapidly developing infrastructure. Indeed, much of the country has undergone a renaissance since Sultan Qaboos ascended to the throne in 1970, and as a result Muscat has remained an island of tranquility throughout the turmoil of the Arab Spring. In stark contrast to the neighboring UAE, Omanis have worked to ensure their unique historical legacy and their local character continues to remain intact in our increasingly globalized world.
AMIDEAST students in Oman will experience this cultural preservation first-hand as they wander between Muscat’s pristine white-walled buildinds or through its frenetic souks, marvel at its beautiful mosques or watch fishermen pull in their daily haul from along greater Muscat's extended coastline. Off the beaten path, Oman strives to blend culture and tradition with modernity that must be seen and experienced to be truly appreciated.
Students enrolled in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Muscat carry a 14-17 credit hour course load per semester. All students enroll in two to three Arabic and two or three other Area studies courses (depending on the student’s preference) from a variety of disciplines taught in English including economics, Media Arabic, Middle East and North African studies, political science, religious studies, and women's studies.