Washington, DC, October 10, 2013 — AMIDEAST is launching a new education abroad program for American undergraduate students in the Sultanate of Oman, beginning in spring 2014. The new program will be part of AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World, which began in 2007 and over the years has offered semester/academic year study opportunities in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco, combining language study with coursework and cultural enrichment opportunities designed to deepen students’ Arabic language proficiency and understanding of the Arab world. In addition, AMIDEAST has assisted U.S. universities with a variety of customized programs in these countries and in Oman, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
The AMIDEAST Semester Abroad program in Oman features language study in both Modern Standard Arabic and the Omani dialect. Like other AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs, it combines language studies with opportunities to learn about the culture, society, and history of the country and region through coursework, excursions, and other activities.Students in AMIDEAST’s programs earn college credit either through AMIDEAST directly or through its Institution of Record, Northeastern University in Boston.
Oman has emerged as a popular destination for American students seeking a study abroad experience in the region. As a result, prospective American and other foreign students can choose from a number of opportunities in the Sultanate, including programs at Sultan Qaboos University, Sultan Qaboos College, and the University of Nizwa, among others. “We welcome your American students,” the Ministry of Education recently told AMIDEAST, which works closely with the ministry in implementing a variety of education and training programs in the Sultanate, including its first education abroad program that began in 2009.
“AMIDEAST is excited to be able to add Oman to our Education Abroad Programs. The new program expands our ability to offer choices that represent the breadth of the Arab World, from North Africa to the Gulf,” said Ambassador Theodore H. Kattouf, AMIDEAST’s President and CEO. “In Oman, moreover, students have a chance to become familiar with Oman’s uniqueness among the Gulf countries and see close-upthe Sultanate’sdedication to preserving its cultural heritage while undergoing rapid modernization since 1970.”
AMIDEAST’s new program in Omanbuilds on the success of several exchange initiatives for American students that AMIDEAST has administered in the Sultanate, including programs currently underway. These summer and academic year initiatives make it possible for young Americans to develop Arabic language skills and first-hand familiarity with the region while still in high school and college.AMIDEAST has also organized short-term visits for university students, professors and presidents seeking to gain insights into the region and to exchange experiences in higher education.
Oman offers a rich and unique vantage point for learning about the Gulf and about Arab society, as former AMIDEAST student Richard Gima discovered. "My outlook on the world has dramatically changed,” said Gima, who fell in love with the region because of his experience in Oman. “The relationships that I made there really mean a lot. The Omanis are very, very open and very hospitable. They put your needs before their own. They're the nicest people I've ever met."