Programs > Brochure
Middle East Studies Program
Muscat, Oman (Incoming Program)
|Homepage:||Click to visit|
|Restrictions:||Non-CIL applicants only|
|Program Type:||Study Abroad Program||Language of Instruction:||Arabic, English|
|Language Prerequisite:||No language prerequisite required||Arabic Language Levels:||All proficiency levels|
|Housing Options:||Homestay, Shared flats||Minimum GPA:||2.5|
|Number of credits:||15 Credits||Open to Non-University Students?:||No|
|Scholarships available?:||Yes||Class eligibility:||Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore|
CONFLICT AND CONSENSUS: Oman and a Changing Arab World
Our dynamic study abroad semester program examines the complicated nature of Middle East politics at a time when there are more uncertainties than ever. The program starts with a comprehensive introduction analyzing social and political forces at play in the region, and then moves into a comparative analysis of Oman and its Gulf neighbours within this broader context. The third portion of the program is devoted to discussion and analysis of current conflicts in the Middle East, and the role and limitations of diplomacy and consensus-building.
Hear from a CIL alum says about safety and security in Oman.
Arabic Language Courses (9 credits/240 hours)The study of Arabic language grounds your understanding of the Arab world, and forms a big part of your study in Oman. You are placed into one of nine levels in Arabic and are in 4 different classes: Conversation/Speaking, Reading/Writing, Media Arabic (Beginner High level and above), and Grammar). (For more information on the Arabic program, please see our "Intensive Arabic Program" page on this site).
Middle East Studies 360: Research and Theory in Middle East Studies (3 credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to theoretical concepts in the study of the Middle East, including post-colonialism, representation, and Orientalism. Through an analysis of different texts (including movies), students are exposed to the complexities of studying the Middle East. The course moves into two final phases - the first being a look at the debate surrounding the study of the Middle East as an academic discipline, and finally, into the foundations of writing a strong research paper (literature reviews, analysis, etc.), to prepare students for writing their Theme Driven Project.
Middle East Studies 370: Independent Study in Middle East Studies (3 credits)The Independent Study is the culminating requirement in the study abroad semester, and is designed to enable students to integrate the various components of their semester-long program. As such the study brings in elements of Arabic language study, seminar lectures and discussions, and the course on research methods and theory in the field.
The Independent Study is a course of study, field research and presentation. Students each decide on an area of substantive focus and present a proposal for their study to the Academic Director. The only requirement for this course is that the topic be focused on the Arab world or country(ies) within the Arab world. Each student will meet regularly throughout the semester with the Academic Director for consultation as they conceive and develop their overall project
Individual research projects will be more analytical than descriptive in nature. For projects that relate to economic and social policy, for example, students will present and analyze the key issues or challenges, examining the challenges for the future and alternative ways of addressing them. For projects of a more historical or cultural nature, students will analyze how developments and/or practices arose, and will review their impact and contemporary relevance.
OMANI CULTURE AND LANGUAGE
Watch CIL students in action!
Virtually all Omanis are Muslim, the majority of them adhering to Ibadhism, a distinct form of Islam. Acceptance and tolerance of others, one of the major tenets of Ibadhism, results in a warm, open culture that is extremely welcoming and hospitable to foreign visitors. Omani families tend to be large and extended families even larger, making gatherings quite lively. A foreign visitor who asks for directions or otherwise strikes up a conversation with an Omani oftentimes will be invited home for Omani coffee and dates and to meet the rest of the family. Given that this routinely occurs, and with the particular etiquette involved in drinking Omani coffee, we include an Omani coffee and dates session in our orientation for new students, which all find both informative and tasty!
Arabic is the official language of Oman, and English is widely spoken in many areas. In fact, throughout the country signs are bilingual, offering many opportunities to practice reading – and checking – Arabic skills. Also spoken are Swahili (due to the shared history of Oman and Zanzibar), Baluchi (an Iranian-related language), Urdu (spoken by Pakistanis and Indians), as well as several distinct tribal languages in the Dhofar region in southern Oman.
Living in Oman, you will notice that most Omanis wear traditional clothes: for men, this means a Dishdasha, a long, (typically) white robe with a small tassel at the neck, and a Kuma or embroidered cap for informal occasions, and a Massur or turban for formal occasions or work at one of the government ministries. Women’s clothing typically covers their skin, including arms and legs; in addition, it is customary for women to wear a hijab or head scarf to cover their hair. In Muscat, many women wear an Abaya, a long black robe with matching black Hijab, but in the interior of Oman more colorful clothes prevail.
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