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Description

Northwestern College, in conjunction with the Al Amana Centre of Muscat, Oman, is pleased to offer a unique semester experience engaging the culture of  Oman. This program will provide participants an opportunity to discover this rich and diverse Middle Eastern nation and to engage in a vibrant dialogue about Islam, Arab culture, and—more specifically—Omani culture. Combining cultural immersion with academic rigor, students will gain an understanding of some of the important questions facing a traditional culture that is rapidly modernizing.

The Al Amana Centre represents over one hundred years of work in Oman. This legacy opens doors to people and experiences not available to others. Aside from time spent in Muscat, participants will venture beyond the capital city to truly discover the diversity of Oman. The modern city gives way to small oasis villages, date palm farms and Bedouin lifestyles. To experience these elements of life in Oman, participants will be given ample opportunities to engage and observe more traditional Omani life through various excursions and activities.

Location

The Oman Semester will take place in the cities of Muscat, Manah, and Nizwah. Oman is located in the Middle East and occupies the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the west, Yemen to the south, the Straight of Hormuz to the north and the Arabian Sea to the east. Muscat is the capital of Oman and is also Oman’s financial and trade center. The wilayat of Manah is thought to be the first resting place of Malik bin Fahim al Azdi before the Arabs entered Oman when the Maa'rab Dam in Yemen broke. Nizwa is in the A’Dakhliyah region and is known as the “Pearl of Islam” due to its important contribution in bringing Islam to Oman.

Program Director

Rev. Doug Leonard, the director of the Oman Semester, is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and is the Director of the Al Amana Centre. He earned an M. Div. degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and has studied Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. Rev. Leonard will supervise the semester program and teach the course on Christian-Muslim Relations.

Course and Credit

All participants will take four courses: Introduction to Arabic, Christian-Muslim Relations, Oman Culture and Society, and Integrative Experiential Learning. Northwestern College will grant 16 credits upon completion of the program. The credits from the Oman semester fulfill Northwestern’s General Education cross-cultural requirement and the foreign language requirement and can also be used toward completing a minor in Middle East Studies and Cultural Studies at Northwestern. Please see Boryana Dobreva for more information.

Christian - Muslim Relations – 4 credits

Explores what it means to be a person of faith in a multi-faith world, and how to enter confidently into relationships with people of another faith.

Academic application: Cross-cultural General Education requirement; Equivalent for REL 385 (Religion majors)

Introduction to Arabic – 6 credits

Arabic language is an important ingredient of the program, essential for appreciating Omani culture. The course is taught at Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-native Speakers.

Academic application: General Education Language requirement

Oman Culture & Society – 4 credits

Readings, lectures and cultural field trips designed to provide a survey of the history, social structure, politics, religion, economy and culture of Oman, a microcosm of the Arab world, taught by a prominent Omani official. 

Academic application: Elective credit towards graduation

Integrated Experiential Learning – 2 credits

A course designed to guide students in processing their intercultural experiences enabling them to integrate their discoveries with their sense of identity, their faith, their understanding of Islam and the value system of Arab culture in Oman, as well as their own culture and its place in a global context.

Academic application: Sociology elective credit

Transportation

NWC will assist students in arranging their tickets to Muscat, Oman.  Generally, all in-country transportation costs will be covered by the program or via a per diem.  Specific travel instructions will be communicated to non-NWC students in a timely manner.

Housing and Meals

Students will stay at the Al Amana Centre located in Muttrah, the historic section of Muscat. A resident director will be on-campus, and students will take their meals at The Centre.

Excursions and Day Trips

During the semester, participants will take four weekend trips to discover the diversity within Oman. Included will be excursions into the interior via the coastal road. There will also be opportunities to hear guest lecturers, attend lectures at the Grand Mosque and hear presentations at the Historical Association of Oman. In students’ free time, they will be able to visit local museums, go snorkeling, dolphin watching, trek in the mountains, and more.

Program Costs

The program fee will be the same as Northwestern College on-campus tuition/room/board plus airfare.  It includes tuition for 16 credits, in-country transportation, housing, most meals or meal per diem, orientation, and all program excursions and retreats.  Visit www.nwciowa.edu/tuition for current rates. All participants will need to cover airfare, books (est. $100-$150), passport and pictures, immunizations/vaccines, international insurance and individual travel and spending money, among other items.

Financial Aid

All applicable Northwestern College financial aid applies for Northwestern College Students. Contact the NWC Financial Aid Office for more information.  Non-Northwestern College students should contact their own college’s financial aid offices.

Eligibility

Northwestern and non-Northwestern sophomores, juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible to apply. 

Passport and Visa

For U.S. Citizens, a passport and travel visa are required for travel to Oman. Participants are responsible for applying for and obtaining their own passport. NWC will assist with obtaining visas (once on-site.) For more information, please contact Boryana Dobreva or Nancy Landhuis. Complete information on entry/exit requirements for Oman is also available at www.travel.state.gov.

Vaccinations and Health Information

The Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) recommends that all travelers to Oman be up to date on routine immunizations. The program requires that participants have up-to-date tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccinations and receive Hepatitis A vaccinations. Other immunization decisions should be made in consultation with your personal physician. Please plan ahead and visit your doctor at least six weeks prior to departure as certain immunizations require several visits or need several weeks to take effect. For specific health threats for visitors to Oman, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website (http://www.cdc.gov) for more information and complete details.

 

International Insurance

All program participants must purchase separate international travel insurance that will provide basic medical, medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (approximately $200).  The Global Education Center will make the actual purchase when all payments are in.  Insurance will cover from day left to day returned. International Student Identification Cards are also available for purchase from NWC Global Education Center.

Deposit

Upon acceptance into the program, a $250.00 deposit (cash or check made payable to NWC) will be required to hold a participant’s spot. This deposit will be applied to the final program fee and is due on or around October 1.

Pre-Departure Orientation

All students who are accepted into the program are expected to register for a one-credit, pre-departure preparation class held Thursdays from 8:00 to 8:45 a.m. during the fall semester preceding the Oman semester. Further information and dates will be provided and confirmed upon acceptance into the program. View course poster.

 

Application Materials

The Oman Semester Program application is online and consists of a study abroad application form, three recommendations (two from  faculty members, one from a resident director), and an academic transcript. Non-NWC students must fill out a  guest application to NWC and be accepted before applying to Oman Semester. Scroll down for more information.

Application Process

For NWC students the application deadline has been extended until June 1, 2014. The deadline for non-NWC students is determined by the study abroad offices at their home institution but cannot be later than October of the semester preceding the spring semester in Oman.

Apply Now!

Northwestern students:
 

Non-Northwestern students:
Begin the application process

You should review your answers carefully to ensure the accuracy of your application. You cannot edit your application once it is e-submitted.

Oman Program Poster

Oman Program Brochures



Student Handbooks

Dr. Boryana Dobreva
Director of Global Education
boryana.dobreva@nwciowa.edu
 CSFV 102

or

Nancy Landhuis
Program Coordinator
landhuis@nwciowa.edu
CSFV 101