Description: Northwestern College, in conjunction with the Al Amana Centre of Muscat, Oman, is pleased to offer a unique semester experience engaging the Middle Eastern culture of Oman. The Al Amana Centre is a collaboration of the RCA with others to create an ecumenical center to work internationally to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between religions in pursuit of the common good of all. The semester program combines cultural immersion with academic rigor so that students gain an understanding of some of the important questions facing a traditional culture that is rapidly modernizing. Oman is renowned for its hospitality, openness, and peaceful nature, and thus it provides unparalleled opportunities to be a part of community life.
Location: Oman is one of the small Persian (Arabian) Gulf states occupying the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula whose economies have been lubricated with oil. 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, where the program is located, is the capital of Oman and is also Oman’s financial and trade center. Participants live and study in Muttrah, the old part of the capital city of Muscat. They also travel within Oman to ride camels, climb the Wahiba sand dunes, swim in the blue-green wadis, and watch sea turtles laying eggs.
Faculty and Staff: The Rev. Doug Leonard, the director of the Oman Semester, is an ordained pastor in the Reformed Church in America. He earned an M. Div. degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and has studied Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. He is joined by the Rev. Justin Meyers who is also an ordained RCA pastor. Together they administer the program with Rev. Meyers taking most of the responsibility for the care and education of the students. Both are committed to ensuring that the students thrive in a safe, well supervised environment.
Courses and Credit: All participants will take four courses: Modern 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.
Eligibility & Application: This program is available to non-NWC students on a space available basis. Application information is at https://www.nwciowa.edu/apply/oman-semester.
Program Fee: The program fee will be the same as Northwestern College on-campus tuition/room/board plus airfare. It includes tuition for 16 credits (4 GAC units), 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.