Our programs are supplemented by an array of excursions in Oman that allow students to explore the multiple dimensions of this fascinating country that hosts our students. Students are given the opportunity on most weekends of their time in Oman to visit villages that have existed for over 4,000 years, cities that have served central roles in Omani and Ibadhi history, desert locales that force one to marvel at the force of nature, and wadis (valleys/ravines) that redefine our understanding of beauty. These excursions are included in the program cost. We feel that learning is enhanced both by feeling connected to your host country as well as the break that you get from leaving Muscat and allowing your brain the rest it needs from such rigorous study.
Some Omani adventures include hiking the towering 3,300m/10,000’ Jebel Akhdar, known for stunning Grand Canyon-like vistas, the agricultural terracing separating villages that cling to the mountainside, and various varieties of fruit trees, including award-winning pomegranate, that flourish in the cool higher elevations.
A visit to Nizwa, Oman’s former capital, now less than 90 minutes from Muscat on a modern highway, previously took all day to reach by donkey on a rugged path. The restored Nizwa Fort offers a glimpse into Oman of the past, and is surrounded by a bustling market area, the souk, with its meat, fruits and vegetables, crafts, silver and khanjars, traditional Omani daggers. Nearby in one direction is Misfat Al Abreyyin, a 4,000 year old continuously-inhabited village on the side of a ravine. Locals still use the falaj to provide water for residents’ homes as well as to irrigate the terraced agricultural plots used to grow papayas, bananas, and sugar cane.