Great Summer in Nizwa Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., University of Maryland - College Park) - abroad from 06/13/2014 to 08/15/2014 with

Critical Language Scholarship Program: CLS Arabic

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The summer was really great - I learned a lot of Arabic as well as learning a ton about Omani culture and history. I'd definitely recommend CLS to anyone who's committed to language learning.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload was definitely intense, but that's to be expected when you cram a year's worth of Arabic into less than 2 months. The teachers were great, and I definitely learned a lot.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in a big house as a group - it was a great way for us to bond, but it was occasionally overwhelming to live in tight-ish quarters with people you already take classes with. Plus it would have been nice to have the chance to live with Omanis.

* Food:

Food was fine - vegetarians should be careful though, a lot of people will misunderstand what you mean and try to serve you meat anyway!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had amazing language partners and the option of a homestay for a few days. But living with Americans hindered integration a bit, as did our workload from time to time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I'm still dealing with annoying health insurance things to get a rebate for my trip to a clinic, but the treatment I got was great when I got food poisoning.

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

CLS gave us a stipend that was more than enough to cover our expenses - I ended up being able to use some of the extra money to go on a trip to the Musandam Governorate during a break, which was a fantastic experience.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? None of my own! The program really covered everything we needed.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We had a language pledge - not everyone stuck to it all the time but we really got a lot of great opportunities to practice.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Arabic 205 (4 semesters)
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Adhere to the language pledge as much as possible! Sometimes you need a bit of a break to relax, but it really is a great way to push yourself.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Language Partners
  • Professors
  • Classmates
* What could be improved?
  • Dialect Class (somewhat unstructured)
  • Housing Situation (a bit cramped)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known a bit more about how stressful the program would be sometimes just so I'd be prepared to freak out on occasion and know that was totally normal and ultimately worth it.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!