Study Abroad

CIL: Middle East Studies Program (MESP)

Learn about the Arab world and develop a deeper understanding of the region, language, and culture while living in one of the most welcoming cities in the Middle East.

Program Location

Muscat is a welcoming, peaceful capital city with unique opportunities for students to learn the Arabic language and more about the religious culture of the Middle East. Most Omanians are Muslim and follow the principles of tradition and hospitality. The city's roots go back to the 1st century, where it established itself as an influential port city in the history of the Persian and Ottoman Empires. Since the second half of the 1900s, Muscat has become a diverse and vibrant society. It is the most cosmopolitan city in the Sultanate of Oman, and is the seat of government and international diplomatic representation.


The Center for International Learning (CIL) is a private institution managed by a multinational staff, offering international students quality education through intentionally designed programs in both Middle East Studies and Arabic Language. CIL is the oldest center for teaching, and has crafted its curriculum based on the outcomes established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).


The Middle East Studies Program (MESP) allows students to research the Arab region through coursework and a chosen focus research path while studying intensive Arabic language. Students will enroll in a 9-credit Arabic Language course in addition to two required 3-credit courses: Contemporary Arab Middle East, and an Independent Study project. The Independent Study course is based on the student's unique interests and is determined in consultation with the instructor. This semester-long independent study course culminates in a research project. The language course runs for the first 12 weeks of the semester, which allows the student the final 3 weeks of the semester to focus on their research.

Student Life & Co-curricular

Students have access to all the amenities of a small, modern city. Excursions throughout Oman offer further insight into the Middle Eastern region. The Middle East Studies Program includes three overnight excursions around Oman as part of the integrated curriculum. Most weekends are free time for students, and allow travel to villages outside the city. Some adventures include hiking, beach visits, and exploring Oman's former capital, Nizwa.



Housing offered by CIL includes fully furnished rooms in brand new buildings close to the CIL campus, and each floor has a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities. Grocery stores, restaurants, and the beach are close by as well. CIL provides transportation to and from campus during the week. On the weekends, students can use public transportation or local taxis to get around Muscat.

Program Cost

The Marist Abroad program fee includes full-time tuition (12-16 credits), accommodation, program orientation, scheduled academic excursions, and international health insurance. The program cost is based on full-time semester tuition and on-campus Marist housing. Students receive a detailed cost sheet once they have been admitted to the Marist Abroad Program.

Admission Criteria 

  • Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or higher at the time of study abroad
  • Academic Advisor approval of program and coursework

How to Apply

Enrollment is limited, and applicants are encouraged to apply early. Click here for more Information on the Marist Abroad application process. Marist students must complete the Marist Abroad application and be accepted before applying to the overseas program.

Additional Information

If you have any additional questions about the program contact the Program Coordinator at

Please click here for additional information on the program.