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  • Locations: Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Khasab, Oman; Muscat, Oman; Mussanah, Oman; Nizwa, Oman; Salalah, Oman; Sayq, Oman; Sur, Oman
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Number of Credits Offered: 3 Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, General Public, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking, Other, PhD
Type of Program: Faculty-led Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Government and International Policy, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Economics, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Strategic Diplomacy: A Case Study of Oman

Oman, Summer 2019


Program Overview

Enrich and expand your global view, delve into one of the world's warmest culture, and learn how a small country without strong economic and military power is considered the mediator of the Middle East.
The course takes place in the Sultanate of Oman, strategically located on the Strait of Hormuz -  the world's most important oil transportation area where 20% of oil traded moves through - down to the Southern borders near Yemen.  Long coastlines on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, and the Gulf of Oman, including the port capital city of Muscat, with the Sultan's palace, souks, a modern opera house, and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.  Majestic mountains, daunting deserts where the Bedouin tradition continues, and watch endangered sea turtles laying eggs.  After touring natural wonders, such as the desert, mountains, and seaside, we will explore Nizwa, once the center for art, education, religion, and trade.

The Sultan, Qaboos bin Said, the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East, has transformed Oman into a developed nation yet holds onto its customs and culture, earning Oman the ranking as the most improved nation in the world over the preceding 40 years. Oman, is a terrorism free country, as reported by the Global Terrorism Index report, and crime in almost nonexistent, making it a safe place for foreign workers, tourists, and study abroad students.
His Majesty (HM) also concentrated efforts to make Oman a powerful broker in the Gulf region promoting diplomacy,  operating with both public diplomacy and backroom negotiations without any press,  and proclaims that Oman is "a friend to all, an enemy to none."  How did the Sultan create and continue to maintain and implement these policies, especially continuing negotiations with Iran and the USA, and Qatar and the diplomatic tensions with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)?  During our short time in the country, we will explore the Sultan's routes towards modernity.

Program Highlights:

  • This stimulating course will investigate these issues through lectures, readings, guest speakers, fascinating tours, and interactions with locals.
  • We will examine how Oman  progressed quickly and how it is developing economically and politically, especially with its diplomatic relations with friends and foes.

Information Sessions

  • February 21st in HUB 1 @ 2pm-4pm
  • February 25th in JC Room D @ 2pm-4pm


Undergraduate and graduate students can participate. Minimum undergraduate GPA is 2.25.


Students will choose one 3-credit course during the application process.

Course Options

  • CONF 385: Approaches to Conflict Management and Resolution
  • ECON 492: Study Abroad
  • HIST 387: Topics in Global History
  • GOVT 398: Study Abroad

  • INTS 595: Experiential Learning
  • CONF 695: Selected Topics

Program Dates

July 26 to August 9, 2019 



Day 0 Depart USA to Dubai, UAE (students book and pay for their own airfare to and from Dubai, UAE) Overnight flight
Day 1 AM: Arrive Dubai. Private bus tour to Oman and to the Strait of Hormuz.
PM: Welcome orientation and group dinner
Day 2 AM: Dhow tour, snorkel, and lecture on Iran diplomacy & trade in Fjords of Oman. Group lunch on dhow or land included.
PM: PM: Tour Nizwa Fort. Discuss the significance of the Strait on global market for oil. Road trip cliffs/mountains protecting area.
Day 3 AM: Group flight to Muscat (included0
PM: Tour of the Corniche, National Museum, Old Muscat, Muttrah Souq, and the Sultan’s Al Alam Palace.
Day 4 AM: Tour the Grand Mosque, visit with the Women’s Group, and Islamic Center
PM: Lunch at Kargeen’s. Guest lecture TBA (US Embassy, university professors, Oman Foreign Ministry, Oman Ministry of Tourism, ministry on diplomat culture in Oman, etc.)
Day 5 AM: University visits and lectures and meetings from above mentioned ministries (TBA)
PM: Class meeting and midterm.
Day 6 AM: Depart Muscat in 4WDs. Follow the Gulf of Oman’s rugged coast spotting Gazelles, flamingoes, and eagles along the way. See the fishing village of Quriyat, tour a dhow factory, and more.
PM: Group meeting. Night tour at the turtle conservation center Ras Al Junaiz, seeing turtles nesting and watch hatched turtles scurry to the sea.
Day 7 AM: Drive to the desert, see how boudin live, go dune bashing (Wahiba Sands) and arrive in remote mountains (Jebel Akhdar).
PM: Late afternoon arrival, group meeting.
Day 8 AM: Hike through villages of Jebel Akhdar and learn how the falaj (irrigation system from 500 AD) impacts diplomacy today.
PM: Picnic lunch in national park. Local lecture at hotel. Class simulation.
Day 9 AM: Explore local villages, walk through a large oasis arriving in Nizwa, the birthplace of Islam in Oman. Briefing at the University of Nizwa.
PM: Lunch followed by a lecture with Chamber of Commerce. Evening tour of the Nizwa Fort and souq.
Day 10 All day: Tour Jarbin the finest castle in Oman and cross the mountains via Wadi Auf exploring the beauty of the expansive wilderness of Oman.  
Day 11 AM: Group flight to Salalah (included)
PM: Explore the ancient city of Samhuram’s frankincense trade with far destinations that linked and shaped Omani’s culture of trade, multiculturalism, and diplomacy for today. Trip takes us to a bird sanctuary, blow-holes on the beach, a wadi and near the Yemen boarder, where we discuss Oman/Yemen relations.AM: Lecture and tour of Salalah Port Authority (TBC). Group Dinner.
Day 12 AM: Lecture and tour of Salalah Port Authority (TBC). Explore the ancient capital of frankincense trade with far destinations that linked and shaped Omani’s culture of trade, multiculturalism, and diplomacy for today. Visit a Dhofar national park, optional camel ride and hike.
PM: Group presentations (hotel meeting room)
Group dinner 
Day 13 AM: Check out of hotel and store bags. Final. 
PM: Free time, transfer to airport, Group flight from Salalah to Dubai
Day 14 AM- Flight Dubai to USA (students book and pay for their own airfare to and from Dubai, UAE)- Arrive back in the USA
* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Summer 2019: $4,700

Included: Tuition for 3 credits, accommodations, entrance fees/tours/guides as described in itinerary, some breakfasts, some group meals, in-country transportation, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, some meals, required textbooks and/or course materials.

*Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by March 17, 2019 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by April 14, 2019. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the Intent to Use Financial Aid or Intent to Use VA Benefits Form completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The Intent to Use Financial Aid form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the Intent to Use VA Benefits Form.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Sunday, March 3, 2019


Application requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

  Sonja Taylor Headshot
Name Sonja Taylor
Phone 703-993-1400

Global Education Office
Program Administrator

  Andrew Miller
Name Andrew Miller
Phone 703-993-5013
  Make an appointment

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.