Customized Programs

Sample Itineraries

AMIDEAST’s Customized Programs offer colleges, universities, secondary schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to provide students with a specialized and guided education abroad experience in the Middle East and North Africa.


Global Discovery in the United Arab Emirates

A 14 day exploration of business development in the UAE.

This program included:

  • Onsite orientation
  • Dubai city tour including the Dubai Museum and Arba Crossing
  • Visit  and campus tour of the American University in Sharjah
  • Visit to 3M
  • Visits in Abu Dhabi, including Masdar City, the Petroleum Institute and the Sheik Zayed Mosque
  • Visit to the Nakheel Center
  • Lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding
  • Visit to multinational organizations based in the UAE, including Merck and Ingersoll Rand
  • Farewell dinner
     
Human Rights, Security and Development in Morocco

A 16 day program focusing on development in Morocco.

This program Included:

  • Onsite orientation including safety and security briefing and host family orientation
  • Host family accommodation for all students
  • Survival Moroccan Arabic course
  • A visit to the old city with Moroccan university students
  • A guided city tour of Rabat
  • Overnight excursion to Ain Leuh, including a visit to the Ain Leuh Rugs Women Cooperative
  • Excursion to Fez, with guided city tour of Fez
  • Visit to the ancient ruins of Volubilis
  • Tour of Parliament and meetings with officials
  • Visit to a local high school
  • Visit to the Royal Institute for Amazigh Studies
  • Seminar at AMIDEAST: Security in Morocco
  • Discussion with representative of the World Bank on “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Morocco”
  • Overnight excursion to Marrakesh
  • Visit to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
  • Reflection activities
  • Farewell dinner with gnaoua music and henna
  • Airport transporation
  • Local cell phone
The Arabic Development and Immersion Program in Jordan

A 1-4 week program focusing on Arabic language immersion and Jordanian culture.

This program included:

  • City tour of Amman
  • Accommodations at a local hotel
  • Orientation including security briefing
  • 20 hours per week of Modern Standard Arabic or Colloquial Jordanian Arabic
  • Excursion to the ancient city of Jerash and ruins at Ajloun
  • Language exchange program
  • Overnight excursion to Wadi Rum and Petra
  • Excursion to the biblical sites of Madaba, Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea
  • Final Farewell Dinner
  • Airport transporation
  • Local cell phone

Customized Program: United Arab Emirates

AMIDEAST’s Customized Programs offer colleges, universities, secondary schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to provide students with a specialized and guided education abroad experience in the Middle East and North Africa.


Business

Business thrives in the UAE as the country continues to diversify its growing economy. Even before the oil boom, Dubai was a trading hub due to its central location on the Gulf, connecting Asia with Africa and Europe. The international trade, banking, tourism, real estate, energy, and manufacturing sectors have all experienced exponential growth in the Emirates. Possible program components include:

  • Visits with Nakheel Center for real estate in the Emirates or the Emirates Islamic Bank, allowing students to develop an understanding of the components of successful business transactions.
  • Lectures by local experts on economic Free Zones in the UAE, which have allowed multi-national corporations, investors, and Emirati businesses to prosper.  
Engineering & Architecture

The United Arab Emirates evokes images of cutting-edge engineering feats; Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and Abu Dhabi is home to one of the world’s most eco-friendly constructions, Bahar Towers. Rapid development in the country’s emerging economy has attracted engineers, architects, and developers from across the globe. Possible program components include:

  • Visits to major engineering feats, such as the Dubai Metro Operations Center, the Masdar graduate research institute, or Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.
  • Lectures from local experts on the UAE’s development.
  • A focus on a variety of engineering fields such as aviation, civil or electrical engineering, and mechatronics.
Hospitality

Emirati culture is known for its generosity, courtesy, and love of community. Today, this tradition of hospitality is enhanced by the presence of many luxury hotels. Dubai’s Burj Al Arab was nicknamed a “seven-star” hotel over a decade ago, and Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace is a beacon of opulence throughout the city. Possible program components include:

  • Visits to impressive Emirati hotels.
  • Guest speakers from institutions dedicated to developing tourism in the UAE.
  • A visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cross-Cultural Understanding in Dubai.
Petroleum

Petroleum is central to the rapid growth of the United Arab Emirates, literally fueling development and innovation in the country. The importance of petroleum to the country’s economy is evident in dedicated institutions like Abu Dhabi’s Petroleum Institute University and Research Center (PI), which was established in 2001 to educate future engineers and conduct energy industry research. Possible program components include:

  • A visit to the Petroleum Institute and related sponsors and affiliates, such as the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.
  • Arabic courses to teach students vocabulary relevant to the petroleum industry.
Additional Areas of Interest
  • Arts and Culture: The art scene in the UAE is expanding rapidly, falling in line with the national goal of diversifying the economy and establishing the UAE as a luxury tourist destination. Customized Programs can include visits to the Manarat al-Saadiyat art and culture center in Abu Dhabi, Art Dubai, or lectures at local art institutions. 
  • Alternative Energy: The UAE has invested heavily in alternative energy research and development, seeking to drive new sources of income and promote a sustainable future for the Emirates. A Customized Program focusing on alternative energy can include lectures from leading professionals in the UAE and visits to sustainable development organizations arranged by AMIDEAST.

Others

If your short-term program focus falls outside the areas of interest described above, feel free to contact us at DocsEdAbroad@amideast.org. We would be excited to work with you and advise on whether the UAE is a good fit.

Customized Program: Morocco

AMIDEAST’s Customized Programs offer colleges, universities, secondary schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to provide students with a specialized and guided education abroad experience in the Middle East and North Africa.


Arabic and French Language

As Morocco is a mixture of cultures, it is home to speakers of a unique variety of languages. Modern Standard Arabic, Darija (the Moroccan dialect of Arabic), French, English, and Spanish can all be heard on the streets of Moroccan cities due to the country’s long history of migrating populations and ideas. Possible program components include:

  • Language classes in Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic.
  • Local language partners to facilitate deeper language learning.
  • AMIDEAST-arranged stays in host families to further exposure to the target language.
  • Excursions that expose students to Moroccan language and culture.
Anthropology and Multi-Culturalism

Contemporary Morocco is a fusion of several societies, with significant Arab, Amazigh, French, and Spanish influences evident in culture, art, and architecture. These influences have created a truly unique environment, with beautiful zilij-covered mosques, Spanish architecture, and small cafés like those that dot the streets of Paris. Possible program components include:

  • AMIDEAST-arranged stays in host families to immerse students in Moroccan culture.
  • Lectures by expert local guest speakers.
  • Excursions to various cultural organizations and museums, such as the Rabat Archeological Museum.
  • Coursework with AMIDEAST Area Studies professors focusing on special topics in contemporary or historical Moroccan culture.

 

Amazigh Studies

Meaning “free people” in their language, the Amazigh, known to many Westerners as the Berbers, are the indigenous people of North Africa. While studies of Morocco’s multi-culturalism often focus on the European elements that have shaped its development, the narrative of the Amazigh people is often overlooked.  Possible program components include:

  • Lectures with local experts on Amazigh culture.
  • Excursions that expose students to Amazigh life, such as visits to the Berber souk of Khemisset or the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture - IRCAM in Rabat.
Women in Society and Islam

Many Moroccans pride themselves on their country’s liberal politics and recent efforts to improve the lives of women. Possible program components include:

  • Visits to women’s organizations, such as La Solidarité Feminine, a secular feminist NGO that supports unwed mothers and their children, to learn about the process of attaining equality in the Middle East and North Africa. 
  • Lectures from professionals and researchers who experience Moroccan feminist movements firsthand, providing students with insider accounts of women’s rights in the region. 

 

Additional Areas of Interest:
  • Literature: The Maghreb has been featured heavily in Western literature, especially in the 20th century. Customized Programs can explore historical intersections between the West and Morocco through literature. AMIDEAST can arrange for lectures by Moroccan academics that can be paired with excursions to destinations frequented by literary figures.
  • North Africa Studies: Morocco provides a great environment to study subjects such as the legacy of colonialism in the Maghreb, the Arab Spring, and the unique political and cultural histories of the region’s countries. AMIDEAST Area Studies faculty can provide rigorous instruction in the current political climate in the region.

Others

If your short-term program focus falls outside the areas of interest described above, feel free to contact us at DocsEdAbroad@amideast.org. We would be excited to work with you and advise on whether Morocco is a good fit.

Customized Program: Jordan

AMIDEAST’s Customized Programs offer colleges, universities, secondary schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to provide students with a specialized and guided education abroad experience in the Middle East and North Africa.

Individual students interested in studying in the Middle East or North Africa should visit our program page.


Arabic Language

Levantine Arabic is spoken among Jordanians, Syrians, the Lebanese, and Palestinians. AMIDEAST offers programs for students to learn the local dialect and Modern Standard Arabic. Possible program components include:

  • Rigorous Modern Standard Arabic courses taught by faculty from the Qasid Arabic Institute.
  • Colloquial Arabic courses.
  • Cultural activities arranged by AMIDEAST.
  • Local language partners to facilitate deeper language learning.
  • Excursions that expose students to Jordanian language and culture.
  • Host family accommodations arranged by AMIDEAST to maximize Arabic language immersion.

 

Diplomacy and Politics

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been an important diplomatic topic in the Middle East and North Africa for many decades. Jordan has historically played a large part in international negotiations and is one of the only countries in the region that maintains a peace treaty with Israel.  Possible program components include:

  • Lectures from AMIDEAST Area Studies faculty and local experts, providing first-hand experience with regional diplomacy.
  • AMIDEAST-arranged visits to Jordanian institutions which focus on diplomacy and peace-making.
  • Meetings with Jordanian individuals involved with diplomacy and peace and conflict resolution.
Environmental Sustainability

Jordan’s landscape spans from forests to deserts to agricultural lands throughout the countryside, and visitors often note the severe water scarcity that afflicts the country. Possible program components include:

  • Lectures from local environmental experts.
  • Training provided by AMIDEAST on contemporary Jordanian society to provide a cultural context for current resource issues.
  • Visits to sustainable farm projects, such as the Zikra Intiative, allowing students to witness the ways that resources are conserved and recycled in Jordan’s dry climate.
Traditional and Contemporary Art

Both traditional and modern arts flourish in Amman. Traditionally-designed buildings, such as the striking blue King Abdullah I Mosque, intermix with rising street art and modern art gallery scenes. Possible program components include:

  • A visit to the Institute of Traditional Islamic Art and Architecture to introduce students to the sacred geometry of Islamic Art.
  • Guest speakers from and visits to contemporary art galleries throughout Amman where local artists display their work, complementing students’ understanding of the importance of art in Jordan.

 

Additional Areas of Interest:
  • Religion and Interfaith Studies: Interfaith relations between Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities in Jordan are a topic of interest to many students of religion. Lectures from professionals at interfaith institutions in Amman, such as the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center, can complement visits to religious sites.
  • Economics: As Jordan attempts to reform its economy and create local jobs for large numbers of educated youth, now is a crucial time in defining its economic sustainability as a state. Visits to organizations promoting the economic development of Jordan, such as the Jordan Investment Board, can be arranged.
  • Ancient History: With a number of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage sites ranging from the ancient city of Petra to Umayyad castles in the country’s deserts, Jordan is an exciting destination for history and archaeology specialists. Guest speakers from the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) can discuss the historical wonders of Jordan.

Others

If your short-term program focus falls outside the areas of interest described above, feel free to contact us at DocsEdAbroad@amideast.org. We would be excited to work with you and advise on whether Jordan is a good fit.

Customized Programs

AMIDEAST’s Customized Programs offer colleges, universities, secondary schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to provide students with a specialized and guided education abroad experience in the Middle East and North Africa. With experience in topics ranging from language to engineering, AMIDEAST assists with the process of creating a program that fits specific needs and interests of the organization.

 


Why choose AMIDEAST?
  • Regional Expertise: Our customized education abroad programs draw deeply from the connections and expertise that come with the organization’s long history in the Arab world.
  • Experience: We have worked with faculty members, study abroad offices, and other groups from educational institutions for several decades to bring ideas from the drawing table to a full experience. 
  • Flexibility: From  short-term programs as short as 10 days to programs as long as three months,  we work with institutions to design programs that meet specific programmatic needs.
  • Collaboration: Our staff works in partnership with clients to design programs, tapping into our local connections to provide suggestions for possible lecture topics and lecturers, organizations to visit, and cultural activities. 
  • Comprehensive Programs: Our staff can make logistical arrangements for programs, including local transportation, housing and meals, classroom space, phones, insurance, and excursions or field trips.
Where does AMIDEAST work?

AMIDEAST currently organizes Customized Programs in the following countries in the Middle East and North Africa:

Please click on any of the countries listed above to explore potential program ideas or view past sample programs.

What is the process for setting up a customized program?
  • Fill out an initial Customized Programs Request form.
  • AMIDEAST staff will follow up to set up a phone meeting to discuss the details of the proposal.
  • AMIDEAST staff in Washington, D.C. will work with Field Office staff to create an initial itinerary and budget, including pricing bands that show the varying costs based on the number of potential participants. This process usually takes 3-5 weeks.
  • Once the itinerary and budget have been approved by the client, AMIDEAST will draw up an agreement outlining the specifics of the program.
  • After the contract is signed by both parties, AMIDEAST will begin preparations for the proposed program.


For more information, please email EdAbroad@amideast.org

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