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Oman!
Topic Started: Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:58 pm (2,363 Views)
azafran

I went to Oman with NSLI-Y/Amideast last summer, and had an amazing time. Despite being in language classes with Americans, I felt my experience was quite exchange-y as I spent every day from 2 or 3 pm with my host family, as well as every weekend (minus 1.5) and day off. The last 10 days were purely with our host families because of Eid. I had a challenging but fantastic time, and learned SO much. Oman is a beautiful and fascinating country--get there quick, before it starts becoming mobbed by hotels (see NY Times 52 places to go in 2015-# 20)!

I would highly recommend Oman, although unless you're a college student it's pretty tough to exchange there, as the only programs that go there are YES and NSLI-Y. And I don't think NSLI-Y Year is going to send there again, as the girls who were meant to go this year were sent to Morocco instead because their visas were rejected (half my original summer group had the same problem-- the Omani government apparently doesn't want 18+ year old American girls).

Please ask me any questions about Oman, or about my experience being an ES/woman in a very religious Muslim country/family. I'd be thrilled to answer!
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heidi

Oooh, I'm applying to YES Abroad and Oman is something like my 6th/7th choice. It sounds like an amazing country, but very challenging. Did you get to meet any YES students during your time there (I don't know what dates they arrived/departed)?

More of a "general" question, but as a lot of the YES countries are rather conservative (though I'm under the impression that Oman is probably one of the "most conservative" of the YES countries), what was it like being a woman in a very conservative community?
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azafran

heidi
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:17 pm
Oooh, I'm applying to YES Abroad and Oman is something like my 6th/7th choice. It sounds like an amazing country, but very challenging. Did you get to meet any YES students during your time there (I don't know what dates they arrived/departed)?

More of a "general" question, but as a lot of the YES countries are rather conservative (though I'm under the impression that Oman is probably one of the "most conservative" of the YES countries), what was it like being a woman in a very conservative community?
I didn't--they arrived a couple of weeks after we left. I feel like a met a few though, because people at Amideast would mention them, and they had the same Arabic teacher us nsliy summer girls did!

Going to answer your second question tomorrow when my math and chem finals are over :)
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heidi

Ah, that's neat! Take your time, haha :) That's definitely the thing I'm most nervous about, if I were to go on exchange in a YES country - adjusting to the different roles/expectations for women. But it's all part of the experience!
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azafran

Tomorrow I'll legitamately have time--but if you're interested, I wrote an essay for school about wearing hijab, which I put on my Oman blog (one of like 3 posts haha). (It's also going to be on the NSLIY site soon :) )
Here it is--http://izzyinoman.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-veil.html

Would you be on a gap year for YES? or senior year?
Edited by azafran, Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:59 pm.
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zaneylaney97

Hi,
I also applied to the NSLI-Y Arabic program. My (unofficial) first choice is Oman. I am just waiting to hear back. When did you get your finalist notification and did you find out at the same time as the year students?
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azafran

zaneylaney97
Wed Feb 4, 2015 11:38 am
Hi,
I also applied to the NSLI-Y Arabic program. My (unofficial) first choice is Oman. I am just waiting to hear back. When did you get your finalist notification and did you find out at the same time as the year students?
Whoo! That's great to hear--I hope you get Oman! I think its perhaps the best NSLIY summer program in terms of immersion and actual exchange-y-ness (at least the way my program was run). I heard back mid-March, the 14th, I think. It was the third wave of summer notifications. The year students find out later, usually April. Did you apply for year? Because I don't think there will be a year NSLI-Y program in Oman again :(

What were your other choices?
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zaneylaney97

I applied for the year. Online it still has Oman listed as a year option, however my interviewer did mention that he thought they were only sending people to Morocco, but he didn't seem to know a lot about the program. I my second choice was Russian-year and Mandarin-year.
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azafran

The girls who were supposed to go to Oman for the year this year were switched last minute to Morocco because their visas were rejected. Half the girls originally on my summer program ended up in Morocco too because they were 18 and no visas were being issued to anyone who was 18 or older (those of us who ended up in Oman were 15-17). Also we overheard people at Amideast saying they doubted there'll be a year program again. I really hope there is though! Oman's amazing.
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zaneylaney97

I'm also applying to YES and Oman and Morocco are my top 2
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