Many Middle Eastern Studies majors choose to spend one or two semesters abroad. Students have enrolled in programs in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries. Study abroad is a wonderful opportunity to intensify your connection to Middle Eastern culture, language and society.
The International Programs Office (IPO) maintains up-to-date files and records regarding study abroad. As soon as you think you may wish to plan ahead to do a semester abroad, you should visit the office and take advantage of their wonderful staff and resources.
Your advisor and other faculty in the major can also help with advice and planning with respect to study abroad. The department makes every effort to facilitate your time away, assuming that the program in which you seek to enroll is acceptable to both the IPO and your advisor.
Obtaining credit for your work abroad is a two-step process. First, you must arrange with the IPO to convert your credits from your program abroad into UMass course credits. Once this is done, you need to work with the department to use your courses abroad to satisfy requirements for the major, when appropriate. In general, upper-level Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and substantive courses on the Middle East taken abroad are eligible to count for upper-level major requirements, but you are urged to verify this in advance, and discuss your plans more generally with your advisor. Courses in a dialect of Arabic, as opposed to MSA, do not count towards requirements of the major.