The Arabic Language Scheme

Arabic Language Scheme

The Anglo-Omani Society, with generous support from the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is pleased to announce 10 scholarships for a period of intensive language study in Oman. This scheme has run successfully for eight years.

Location: Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers, located in Manah, about 20 minutes from Nizwa.

Accommodation: Full board at the student hostel attached to the college in Manah.

Tuition: circa 5 hours per day, focused mainly on Modern Standard Arabic, but also including classes and practical language exchange in Omani dialect.

Funding: The Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pending confirmation, has in principle agreed to fund accommodation and tuition. The Anglo-Omani Society has agreed to fund return flights to Muscat (subject to a sensible ceiling) and will provide medical insurance cover.

Dates 2019: The course will be from 16th June to 8th August. Students should arrive at least one day before the course commences on 16th June and leave one to three days after the course finishes on 9th August, depending on convenient flight dates.

Aims of the Course:

  • To provide British nationals who already practice an intermediate level of Arabic through study or work with an opportunity to improve their skills further.
  • To provide British leaders of the future with an understanding of the history, environment and culture of the Sultanate and its people.
  • To develop strong links between a variety of British universities and the Sultan Qaboos Language College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers.

Requirements: British passport; at least a strong intermediate level of Arabic; leadership qualities; excellent references.

How to apply: Please email the following to

  • An up to date CV including full contact details.
  • A brief statement (no more than one page) about why you wish to study Arabic in Oman and how you will benefit from it.
  • An academic or professional letter of reference, preferably attesting to your proficiency level in Arabic
  • The deadline for applications is 12pm on 29th March 2019.

Supervisor's Introduction

It was a privilege to run the Anglo-Omani Society’s Arabic Language Scheme for the eighth consecutive year in summer 2017. Ten British students from a cross-section British universities were selected to attend four weeks of intensive Arabic tuition at the excellent Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers in Manah, Oman. As ever, this proved a marvelous opportunity for young Brits to soak up Omani culture and Arabic language in an exceptionally friendly environment. From the testimonies of the students related below, it is clear that their unforgettable experiences will do much to promote the strong relationship between the UK and Oman among our upcoming generation. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diwan of the Royal Court and Sultan Qaboos College for making this not only possible but also highly successful.

Dr Elisabeth Kendall
Trustee, Anglo-Omani Society
Senior Research Fellow in Arabic & Islamic Studies, Pembroke College, University of Oxford 


Niamh McBurney, SOAS

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

The five weeks spent in Manah at the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers were a wonderful mix of attentive pastoral care, excellent teaching and subtly awe-inspiring scenery. The quiet solitude of the desert and the mountains surrounding the evenings of vocabulary searching, Omani children's games and sharing stories, contrasted by the muted bustle of the Carrefour and a sneaky Kentucky Fried Chicken when the dining hall wasn't quite enough, was a welcome change from London.

Jonathan Bentham, Oxford University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

In summer 2015 I was lucky enough to spend a month at the Sultan Qaboos College for teaching Arabic to non-Native speakers. This month bettered by knowledge of the Arabic language, both in an academic capacity and on a colloquial speaking level. It also gave me an in-depth introduction to Oman, its culture and some of its most attractive features. I found the morning classes contributed extensively to my understanding of media Arabic, focusing on current affairs and topic-specific vocabulary.

Sophia Tillie, SOAS

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

Two generations on from Thesiger, this was a unique opportunity to rediscover the Interior of Oman, and to see for ourselves how wrong Thesiger perhaps was about the inevitable loss of a way of life in the face of modernity. Our month at Sultan Qaboos Language Center revealed to us the extent to which Omanis have managed stylishly to preserve their cultural identity, traditions and honour, as well as their extraordinary reputation for hospitality.

Tom McGee, Cambridge University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

I spent an exhilarating month in Manah as part of the Anglo-Omani Society’s Arabic Language Scheme. Shortly after arriving in the sweltering Dakhiliyya governorate (a ninety-minute drive from Muscat), I was struck by our hosts’ hospitality. The emphasis which the Omanis placed on greeting us each time we met, the lengthy hand-shakes and the occasional touching of noses, together with the generous servings of dates and cardamom-flavoured Omani qahwa (coffee) quickly made me feel welcome.  Our home for the month of August was the college’s guest-house just outside Manah.

Harriet Tinker, Durham University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

It was a real pleasure to take part in the Arabic language summer programme at the Sultan Qaboos Academy in Manah in 2015. The unique programme at the College improves students' Arabic language skills and their cultural understanding. In particular, I and other students made progress as a result of the small group sessions with local language partners, which allowed us to gain a real understanding of Omani family life and culture.

Will Liebrecht, Cambridge University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

My time in Manah was the best possible introduction to Oman, where I stayed on to spend my year abroad in various corners of the country. From our first drive between the mountains from Muscat to Manah to our last floodlit game of football, studying at the college was an education not only in conversing with Omanis, but also in the traditions and day to day life of the country. I have very fond memories of every aspect of life in Manah.

Andrew Horsewood, Oxford University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

Spending five weeks in Oman at the Sultan Qaboos College for teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers was a fantastic experience for me personally. It allowed me to obtain a greater insight about Oman and its rich heritage and culture through the diverse range of activities put on for us. These included language classes, lectures, trips, language exchange sessions and sports days, all of which allowed us to embrace the country and its citizens. I greatly enjoyed, in particular, the opportunity to converse in Arabic with Omanis of different ages.

Jack McConnel, Cambridge University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

My highlights include the trips – to al-Jabal al-Akhdar, Sur and the Sharqiyya – the food (thank you to Dipak in the kitchen!) and of course (it has to be said again and again) the kindness of everyone we met without exception. My favourite event was the cultural evening for which we made a haggis – Omani style. This meant peering around local goat farms for a freshly-extracted goat stomach, flied or otherwise. Guddling about in entrails did have its academic benefit though: translating Burns’ Ode to the Haggis into Arabic wasn’t easy.

Marina More, Exeter University

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

Last summer I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Anglo-Omani Society's Arabic Language course in Manah, Oman. While I didn't know a huge amount about the country before embarking on the trip, the cultural classes, our extensive meetings with our language partners, and the weekly excursions really gave me an opportunity to learn and understand more about life in Oman among its incredibly hospitable citizens.

Michael Skinner, University College London

Submitted by bht on 07/02/2017

When I signed up for the Society’s programme at the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic to Non-Native Speakers, I would not have been able to predict that I would find myself trawling around the Omani interior looking for somewhere to buy a sheep’s stomach. Thankfully a friendly farmer obliged, and as a result the cultural evening was a great success. The British Ambassador did us the honour of slicing the haggis, although we did struggle with working out how to express “great chieftain o’ the pudding race” in a sufficiently evocative Arabic dialect.