SALAM Study Abroad FAQ

General FAQ

SALAM is open to current undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates. All applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States.

The SALAM scholarship opens on 17 September and closes 31 December. Applications are accepted at any point during the open period but will not be reviewed until the application period closes. For this year’s deadline information, please see the SALAM scholarship application page.

24 to 30 students are awarded a SALAM scholarship each year. All students are part of a single cohort that travels to Oman together.

Oman is a very safe country. Property crime is fairly rare and violent crime is very low.

SALAM will be held at the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-native Speakers in Manah, Oman. Manah is located roughly 2.5 hours from Muscat in the interior of Oman. The closest large settlement is the historic town of Nizwa.

Classes are held 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (Friday and Saturday are the weekend in Oman). Students will study Modern Standard Arabic and media Arabic. In addition to classroom language instruction, students will have access to Omani peer language partners, organized weekend trips around Oman, extracurricular activities, and weekly lectures.

SALAM is a scholarship-only program. SQCC will cover all student expenses including airfare, classes, excursions, room and board. SQCC will obtain visas for all SALAM participants. All SALAM participants will need to finance their travel to Washington, D.C. for orientation and purchase international travel insurance.

No, SALAM is limited to the scholarship recipient only. No family members may travel or stay with students while participating in SALAM.

Yes, all applicants must have a valid passport to apply for this scholarship. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return from Oman.

Students need to obtain prior approval from the College in order to travel/overnight. Please be aware that such travel is highly restricted and may be denied.

All SALAM students must travel to Oman from Washington, D.C. together. No personalization or changes can or will be made to the SALAM tickets.

Things to know when applying

Students who have studied abroad elsewhere in the Arab world may find this program more restrictive. SALAM is a government-sponsored program, and as such, participants are required to adhere to the rules set by the College. Requests to travel freely (unaccompanied) throughout the country are typically denied. The College provides organized excursions every weekend as part of the program and students will have the opportunity to see much of the Sultanate. There is also an opportunity to make trips out at night (in groups only) to do shopping.

Nizwa is the nearest town and it is conservative and somewhat sleepy. Students are expected to be respectful of the culture. This means not being loud or raucous, dressing provocatively, or behaving in a way that would not be considered socially acceptable, including showing affection in public, yelling, or drawing attention unnecessarily. There are few places to go in the evening in Nizwa, and most establishments close early. There is a hypermarket (Lulu) which has food, cosmetics, toiletries, and electronics, and ATMs are present in the town.

Students interested in SALAM must have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Arabic in order to be considered for the scholarship.

All materials (resume, essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation) should be submitted as PDFs. The entire application will be completed online using the SALAM application page.

Letters of recommendation for the SALAM scholarship are due no later than 31 December 2018. Note, your references will not receive the email prompting them to submit a letter of reference until you submit your completed application. Please complete your application early and allow your recommender time to write and submit the letter of recommendation. It is your job to remind your recommenders to submit their letters on time. All letters of recommendations must be on letterhead and signed to be considered valid. No late letters will be accepted or considered.

No, all letters of recommendation must be submitted directly by professors via the recommendation webpage. Be sure that your recommenders have your application ID information when they submit their recommendation.

No late applications or letters of reference will be accepted. All applicants must submit their materials and have all three letters of reference submitted by the deadline to be eligible for the scholarship.

What to expect after submitting your SALAM application

The SALAM Program is a highly competitive scholarship. SQCC receives approximately 150 applications per year for 24-30 slots. Therefore, we encourage applicants to put their best foot forward on their application essays and exam (below). Once all applications are received, they will be reviewed by SQCC and approximately half will be moved to the next round. Students who are selected for consideration will be notified by SQCC roughly 4 weeks after the submission deadline that they have advanced to the second round. At that time, students will be instructed on how to register for the online placement test, administered by the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic.

The College will notify those selected to take the test of the test date. The test opens for a 24-hour window in which students must complete the online exam. The 24-hour window is set on Omani time, not EST. After completing the exam, students will be notified roughly 3 weeks later as to whether they have been awarded a scholarship, waitlisted, or not accepted.

All students who submit complete applications will hear from SQCC regarding their status by mid-March.

Materials to be submitted if accepted

If you are accepted to the SALAM program you will be asked to submit the following materials to SQCC:

  • a scan of your passport biographical information page
    • A passport photo must correspond to the following guidelines
    • 2 passport photos (these must be printed photos mailed to SQCC) with your name written on the back of each photo
  • A completed waiver
  • a health form completed 1 week before departure

In addition to the materials listed above, all SALAM participants must purchase travel insurance. The travel insurance must be a global travel policy, have a minimum coverage limit of $500,000 and cover the following:

  • medical expenses
  • accidental death and dismemberment
  • repatriation of remains
  • emergency evacuation

All SALAM participants must participate in SALAM orientation held in Washington, D.C. Failure to participate in the orientation will cancel a student’s participation in SALAM.

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