Center for International Learning


Discover Oman with the Center for International Learning

The Center for International Learning is the premier language learning center in the Sultanate of Oman – master your Arabic in one of Condé Nast Traveler's top travel destinations of 2015.

Our Programs

Our unique and challenging programs range from traditional study abroad semesters, flexible but intensive language study courses, and classes designed for working professionals in the Muscat area.

The Center

The Center for International Learning is the premier language learning destination in the Gulf. With our all-Omani teaching staff, immersive cultural excursions, and dedication to the mastery and retention of Arabic, we're proud to call ourselves "the best."

The Center for International Learning is the foremost institution of its kind in Muscat, offering flexible opportunities for rigorous study in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Why CIL?

The Center for International Learning is a premier Center for studying Arabic and the wider Middle East. Through intentionally designed programs, we welcome students from over 41 countries to our two signature programs: Intensive Arabic Program and the Middle East Studies Program. Our Intensive Arabic Program is taught year-round, while our Middle East Studies Program is taught only during the Fall and Spring Semesters. We are the largest and oldest Center for the teaching of Arabic language in Oman, and have designed a curriculum that is most closely aligned with the outcomes of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). With our all-Omani teachers, campus and accommodations in Muscat, and regular excursions worked into the curriculum, CIL is the ideal place to experience the best of the Arabian Peninsula.

One of the biggest advantages that we have is our location. First, Muscat is the most cosmopolitan city in the Sultanate of Oman and is the seat of government and international diplomatic representation. You have access to all the amenities of a small, modern city (including internet, clean food and water, modern road system, ample transportation facilities, and a modern and inexpensive health care system). Furthermore, Oman's location on the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula gives you access to countries in the region (including the UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco), as well as non-Arab countries that are equally rich and interesting (e.g. Turkey, Tanzania, Kenya, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka). Our students have taken advantage of our location to hop on a plane and explore the richness of both the Arab world as well as the Indian Ocean. We invite you to do the same!

Accommodation and transportation options are available for students, ranging from living with Omani families to sharing new fully-furnished one- and two-bedroom flats (2 twin beds in each room) in a bustling neighborhood.


  • 10 full-time certified Arabic teachers with years of experience, and 13 classrooms on our campus in Seeb
  • Convenient student accommodation and transportation arranged by CIL
  • Cultural excursions across Oman integrated into the curriculum
  • Rigorous and comprehensive course of study that complies with ACTFL standards

Local Shared Flats

Most students opt to live in one- and two-bedroom furnished flats in a new building located in a busy souk area near the CIL campus, with local shops, small restaurants, and a gym close by. Other students live a mere stone’s throw from our campus. All of our accommodations are fully equipped with new kitchen appliances, cookware and utensils, linens, air conditioning and wi-fi in each flat. Students can keep costs down by cooking their own meals.


Students travel to and from the campus on the CIL private bus during the week. On weekends and evenings, local taxis provide transportation as well as opportunities for practicing Arabic! Also available (especially for male students) are baisa buses, local vans that ply the Sultan Qaboos Highway, transporting people from one end of Muscat to the other at a very affordable cost. For older students not in our study abroad program, car rental is also an option, and we can help to make arrangements any time.

Cultural Excursions

Our programs are supplemented by an array of excursions in Oman that allow students to explore the multiple dimensions of this fascinating country that hosts our students. Students are given the opportunity on most weekends of their time in Oman to visit villages that have existed for over 4,000 years, cities that have served central roles in Omani and Ibadhi history, desert locales that force one to marvel at the force of nature, and wadis (valleys/ravines) that redefine our understanding of beauty. These excursions are included in the program costs that students pay to attend the program, as we feel that your learning is enhanced both by feeling connected to your host country as well as the break that you get from leaving Muscat and allowing your brain the rest it needs from such rigorous study.

Did you ever have a burning desire to wake up at 3:30am, pull on your clothes, and head outside for a long walk on the beach? You will here in Oman, since 4:00am – under cover of darkness and an infinite number of stars – is the best time to see endangered green sea turtles make their way from sea to sand, dig large nest holes and lay 100 to 120 eggs. As the sun begins to rise over the water, these turtles return to the sea, never knowing if their progeny survive (only about 1% do). As you watch turtles laying eggs, you can also see hatchlings break out of more mature (older) eggs and instinctively crawl toward the sea, not to return to this same beach until it is their time to lay eggs. You will have the privilege of viewing this extraordinary feat of nature at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve on the eastern coast of Oman, just a few hours’ drive from the capital city, Muscat.

Other Omani adventures include hiking the towering 3,300m/10,000’ Jebel Akhdar, known for stunning Grand Canyon-like vistas, the agricultural terracing separating villages that cling to the mountainside, and various varieties of fruit trees, including award-winning pomegranate, that flourish in the cool higher elevations.

A visit to Nizwa, Oman’s former capital, now less than 90 minutes from Muscat on a modern highway, previously took all day to reach by donkey on a rugged path. The restored Nizwa Fort offers a glimpse into Oman of the past, and is surrounded by a bustling market area, the souk, with its meat, fruits and vegetables, crafts, silver and khanjars, traditional Omani daggers. Nearby in one direction is Misfat Al Abreyyin, a 4,000 year old continuously-inhabited village on the side of a ravine. Locals still use the falaj to provide water for residents’ homes as well as to irrigate the terraced agricultural plots used to grow papayas, bananas, and sugar cane.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
  • Arabic

View Summer courses »


This school also offers:

Summer courses

Intensive Arabic Program (IAP)

Campus Full time September 2017 Oman Muscat

The IAP at the Center for International Learning (CIL) consists of 20 classroom hours per week of instruction in conversation (Modern Standard Arabic), grammar, media, and reading/writing.  Our curriculum is based on the Al-Kitaab series.  [+]

The IAP at the Center for International Learning (CIL) consists of 20 classroom hours per week of instruction in conversation (Modern Standard Arabic), grammar, media, and reading/writing.  Our curriculum is based on the Al-Kitaab series.  We combine this formal classroom instruction with 10 additional hours, 6 of which are in Omani dialect, and 4 of which are in extra-curricular activities including academic lectures, seminars, review sessions, and cultural activities that enhance the Arabic curriculum, making a total of 30 contact hours per week. All students will be assessed prior to the start of classes for placement and at the end of their program. Arabic courses at CIL are 4-credits each and are designed and numbered according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) levels: What’s covered and why CIL offers all three levels of Modern Standard Arabic (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), as well as Omani dialect. We utilize the textbook Al Kitaab fii Talum Al-Arabiya, Parts 1, 2 and 3, which we find facilitates a smooth transition between home universities and studies at CIL. In addition to the Al Kitaab textbook, we also use materials developed by our teaching faculty. Arabic instruction at CIL covers reading, writing, vocabulary, media literacy, comprehension and active use of lughat-al-muthaqqafeen (“educated speech”), as heard on Al Jazeera. Levels offered Arabic 101-102-103: Beginner Arabic I-II-III         Arabic 201-202-203: Intermediate Arabic I-II-III Arabic 301-302-303: Advanced Arabic I-II-III Arabic 401-402: Superior Arabic I-II                                      Methodology Our Arabic language program focuses on all four language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking), and students quickly notice their abilities improving as they spend 20 hours per week learning the language. Students learn Arabic for four hours each day, five days per week, with several different teachers for different skills, and a Peer Facilitator (language partner) for afternoon conversation that reinforces formal classroom learning. Afternoon conversation sessions with Peer Facilitators (PFs) are a special part of our Arabic language regimen, and a unique program component pioneered by CIL. In addition to our morning classes, PF sessions provide 6 additional hours a week of direct conversation with an Omani in groups of two or three students. Unless indicated otherwise, PF sessions are a normal part of students' programs and are included at no additional cost. Extra charges for PF sessions are applied, however, under the following circumstances: 1) a student arrives after classes have begun and needs extra PF time to catch up, 2) a student requests additional PF time for a short period, or 3) a student desires a private PF. It is our experience that students benefit most from small class size, which gives them every opportunity to participate and receive ample faculty attention during class. CIL classes typically contain 3-7 students, and never more than 10. Learning takes place in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere; our campus is a large villa formerly occupied by a family, and still retains that “family” feeling that students find so conducive to learning. Middle East Studies Program (MESP) The MESP is the only one of its kind in the entire Gulf region.  Through an intentional approach to the study of Oman, the Arab Gulf States, and the Arab world, our students in this program are challenged to think outside of disciplinary boundaries that limit a true understanding of the region.  Described below are each of the program's components:   Arabic Language Courses (10 weeks/200 hours) The study of Arabic language grounds your understanding of the Arab world, and forms a big part of your study in Oman.  You are placed into one of nine levels in Arabic and are in 4 different classes: Conversation/Speaking, Reading/Writing, Media Arabic (Beginner High level and above), and Grammar).  MES 360: The Contemporary Arab Middle East (3 credits)  The semester course begins with a historical overview of the contemporary Middle East, exploring the complexities of the region. The course continues to investigate and analyze the dynamic issues and forces in the region and their interactions, such as Arabism and ethnic diversity, Islam and sectarian diversity, the West and the Arab World, the Arab-Israeli conflict and finally, the Arab Uprisings also known as the Arab Spring.    MES 370: Independent Study (3 credits)  This course is designed to enable the student to integrate the various components of the other semester-long courses. Each student, in consultation with the instructor, decides on an area of substantive focus for his or her research. It is required that the topic focuses on the Arab World. Throughout the semester, each student will meet regularly with the instructor for consultations as he or she conceives and develops the overall research project. [-]

Location address
PO BOX 2644
PC 111,

Muscat, OM