United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain:

Ethics and Economics in the Middle East

June 7-20, 2015



The countries of the Arabian Gulf – the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain - are places of great financial wealth and culture. Interesting similarities exist between San Juan County and these three countries – the economic foundation of both is based in petroleum. Petroleum has provided the Arabian Gulf with financial excess in recent years, allowing for extreme financial growth but also resulting in a fascinating contrast and coexistence between economic extravagance and traditional cultural values. This travel study will spend two weeks in Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Students will visit historical and iconic sites in places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha (including the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque), as well as participate in university visits and many other cultural activities. Students will have the option to do things like skiing inside the Mall of the Emirates or swimming at the Wild Wadi Water Park. Our goal is to extend the education of students participating in traditional economics and ethics courses during the summer to the economics and ethical dilemmas of this very wealthy area of the world. Questions we will seek to answer include: How does this region of the world use its natural resources to the betterment of its people? What are the ethical implications of the decisions that have already been made and how should these decisions be made in the future? How are water resources being used in this desert environment? How are traditional social norms challenged by the new value placed on tourism and expatriate employment? Traveling to the Middle East will provide students with the opportunity to observe and create case studies relating to ethics and economics for themselves.


June 7-20, 2015


PHIL 115-001/0H1 – Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
ECON 251-601/6H1 – Macroeconomics (3 credits) - online
ECON 252-601/6H1 – Microeconomics (3 credits) - online

NOTE: All participants must register for Introduction to Ethics AND either Macroeconomics or Microeconomics. The courses will run for 8 weeks (June 1-July 24), with the two week travel portion taking place June 7-20. Introduction to Ethics will likely meet face-to-face Monday-Thursday for 75 minutes per day, while both of the economics courses will be offered online.

ESTIMATED TRAVEL COST: $4320 (based on 8 students)*

The cost includes:

  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Airfare
  • Entrance fees and tours at local sites and museums
  • Transportation in the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar
  • All meals
  • Tips
  • Visa to the Gulf Countries
  • Travel Insurance

*This is an estimate and may change based upon the number of participants.

Participants will be responsible for the following costs that are NOT included in the program fee:


All participants must be over 18 years old at time of travel and must be San Juan College students in order to apply for the travel study program. All participants must register as students for the courses attached to the program and pay tuition, whether taking the courses for credit or auditing. If you are not already an SJC student, it's easy (and FREE) to become one. Visit the Enrollment Services Home Page for more information.


Participants will be responsible for lifting/carrying their luggage at airports and hotels. Some sites and buses may not be ADA compliant, as U.S. standards of accessibility are not recognized worldwide. However, most modern buildings will have elevators available. There are two nights that include an overnight coach/bus trip, during which participants will be expected to sleep on the coach/bus.


Application materials will be made available through the Office of Global Studies at SJC in September 2014.

The application deadline is TBA.


If you already have scholarships or other forms of financial aid through SJC for the spring/summer 2015 semesters, your financial aid should apply as usual for your tuition and fees. You may need to meet with your Financial Aid advisor to adjust the schedule for your disbursement of funds.

If you are a current full-time, degree-seeking, financial aid eligible student at SJC, you may be eligible to apply for scholarship funds through the San Juan College Foundation. Contact Cynthia Rapp Sandhu in the Office of Global Studies for more information.




Cynthia Rapp Sandhu is the Global Studies Coordinator at San Juan College and an adjunct faculty member who teaches Introduction to Ethics, Western Civilization to 1700, and Western Civilization from 1700. She holds a B.A. in History from Baker University and a Master of Theological Studies degree with a concentration in biblical and historical studies from Boston University. Before moving to Farmington, New Mexico in 2010, Cynthia worked in the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Cynthia has worked as a teacher in Mexico and led university programs to Egypt, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Jordan, and Cuba.

Bart Womack is the currently the head of the Economics Department at San Juan College. He teaches Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Personal Investing. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with his Bachelor’s degree and an MBA with emphasis in Economics, Accounting and Finance. Before moving to Farmington, New Mexico in 1998, Bart worked 9 years for Manatee College in Bradenton, Florida.


June 7: Albuquerque to JFK to Dubai (overnight flight)
June 8: Arrive at Dubai International Airport and transfer from the airport to the hotel; Dinner at 7:00pm.
June 9: Breakfast at the hotel; 9:00am to 2:00pm university visit; A tour in Dubai to see Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, Dubai International Financial Centre, and Palm Jumeirah; Back to the hotel by 9:00pm.
June 10: Breakfast at the hotel; 9:00am to 2:00pm university visit; A tour in Dubai to see Dubai Museum, Heritage Village, Jumeirah Mosque; Dinner at 8:30pm and meet with Professors for a general discussion.
June 11: Breakfast at the hotel; 9:00am to 2:00pm university visit; A tour in Dubai; back to the hotel by 5:00pm.
June 12: Breakfast at the hotel; Make a trip to Abu Dhabi and visit the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi; Al Ain emirate; Back to the hotel in Dubai.
June 13: Breakfast at the hotel; Make a trip to Ajman emirate and back to the hotel Dubai by 4:00pm. Optional trips at an additional cost: Dubai Dolphinarium, Ski Dubai, or Wild Wadi Water Park.
June 14: Breakfast at the hotel; Make a trip to Sharjah emirate and back to the hotel in Dubai by 4:00pm.
June 15: Breakfast at the hotel; Make a trip to Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah emirates; Leave Dubai by 9:00pm and sleep on the bus to get to Qatar.
June 16: Arrive Qatar at 8:00am and start the day with a visit to the Pearl-Qatar; Museum of Islamic Art, Doha 11:00 am to 1:00pm; Back to the hotel by 1:30pm; Souq Waqif; Dinner at 8:30pm and meet with Professors for a general discussion.
June 17: Breakfast at the hotel; Qatar National Museum 8:30 to 10:00am; Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art 10:30am to 12:00pm; Villaggio Mall; Doha Corniche and Aspire Tower; Leave Qatar by 10:00pm and sleep on the bus to get to Bahrain.
June 18: Arrive Bahrain at 8:00am; Visit to A'ali Burial Mound - largest prehistoric cemetery in the world; National Museum; Back to the hotel; Meet in the lobby at 6:00pm to visit Bab Al Bahrain - the great traditional souk in Bahrain; Back to hotel for dinner.
June 19: Breakfast at the hotel; Visit Beit Al Quran - Arabic calligraphy; A'ali - pottery making; A tour in Bahrain before the final departure.
June 20: Departure for JFK and ABQ.


For additional information, please contact:
Cynthia Rapp Sandhu - (505) 566-3525 or sandhuc@sanjuancollege.edu
Bart Womack - womackb@sanjuancollege.edu