United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain:

Ethics and Economics in the Middle East

June 19-30, 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 10 days 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.

Listen to the KSJE 90.9FM interview with Cynthia Rapp Sandhu and Bart Womack about the program. 


June 19-30, 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 8-July 31), with the two week travel portion taking place June 19-30. Introduction to Ethics will likely meet face-to-face Monday-Thursday for 75 minutes per day (although accommodations may be made for students outside of the area), while both of the economics courses will be offered online.

To see how the courses will count toward a degree at SJC, check out the Gulf Academic Advising Sheet.

ESTIMATED TRAVEL COST:  $4,270 (based on 8 students)*

Program fee (paid to San Juan College) covers:

  • Hotel Accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Airfare
  • Entrance fees and tours at local sites and museums
  • Transporation in the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar
  • Breakfasts and dinners during the program
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Visa to the Gulf countries

Participants will be required to pay for the following additional travel costs that are not included in the program fee:

  • Meals in airports and lunches during the program
  • International Medical and Travel Insurance

approx. $200

Other expenses:  

 *This is an estimate and will vary based upon the number of participants.  The program fee will be around $3,610 per person for a group of 16 students.


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.

If you are graduating from high school in May 2015, you should contact Abby Calcote in Enrollment Services to apply to San Juan College as an Early Admit student.  


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. 


Application materials are available online at www.sanjuancollege.edu/trips under the "Student Resources" tab.

The application deadline is January 30, 2015.


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, 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.


50% of the program fee is due by February 12, 2015. 

The remaining 50% of the program fee is due by March 16, 2015. 


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 from Boston University. Before moving to Farmington, New Mexico in 2010, Cynthia worked in the International Affairs Program and Middle East Center 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 19: Albuquerque to JFK to Dubai (overnight flight)
June 20: Arrive at Dubai International Airport and transfer from the airport to the hotel; Dinner at 7:00pm.
June 21: 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 22: 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 23: Breakfast at the hotel; 9:00am to 2:00pm university visit. Optional trips at an additional cost: Ski Dubai or Wild Wadi Water Park. Back to the hotel for dinner.
June 24: Breakfast at the hotel; Make a trip to Abu Dhabi and visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi; Tour of Abu Dhabi; Travel to Qatar; Hotel for dinner.
June 25: Start the day with a visit to the Pearl-Qatar; Museum of Islamic Art, Doha 11:00-1:00; Back to the hotel by 1:30 pm; Souq Waqif; Meetings with professors; Back to the hotel for dinner.
June 26: 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; Back to the hotel for dinner.
June 27: Breakfast at the hotel; Travel to Bahrain; Free afternoon in Bahrain; Back to the hotel for dinner.

June 28: Breakfast at the hotel; Visit to A'ali Burial Mound - largest prehistoric cemetery in the world; National Museum; Free afternoon; Meet in the lobby at 6:00pm to visit Bab Al Bahrain - the great traditional souk in Bahrain; Back to hotel for dinner.
June 29: Breakfast at the hotel; Visit Beit Al Quran - Arabic calligraphy; A'ali - pottery making; A tour in Bahrain before the final departure.
June 30: 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