BEIRUT – The University of Maryland has expanded its Education Abroad department and begun a program in Damascus, the capital of the Middle Eastern nation of Syria. The first students for Maryland-in-Damascus will ship out this week.
The recent move was in response to new pressures and incentives. As more and more students opt to spend a semester outside of College Park, the school’s few programs throughout the world have become overwhelmed. UMD has been forced to look into areas it had previously avoided, and the one that stood out was the Arab world.
“We were starting to face criticism, and on top of that, President Assad gave us a tender offer we couldn’t refuse,” said Michael Ulrich, director of Maryland’s Education Abroad department, speaking from his brand new Audi R8 GT Spyder.