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Center for Afghanistan Studies

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Center for Afghanistan Studies

Immersion Seminars

More than 600 civilian and military personnel planning to work in Afghanistan have come to UNO for Immersion Seminars. Participants rapidly develop basic language skills, cultural awareness, and a historical understanding of modern Afghanistan. Morning sessions focus on politics, ethnic relations, gender issues, terrorism, and a variety of other topics. Afternoons are devoted to developing practical communication skills in Pashto and Dari, or Afghan Persian. Some evenings feature cultural exchanges with Omaha's Afghan community. The three-week experience prepares both civilian and military personnel for making their time in country more productive.

Immersion brocshure


For information on upcoming immersion seminars or to arrange a custom-designed seminar specifically for your team, contact:

Sher Jan Ahmadzai
Education & Outreach Specialist

Download the Immersion Seminar brochure (.pdf)

Essential understanding

Afghanistan is a vastly diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and complex tribal and ethnic relationships. The region is – and always has been – geostrategically important to the world’s major powers. American and other international service personnel can better help Afghans if they more fully understand the country in a broader context. Knowing that this context is essential, professionals from the U.S. intelligence community, the Foreign Service, non-governmental organizations, and all branches of the U.S. military have attended immersion seminars at UNO. They have departed for Afghanistan with a better understanding of the country and its people, and with more confidence in their ability to communicate with Afghan partners.

Depth of experience

The Center’s team members have deep roots in Afghanistan. Many were born and raised there, later working and raising families amid history-making events. Others have spent nearly their entire professional lives studying the country’s culture and geography, visiting its cities and villages, and working with Afghans. All are deeply committed to preserving Afghanistan’s heritage and developing its economy and civil society.

Seminar topics and activities

Immersion Seminars rapidly cover all aspects of Afghan culture and include activities that allow participants to practice their new communication skills:

  • Globalization on the Silk Road – Conquests, Commerce, Ideas, Language, and Culture
  • Dari and Pashto Language Instruction
  • Language Lab Practice
  • Religious Factors in Afghanistan
  • Women of Afghanistan and Afghan Culture
  • Afghanistan: How Has it Been Ruled?
  • The Politics and Perils of the Globalization of Extremist Religion
  • Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Pashtoons
  • Language and Cross-Cultural Experiences
  • Research in the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at UNO’s Criss Library
  • Afghanistan History and Culture, 20th Century
  • Medicine in Afghanistan
  • Geology of Afghanistan
  • Introduction to Geospatial Solutions
  • Afghanistan’s Past and Present
  • The Afghan Army and its Evolving Structure
  • Food and Culture Night with Afghan Families