Jordan offers a safe haven in the Middle East, a region often plagued by conflicts. Nestled in along the Red Sea, the country offers a marvelous combination of awe-inspiring desert landscapes, beaches, and historical sites. Renowned for its political stability and strict law enforcement, Jordan offers a great location for language study abroad in the Middle East, without compromising security. Language students will find the country’s tradition of hospitality a very comforting aspect of language study in Jordan. Experiencing the country's distinct culture will be equally intriguing.
Language students can easily find a location that best suits their personal preferences in Jordan, a country that has it all, with its incredible mixture of culture and history.
Amman. The capital of Jordan, Amman is both distinctively ancient and modern. The remnants of great ancient civilizations blend beautifully with innovative new structures. The city was known as the Rabbath-Ammon in the Old Testament, was conquered by Egypt’s King Ptolemy II Philadelphus, came under Seleucid and Nabataean rule, was annexed as part of the Roman province of Arabia, and became the seat of a Christian Bishop during the Byzantine period. This rich history resulted in spectacular Roman ruins, grand Byzantine structures, colorful ancient souks, numerous cultural monuments and museums, and many other ancient wonders. The hilly city of Amman is experiencing massive growth in recent years, and is one of the most popular locations for multinational corporations in Jordan, ranking similarly to Dubai and Doha.
Aqaba. The only port city in Jordan, Aqaba offers a wonderful fusion of city life, history, and nature. Home to the nation’s mega projects, the city remains an important commercial and industrial centre, owing its success to its strategic location. Boasting monuments that signal a history that touches the Iron Age, Edomites, Nabateans, Romans, Byzantines, and Muslims, its long history as a trading port is manifested in the warmth locals extend to visitors. Running along the Red Sea, Aqaba offers language students the chance to swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive on their free time.
Madaba is an easy-going, tolerant small town known for its Umayyad and Byzantine mosaics. The “Madaba Map", a 6th century mosaic that depicts Jerusalem and several parts of the Holy Land, offers testament to the town’s history. One-third of the population in Madaba is Christian and the rest is Muslim. The town has a long tradition of religious tolerance, which is especially evident on Fridays, when the carillon bells call out loudly to the Christians while the imam bid the Muslims to say their morning prayers. Madaba is a market town, so it is easy and fun to explore on foot, with lively shops that bespeak a typical King’s Highway town.
Language Programs in Jordan
The official language of more than 20 countries and the native language of more than 300 million speakers, Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world. With a high demand but low supply of speakers of the language in the Western world, Arabic language skills will prove to be highly valuable in any career. With Arabic-speaking nations rapidly growing as important markets for trade, extensive Arabic language skills will prove to be very lucrative. Arabic language programs in Jordan will provide students with the additional benefits of experiencing the rich Arabic culture in a safe area of the Middle East.
There are a plethora of Arabic language schools in Jordan. Some offer language programs on university campuses, providing language students with access to all of the institution’s amenities. Many other language schools have the necessary accreditation to work in partnership with colleges and universities, in order to provide transferable academic credits for students. So whether taking courses at a university or a language school in Jordan, it is possible to earn credits.
Most of language programs in Jordan welcome students of all fluency levels, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and focus on the four key language skills: listening, speaking, grammar, and reading comprehension.
Intensive Language Classes. Students who have already have some experience in the Arabic language can participate in intensive language programs in Jordan. These programs offer a combination of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and colloquial Jordanian Arabic, and are taught by experienced native speakers of the language. Intensive language programs in Jordan also typically integrate immersive activities that provide plenty of opportunities for students to practice their language skills in real-life settings, often including excursions and homestays.
Private Language Lessons. Students who would like to take on language study in Jordan at their own pace can opt for private language courses. This option will let students arrange multiple lessons based on their own needs and schedule. Private lessons are ideal for beginners who may be grappling with language learning, or those interested in highly specialized language courses. Languaeg learners may take language lessons in Jordan that focus on media-related Arabic, Arabic for business, Classic Arabic, and many more variations.
Customized Classes. University students, professional groups, and individuals will find that many language programs in Jordan can be customized to match their specific needs. In customized classes, students will work with providers who take academic requirements, group information and skills, and other such specifications into account, in order to design a customized program based on their needs and goals. Immersive components can also be integrated into these language programs to add to the experience.
Costs & Affordability
Compared to other Arab states, the cost of living is Jordan is relatively low. The prices of groceries are reasonable, especially if you shop for local brands. The cost of public transport is very reasonable compared to that of Western countries. Rental costs for accommodations and housing are also fairly low. You will find many shopping malls in Madaba, with shops that are similar to what you may find in the U.S. or Europe, alongside traditional local stores. Language students will be most pleasantly surprised to find unique shopping experiences in the less commercialized areas of Jordanian cities, where complimentary coffee or tea is usually offered to customers while shopping. Language students will likely come to love the extra social component it provides.
Accommodation & Visas
Most language programs in Jordan include hotel accommodation in packaged program fees. Language students often stay in private rooms in high-end hotels, but there are also usually other housing options, like guest houses and apartments. Regardless of the specific housing arrangement, most options will be located near each language school in Jordan. Homestays with a local family or apartments with a Jordanian roommate are also offered.
Citizens from Yemen, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Japan, Hong Kong, Egypt, and Bahrain do not need a visa to enter Jordan. Citizens from other countries will need to obtain a visa upon arrival in Jordan. Visas are available (for a fee) at almost all land border crossings and international ports of entry (i.e. international airports).
Benefits & Challenges
The Local People. Jordan has the highest literacy rate of the developing world. Many locals speak English. Jordanians are known for their friendliness, helpfulness, and generosity.
Society. Jordan is one of the easier destinations to learn Arabic abroad. Strict law enforcement and decades of political stability has made the country one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of security. The country is known for its high standard of living, ranking high in polls regarding governmental, health, and education policies. Infrastructure and amenities in the country are fast improving, but you cannot always expect the same Western standards.
Bad Habits. Traffic in the cities can get annoying, and littering in public places can be rampant. Smoking cigarettes and shishas is also very common, and is even socially encouraged. People smoke cigarettes indoors frequently.
Costs. Local products are generally affordable, though services may not always be provided in the most efficient way.
Religion. Jordan is primarily a Muslim country. Muslim women often keep their hair, legs, and arms covered, but Western women do not have to follow these local customs if they so choose. However, any language student, whether man or woman, is advised to dress conservatively out of respect for the local culture. Shorts are rarely worn by people from both genders. One-piece swimsuits are the more acceptable swimming attire, but two-piece swimsuits are generally still acceptable in hotel pools.