Ahlan wa sahlan to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan! Fortify your Arabic language skills with the AMIDEAST Education Abroad program in Amman! Students have the option of taking a rigorous Modern Standard Arabic course and a diverse set of area studies courses. Participants will also hone their skills in the required Jordanian colloquial Arabic course. Organized excursions span exciting locations from the ancient city of Petra to the northern sites of Jerash and Ajloun. Yalla!
Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Amman carry a 14 to17 credit hour course load per semester. All students enroll in Arabic and two or three other courses from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines taught in English. In addition to academics, our students benefit from an on-site orientation, opportunity to live with a Jordanian family, structured ways to meet local students, and organized excursions to exciting locations around Jordan. AMIDEAST prioritizes the high quality instruction of both recommended Modern Standard Arabic and required Jordanian colloquial Arabic courses to beginning through advanced learners of Arabic.
Comprehensive in-country orientation
Structured activities to meet local students and engage in language exchange
Service-learning course option with placement in a local Jordanian organization
Course selections in political science, religion, and sociology
Students benefit from small class sizes and instruction by highly skilled professors from the Qasid Institute and other institutions.
While I didn't actually spend 1001 nights in Jordan, if given the option, I would have stayed in an instant. Jordan is a truly amazing place to study, and an amazing place to live. Jordanians value hospitality greatly, and it shows. The AMIDEAST program did an amazing job holding up these standards, with a week long orientation and as much help as we needed along the way. While AMIDEAST did a great job of preparing us for life in Amman, it seemed like the city has its own way of welcoming you. I had days where shopkeepers would offer us tea, our host families would stay up until they knew we were safe, and taxi drivers would offer to buy a coffee for the ride. The people are some of the nicest I've met, and they have no problems helping you out if you're lost. The program managers were especially helpful, whether we were having issue with our host families or just looking for a new cafe to try. Not to mention, AMIDEAST has been in the region for a long time, so they know how to deal with almost everything. So even if you do end up having some kind of issue, they've probably seen it before.
When you study abroad, you bring something from the host culture back home with you. While I brought scarves and tiny camels home, I also brought the experience of 120 Jordanian nights. Although experience is untranslatable into an answer for the age old question, "How was Jordan?", I have tried to bring my little piece of Jordan to America through how I act. After all, I can't really return the favor to AMIDEAST, but I can do what I can to make the world a little more hospitable.
The language pairing system and excursions. All students were paired with 2 Egyptian local students interested in expanding their knowledge about American culture and increasing their English levels. They were instant friends and contacts and served as the perfect liaisons between our differing cultures and to ease in the transition of being in a new location. I continue to message and interact with them on a near daily basis and have been the perfect example of lifelong friends. They accompanied us on our excursions to historical sites and their input on culture, language, immersion, and daily life were invaluable.
Word of mouth and personal references for the program carry a lot of weight - I listened to those who urged me to attend the program from both the American and Egyptian perspectives and was not disappointed in the least.
I chose Amideast Jordan because I wanted the challenge of immersing myself in an entirely new culture, language and identity. I didn't want to do something typical. Long interested in the Middle East, I thought Jordan was the perfect balance of Arab, Islam, Christianity, modernity and antiquity. I could not have been more correct. Although the challenges I faced were many.
My most memorable study abroad experience was the immersion. Living in Jordan was challenging, but not for the reasons I anticipated. King Hussein once said, "Jordan has a strange, haunting beauty and a sense of timelessness. Dotted with the ruins of empires once great, it is the last resort of yesterday in the world of tomorrow. I love every inch of it." Having traveled from Irbid to Aqaba, I could not agree more.
I fell in love with Jordan because of the opportunities this program presented. I made great American and Jordanian friends, explored the majority of the country, and improved 2 levels in Arabic. The countless cultural activities, endless staff support, and internship opportunities helped me to experience Jordan on a more personal level.
I was constantly challenged and excited by my courses in this program. The Arabic was rigorous and the Colloquial class allowed me to communicate on every day topics. My Community-Based Learning course was my favorite because I got to intern with a Women's organization in Jordan, and experience the women's rights movement in Jordan first hand. My content courses were Middle East Studies oriented and fit perfectly into my major.
I chose the Shared Apartment option and loved it. The rooms were clean, spacious, and very close to AMIDEAST facilities and large grocery stores. I stayed through the summer and switched to a host family and loved this option as well.
We had bi-weekly cultural activities, such as discussions with Jordanian students, dabkeh dancing lessons, or Jordanian cooking lessons. Additionally the many excursions we went on exposed us to Jordan outside of Amman.
The staff was always attentive and helpful with any issue. They became close friends by the end of the program.
Health and Safety:
I felt very safe in Jordan. As in much of the world, harassment can be an issue at times, but I was able to ignore it and it never escalated beyond catcalls. However the program orientation prepared girls extremely well for living in Jordan and dealing with harassment when it occurs.