An extraordinary inter-cultural adventure. Past Review

By (History, Oberlin College) - abroad from 01/16/2015 to 05/14/2015 with

AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned that looking at other cultures as either completely different or completely similar is a simplification. I learned the nuances of Arabic culture. Arabs have traditions and customs that differ from those found in the U.S., but youth also have similar hobbies and tastes. I appreciated the chance to improve my language skills and go on some amazing excursions. I believe that I became more independent through my time abroad. The experience was definitely worthwhile.

Review Photos

AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies Photo AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in an apartment with a loud, younger host sister and two other host siblings and mother took some getting used to, but I gradually appreciated my living arrangements. My host mother mostly spoke English to me, which could be frustrating. I valued having a fellow AMIDEAST roommate staying with me.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you live with a host family and your parents don't make you lunch, use leftovers for your lunches.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? ARBC 301: Private Reading
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? If you live with a host family, speak to them in the target language! Also take advantage of language partners if your program offers them. Occasionally speak to your fellow program participants in the target language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Improving Arabic language skills
  • Trips inside and outside of Jordan
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Academic expertise of certain professors
  • Enforcement of Target Language Commitment days
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Your host family won't necessarily speak to you in Arabic. You need to insist that they speak to you in the language. Don't be afraid to argue with taxi drivers if they don't give you back enough change.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Community Based Learning

Course Department: Middle East North Africa
Instructor: Rana Azzoubi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: As part of this class, I volunteered as a teaching assistant at the Bishop's School for Boys in Amman. I really enjoyed helping middle school students study English, Social Studies, and Music. The cross-cultural experiences that I gained through my placement were very valuable. However, the class that corresponded to the placement was underwhelming. The instructor, Rana Azzoubi, does not have an academic background, and the themes of inter-cultural learning were not taught and discussed in a way that related directly to the work that I was doing at the Bishop's School. However, I want to reiterate that I very much enjoyed my placement at the school.
Credit Transfer Issues: Credit is in the process of being transferred. I hope to see it on my Oberlin transcript soon.