An incredible, almost indescribable experience (not that I won't stop trying!) Past Review

By (Cornell College) - abroad from 08/19/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
So much...I don't even know where to begin. Mostly, I saw a lot of self-growth in my confidence and knowledge of myself, which, of course, makes the program very worthwhile.

Review Photos

AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies Photo 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? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The Arabic classes were really well done - the professors knew what they were teaching and were always available if we needed assistance on any topic. The content courses gave us many options to narrow in on an area of interest, however, I did not always feel like I was challenged because of the large class size and lack of connection between my classmates and my professor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very knowledgeable about the program and the country, but there often were times when information was given to the students last-minute, and it took awhile to feel like I could approach them when i had an issue.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my host family - they allowed me to get an inside glimpse of family life in Jordan, and were so welcoming and helpful in guiding me along my semester.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Among my host family, I felt very comfortable and able to "fit in" to their daily routine. As far as outside my family, due to my language barrier I struggled to feel like anything more than a foreigner most of the time, and would have liked to better become a part of the culture rather than simply being an observer.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

My only discomfort came at night, as finding a cab to return to my home could sometimes be a bit of a challenge, and as I did not have international data, I could not always call for a ride. Otherwise, though, I felt just as safe as I do in the US.

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

I say yes, but mostly because of the people I met through this program. My host family was easily the best part of my experience, and the main reason I want to return. I found the excursions to be well done, and gave us an excellent intro to the country and its history. My reservations come from the lack of support I found within the program and its disorganization among the program leaders when it came to providing us with dates for visa extensions, program excursions, and planned events.


* 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)

While I had the funds for this program due to having set aside money for it, I was under the impression that I would be receiving a stipend proportional to the distance I lived from the institution - which was not the case. As I was one of the students living further out, my transportation costs were greatly increased, and I was frustrated at seeing my stipend disappear within a week or two while students who lived closer to AMIDEAST were able to extend their stipend into three or four weeks.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $30-40 (US) every week went to transportation, about $30 every other week went to paying for internet access at my host home, and usually I would spend less than $10 a week on food or snacks.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Research internet options before entering the country, so you can find a service that fits your budget, and/or make sure to budget extra for internet cafes. Try to share taxis whenever possible, and walk when able to (and you feel safe doing).


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? No language courses in the country's language
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? Don't be afraid to use your host family for practicing. That's one of the reasons they are there. Also, your language partner can be a great resource, if you can make that work well.

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?
  • The host family
  • excursions
  • Arabic professors
* What could be improved?
  • organization in the program managers
  • better accountability for the language partner program
  • assisting in providing extra resources for continuing the language skills upon return to the US (especially if the home institution doesn't have the language)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How the small stresses of regular life can really blow up when you are in a foreign place, and that there are people you can reach out to, if you need to.

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!