Finding a second home in Amman January 31, 2018

By (Knox College) - abroad from 08/28/2017 to 12/22/2017 with

AMIDEAST: Amman - Area & Arabic Language Studies

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained the ability to communicate without using language and a mindset to travel more. I am so grateful for the opportunity to study in Amman.

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? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teachers (arabic and content courses) were demanding and had expectations tailored to each student, which was assisted by a small class size. They were also very caring and eager to help every student however they could, and it was not unusual for teachers to take students into their own home.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was very caring and eager to accommodate any needs the students had. They were accessible and very present throughout the program. However, the safety regulations imposed by the institution seemed excessive and at times unnecessary and had a surprising impact on my study abroad experience.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host families are wonderful and are very generous to welcome American students into their homes.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The frisbee team is amazing! It made me feel at home and I made many friends outside of my program.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any medical concerns.

* Safety:

Jordan is a modern city that is safe and has a functioning military and police force. Acts of terror are random and unpredictable, and not specific to the Middle East or any individual country. There were many people concerned for my safety and well-being and I always felt taken care of.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would choose the Middlebury program because there is better integration with Jordanian society and students are more encouraged to speak Arabic.

Finances

* 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)

As any city, it depends on your lifestyle. Personally, I worked hard to have a comfortable amount of spending money ($3,000) and this allowed me to go out to eat about twice a week (not including falafel and shwarma which are much cheaper dining options) and pay for two trips (one a day trip and one four day trip to Jerusalem), daily taxis, and souvenirs.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? JOD 100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The more willing you are to integrate into Jordanian society, the cheaper it will be. It is much more expensive to go to American restaurants that sell burgers, bacon, burritos, etc. than it is to go to restaurants where the menu is all in arabic.

Language

* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Be friendly and always strike up conversations with Arabic-speakers.

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?
  • Teachers
  • My Arabic class
  • Small program size
* What could be improved?
  • The safety regulations are excessive and students could be given more freedom.
  • Students only take classes with other Americans.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I know that anywhere I go I can love if I open my heart to 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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'