Building and Rebuilding My Confidence in Arabic Past Review

By (Boston College) - abroad from 06/12/2014 to 07/11/2014 with

AMIDEAST: Amman - Intensive Arabic, Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained real use of the language and found myself able to communicate with locals on the street better than I could have ever imagined prior. I was so happy finally be able to really use Arabic.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

more challenging than any other program I've done (I did worse on assessments than ever before) but the structure and resources of the program were well organized

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was amazing and I appreciated being placed with another international student. Having a roommate was good for processing the experience.

* 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:

Just be smart and alert. I never felt truly unsafe while I was in Amman.

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? Averaged out, ~$100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Buy mass-produced souvenirs (scarves, figurines, etc) downtown and haggle for a low price. Such things will be sold at tourist destinations but there way too expensive. Also, get recommendations for restaurants or snack shops from locals.


* 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

The program was encouraging but not really at all outside of the classroom.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
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? Advanced
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? find news in Arabic online and listen to it, while you get ready in the morning, etc. Your ear really has to adjust once you're in country.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Being able to explore the city and country
  • Meeting other enthusiastic Arabic students
  • My host family arrangement
* What could be improved?
  • the amount of time committed to work - I would have appreciated assignments that got us to explore the city and use the language.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's okay to let go of the academics a little. I personally was not getting credit for any of the program so I wish I had been more moderate from the start. I had a lot of anxiety about grades when I really should have been trying to enjoy and explore everything around me as much as possible.

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.'