Difficult, but worth it Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Wellesley College) - abroad from 06/04/2012 to 08/01/2012 with

CET Jordan: Intensive Language

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was worthwhile, I learned a lot about myself and how different cultures interact. I also learned how much I can handle in terms of frustration and culture shock and generally living in a developing country.

Review Photos

CET Academic Programs: Irbid - Intensive Arabic Language & Culture Studies Photo CET Academic Programs: Irbid - Intensive Arabic Language & Culture 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.

The professors were excellent, although the experience was much more immersion -based than structured. I would not say that I learned much more grammar, but the culture and vocabulary and dialect more than made up for that.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Manel and Mazen are excellent facilitators and truly cared about our experience. The only problem was that cultural and linguistic disconnects made it difficult for us to make our needs known. Moreover, I think that the safety structure depends largely on their personal handling of situations rather than an established protocol, which may be enough, but I think that that needs to be Americanized in order to provide the standards of safety American students and parents expect.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

By Jordanian standards, our housing was great. This isn't a program you go into if you expect to be comfortable.

* Food:

It wasn't part of CET's program to provide food, but food was readily and cheaply available in Irbid.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

100 percent integrated, it was awesome

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I would not go if you feel unsafe about a particular health problem without a hospital nearby. The hospital might be great, but in my experience everything was low quality in Irbid. Irbid is also not a place for people who have Social Anxiety, or depression. They do not take mental health seriously in the city at all, though Manel and the professors do.

* Safety:

Irbid is a place to not walk alone as a woman, but that is just because of the conservative culture.

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)

An expensive meal is 4 JD = $6

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $20
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I don't have any money saving tips other than to cook at home, but I have a lifesaving tip: wash your fruits and vegetables in vinegar water to avoid being sick every other day


* 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

only 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? Arabic 202
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? MAKE ARAB FRIENDS not only for the language, but for safety -that is how you avoid being alone in a bad situation. Also, they'll be your friends for life.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
* 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 immersion and culture
  • The professors!
  • How friendly all the local people are
* What could be improved?
  • Safety procedures
  • The location is awful for life but really good for immersion and understanding....
  • Orientation at the beginning
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known to bring a lot of tampons; they don't sell tampons there.