Fantastic Experience, CET Did Not Have Much to Do With That Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/24/2018 to 05/11/2018 with

CET Jordan: Intensive Language

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much Arabic. Compared to other Jordan programs it seems as though CET really takes the cake in terms of language learning.

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 instructors themselves were incredible. When in class, it was always amazing across the board. However, time spent outside of the class (i.e. 'educational excursions') were utterly useless. Why did I need to sit in a coffeeshop for two hours for no reason during finals week?

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They dealt with things pretty well--unless there were severe problems. Then they would sweep stuff under the rug and hope it went away.For the most pat it went well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There was a fair amount missing/not clean which is ridiculous given the amount we paid at the end of the year for cleaning costs. The apartments were nice though and it was fine.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I do not think it is CET's fault per se, however, Jordanian culture is hard to crack. Living with all Americans does not make it any easier.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was accessible, not through the program though. The local health system is a nightmare to navigate and requires at least some Arabic unless you have a really serious problem. Those that had emergencies had no issue whatsoever. However, I needed to get some routine stuff done and it took absolutely forever. That is a reality of being in Jordan though and does not reflect on CET.

* Safety:

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

CET is fine, however, the amount of handholding that goes on is insane. Most of the 'short trips' were great, but CET would try to plan these little half day excursions that were utter wastes of my time. More optional programing would have been great. The best experiences that I had in Jordan/abroad were had outside of the purview of CET. MY personal travels etc. made the experience, not anything CET contributed. I would recommend students to look for programs that have a homestay as, although I liked the independence of the CET apartments, it was incredibly difficult to break into Jordanian culture as I was almost always surrounded by Americans.

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)

Jordan is super cheap! You can choose to live very cheaply or eat out every night. Even if you do that it will be about as expensive as cooking almost every meal in America! A decent dinner out in Jordan will cost around 4-5 dollars but you can get falafel sandwiches for 50 cents in most parts of the city.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 70

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? 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? Advanced Intermediate Arabic
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? Do not get hung up on the language pledge--everyone needs a break-- but definitely try as hard as you can to only speak Arabic outside your apartment. I.e. no English at the University. Do not worry about it at home though.

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?
  • I learned an immense amount of language
* What could be improved?
  • Better stocking of the apartments (and responsiveness to apartment issues)
  • Less hand-holding
  • More optional excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Living in an apartment 'with a Jordanian' sounds great. What they don't mention is most of these Jordanians you are living with are above the age of 26, directly report to the supervisors of the program, and will not want to hang out with you. Most of them are extensions of the program and are therefore not looking for new American friends or anything like that. Also, living in CET apartments carry a bunch of ridiculous rules that your Jordanian roommates will be happy to tell on you for breaking!

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.'