Great experience with Middlebury program in Amman January 02, 2019

By (Middlebury College) - abroad from 01/26/2019 to 05/24/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Amman

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Extremely worthwhile. I learned a lot.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was great. The semester was full of fun, educational, and rewarding activities that helped us learn about and be involved with the local culture. The administration was supportive and we knew we could always rely on them should any questions or problems arise.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was excellent, they were extremely kind and helpful to me. I want to go back to Jordan just to visit them!

* Food:

Lots of delicious food everywhere we went.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

One can only ever feel so integrated in a culture that is so different from that of the US. It would be weird and frankly presumptuous if I felt too integrated. I will say that I learned a lot and felt like a welcome guest throughout my stay in Jordan.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

Middlebury gave excellent support and was very helpful with the language pledge. I learned a lot of Arabic and had an excelllentvexperience with their help.

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)

Because I lived with a host family, my housing and food expenses were pretty much taken care of. Transportation to and from school was my only daily cost, with a taxi ride to and from school typically costing 1.5-2 dinars (about 2.25-3 dollars). A bus ride was only half a dinar (about 75 cents), but you don't always have time to catch a bus. All other costs were personal luxuries, like buying special food my host family didn't buy, going out with my friends, and a monthly gym subscription.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About 50 dinars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't drink all that often. Alcohol is extremely expensive in Jordan. Take buses when you can, cause taxi and Uber fares can add up. Don't let taxi drivers rip you off either, but also be aware that they are very poor and it never hurts to give them a little extra as a tip. Get recommendations from locals, cause if you end up in a tourist trap, it will suck out a lot of your money.

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

The Middlebury program has a language pledge, meaning you're not supposed to speak English at any time for any reason except an emergency. The program was very strict about this.

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? 400 level.
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? Just go out and talk to people. If they try to speak to you in English, speak back to them in Arabic. Some people will be mildly offended, thinking that you're insulting their English skills, but if you explain to them that you're trying to learn Arabic and you want to practice, they will understand. Keep a notebook of all the new words you've learned from everyday life. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Locals will be happy to help you.

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?
  • Activities
  • Resident coordinators
  • Language pledge
* What could be improved?
  • Different elective courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I'd known how kind and welcoming everyone would be so that I would have been less nervous.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Refugee and Migration Studies

Course Department:
Instructor: Peter Stavros
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: Peter is extremely knowledgeable about refugee and migration issues, it is his job after all. And he did a very good job of organizing the class and making sure we understood the basic fundamentals of refugee law, despite the difficulty of understanding legal terminology in Arabic.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Middle Eastern Economies

Course Department:
Instructor: Nour al-Moghrabi
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments: I found the class very boring and I failed to learn much of anything in it. However, that may be because of my lack of interest in economics in general. I wish I'd had the choice not to take this class.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Jordanian colloquial Arabic

Course Department:
Instructor: Nadia al-Assaf
Instruction Language:
Comments: Nadia was amazing. I learned so much about Jordanian culture and how to communicate with Jordanians in this class. It was by far the most important class for my abroad experience.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Modern Standard Arabic

Course Department:
Instructor: Salwa Mubaidin
Instruction Language: Arabic
Comments:
Credit Transfer Issues: