Stressful but worth it January 22, 2019

By (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey) - abroad from 09/03/2018 to 12/20/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Amman

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more understanding of Jordanian/Middle Eastern culture and met a variety of people - some who surprised me through their open mindedness and others who interested me due to their lack of it. My language abilities increased and my subject matter courses were excellent. I made connections that may help my career in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

n/a - I had my own apartment and the school was not responsible for my housing conditions

* Food:

n/a - the program was not responsible for my food

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The program coordinator helped get me to the hospital when I needed it, and provided information on the hospital to take my son to and how to apply for insurance reimbursement.

* Safety:

Women traveling to Jordan need to realize they will have to relate to men differently than they do in the USA (read: ignore them for the most part except in official academic situations, while engaging in economic transactions, or with trusted friends). They may also receive more unwanted attention than usual. But, this generally does not constitute actual danger.

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

As a 30 year old graduate student at an advanced level of language proficiency, this program was not designed for me nor was it a perfect fit. It was the most ready option available to me and I do not regret doing it: I think I benefited greatly. It's hard to answer this question because another program would have been available to me only if I had applied to it well in advance and been accepted through a rigorous and competitive process and been awarded funding. In other words, this was the only program that was definitely available to me in my current academic situation. I'm glad I did it but I think applying for a Fulbright and/or the CASA program might have been more appropriate, though I would not have been guaranteed admission or funding by any means.

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)

In my case, my family came with me. I had borrowed an extra $2000 from other sources but I still was unable to pay off my credit card, which I had used to pay for our flights. However, this doesn't necessarily reflect other students experiences who came on their own.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? not sure
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Taking taxis in Jordan is a lot less expensive than taking taxis in the USA, but if you use them a lot you will end up paying a lot for transportation. This is unavoidable unless you want to spend a lot of time on public transportation.

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? 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? subject courses
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? avoid use of native language. try to relax to the greatest extent possible and listen to native speakers around you at every opportunity.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Other
* 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?
  • language pledge
  • modern Arabic literature course
  • Jordanian friends I made and program mentors
* What could be improved?
  • classes with Jordanians
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? how short a semester is!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!