Catered to white men-if that's not you, rethink doing this program August 12, 2019

By (Kenyon College) - abroad from 01/19/2019 to 05/17/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Amman

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My Arabic improved significantly but I find it impossible to say it was worthwhile being that my time dealing with the administration and the general society severely affected my sense of humanity and mental health.

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?

I arranged my own housing.

* Food:

I cooked my own food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Not relevant to my time abroad.

* Safety:

Men will be forward and vulgar towards foreign women. This is exacerbated if you are a women of color.

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

The program encouraged and facilitated racism within the classroom and out, as well as there being a general culture of sexism and disinterest in the issues faced by women, and students of color. The administrators showed clear disregard for the women and whatever issues of safety arose, while they forced students of color to bear the entirety of the burden of educating them. Of course, this only occurred when they decided to actually listen to the students as, the majority of the time, the students of color were told that they were overreacting to the threats and slurs they faced.

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)

The program had many hidden costs that were not clearly explained forcing students to make difficult choices or face financial repercussions from the administration.

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

They encouraged the use of the language going so far as to suggest we limit interactions with friends and family members who did not speak said language. The result was often a feeling of guilt and isolation in a new environment.

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
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The freedom
* What could be improved?
  • Respect for students
  • Training of teachers
  • Transparency about finances
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that remaining in close contact with friends and family is not a failure though they may not speak Arabic. Language acquisition is not more important than human connection, no matter how the program presents it.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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.