10 for language, 3 for everything else August 25, 2019

By (Tufts University) - abroad from 01/17/2019 to 05/20/2019 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury In Amman

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I got a lot better at Arabic. I learned a lot about Middle Eastern politics.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site program administration was woefully tone deaf when it came to student concerns about sexism, racism, antisemitism, and general mental health concerns. They had a singular focus on making sure we stuck to a language pledge and had "good relationships" with our Jordanian mentors, even when these mentors spoke in outwardly biased ways towards Middlebury students.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* 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 remains the best program for deep and immersive language learning. However, the program requires some serious structural changes in order to be a viable option for students with mental health concerns or who belong to racial, gender, and religious minorities.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Factor taxis into your budget or request to live near to the university.

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

Middlebury had an almost singular focus on 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
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Classes
  • Host family
  • Dedication to learning
* What could be improved?
  • Structural support
  • Jordan team behavior
  • Subsidizing transport and other activities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I was glad I knew that Jordan is not the best experience if someone is looking to explore a whole country, participate in night life, or make local friends (especially as a woman). Amman is a sprawling city with very poor transit infrastructure, alcohol is taxed at 200%, and many Jordanian women have curfews around sundown, which means that the streets are mostly full of men at night. However, this dearth of other things to do does mean that students have more of a focus on studying.

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!