Best semester of my life Past Review

By (International Relations, Rollins College) - abroad from 01/20/2019 to 05/04/2019 with

SIT Study Abroad: Jordan - Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I really cannot summarize what I gained and learned while in Jordan in just a paragraph. What I can say, though, is that I left the country being a different person. The insight I earned on countless topics, the invaluable cultural interactions, the experience of being immersed in such a particular country... It was definitely worthwhile, no words can explain it.

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.

The educational system used by SIT might be somewhat different from what you'll see in your college/university. Instead of having a fixed professor for the seminars, you'll have a speaker for each class session that is an expert on that session's topic, and they range from professors and scholars to politicians. At first this might seem weird or pedagogically incorrect, but it's a very effective system! Also, it might sometimes feel like there's not a lot of academic rigor or not many assignments are being given, but you must consider the intense component of experiential learning that is essential to this program.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration for this program is outstanding. They're an amazing group of people that are always looking out for you, making sure everything's going well and that the program is meeting (or exceeding, as was my case) your expectations. I honestly can't wait to go back to Jordan and visit them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family went above and beyond for me. They were great and really enhanced my experience! Everything was comfortable

* Food:

If you think you're going to lose weight while in Jordan, I'm sorry! The food is hearty and great, although sometimes there can be a little too much chicken and rice. However, there's nothing that can compare to Jordanian falafel, hummus, kunefe, and shawarma. You're in for a treat!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I personally felt fairly integrated with Jordanian culture and society. This was partly due to my great interest in the country and its people, so I made an effort to reach out and become integrated. However, it can be easy to keep your social circle closed to Jordanian society because almost or all students in your group will most likely be Americans. There are some instances where SIT itself gives you the chance of interacting with Jordanians, such as an activity visiting the University of Jordan, but that alone is not enough if you want to truly make Jordanian social connections. Take advantage of your host family and go to events and do things with them, they're your most valuable connection with the country.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There was only one moment in which I had to go to the doctor while in Jordan, and it was due to some pain on my Achilles tendon. The on-site administration was very responsive and took me to a specialist, who promptly sent me to get some x-rays done. After I came back with the results, he indicated some medicines and something to put inside my shoes, and the problem was gone! Everything from the doctor's visit to the x-rays to purchasing the items was super smooth. Besides that, filing the claim with the program's insurance is very easy, and I got the money refunded to my bank account quickly.

* Safety:

I personally felt safe at all times and didn't have any safety-related incidents. Nonetheless, as in any other place, always make sure to go out in groups if it's at night and keep a sharp eye on your surroundings.

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


* 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)

Stipends provided by SIT are very helpful, but Jordan can be an expensive country so budgeting is essential. Also, if you want to work out throughout the semester, getting a gym membership can be a bit costly.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Share taxis, eat at your homestay, and limit the amount of times you go to bars! The bar scene in Amman is great, so you might find yourself going fairly often if you don't keep track.


* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intensive 110
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? Your host family will be more than willing to help you practice the language, so take advantage of that.

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
  • International Students
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?
  • Excursions
  • Social and cultural interactions
  • Host family
* What could be improved?
  • Academic rigor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Your time abroad will fly by, so please please please take advantage of every second. Sounds cliche, but that's what I thought too before realizing that my program was ending in a week and I felt like I had arrived in Jordan the day before.

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.