Wouldn't Change it for the World Past Review

By (International Studies, University of San Francisco) - abroad from 01/22/2020 to 03/16/2020 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?
My experience was definitely worth it because as a Middle Eastern Studies major, my time abroad definitely brought me closer to my studies and allowed me to see a lot of the phenomena I had studied as well as talk to actual Jordanians about a lot of issues.

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 staff at SIT were super understanding and helpful. The topics we covered were at times difficult but there was always space to ask questions and consult with professors.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our staff was very supportive in regards to our homestays and made the necessary accommodations whenever we needed them. There was a real spirit of understanding and empathy whenever we encountered obstacles and they always tried their hardest to find a solution.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My family was very sweet and I was able to connect with them despite linguistic barriers.

* Food:

The. Best. Food. Ever.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Of course, it was difficult to be embedded in the culture considering my Arabic isn't the best but people were so nice and loved to see students trying to interact with the culture and their surroundings which didn't make me feel weird for being a foreigner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any issues with healthcare but given the onset of Corona, our program was very adamant in that we stay home if we felt sick.

* Safety:

Although the Middle East is ridden with stereotypes about it being unsafe, I felt very safe throughout the entirety of my trip. A lot of this is attributed to the fact that we were staying in a very secure area of Jordan and were given training on what to do in sketchy situations.

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

Our staff was just incredible and the excursions, activities, and classes exceeded my expectations.


* 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)

It was very easy to live on a student budget. I had lunch every day for 1 dinar and didn't really need to spend money on anything other than food and periodic outings. Everything was fairly cheap and comparable to American prices.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? about 20 dinar
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to eat at home, both because it'll save you money but nothing beats homemade food. I would usually have dinner and take leftovers to school the next day for lunch.


* 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

I loved our Arabic class but I understand that it was difficult to teach it solely in Arabic. There was a lot of leniency with the use of Arabic. However, we did have a lot of activities that forced us to speak with Jordanians outside the classroom.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Arabic 201
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? Try to speak only in Arabic with your host family. This was my biggest regret because when I did speak Arabic with them, they corrected me on a lot of things which helped me speak Levantine Arabic much better.

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?
  • Classes
  • Excursions
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Homestays
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had pushed myself outside of my comfort zone more and really seized the cultural opportunities around the city. If I had made it a priority to make friends with locals beforehand, I think I would've been more familiar with the city. Oh, and that it was also SUPER cold. And that COVID would send me home early.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.