I Highly Recommend SIT Jordan Past Review

By (Middle Eastern Studies, Linguistics, Wellesley College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Jordan - Modernization and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned more than I can summarize in all the conversations I've had since, let alone a single paragraph in an evaluation. It's made all the difference in my career trajectory; how people view my expertise in my area of focus (Middle Eastern Studies); and my perspective on me, my life, and the current events of the Middle East.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Although the grading system was easy and my Modern Standard Arabic class was an independent study, I felt that I learned a lot on the program. The workload was definitely manageable. The most informative part was the Modernization and Social Change seminar, because we got to hear from well known and well established people in Jordanian society who gave highly informative presentations.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators of the program work so hard and take such good care of the students, I could not have felt like I was in better hands. On every account, they were helpful and supportive, and that's all I could ask.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I love my host family. They treated me as a member of the family, taking me on day trips and evening visits, to family events and at all meals, though they also respected me if I didn't want to go sometimes. I was fully taken care of for food (which was delicious), I loved my neighbors and neighborhood, and also really liked that I lived near other students from my program.

* Food:

I didn't bring up to my host family that I keep kosher because I thought it would be too much of an imposition (though they did know that I'm Jewish). The quality and quantity of food was great. I'd advise students to be frugal when spending on food, it's very possible to get good food for not much money.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The week-long trip to Egypt was great. I also loved my Bedouin homestay family, and actually went back and visited them two times more after the initial requisite visit.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I never had any problems with health or safety that I couldn't take care of with medicine from home or my host mother.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I don't remember exactly, but I think about sixty Jordanian dinar (about $80), mostly on lunch, taxis to and from class, and going out after class or in the evening. However, the program provided a weekly stipend, so I spent very little of my own money.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Avoid the intensely Western areas if you can, they're much more expensive.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Advanced Arabic Level 4
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

My colloquial Arabic went from nothing to fully functional in everyday life, because of the combination of my colloquial Arabic class and using it almost all the time with my family and friends outside the program. The only reason I don't give the program 5/5 is that there was no Modern Standard Arabic class advanced enough for me and another student, so we had to do independent study. To her credit, the language coordinator checked in with us biweekly and we had biweekly tutoring sessions with a professor or a teaching assistant, but I would have learned more if I'd had a class.

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

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You'll do best on the program if you branch out into Jordanian society, but make sure you know what you're doing so that you do so in a culturally acceptable way. Also, draw on the expertise of the administrators and the support and opportunities offered by your family, those will be your best bets for a good experience.