90% of the time I woke up thinking, "I can't wait to live another 'best day of my life' experience!" Past Review

By (Rhetoric and Writing, The University of Texas at Austin) for

SIT Study Abroad: Jordan - Modernization and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Loved it and it changed my life! I want to go back!

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

SIT brought in WONDERFUL speakers and filled our trips with extremely educational events. I was shocked by the speakers--a chief spokesman for the Arab League, a past Jordanian prime minister and others. Also, we were able to live in the Badia for a week. While my language proficiency wasn't increased that much, the amount of knowledge I gained about an extremely complicated region of the world was invaluable.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I wish I would have talked to an Arabic advisor before going abroad.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was the strength of SIT. I loved everyone on my program. The first thing the staff said to us is: "We are a tribe, and, in Jordan, tribes are the key to your survival." With this mindset, I was able to understand Jordanian tribalism a lot more and the program was seen as a family and safe place rather than just a school.

* 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


* 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? Israel is expensive!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I'm bias in this answer as I went to Jordan not knowing Arabic. The program knew this and cushioned me with an English speaking Jordanian family. Others had to use their Arabic everyday all the time, but I only used it with cab drivers and in the markets.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • 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? In order to thrive in Jordan, you must be extremely flexible, understanding and curious. My best friend on the trip was extremely ambitious and extremely culturally curious, but she would let the confusion and many of the Jordanian values bring her down. Yes, it's different and yes, it's chaos half the time, but that's just apart of the experience. The frustrations with unmet expectations are what highlights the difference between Americans and Jordanians; it highlights what they value and what doesn't really matter in their society. That is education in itself.