SIT in Amman Made Me Realize I Want To Work In the Middle East Past Review

By (Global Studies, Providence College) for

SIT Study Abroad: Jordan - Modernization and Social Change

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes it was extremely worthwhile, I would recommend people do a yearlong study abroad, of two programs and different places. Take advantage of study abroad while you are a student, because you won't be able to travel like this again. I plan on returning to Jordan after I graduate to perform research on Food Security and Water.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I could typically go to my academic director about any problems I was having with my host family etc, but one problem was never resolved in that my family did not understand my food needs and therefore I was forced to buy a lot of my own food with my own money.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I brought my own towel. My host family gave me privacy, which I appreciated and freedom (I did not have a curfew, nor was I required to call them every couple hours about my whereabouts like so many of the other girls in my program). I took a taxi to school everyday, which was about two dollars. The neighborhood was pretty safe, but not safe enough to walk around alone anytime after 6:00PM, unless you want to get whistled at.

* Food:

I do not eat beef or bread, and my family did not understand this. Their diets consisted of take-out like Burger King and McDonalds, which I cannot eat, so I was required to provide all of my own meals. Even when my academic director talked to them multiple times, they did not change. Maybe they just couldn't understand, or were too busy, or were under financial burden?

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Just because SIT is a small program, well mine was a large program, about 26 students, we all had a chance to bond on the trips. I really enjoyed the yacht ride and snorkeling in Aqaba, swimming in the Dead Sea, exploring Petra on our own, the jeep tour of Wadi Rum and swimming at the ex-pat beach in Oman. And there are so many more, of course all of the dinners too.

* 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? If you have any dietary needs that are not in accordance to the country's culture, they will not understand so you will have to provide for yourself. Also if you like to drink it is really expensive to drink in Arab countries because there is such a small consumer base.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I practiced language with my peers, my host family and in daily interactions. I was required to speak Arabic everyday in taxis, with my family and at restaurants. I wouldn't say most people spoke English, if you didn't know any Arabic I think you would find it very difficult to get around the city.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* 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? Do not study abroad in Oman. Talk to students who have done the program before and ask them even the most specific questions. If you care about skyping, some Arab countries have skype banned, which means you wouldn't be able to call people from home a lot, which was important to me because my boyfriend lives at home. Go out of your comfort zone, no matter how crazy it may seem, because it really isn't. Everyone you are doing the program with is coming from the same background so if you are nervous about making friends or having fun, don't be, if you choose a country and program theme you are sure to find common interests with the people in your program.