A Refreshing View to the Middle East Past Review

By (Systematic Biology/Biological Systematics, Gettysburg College) - abroad from 09/01/2014 to 12/14/2014 with

SIT Study Abroad: Jordan - Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Studying abroad in Jordan was by far the best time of my life! I learned more about the Jordanian healthcare system than I think I know about the US Healthcare system. By far, the best part of this program are the various field visits you attend, ranging from public hospitals and refugee health clinics to the Ministry of Health and medical schools. Being able to talk to individuals from such varied backgrounds really allows you to have a multifaceted perspective toward public health in Jordan (and the middle east in general) as well as understanding the bigger picture in the country's handling of multiple refugee influxes. Along with the program's education, the host family component was fantastic! Living with a host family, I was able to experience traditional palestinian/jordanian culture through the food, family, and various parties and weddings I was able to attend. Outside of living space, Jordan has a plethora of travel destinations, ranging from Petra and the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and Jerash. Fantastic experience for anyone who dares to experience a culture different from their own!

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.

The varied field visits and academic work complemented each other and allowed one to better understand the Jordanian Healthcare System. You will never be bored through this program and Dr. Bayan is by far the best program director you will ever have!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Program Administration does its absolute best in providing you the necessary help you need.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family and it was the best experience of the entire trip! Getting to know local Jordanians through your host family is one of the best ways to understanding the culture and gaining new perspectives. Learn to be open-minded and socially outgoing (ie never say no when your family is going somewhere) to make it easier to transition with your host family.

* Food:

Jordanian food is delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being able to have a broad perspective going to the Middle East is a must. Things may not run as smoothly as the States, but if you understand this in the beginning and "go with the flow" at times, you will definitely enjoy your experience more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any serious healthcare issues during my time abroad.

* Safety:

Overall, Amman is a very safe place, there are people everywhere so you really don't feel alone at any time. Like anywhere though always be on the lookout for 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)

This program provides a great stipend, so you rarely if ever have to spend your own money!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 40 JD
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to buddy up with taxis, as that will be your biggest expense (although taxis in Jordan are inexpensive compared to the States).


* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took two years of Arabic prior to departure
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? Make sure you specify to your program director that you want a family that speaks minimal English, that way you are forced to practice the language at home.

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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Field Visits
  • Meeting Local People
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • More credit hours of Arabic
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Download Viber and Whatsapp before coming to Jordan so you can use it on your iphone!

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.