A Rewarding and Unforgettable Experience Past Review

By (Public Health, University of Massachusetts Amherst / UMass) - abroad from 01/25/2015 to 05/09/2015 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The Health and Community Development program at SIT offered everything I was looking for in a study abroad experience: a coursework focused on public health issues, a hands-on learning approach, complete cultural immersion, lifelong friendships, and the opportunity to learn a new language in its native environment. I was able to meet with and learn from some of the best professors and health professionals in Jordan, and see the realities of the Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps throughout the country. The ISP (Independent Student Project) was the most rewarding experience of the program in that it built my confidence in research and developed my analytical and communication skills. Because of my time abroad with SIT, I am ready to take on more international study and work opportunities in the near future. Thank you, SIT JOH, for the great program and memories I will never forget!

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 coursework challenging, but rewarding. Classes usually featured guest-lecturers from Jordanian universities, NGOs, and directors from the department of Public Health. If we were not in the classroom, we were off on field-visits, visiting hospitals, clinics, refugee camps, and health departments throughout Jordan.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At SIT, the homestay experience is one the most important and rewarding aspects of the program. The staff at SIT made our transition into our host family homes smooth and comfortable. The goal of the homestay living arrangement was to ensure that students gained a complete Jordanian cultural experience while practicing Arabic, and I believe this goal was very well achieved.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

You won't have any problem finding medicine in Jordan. Most antibiotics and other over the counter drugs are available without a doctor's prescription. All the pharmacists speak english.

* Safety:

Overall, Amman is a very safe city. Over the duration of 4 months, I never found myself in a situation in which I felt in danger. After becoming familiar with my surroundings, I felt completely comfortable and safe traveling in cabs and walking alone in the vicinity of SIT and my homestay arrangement.

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 did not need to spend additional money on food or transportation outside the weekly stipend provided


* 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? None
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? none
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? Practice with your host-family and locals.

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?
  • Field Visits to refugee camps, hospitals, NGOs
  • Excursions throughout Jordan and to Turkey
  • Homestay experience
* What could be improved?
  • Make Arabic class more fast-paced
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Amman can get very cold during the winter months and early spring, and even snow.