EXPERIENTIAL: AMIDEAST exposes students to a Jordan most visitors never have the privilege to experience. Students live with local Arabic-speaking families or in apartments with their fellow students in Amman, an ancient city facing many modern challenges. There, students engage in experiential learning every day by haggling for goods in local shops, cooking meals with host families, and frequenting local cafes with Jordanian friends. Students who study with AMIDEAST in Jordan are placed in an environment which allows them to explore the vibrant Jordanian culture which is not easily accessed by foreign visitors.
COMPLEX: From the salty shores of the Dead Sea to the lush Jordan Valley to the stark desert landscape of Wadi Rum, Jordan’s natural beauty is staggering. As students explore this unique landscape, they meet the diversity of people who make up Jordan: Muslims, Christians, Bedouins, Palestinians, as well as refugees from other areas of the region. AMIDEAST students have the distinctive opportunity to study the complex issues which dominate the region such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, contemporary Islamic thought, ethnic and minority relations, Jordan’s experience during the Arab Spring, and much more.
UNIQUE: Jordan, although geographically small, has long been a key player in the international relations of the wider Middle East. Students learn first-hand from leading faculty about the complex dynamics of Jordanian society and the region as a whole. In addition, students are exposed to Jordan’s many advancements in the areas of education, health care, and economic reform. Jordan is a unique location from which to watch the reform and changes that are coming to the region. AMIDEAST students benefit from the unique support offered by dedicated American-educated Jordanian programming staff who know and understand both American culture and their own. As a result of AMIDEAST’s on-site orientation, opportunity to become part of a Jordanian family, structured ways to meet local students, and program-organized excursions to mind-blowing locations such as the great deserts and Biblical sites of Jordan, students access Jordan on a level that is, quite simply, absolutely unique.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: AMIDEAST’s programs in Jordan offer a diverse range of focuses in order to meet student interests. Semester/Academic Year students can study anthropology, art, environmental studies, political science, religion, sociology, and Arabic in classes, while simultaneously exploring the changing Middle East outside of the classroom. For those students looking to quickly improve their Arabic, they can enroll in a rigorous 4-week or 8-week intensive summer session to study both modern standard and colloquial Arabic. And finally, students who are interested in the intricate patterns of Islamic art can enroll in a Traditional Islamic Arts course during their semester abroad. Through classroom and hands on learning, students focus on the production of a variety of traditional Middle Eastern art forms.
INTIMATE: In their daily life, students have ample opportunities to learn directly from Jordanians. They are welcomed by host families and new friends to enjoy the culinary delights of traditional Middle Eastern foods such as mansaf, malkouba, canafe, shwarma, and falafel. Summer session students live, eat, and practice their classroom learning with their Arabic-speaking host families. Semester or year-long students choose between living with a local family or in apartments with fellow students. For all groups of students, Jordan’s famous hospitality provides deep engagement with the local culture.
-Jordan Spring 2011 Student