AMIDEAST programs are designed to provide excellence in Arabic language study and area studies. AMIDEAST programs provide Arabic language instruction in both Modern Standard and colloquial Arabic, program-related excursions, student centered academics, and other activities designed to develop students’ intercultural and global competence. AMIDEAST programs also include ample opportunities to interact with local university students through facilitated dialogue discussions with students from local universities and language partners. In addition, each program is coordinated by an AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program Manager familiar with the local environment to coordinate housing, orientation, excursions, issues discussions, and other program-related activities.
AMIDEAST is distinguished by its small program size and student centered nature. Students are given opportunities to get involved in aspects of Jordanian life that they might not know to look for otherwise. AMIDEAST is also known and respected for its work with Jordanians (teaching English, administering valuable tests, etc.), not only for bringing Americans to study in the region. Enrolling in an AMIDEAST program is also joining a widely recognized and locally valued organization.
AMIDEAST purposely keeps our groups small in order to maximize the faculty/staff to student ratio. In small groups we find that students are able to get to know one another and the community in which they live. On average, our programs have 15-35 students, with a maximum enrollment of 40 students. This program size allows staff to work closely with each student throughout the semester. While most program participants are from the U.S., you may also have classmates from other countries (e.g., Australia, Italy, Japan, Latvia). Similar to the overall group, AMIDEAST class sizes are kept small to maximize student learning.
Students are responsible for making sure their home institution is willing to grant credit for the program prior to enrolling. Each institution has a different transfer credit process and AMIDEAST staff will provide documentation and other information to help you complete the process at your institution. If your home institution requires a transcript from an institution accredited in the U.S., you may opt to receive a transcript from AMIDEAST’s Institution of Record, Northeastern University, for an additional fee of $350.
Area &Arabic Language Studies in Jordan (Semester/Academic Year)
Students enroll in four or five courses (14-17 credits) per semester and will be taught by local professors and instructors at the AMIDEAST office. Area & Arabic Language Studies students enroll a Modern Standard Arabic (5 credits) and Colloquial Arabic (3 credits) course. In addition, students will take two or three electives (depending on a student’s preference) which are offered from a variety of disciplines. All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants. Arabic classes are highly interactive, with the focus on improving your proficiency. This is a rigorous program and the volume of assignments will be comparable to upper division courses at a U.S. institution. Arabic language classes are taught by instructors from the prestigious Qasid Institute for Classical & Modern Standard Arabic.
Intensive Arabic (Summer) in Amman, Jordan
The Summer Intensive Arabic Programs in Amman, Jordan offers Modern Standard Arabic programs in two 4-week sessions. The Intensive Arabic program is highly interactive, with five contact hours of Arabic language instruction each day, five days a week for a total of 100 hours of Arabic during each four-week session. Students receive 80 hours of instruction in Modern Standard Arabic, covering the material usually taught in one semester on a U.S. campus and 20 hours in Jordanian Arabic. Students should expect to spend a minimum of 3 additional hours per day on homework. Classes are held at AMIDEAST’s office and are taught by instructors from the prestigious Qasid Institute for Classical & Modern Standard Arabic.
Traditional Islamic Arts (Summer) in Amman, Jordan
This is a 3-week course for art students focusing on production of traditional Islamic art forms in calligraphy, illumination, wood, gypsum plaster carving, zillij tile mosaics and miniature painting. This course, offered in cooperation with the Institute of Traditional Islamic Arts in Amman, introduces students to the study of traditional Islamic art in two interlocking modules. The first focuses on the basic concepts of the sacred geometry that is the basis of traditional Islamic art. The second consists of a project in one of six media –calligraphy, illumination, Persian miniature painting, gypsum carving, zillij (mosaic tile work), or wood working. In addition to the 3-week Traditional Islamic Arts course, students can also choose to continue their experience in Jordan by participating in the 4-week Intensive Arabic Summer Session II which begins following the close of the Arts course.
Peace and Conflict Resolution in London and Amman (Summer)
This unique program will begin in the U.K. by studying peace and conflict theory, using Northern Ireland as a case study for beginning to understand how those theories translate to Middle Eastern issues. A study tour to Derry, Northern Ireland contextualizes the case study. Once in Amman, student use their new understanding of peace and conflict to examine how the Arab/Israeli conflict; regional conflicts such as those in Lebanon, Yemen or Iraq; and tribal conflicts are being addressed. Following the conclusion of the Peace and Conflict Program, students have the opportunity to stay in Amman and pursue a course in intensive Arabic language, including instruction in both Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Arabic.
Your classes will be in AMIDEAST’s offices near Abdoun Circle. The office is located ½ kilometer walk from the circle where there are many cafes and restaurants. It is also located approximately five to ten minute taxi ride from other popular parts of the city including Sweifieh, Shmeishani, and the 3rd Circle. Traditional Islamic Arts students' courses will take place at the Institute of Traditional Islamic Arts.
AMIDEAST’s full-time program staffs have extensive knowledge of the countries in which they work and provide unparalleled academic and cultural support to students during their time abroad.
AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program courses in Amman are taught by a select group of Jordanian professors from a variety of institutions in and around Amman. These lecturers possess a strong instructional experience in English-speaking environments. All faculty members have either earned post-graduate degrees from North American or European universities, or have spent considerable time at English-medium institutions as students, faculty members, visiting faculty or visiting researchers.
Arabic classes are taught by instructors from the prestigious Qasid Institute for Classical & Modern Standard Arabic. AMIDEAST Staff in Washington D.C. works collaboratively with the Qasid Institute to oversee the academic curriculum and implementation of the program.
Courses are graded on a 4.0 scale using the U.S. letter grade system.
Students in the Jordan programs receive an official AMIDEAST Grade Report which indicates letter grades and credit received. One grade report will be sent to your university and one will remain at the AMIDEAST office in Washington, D.C. Alternatively, students can request a transcript issued by AMIDEAST’s Institution of Record, Northeastern University, for an additional fee of $350.
Yes, but not insurmountable difficulties. On many of our programs you will study colloquial Arabic as a required course and will quickly learn enough to ask and understand the basic questions and responses to routine conversation. As the program progresses, your proficiency will increase and your difficulties will lessen. You will also find that a significant number of Jordanians speak enough English to help you if you cannot make yourself understood in Arabic. While in Jordan you will have ample opportunity to learn and practice Arabic with your host family and people you encounter.
The program fee covers pre-departure preparation, in-country orientation, tuition, housing, program-organized excursions, supplementary lectures and special events, and medical insurance (including medical evacuation and repatriation, and political and security evacuation coverage). Semester students who choose to stay in shared apartments also pay a $300 housing deposit that is fully refundable at the conclusion of the semester if the apartment is clean and there has been no damage other than normal wear and tear.
Students are responsible for international airfare, local transportation costs (aside from transportation to and from the airport), most meals (if living in an apartment), textbooks, travel insurance, optional excursions, communication and other personal expenses.
Although our programs operate in areas of the world where the cost-of-living is significantly less than in the U.S. or Europe, we do suggest that students appropriately budget for spending money during their time abroad. The amount of spending money a student will need depends on spending habits and travel plans. Students are also responsible for phone and internet costs, outside of the AMIDEAST facilities, incurred while on the program. It is considered very thoughtful to bring small gifts to give to friends you may meet during your time abroad. Please refer to the cost section of the program on the website. There will also be more detailed information provided in your student handbook which will help you estimate the exact amount of spending money you should bring.
There are many international and national banks in Amman with ATM services; although not in smaller villages. ATMs in Jordan are quite reliable, and the easiest and most convenient way to obtain cash. However, you should ask your bank if they charge a fee for international ATM transactions; they may also have other recommendations for accessing your funds overseas. Traveler’s checks provide added security but are not recommended as they are not widely accepted and the exchange rate is much worse. Credit cards, especially Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at major hotels, and at some high-end restaurants, shops and grocery stores. If you plan to use one of these cards (debit or credit) you should notify your card company that you will be in Jordan, as they often place security holds on accounts when foreign charges appear unexpectedly. Also, please make sure that you have a 4 digit pin, as some places can’t accommodate longer pin numbers.
Student safety is our number one priority. AMIDEAST has been working in Egypt for nearly 60 years, Jordan for 50 years, and Morocco for 40 years. AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship with U.S. Embassies in the region and you will be required to register with the embassy prior to departure. AMIDEAST staff members constantly monitor the political and security situation in host countries and in other surrounding countries in the region.
In order to further enhance our access to up-to-the-minute information in crisis situations, AMIDEAST contracts with a company called iJET: Intelligent Risk Systems. iJET’s mission is to protect international travelers through the use of technology and intelligence. In addition to providing AMIDEAST with risk assessment reports on a regular basis, iJET also gives us the ability to immediately communicate with students and staff in the event of an emergency situation.
All students on AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are able to access the iJET website for background information on their local community and other places they may be visiting. Detailed information about iJET and the services available will be communicated shortly before your departure for the program country.
Should a situation develop that presents a specific security risk, appropriate action, within well-defined emergency response plans, will be taken in consultation with U.S. Embassy and Department of State officials, with whom AMIDEAST maintains a close relationship. On arrival in your host country all students are provided with a cell phone so that AMIDEAST staff can contact you (and you can contact them) at any time in case of an emergency.
All students are covered by political and security evacuation insurance by HTH Worldwide Insurance, which came into play when the students who were in Cairo in January 2011 were evacuated. During the period from the beginning of demonstrations in Cairo on January 25 until the students were evacuated on January 31, AMIDEAST staff were with the students 24/7 and provided a constant communications link both to AMIDEAST Headquarters in Washington and, through staff there, with the students’ families and home institutions. As a result of the combined efforts of AMIDEAST staff in Cairo and Washington and AMIDEAST’s insurance and evacuation partners, the students were never in danger and were safely evacuated on a charter flight to Athens. From there they were able to continue their semester abroad in either Amman or Rabat on AMIDEAST programs.
AMIDEAST provides medical insurance for all students on its programs through HTH Worldwide, the leading provider of international health plans to the international education community. Our field staff maintains a list of recommended doctors and medical facilities and will assist you in arranging and paying for appointments. In addition to medical insurance, HTH will provide medical, political, and security evacuation coverage for all students on AMIDEAST programs.
Please be sure to register on the HTH website after you receive your medical ID information in your program country (www.hthstudents.com) in order to access online resources such as country reports and translations of over 700 medical terms and phrases. You will be sent additional information about your HTH coverage prior to departure.
The student lounge in AMIDEAST’s facilities has two computers reserved for student use. Amman also has a large number of internet cafes that charge around 1 JD ($1.50) an hour for use of their computers.
Although computers are available, AMIDEAST recommends that students bring a laptop if possible, but this is not a requirement. You may want to consider purchasing laptop insurance in case of damage or theft. Please note that Mac support is limited in Jordan.
The AMIDEAST Amman office, where classrooms and administrative offices are located, has wireless internet access for study abroad students. Students may either use the computers in the student lounge or bring their own laptops and use the network during working hours (Sunday – Thursday, 8.30 AM to 8.00 PM). Some host families may have internet access; however, families are not obligated to allow students to use their internet. Amman also has many relatively cheap Internet cafes. Please keep in mind that internet may not be as strong or as consistent as you are used to in the U.S.
Students who study in Jordan for a semester or more may opt to live with a host family or in a shared apartment with other AMIDEAST students. Once accepted to the program, you will be asked to provide AMIDEAST with information about your hobbies and preferences which will help us pair you with a complementary roommate. Students should factor in additional expenses for food when planning to live in a shared apartment.
All summer program students are placed with host families. Quality host families provide students with a window into Jordanian culture; this unique experience will give you a view into the important role family plays in Jordanian society as well as how local community affects family life. Students are encouraged to practice speaking Arabic while participating in daily life as much as possible.
For years, AMIDEAST has provided host family placement and support for a variety of study abroad programs. Within AMIDEAST’s host family network, many families have hosted a series of students and are in tune with the program and student experience. Our experienced field staff carefully screens and selects host families from a cross section of society. Additionally, each host family participates in a host family orientation in order to better understand their roles and responsibilities for the program.
The host family experience is a memorable, rewarding, yet challenging program component. Living with a host family will require some adaptation on your part. For example, it is possible that you may share a room with a host family member of the same gender. Thus you may experience standards of privacy and personal independence that are different from what you have at home on your home campus. There will also be a variety of economic levels and religions found among host families. While living with a host family, you will be able to observe and experience many different aspects of daily life. Host families will likely treat you as part of the family and will include you in many of their daily activities such as cooking, eating, and family outings. It is up to you to determine how invested you would like to be in your host family’s activities; please keep in mind, though, that you are expected to approach these experiences with flexibility, an open mind and a positive attitude. You are also most likely to have another AMIDEAST Abroad student living with you and your host family.
In Middle East and North African countries, family members converse in colloquial Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not used for everyday conversations but it is used in the press and in formal documents. Since most of AMIDEAST’s host families have previously welcomed American students into their homes, they are accustomed to effectively interacting with them. Some members of your host family may speak English, however they are instructed to speak to you in Arabic. If needed, remind them to speak to you in Arabic, as they will often switch to English out of politeness to make things easier for you. If you prefer to be with a family that does not speak English, please indicate that on your personal profile form and will try our best to fulfill that request.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is not used for daily life interactions in any Arab country; it is only used in formal settings such as interviews and speeches. You may use MSA when looking at electronic and print media, and books. While everyone will understand you when you speak MSA, they will likely respond to you in colloquial Arabic.
Jordan has a Muslim majority and a Christian minority. Host families are drawn from both communities. While it is not universally true, it is more common for Christian families to agree to have male students live with them.
Usually students bring items for their host family that represents their particular culture, region, or home institution. For example, past students have brought candies, nuts, and calendars specific to their city or state. They have also brought T-shirts, mugs or baseball caps with their university or college logos. Some families may have kids, so you could bring games or toys that are not age specific (a hacky sack, a card game, travel games, playing cards, American music/DVDs, etc.). It is also possible to bring something small and then purchase something in Jordan that you think they might like/need for the home. Your host family will also want to see photos of your family and of the places you live, so you could bring some with you. If you would like to give your family a parting gift, past students have collected photos that they took with their family during their stay and put these in photo albums or frames. Previous AMIDEAST students have suggested that students provide their family with a small parting gift which can be more meaningful than an arrival gift.
Although Amman is a cosmopolitan Middle Eastern country, Jordanian society remains fairly conservative, thus a certain degree of modesty is recommended. Summers are fairly hot while winters can be quite cold, with temperatures below freezing not uncommon in Jordan. Since the daily temperature during the fall and spring fluctuates, we recommend that you dress in layers. For women, we recommend basic, cotton apparel such as: three quarter length-sleeved shirts, Capri trousers or skirts below the knee and jeans. Do not bring sleeveless shirts, tank tops or excessively tight clothing. Cotton shirts or sweaters and jeans or trousers are suitable for men. When visiting mosques or when traveling outside of the city, we recommend trousers or long skirts. Please bring comfortable walking shoes as you will spend a lot time walking and exploring. Dressing respectfully demonstrates adaptability and will help minimize unwanted attention, especially for women. A packing list is located in the student handbook which is sent to participants prior to departure.
Students may travel independently during the program. Students must provide AMIDEAST staff with a Travel Information Form at least one week prior to their first day of travel. Students may travel during the weekends or in between sessions, but are not permitted to miss class for travel. Although travel outside the country is permitted, students must notify AMIDEAST of travel and AMIDEAST may strongly discourage travel to particular areas of the region. Students who fail to follow these guidelines will be dismissed from the program and may be sent home at their own expense, with no refunds given.
Upon arrival, all students are supplied with a mobile phone, local number, and a small number of minutes for calling. These are pay-as-you-go phones, so when the initial allocation of minutes runs out you will have to buy a top-up card either from the mobile provider at a company store or from one of the many kiosks and small stores that sell them. The phone, along with the charger, must be returned to AMIDEAST at the end of your term. Most participants prefer to text each other and use Skype for international calls as calls can be relatively expensive to make on the pay-as-you-go phones.
Students receive communication from AMIDEAST Washington, D.C. staff regarding courses, housing, insurance, packing, flights, visas and what to expect upon arrival. AMIDEAST staff is available to answer program and country specific questions and ensure students are prepared prior to departure for their host country. You should feel free to contact the Washington office with any questions you may have leading up to your program.
There are approximately 15-35 students on every AMIDEAST program each semester, with a maximum enrollment of 40 students. You will interact with American students in your study space, classes, during excursions and activities. While most program participants are from the U.S., you may also have classmates from other countries (e.g., Australia, Italy, Japan, Latvia).
Although AMIDEAST encourages and provides opportunities to interact with local university students (including arranging for language and cultural partnerships) you will be the one who truly develops these relationships. AMIDEAST will assign a local language partner with whom you can meet to practice Arabic and how much you interact with this person is up to you and your partner. In addition, AMIDEAST will organize frequent cultural dialogue sessions throughout the semester, giving you the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues of identity, religion, gender, etc. with local university students.
AMIDEAST maintains a small but growing library in the Program Center for AMIDEAST students. The collection is focused on works to supplement assigned reading for the courses offered each semester. Other library resources are available to students at the American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR) and other institutes in Amman. By using the wireless internet available at AMIDEAST students also may access the electronic holdings of their home institutions’ libraries for research.
There are churches of various denominations located throughout Amman.
If you are interested in hearing first hand from students who have studied abroad with AMIDEAST previously, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in touch with some of those students.
You are required to arrive to and depart from your host country on specific dates so that AMIDEAST personnel can better serve all program participants. Students that arrive before their program begins are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation and lodging until their AMIDEAST program begins. The same applies for students staying past the end of the AMIDEAST program.
Arrival and departure dates can be found on the Academic Calendars of our different programs. Area and Arabic Studies (Semester/Academic Year), Intensive Arabic (Summer) , Traditional Islamic Arts (Summer). Because we have specific time frames for when you should arrive and depart from your host country, you should not buy tickets without first checking in with AMIDEAST staff in Washington D.C. You will receive more information about flights in pre-departure emails after acceptance.
We have specific time frames for when you should arrive and depart from your host country. You will receive more information about flights in pre-departure emails after acceptance. Please do not buy tickets without first checking in with AMIDEAST staff in Washington D.C.
If you would like to use a travel agent to book your ticket, here is the contact information for the travel agent with whom we work:
Golden Eagle Travel Agency, Inc.
7700 Leesburg Pike, Ste. 107
Falls Church, VA 22043
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa before departing the U.S., but you will need to purchase a visa as soon as you arrive in Amman. The current cost of the visa in Jordan is approximately $28. You will need to present a U.S. passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your departure date. Further information about this process is included in the student handbook you will receive prior to your departure. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should contact the Jordanian embassy in your country of citizenship to inquire about visa requirements. AMIDEAST staff in Washington may be able to assist you if you encounter difficulties, but will need to know immediately if that is the case as sometimes it takes more than a month for an Egyptian visa to be issued from a consulate in the U.S.
AMIDEAST strongly discourages visits from family and friends during its programs and recommends that such visits be postponed until the end of the program. We have found that visits during our programs have the potential to have a negative impact on a student's experience. It is fairly common for friends and family to arrange visits once the program has finished. At the end of the program students have more time to spend with visitors and will be well accustomed to the country in which they are studying and able to serve as guides and cultural interpreters for their visiting family and friends.