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On this program you will look at the enormous strides Jordan has made in literacy, urbanization, and economic and democratic reforms as well as the challenges it faces from economic and social issues, environmental concerns, and a lack of natural resources. You will also consider the impact of Palestinian, Iraqi, and Syrian immigrants and refugees, who now make up more than two thirds of the nation’s population. You will learn or greatly advance your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic.
Program alumna Jessica Gagne shares about the SIT Study Abroad Jordan program.
My time in Jordan led to me working with Iraqi refugees for the last year, and now I'll be starting a new career as a Foreign Service officer. Both came about in part from what I learned and experienced in Jordan.
Daniel Acker, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
In the heart of the Middle East, you will be able to examine Jordanian government and society as you negotiate the underpinnings of the Arab Spring and ensuing political change in neighboring countries.
You will examine development projects on location and discuss needs and operations with local experts and policy makers.
Two homestays — an extended urban stay in Amman and a shorter rural stay with a Bedouin family — allow you to practice your Arabic language skills and to see the dramatic contrast between urban and rural Jordan that will help you contextualize modernization and social change in the country.
You will spend the last month of the program working on an Independent Study Project (ISP) in which you will conduct primary research on a selected topic. The ISP is conducted in Amman or in another approved location in Jordan appropriate to the project.
Sample topic areas include:
The program’s thematic seminar introduces key aspects of modernization and social change in Jordan. Lectures and excursions introduce students to the history and politics of Jordan, the rapid transformation of land and technology, shifting identities and roles within Jordanian culture, modernity and gender questions, economic and social development practices and regulations, immigration, media, and religion. The language course accommodates any level of Arabic language ability, and the course includes a focus on the Jordanian colloquial dialect.
Links to syllabi below are from current and forthcoming courses offered on this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.
The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Through experiential learning, educational excursions highlight Jordan’s modernization, along with social changes taking place. Arabic language learning is also highlighted. Excursions provide an exceptional opportunity to compare urban and rural communities as well as Jordanian and Emirati experiences in modernization and development.
This excursion will provide you with the opportunity to explore everyday life in Jordan’s Badia. You will experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of a Bedouin community, one of Jordan’s most distinct and well known groups. As they are known in Arabic, the Bedu, or "desert dwellers," have learned to survive and endure the unforgiving climate of the desert. It is difficult to know the exact size of the Bedouin community, but it is generally known that Bedouins form a significant proportion of Jordan’s population. Today, the majority of Jordan's Bedouin population lives in the vast wasteland that extends east from the Desert Highway. Throughout the middle, south, and east of Jordan, Bedouin communities are marked by their characteristic black goat-hair tents, known as beit al-sha'ar, or "house of hair."
This excursion will take you to both Central and Southern Jordan. You will receive customized Arabic lessons in a field-based setting; lessons focus on the sites and communities you visit, and you will enjoy highly interactive conversations about the places you experience. You will be engaged in Arabic practice from the time you leave Amman until your return; this includes language practice during periods of travel.
The program includes an excursion to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On this excursion, you will visit four out of seven emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Shariqah, and Ajman). The UAE offers a unique blend of traditional culture and customs and modern lifestyle. The UAE has emerged as a leading economic, political, and cultural power in the region, and many countries in the Middle East look to the UAE modernization paradigm as an important model. In UAE, you will learn about the history of the Emirates, the expat work force, and how the UAE is keeping its cultural, Islamic, and traditional lifestyle along with living a modern life. You will meet with peers from New York University in Abu Dhabi, the American University in Dubai, Dubai Heritage Village, Mamsha Al Jumaira, Dubai Boulevard (Khalifah Tower, the Fountain, and Dubai Mall), Emirates Palace, Shiekh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi Corniche, H. H. Prince Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi of Ajman Emirate, Arab Peninsula Animals Center, Sharjah Islamic Arts Museum, Al Qasba Canal, and many other sites where you can observe modernization and social change themes in the UAE.
You will write a comparative essay on the UAE and Jordan in which you will analyze aspects of cultural, economic, or political life in both countries while documenting ways in which the excursion has contributed to your understanding of the dynamics in the Middle East.
What sets this program apart is the attention and support given to each one of us. The SIT staff has been unbelievable in meeting my personal and emotional needs. All of the SIT staff contributed greatly to my experience and I hope to come back to Jordan to visit. Through SIT I really got to see the beautiful culture and traditions of Jordan.
Annie Rupani, Boston University
Dr. Ashraf Alqudah holds a PhD in clinical and medical psychology from the College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, and an MA in psychology from the University of Jordan. He specializes in clinical medical psychology and the psychology of chronic pain. His area of research interest includes psychopathology, psychological treatments and psychotherapies, and psycho-social support for refugees and displaced persons. Dr. Alqudah is also affiliated with the department of psychology at the University of Jordan in Amman and has worked on projects conducted by a number of health organizations that included Doctors of the World Organization, the War Trauma Foundation, and the Antares Foundation. He is a member of the Higher Council of the Humanitarian Support Network of Jordan and the Jordanian Mental Health Licensing Committee. Since 2008, he has been involved with the SIT Modernization and Social Change program in Jordan as lecturer, ISP advisor, and then as coordinator of the Research Methods and Ethics course. Dr. Alqudah has co-authored a number of articles that have appeared in refereed journals that include the Journal of Cybertherapy and Rehabilitation, the Journal of Pain Research, and the International Journal of Psychological Studies. He is currently finishing a research project on stress and burnout sources among NGO workers working with refugees.
Dr. Raed Al-Tabini, holds a PhD (received in 2002) in arid and semi-arid land management (rangeland management) and community development from Newcastle University in the UK. He is a former deputy president of the Badia Research and Development Center (BRDC) in Jordan. Dr. Al-Tabini has managed a variety of development projects in the Middle East and North Africa on such diverse topics as community-based rangeland rehabilitation, management of scarce water resources, and development of sustainable livelihoods in agro-pastoral communities. Dr. Al-Tabini is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has published more than 25 academic papers and reports in the field of sustainable development.
Dr. Al-Tabini recently co-wrote with Octavio A. Ramirez, Richard Phillips, and Frank A. Ward an article, “Irrigation Water Conservation and Market-based Approaches: Balancing Agricultural and Urban Water Demands in the Face of Climate Change in Jordan’s Azraq Basin,” published in Adaptation to Climate Change through Water Resources Management: Capacity, Equity and Sustainability (Routledge, 2014). Dr. Al-Tabini is currently the director of The Hashemite Fund for Jordanian Badia Development.
Rania Harfoushi received her master’s degree in international business management from the University of Surrey in England in 2009 after completing her BA in business administration at the Applied Science University in Jordan. Throughout her career, she has accrued significant experience in human resources management while honing her language and cross-cultural intrapersonal skills to fit the needs of SIT’s diverse student population. Her past experience in sports management has also helped her in dealing with a wide variety of personalities. Rania is responsible for managing student affairs and helping students cope with the day-to-day challenges they face while studying abroad in Amman.
Rawan has worked with SIT Jordan as custom programs assistant since 2013. During fall 2014 and spring 2015, she worked as homestay coordinator. Currently, she is the SIT Jordan homestay coordinator. In this capacity, Rawan assists with a wide range of homestay arrangements and also works with both students and host families on cross-cultural communication skills. Rawan Al-Samaan is a lifetime resident of Amman with experience in financial management, analysis, marketing, and strategic planning. She received her bachelor’s degree in finance from the Amman Al-Ahliyeh University in Salt, Jordan, in 2008.
Rima Al-Akramawi holds a BA in English language and literature from Mutah University and is a certified translator and language proficiency interviews (LPI) tester. Rima began teaching Arabic as a second language at SIT Jordan in 2009. She became the SIT Jordan language coordinator in 2012. She has worked as a language coordinator with the Peace Corps and as an Arabic language instructor at the French Cultural Center of Amman and other Arabic language institutions. She is a co-author of Yalla Ndardesh, a modern Jordanian Arabic textbook for non-native speakers of Arabic.
Riham Al-Naimat obtained a master’s degree in Arabic language and literature from Al-Albayt University in 2007. In 2009, Riham began volunteering as an SIT Jordan language instructor for intermediate high and advanced levels. In the summer of 2010, she joined SIT full time and has been teaching Modern Standard Arabic ever since. She previously worked as an Arabic instructor at the Jordanian Ministry of Education and as an Arabic instructor and language coordinator at international schools in Saudi Arabia.
Hala has a BA in law from the University of Jordan. She received training for teaching Arabic as a foreign language from the University of Jordan and Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic. She worked as a language-speaking partner to American students at the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR).
Moayad received a BA in translation from Yarmouk University in 2013. He worked as a language and cultural facilitator for the Peace Corps from 2013 to 2015. Starting in spring 2015, Moayad became a language instructor for SIT Jordan.
The Jordan: Modernization and Social Change program includes two different homestays, in Amman and in the rural area of Badia. Homestays provide you with an excellent opportunity to experience two highly different lifestyles, perspectives, and values while practicing your Arabic language skills. All host families are carefully selected.
You will spend the entire program period, other than the time on excursions, living with a homestay family in West Amman. The homestay provides you with an outstanding window into Jordanian urban life and culture. Most homestay families are middle class and maintain the customs of the typical Arab home.
Homestay families may include first or second generations of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, now a major component of Jordanian social and cultural life. You will be integrated into your host family's daily life, partaking in everyday activities such as sharing breakfast, participating in family outings, and shopping. In some cases, you will have the opportunity to experience a Jordanian wedding ceremony or other traditional cultural activities organized by the host family or relatives. The homestay in Amman allows you to better understand the life of a Jordanian family and gives you a unique opportunity to further enhance your speaking abilities.
You will experience a five-day rural homestay in the Badia area of Jordan, living with a Bedouin family who is either nomadic or semi-nomadic. This excursion will provide you with the opportunity to experience firsthand the daily life, culture, and traditions of a Bedouin community, one of Jordan's most distinct and well-known groups. You will travel on your own to visit your carefully selected Bedouin family.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels, research institutes, or small hotels.
A diversity of students representing different colleges, universities, and majors study abroad on this program. Many of them have gone on to do amazing things that connect back to their experience abroad with SIT. Learn what some of them are now doing.
Program Arrival Date: Sep 4, 2016
Program Departure Date: Dec 17, 2016
The dates listed above are subject to change. Please note that travel to and from the program site may span a period of more than one day.
Student applications to this program will be reviewed on a rolling basis between the opening date and the deadline.
Application Deadline: Jun 1, 2016
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding; this award can be applied to any SIT semester program. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Visa Expenses: $ 60
Books & Supplies: $ 250
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.