Rapidly gain new Arabic language skills through intensive language study in Jordan. The program is appropriate for all skill levels, from beginning to advanced.
Develop and expand competencies in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian colloquial Arabic.
You will be fully immersed in an Arabic-only environment. You’ll increase your conversational proficiency and improve your pronunciation. You’ll develop skills in counting, giving directions, and ordering in a restaurant, and you’ll cement new skills by writing and telling stories in Arabic. Ultimately, you’ll develop the tools necessary to increase language proficiency independently.
Learn in highly interactive classroom, homestay, and field-based settings.
Classes are held at the SIT center from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday. The center offers a number of important amenities including a language and cultural library, a quiet study room, wireless internet, and satellite TV broadcasting live Arabic news channels. You’ll engage local community members in simple conversations until you can communicate comfortably with native speakers.
Live with a host family in Amman, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The program explores the interplay of small and large scale technologies, using the refugee population. Amman is a welcoming, relatively small city, and students frequently explore the city by foot. You will discover gleaming white houses, kebab stalls, and cafés with rich Arabian coffee. You’ll visit the imposing Roman Amphitheater, built under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161 AD). Your Arabic classes will take place at SIT’s center in the Abdoun neighborhood, an upscale community in West Amman. Abdoun Circle, a hub for restaurants and cafés, is nearby.
Receive customized Arabic lessons focused on the sites and communities visited and learn to communicate in a variety of situations with native Arabic speakers, incorporating culturally appropriate gestures.
Experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of a Bedouin community during a homestay in the Badia desert.
Visit Petra, the Dead Sea, Aqaba, Ajloun, Wadi Rum, Jerash, and the Dana Nature Reserve.
Read, listen to, and analyze stories from the Jordanian press and other Arab media outlets (ARAB 3009 students only).
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Speaking, listening, reading, and writing Arabic
- Communication in a variety of situations with native Arabic speakers, incorporating culturally appropriate gestures
- Stories from the Jordanian press and other Arab media outlets (ARAB 3000 students only)
- Conversational proficiency as a solid foundation for further learning
- Tools to increase language proficiency independently
Based in Amman, this intensive field-based Arabic language immersion program uses a content-based approach. Students engage in an Arabic-only environment of classroom instruction, field exercises, and homestays to learn Arabic and Arab culture. The emphasis of the course is Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), with additional instruction in Jordanian colloquial Arabic. Students gain an understanding of Arabic diglossia and proper usage of MSA versus colloquial. Students at an advanced proficiency level will have a Media Arabic component built into the curriculum.
The following syllabi are representative of 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.
- Beginning Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
- (ARAB1009 / 9 credits / 135 hours)
- Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic – syllabus
- (ARAB2009 / 9 credits / 135 hours)
- Advanced Modern Standard Arabic and Media Arabic – syllabus
- (ARAB3009 / 9 credits / 135 hours)
- The courses are designed to equip students with a proficiency level in spoken Modern Standard Arabic to prepare them to engage in everyday communication by addressing the four basic skills of the language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Based on in-country evaluation, including oral proficiency testing for non-beginners, students are placed in beginning, intermediate, or advanced classes. Courses are designed not only to help students acquire Modern Standard Arabic, but also to learn Jordanian Colloquial Arabic and attendant cultural aspects of Jordan. Cultural awareness is reinforced through field exercises and the homestay experience. In addition to daily scheduled classes, students participate in field-oriented educational visits to further enrich their language experiences. Courses are also designed to help students gain an understanding of Arabic diglossia and proper usage of Modern Standard Arabic versus colloquial. Students at the advanced level have a Media Arabic component built into the curriculum. This component focuses on the acquisition of specialized vocabulary used in print and electronic media in the Arab world. Students read, listen to, and analyze stories from the local Jordanian press and other Arab media outlets.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Educational excursions outside of Amman reveal Jordan’s rich heritage, culture, and geography while providing exceptional opportunities for you to practice your language skills.
Badia (Bedouin community)
You will travel on your own to visit a Bedouin family carefully selected for you. During this two-night minimum stay, you’ll experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of one of Jordan’s most distinct groups, the Bedu, or “desert dwellers,” who have learned to survive the unforgiving desert climate. It is difficult to know the exact size of the Bedouin community, but the majority of Jordan’s population is of Bedouin ancestry. Today, most of Jordan’s Bedouin population lives in the vast wasteland east of the Desert Highway. All over Jordan, Bedouin communities are marked by their use of the black goat-hair tent known as beit al-sha’ar, or “house of hair.”
North and South Jordan
On a five-day excursion to north and south Jordan, you’ll receive customized Arabic lessons focusing on the communities you visit and participate in highly interactive conversations about the places you see. You’ll practice Arabic during the entire trip, including during travel.
Highlights of this excursion include:
You will see the extraordinary ruins of ancient Jerash, one of the most impressive and best preserved Roman cities outside of Italy. Here, you may have the chance to attend the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, an annual international cultural event featuring famous Arabic poets, singers, and writers. Past programs have included the Moscow Ballet's Cinderella, a flamenco performance by Ara de Madrid, a contemporary dance play by Jollanar from Syria, and a Japanese poetry and music performance by Keiko Koma.
Ajloun is home to the Castle of Ajloun or Qalaat Errabadh (Arabic for “Hilltop Castle”). The fortress was built by Muslims in 1184–85 to protect the region from invading Crusaders. You will spend a night at the Ajloun Forest Lodge, which occupies a large clearing enclosed by oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees and offers beautiful views. Occasionally, one can see as far away as Jebel Sheikh in Lebanon.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the most spectacular natural landscape in Jordan. In addition to being one of the lowest points on Earth, the Dead Sea is the world’s richest source of natural salts.
You will explore Wadi Mujib, a spectacular gorge that enters the Dead Sea. The Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world.
Aqaba is an important port city dating back to 4000 BCE. Also known as Ayla, Aqaba was once ruled by the Mamluk Sultan from Egypt.
Wadi Rum is among the most stunning desertscapes in the world. Here, you will experience the exceptional hospitality of the desert people and Bedouin tribes. You may share mint tea or cardamom coffee in Bedouins’ tents or join them by the fire under a starry desert sky.
Petra is a treasure of the ancient world, a UNESCO World Heritage site dubbed one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. After hearing a lecture about Petra, “the Rose-Red City,” you will explore the city in small groups to see firsthand the topics of the lecture. The visit will conclude with a debriefing and conversation in Arabic.
Dana Nature Reserve
The dynamic topography of the Dana Nature Reserve extends from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. You will see its impressive mountains, the ancient ruins of Feinan, the cliffs of Wadi Dana, and Dana village. You’ll discuss and read about the reserve in Arabic.
Welcome to SIT Jordan!
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Yasir Hamed, MEd, Academic Director
Yasir holds a BA from Beirut American University and a Master of Education in Instructional Technology from American Intercontinental University. He has been academic director of SIT’s Intensive Arabic Language Studies program in Jordan since 2008. He recently completed doctoral-level research in transformative education and language learning pedagogies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is researching cultural content and its effects on language acquisition, focusing on immersion in the teaching of foreign languages.
Yasir has more than 14 years’ experience teaching Arabic. He is a lecturer at Fairfield University and founder of the Arabic Language Learning Program in New Haven, Connecticut, and he has taught Arabic at Yale and Dartmouth College. He developed Arabic language programs at institutions including Wesleyan University, Fairfield University, and University of New Haven. His research interests include experiential education and methods of teaching Arabic. He is a member of the National Society for Experiential Education and a specialist in designing, developing, and leading study abroad programs in the Middle East. He is also a journalist, editor, and translator.
Abdalkareem Lasassmeh, Operations Manager
Abdalkareem earned a bachelor’s in computer science from Mutah University and an MS in computer information systems from Arab Academy. He has more than 14 years’ experience in education and training. At the Arabian Education and Training Group, he ran joint graduate programs between US and Jordanian institutions. The first program partnered Ohio University with the University of Jordan, al Beyt University, and Mutah University, and the second joined Florida Atlantic University with al Balqa University.
Rania Kasab Harfoushi, Program Assistant / Student Affairs
Rania Harfoushi received a master’s degree in international business management from the University of Surrey in England and a BA in business administration from Applied Science University in Jordan. She has experience in human resources management and sports management. Her language and cross-cultural skills fit the needs of SIT’s diverse student population. Rania is responsible for managing student affairs and helping students cope with challenges they face while studying in Amman.
Rawan Francis Al-Samaan, Homestay Coordinator
Rawan received her bachelor’s degree in finance from Amman Al-Ahliyeh University. She first worked with SIT Jordan as custom programs assistant in 2013. In 2014, she became homestay coordinator. Rawan assists with homestay arrangements and works with students and host families on cross-cultural communication. Rawan is a lifetime resident of Amman with experience in financial management, analysis, marketing, and strategic planning.
Riham Al-Naimat, Language Instructor
Riham holds a master’s degree in Arabic language and literature from Al-Albayt University. She has been SIT’s language instructor for intermediate high and advanced levels since 2010. She was an Arabic instructor at the Jordanian Ministry of Education and at international schools in Saudi Arabia.
Rima Al-Akramawi, Language Coordinator and Arabic Instructor
Rima holds a BA in English language and literature from Jordan University and is a certified translator and language proficiency interviews tester. Rima has been teaching since 2005 and first taught Arabic for SIT Jordan in 2009. She was a language coordinator with the Peace Corps and is an Arabic instructor at the French Cultural Center of Amman and the Qasid Institute for Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.
I wasn’t just studying Arabic this past summer in Jordan; I was living it.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
The Jordan: Intensive Arabic Language Studies program includes homestays in Amman and rural Badia. You’ll experience extremely different lifestyles, perspectives, and values while practicing your enhanced language skills. All host families are carefully selected.
Except while on excursion, you’ll live with a family in West Amman. This offers you an outstanding window into Jordanian urban culture. Most homestay families are middle class and enjoy high standards of living while maintaining the customs of a typical Arab home. You will partake in everyday activities such as sharing breakfast, participating in family outings, and shopping. In some cases, you will experience a Jordanian wedding or other traditional cultural activities.
Badia (Bedouin homestay)
You will experience a two- to four-day homestay in the Badia area, living with a nomadic or semi-nomadic Bedouin family. You’ll experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of a Bedouin community. You will travel on your own to visit a carefully selected family. The excursion takes place during the fourth week of the program.
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers who instruct students in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), Jordanian colloquial Arabic, and Jordanian culture
- All educational excursions to location such as Badia (to visit a Bedouin community), Jerash, Ajloun, the Dead Sea, Wadi Mujib, Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Petra, the Dana Nature Reserve, and local media centers
- All cultural activities assigned by the academic director
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $2,250
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Amman), on all excursions, and during the evaluation period
- All homestays (Amman and the Badia area)
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
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: $300
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.