Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

“My level of Arabic grew exponentially while I was in Jordan, particularly in terms of practical application. SIT language teachers were the best that I have come across in my 5 years of Arabic language learning. Regardless of prior experience, SIT tailors the program to make sure students learn at their level and achieve linguistically.” 

-- Anna Chang, Tulane University

Examine critical issues in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a moderate Arab state confronting political responsibilities, social change, and the effects of regional conflict.

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Read Academic Director Raed Al-Tabini's blog story on the role of Jordan in the Syrian refugee crisis.

Jordan has made enormous strides recently in healthcare, literacy, and democratic and economic reform. However, it remains challenged by a lack of natural resources, environmental concerns, economic and social issues, and the impact of Palestinian immigrants and refugees, who now make up more than half of the nation’s population. More recently, Iraqi refugees have been pouring into the country and changing the demographic and physical landscapes of the capital.

The program is based in the capital city of Amman, and students conduct academic fieldwork throughout Jordan.

Coursework focuses on:

  • The impact of modernization on Jordan’s culture and society
  • The reach of social change and opinion leaders in Jordan
  • The underpinnings of the Arab Spring on politics and society in Jordan and neighboring countries

Through intensive language instruction, students can greatly improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Colloquial Arabic as well as knowledge of Jordanian cultural and social life. A one-week visit to Turkey offers students additional regional insights. Learn more about the program’s excursions.

Students learn to apply knowledge acquired through course lectures, the program’s homestays, language study, and excursions to undertake field research and produce an original Independent Study Project that analyzes and evaluates aspects of modernization and social change in Jordan.

In-country resources and program partners generally include:

Browse this program's Independent Study Projects/Undergraduate Research

SIT students on the program had the opportunity to meet with His Royal Highness Prince Hassan bin Talal, brother of the late King Hussein, and uncle to Jordan’s King Abdullah. The Prince gave a talk, answered students’ questions, and invited them to share in a favorite local dessert. Read more...
Program alum Shawn Harris, University of California, Santa Cruz “Without the training I received through SIT Jordan, I would not be in the position I am today to pursue a career in economic development.”
With guidance from SIT faculty, Shawn recorded a large catalog of Bedouin agricultural practices for his Independent Study Project and assembled a plan for improving their practices in the region. The experience inspired him to continue working in the field of research and development, and he subsequently received an internship from the Jordan Badia Research and Development Center. He credits SIT Jordan for giving him a strong academic structure to further his Arabic, gain field research skills, and submit a successful graduate school application.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Amman

Language Study: Arabic

Prerequisites: None

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Fall 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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