Explore human-centered design by developing a project to address the needs of a Jordanian community.
Learn about human-centered design and gain firsthand knowledge about technologies for sustainable water use and treated waste water reuse, renewable energy, and organic farming in Jordan.
Assess the needs of a local community or business to identify an engineering problem.
Develop a design project that brings an innovative and practical response to a local need.
Gain insights to water, farming, and energy challenges in arid environments through site visits to the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, sustainable agriculture sites, and Bedouin communities.
Experience very different perspectives on resource management during the homestay in Amman and field visits with Bedouin families in the desert.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Climate | Environment
Previous college-level coursework or background in engineering, environmental science, or studies in related fields.
In Partnership With
In Partnership With
SIT Study Abroad and University of St. Thomas School of Engineering have collaborated on the development of this experiential capstone level program. The Design Project (ENGR 3030 / 4 credits / 60 class hours) will follow a senior design curriculum where students will be working with a local Jordanian community partner from problem definition to a conceptual design.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- Understanding human-centered design in the context of Jordan
- Water supply technology and practice in arid climates
- Sustainable, organic farming
- Engineering project development
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.
- Design Innovation in the Social Domain – syllabus
- (ENGR3003 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- An interdisciplinary introduction to human-centered design methods and ethics in the context of Jordan. Students interview community members; identify an existing problem in water and renewable energy, food design, or sustainable organic farming in arid environments; and engineer a concept that can be developed into a design project.
- Design Project – syllabus
- (ENGR3030 / 4 credits / 60 hours)
- In a field-study context, students interact with local engineers, community groups, businesses, and policy makers about emerging resilient practices and ideas for water shortage and supply, renewable energy, and food security. Under the direction of a local faculty advisor, student design teams develop engineering solutions to practical, open-ended design projects. Ethical, social, economic, and safety issues in engineering practice will be considered.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
Excursions and site visits include the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, and sustainable agriculture sites. You will also learn about the local and regional issues of arid countries, how the supply (or lack thereof) of resources affects internal and regional dynamics, and the organizations and efforts underway to resolve these issues. You will also learn about the challenges of agriculture in arid lands and technologies for sustainable water use and treated wastewater reuse.
You may also visit the Dana Nature Reserve and the Royal Botanic Garden.
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Raed Al-Tabini, PhD, Academic Director
Raed, a Jordanian national, holds a PhD in environment and sustainability from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK. He is a former general director of the Hashemite Fund for Development of Jordanian Badia in Jordan and has managed a variety of development projects in the Middle East and North Africa on such diverse topics as environment and sustainability, management of scarce water resources, and developing sustainable livelihoods in pastoral communities. He is a frequent presenter at international conferences and is well-published in the field of sustainable development. He has served as an academic director with SIT in Jordan since 2007. His role as academic director is multifaceted, as he designs the various academic and field-based components of the program, administers the program as a whole, and acts as a resource and intellectual guide. He has also delivered lectures on water and environmental policy and taught a course on research methods and ethics. The SIT program is heavily research-oriented, and he ensures that ethical standards are met, and that research is thoroughly professional, academic, and topical to the program of study.
Majd Abusalem, PhD Candidate, Program Assistant
Majd received her MS in dryland ecology from New Mexico State University. Currently she is a PhD student in agricultural engineering at the University of Jordan. Majd has been a full-time teaching assistant since 2015, teaching courses including Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental Quality, and Soil Quality. Her publications include “Fire enhances litter decomposition and reduces vegetation cover influences on decomposition in a dry woodland” (with Throop and Whitford) in Plant Ecology and “Transport vectors as drivers of dryland decomposition” (with Arche, Throop, Okin, Monger, Lee, and Smith) in LTER V Site Review. In addition, Majd worked as a research assistant from 2008 to 2011 at New Mexico State University and has participated in conferences and completed many training courses in agriculture and water in arid lands.
Overall, the entire experience has been amazing and transformative ...
Overall, the entire experience has been amazing and transformative. It has changed a lot of initial assumptions I had before coming into Amman. On top of that, the meetings [with my project sponsors] proved to be indispensable networking opportunities.
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.
You will live with a family in the modern capital city of Amman. The homestay offers an outstanding window into Jordanian urban life and culture. Most homestay families are middle class and enjoy high standards of living while maintaining the customs of a typical Arab home. 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. You may even experience a Jordanian wedding ceremony or other traditional cultural activities.
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.
This program is eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
Tuition: Not yet available.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lectures
- All field visits and educational excursions to locations such as the Valley of Jordan, the Dead Sea, water treatment plants, the Dana Nature Reserve, and the Royal Botanic Garden
- Health insurance throughout the entire lab period
Room & Board: Not yet available.
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire lab 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:
Airfare to Program Site
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 bring a smart phone that is able to accept a local SIM card with them to their program, or they must purchase a smart phone locally.
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.
In order to make study abroad more accessible, SIT's partner colleges and universities may charge home school tuition fees for their students participating on an SIT Study Abroad program. If your institution has an agreement with SIT and charges fees different from those assessed by SIT, please contact your study abroad advisor for more details. The SIT published price is the cost to direct enroll in the SIT program. Tuition fees may vary for students based on your home college's or university's billing policies with SIT.