Is this program right for you?
This program is designed for students with an interest in studying Arabic and the Middle East region who want to live in Amman, Jordan for a semester or academic year with AMIDEAST. Arabic language courses are required and all area studies courses are taught in English. Students can choose to live in homestays or in shared apartments. Courses, cultural activities, and excursions are hosted through the AMIDEAST center in Amman. Upon completion of this program, students will be well-versed in the issues currently facing Jordan and the broader Middle East region. Please visit the AMIDEAST blog to learn more about students' experiences in Jordan, and contact AMIDEAST alumni here. You can find out about how AMIDEAST deals with health and safety here. Students need to verify before the term begins with their department or academic advisors in what Arabic courses they will be placed in upon their return back to American University.
AU Abroad provides students the opportunity to apply for the AU Abroad Student Award, in which students can earn up to $2500 per semester towards their tuition and AU program fees. AMIDEAST also provides students the ability to apply for several different scholarships for their programs. It is the responsibility of the student to find out how to apply for these opportunities.
Students in the AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies program in Amman carry 14 or 17 credit hours per semester. All students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Arabic and select two or three other courses from offerings in Area and Language studies in a variety of disciplines. AMIDEAST academic staff bios can be found here.
While the AMIDEAST center in Amman is not located on a university campus, there are many Jordanians who use this center for educational activities. The AMIDEAST/Jordan center offers a number of different services to individuals and local organizations such as English language courses, professional training, entrepreneurship workshops and mentoring, scholarship opportunities in the U.S. and elsewhere, management consulting and coaching, internationally recognized test administration, and educational advising and placement services. In other words, the AMIDEAST center is a hub for many different education and training activities, not only education abroad programs.
Click here to find out differences in educational systems, what AMIDEAST courses have already been equated to AU courses, and how to request a course equivalency.
AMIDEAST partners with the Qasid Institute for Arabic language learning. The Qasid Arabic Institute has developed a reputation as one of the leading programs in the Middle East for Arabic language learning. Its comprehensive curriculum begins with the proper pronunciation of Arabic letters and continues through to a high degree of proficiency.
Language Courses (8 credits in Arabic; required): All students will enroll Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) for 5 credits and Colloquial Jordanian Arabic for 3 credits. For MSA, students will be given a placement exam on arrival and enrolled for Arabic courses at the appropriate level. Students will be placed in the appropriate dialect course based on their MSA level. Media Arabic is also available for advanced students for an additional 3 credits.
Area Studies Courses: Students enroll in two to three area studies courses. All area studies courses are worth 3 credits each and cover a wide variety of disciplines.
Throughout history, Jordan has served as a crossroads for trade, peoples, and cultures, connecting the East and the West. The capital city, Amman, is located in the north, thirty minutes from the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. Amman is historically significant for many of its early civilizations and the Biblical sites surrounding the city. Today, the city is the bustling capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with a population of over 2.5 million people. Jordan plays a significant diplomatic role in the wider Middle East region, and issues of regional peace and cooperation are at the forefront of this country's political agenda.
Accommodation & Meals
Students enrolled with AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan have a choice of living arrangements and meal plans:
Living with a Jordanian Family – students who select this option will live with a Jordanian family that has been carefully screened by AMIDEAST from a database of qualified applicants; families generally host two AMIDEAST students at a time. All host families are Arabic-speaking; English, however, is spoken in most of the homes.
AMIDEAST matches students with host families using a variety of criteria. While all placement preferences may not be met in every case, AMIDEAST will strive to make the best match to ensure a rewarding and pleasant living experience. In the event of a problem, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program staff members will be available either to mediate or to arrange a new host family placement. Students living with host families will be provided with all meals by their host families but may find that some days it is not possible to return to the family for lunch because of class schedules.
Living in a shared apartment with other U.S. study abroad students from the program. The apartments are carefully selected by AMIDEAST to be safe, comfortable and convenient to program facilities and public transportation. Students purchase or prepare meals on their own.
AMIDEAST students participate in three program-organized excursions outside of Amman to visit major points of interest. The excursions are coordinated by AMIDEAST in conjunction with the program's academic staff and are led by a member of the faculty. Organized activities are combined with limited free time, allowing students to explore independently within a safe and structured framework. AMIDEAST publishes the academic calendar, including planned excursions for future semesters here.
Additional Learning Opportunities
In addition to the academic program, AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan offers a variety of additional learning opportunities to enhance participants' study abroad experience:
In each host country, AMIDEAST field staff recruits local students, young professionals, and participants in AMIDEAST English-language courses to act as language partners for semester/academic year students. During both in-class and extra-curricular activities, students work with host-country peers to practice language and build cross-cultural friendships. Language partners are a core element of the Arabic language learning agenda of those programs.
Cultural Dialogue Sessions
During semester programs, students participate in structured dialogue sessions with carefully-selected host country students. Held either in informal small groups or as larger speaker-led discussions, cultural dialogue sessions provide an opportunity for students to discuss cultural issues and interact with host country peers. AMIDEAST staff members strive to create a “safe space” for both AMIDEAST students and host country students to express their views and ask questions. These unique environments allow participants to broach topics that are not easily raised in day-to-day conversation. Some of the topics that may be discussed during these cultural dialogue sessions include perspectives on identity, marriage, religion, and gender roles.
All AMIDEAST semester/academic year programs include a "Reflection Week" at the end of the term. Over the years AMIDEAST has found that at the end of the program, students often feel a great deal of excitement and anxiety about returning home. Reflection periods have been designed in order to create the time and space for students to slow down, look back on their experience, and plan for their return home.
All American citizens can be issued a visa upon arrival at the Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan. Currently, a single-entry Jordanian visa costs less than $30. This price is subject to change. During your stay in Amman, AMIDEAST will help facilitate extensions of the visas.