|Homepage:||Click to visit|
|Dates / Deadlines:|
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Language of Instruction:||Arabic, English||Class Eligibility:||2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior (fall only)|
|Minimum GPA:||3.0||Housing Options:||Family Stay|
|Maximum Credits Earned (per semester):||4.0||Academic Area of Study:||Arabic, Economics, History, Middle East Studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology|
|Foreign Laguage Prerequisite:||2 semesters strongly encouraged|
AMIDEAST - Amman, Jordan
The AMIDEAST Jordan program offers students with an interest in Middle East Studies and Arabic language learning an opportunity to study in the region for the fall or spring semester or full year. Students take Arabic language courses, as well as content courses in English while living with families in Amman, at the crossroads of the Middle East. Students also have to opportunity to volunteer or intern in Amman.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a city in evolution. Modern development in health care, education, and continued economic reform stand in contrast to the city's well-preserved ancient ruins and a land steeped in tradition. Jordan shares land borders with Iraq, Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia. It is one of only two Arab countries to have open borders with Israel, thus it remains a key player in Arab-Israeli affairs.
The America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) was established in 1951 to provide international education, training, and development assistance opportunities to the Middle East and North Africa. Today it provides programs and services to improve educational opportunities and quality, strengthen local institutions, and develop language and professional skills for success in the local economy. AMIDEAST is a recognized leader in study abroad programs for Americans interested in learning more about this important region.
AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program courses in Amman are taught by a select group of Jordanian professors from a variety of institutions in and around Amman. These lecturers possess a strong instructional experience in English-speaking environments. All faculty members have received post-graduate degrees from North American or European universities, or have spent considerable time at English-medium institutions as students, faculty members, visiting faculty or visiting researchers.
Students in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program in Amman carry a 14-17 credit hour course load per semester. All students enroll in Arabic (8 credits: Modern Standard and Jordanian Colloquial Arabic) and two or three other elective courses (depending on the student’s preference) from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines taught in English including anthropology, art, history, economics, environmental studies, media Arabic, Middle East and North Africa studies, political science, religion, sociology, studio art, and women's studies. The elective course offerings vary by semester. In addition to academics, students benefit from an on-site orientation, opportunity to live with a Jordanian family, structured ways to meet local students, and organized excursions to locations around Jordan.
This Partner program requires students to have:
- 3.0 GPA
- Two semesters of Arabic strongly recommended
Open to all majors. All students must have a declared major at the time of application.
As a part of the review process students’ conduct records and account status are also reviewed. Students and their parents should note that the review process takes all elements of the student’s academic record into consideration and that even if a student has the required minimum GPA and language prerequisites, he or she may not be admitted.
Students who have questions about the review process or their particular candidacy for a program should come into the Center for Global Study and Engagement for advising.
Center staff will not discuss students’ applications with parents, friends or any other party without the student’s consent and presence in the conversation.
Who should study in Jordan?
Students with an interest in the Arabic-speaking world can study a variety of topics through AMIDEAST. Courses focus on Middle East and North African studies, but are applicable to a variety of majors, including Anthropology, Art, History, Economics, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Middle East and North African studies, Political Science, Religion, Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies. The courses offered vary by semester.
What are some sample courses I could take?
Offerings regularly include Peoples and Culture of the Middle East, Traditional Islamic Arts, The Arab Spring: Revolution and Reform in the Arab World, International Relations in the Middle East and North Africa, and Women and Society in the Arab World.
What language skills do I need?
At least two semesters of college-level Arabic are strongly recommended for applicants.
What is the language of instruction?
Classes are taught in English; students will take 8 credits of Arabic (Modern Standard and Colloquial Jordanian Arabic) at the appropriate level. High-level Arabic courses are mostly taught in Arabic.
How many credits will I earn?
Students enroll in 14-17 credits per semester. Students who successfully complete 14 credits will earn four Dickinson transfer credits; 17 credit hours = 4.5 credits Dickinson transfer credits. To take more than 4.5 credits per semester, a student must petition Brian Brubaker, the Director of Education Abroad. If a student registers for more than the maximum courses allowed without permission from the committee, the On-campus Coordinator, their academic advisor at Dickinson, and the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer. Students will also be responsible for any additional fees for doing this.
Will the courses count towards my major?
Many courses taken through AMIDEAST can count towards your major. You should check with your academic advisor on campus prior to course selection.
Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which the student is studying. Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.
Will they count in my GPA?
Course titles and letter grades earned are recorded on the Dickinson transcript, but the grade is not computed in the GPA. To receive credit you must earn a grade equivalent to a Dickinson ‘C’ (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or above. A grade of ‘C-’ or below will not earn credit.
What kinds of excursions are available?
AMIDEAST provides students guided academic excursions around Jordan such as the ancient city of Petra, Wadi Rum, sites of Biblical Jordan (Madaba, Bethany, Mt. Nebo, the Dead Sea), and northern Jordan (Jerash, Ajlun Reserve, Ajlun Castle).
What expenses are covered during excursions?
Students’ lodging costs will be covered during overnight excursions. Also, any meals that would not be otherwise covered by a standard meal stipend for all students on the program will be covered. Group transportation to and from the excursion site, as well as group travel for all group activities will be covered. Students will not be reimbursed for snacks, personal travel and personal activities during an academic excursion.
When will I find out where and when we’re travelling?
Specific dates for longer excursions will be announced at the beginning of the semester. Local site visits in and around Amman will be organized and announced during the semester.
Can a friend or family member who is not on the program also travel with us?
No, unfortunately, for logistical and academic reasons non program participants are not able to join the program for excursions.
Are excursions optional?
The excursions are optional but they are linked to your academic program and, in some cases, content delivered through the excursion will be relevant to a student’s studies and assessment. All students should plan to participate in all excursions. If a student misses an excursion or a planned departure for a trip, these arrangements and costs will not be made up for the student. It is each student’s responsibility to be where they need to be in order to participate fully in each academic excursion.
What other opportunities will I have to bolster my classroom experiences?
Civil Society: Students will encounter a variety of Jordanian civil society organizations ranging from local NGOs in a variety of fields to women’s organizations to sports clubs. AMIDEAST/Jordan will organize special activities to facilitate student connections to these organizations.
Service-learning: AMIDEAST/Jordan coordinates organized service-learning projects either for individual students or for larger groups. With many connections to a wide range of organizations in Jordan, AMIDEAST can adapt projects individual student interests to ensure a unique and satisfying service-learning experience.
Cross-cultural learning: AMIDEAST/Jordan organizes a variety of cross-cultural learning opportunities. Ranging from meet-and-greets to formal presentations, these events give participants the chance to interact with Jordanian students, to learn more about Jordan, and to introduce others to American culture.
When is orientation?
In addition to the full day mandatory pre-departure orientation you’ll have on campus, there is an in-depth, week-long orientation upon arrival in Amman, designed to introduce students to Jordanian culture and daily life and familiarize them with program logistics. Students stay in a hotel in Amman during orientation, and move to their accommodation for the semester at the end of the first week. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities and free time to familiarize participants with Amman. Topics such as safety and health, Jordanian family life, cultural adaptation, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors, take language placement tests, and become familiar with the program’s IT environment.
What are the program dates?
Tentative dates for the fall, spring, and academic year sessions can be found here.
Is there a group flight?
No, students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Jordan. Arrival and departure instructions are provided by AMIDEAST.
What if my family wants to visit me?
If you have family or friends who are planning to visit you, please do not make travel plans until you arrive at the program and become familiar with your class schedule and program excursions. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.
When will I have time to travel?
Aside from AMIDEAST excursions, students may travel on their own during breaks when classes are not in session. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.
Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?
Students may arrive early or stay late if they wish to travel on their own when classes are not in session. Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you will not be able to stay in your program housing. You should also consider your visa validity when you make the decision of whether or not you may arrive early or stay late. No student may arrive late for the start of the program.
How much does the program cost?
Students pay Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. The cost includes tuition, room, board, and local travel. However, airfare and visas are not included in this cost. Budget sheets are available for more information.
What is included in the program fee?
The fee covers tuition, room and board with a host family, an allowance for meals not eaten with the host family and local transportation, excursions, additional cultural activities, a program-supplied mobile phone, emergency insurance, and pre-departure and on-site orientation.
Are additional scholarships available?
As a Partner Program, students may use their Dickinson financial aid to cover the Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. Additional scholarships are available from AMIDEAST and eligible students are encouraged to apply.
How much extra money do I need to bring?
This depends on you. We encourage students to not travel every weekend, but to really engage their host city in meaningful ways during their semester abroad. An estimate of personal expenses is included on the budget sheet, but it really depends on you and your spending habits.
How will I access my money while in Jordan?
There are many international and national banks in Amman with ATM services; although not in smaller villages. ATMs in Jordan are quite reliable, and the easiest and most convenient way to obtain cash. However, you should ask your bank if they charge a fee for international ATM transactions; they may also have other recommendations for accessing your funds overseas. Credit cards, especially Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at major hotels, and at some high-end restaurants, shops and grocery stores. If you plan to use one of these cards (debit or credit) you should notify your card company that you will be in Jordan, as they often place security holds on accounts when foreign charges appear unexpectedly. Also, please make sure that you have a 4 digit pin, as some places can’t accommodate longer pin numbers.
Will I receive a stipend?
No. Allowances for additional meals ($500 per semester), local transportation ($400 per semester), and cultural activities ($500 per semester) will be deducted from the Dickinson comprehensive fee by Student Accounts. It is your responsibility to have access to these funds while abroad so as to use them to cover these living expenses.
How do I access health care in Amman?
AMIDEAST field staff maintains a list of recommended doctors and medical facilities and will assist you in arranging and paying for appointments. The program fee includes medical and accident insurance through HTH Worldwide Insurance.
Is Amman a safe place to study abroad?
These are challenging times, particularly for those involved in programs for American students in the Middle East and North Africa. At AMIDEAST, student health, safety, and security are the number one priorities. While no one can guarantee that unexpected risks or situations will not arise, AMIDEAST continually strives to provide the support necessary for students to have a safe and healthy education abroad experience.
AMIDEAST continuously monitors the security situation in all of our program locations and work with our local staff and other local contacts to get up to date information on the safety of the cities in which we operate.
Although it is not possible to eliminate risk, AMIDEAST is committed to ensuring that its programs operate in safe and secure environments. AMIDEAST's longstanding physical presence in the Middle East and North Africa and long history of service to local communities have enabled the development of strong local networks and relationships with local institutions and individuals. AMIDEAST’s Country Directors maintain close ties to the Regional Security Officers at the U.S. Embassies, and local program staff members are included in the U.S. Embassy warden network. AMIDEAST is also a member of the Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.
AMIDEAST facilities are accessible only through controlled entrances. Local staff is able to send out text messages (SMS) simultaneously to all students' program-provided mobile phones to update them instantly as issues related to health, safety, and security develop. Local staff maintains a vital local network and contributes to the understanding of ongoing and developing situations on the ground.
In addition, to further enhance access to up-to-the-minute information in crisis situations, AMIDEAST contracts with iJET: Intelligent Risk Systems, to offer certain services directly to AMIDEAST students. Lastly, an internal communication system links AMIDEAST Headquarters in Washington, DC, with field offices in the Middle East and North Africa, and key staff members are available at all times to respond to emergency situations. AMIDEAST Staff also provides information to students about how to register with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
Where will I live?
In Amman, students live with carefully selected Arabic-speaking host families who also speak English. Families generally host two AMIDEAST students at a time. Not only will students observe invaluable insight into daily Jordanian life and culture, they are also immersed in the language while inside the home.
Will I eat every meal with my homestay family?
All meals are provided by the homestay family although there may be times that students cannot return home for a lunch due to their class schedule. Dickinson students will receive a board credit on their Dickinson student account to assist with lunch expenses as well as a transportation credit. It is expected that you will use the excess money available to you for your food and transportation expenses while studying abroad. Please note that no stipends will be dispersed in Amman; you must plan to have access to these funds while studying abroad.
Should I bring a gift to my homestay family?
It is always a nice gesture to bring your new host family a small token from your hometown or region and as an initial ‘thank you’ for having you in their home. You could also bring them something from Dickinson.
What if I don’t like my homestay family?
If there is an issue with an aspect of your housing arrangement, it is always best to try to resolve this first with the family (to the best of your ability) to respectfully explain any issues you are having. Many times simply addressing an issue with the family is the best way to create a positive change. You are encouraged to talk to the AMIDEAST staff if there is an on-going problem and they will be happy to talk to the family or mediate a conversation.
How will I access the internet?
The AMIDEAST Amman office, where classrooms and administrative offices are located, has wireless internet access for study abroad students. Students may either use the computers in the office or bring their own laptops and use the network in the AMIDEAST Study Abroad room during open hours. Host families may have a computer with Internet access that is shared with the entire family that they may allow you to use. Amman also has many relatively cheap Internet cafes. Please keep in mind that internet may not be as fast or as consistent as you are used to in the U.S. Students are advised to bring their own laptops if possible.
Are internships available?
Internships are available on the AMIDEAST program; however, the experience is different from that in the United States. Internships, volunteer, and community based work placements are available to students enrolled in MENA 390: Community Based Learning. The purpose of the CBL course is not to provide work experience for students but rather for them to have the opportunity to interact with Jordanians in work environments. In turn, this acts as a window to help students better understand various aspects of Jordanian culture as they are manifested in the workplace.
Can I conduct research while abroad?
Students may be able to conduct research abroad under the guidance of a Dickinson advisor. The Student International Research Fund (SIRF) was established to help students with extra travel costs associated with independent research projects. Students are encouraged to present their research at the International Research Symposium when they return to campus.
What is a visa?
A visa is a document, normally affixed within your passport, which allows you to enter a country and stay for the duration of your program. The requirements for the visa and visa process are controlled by the government of the country you are entering, are non-negotiable, and can change regularly.
Do I need a visa?
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Jordan, but you will need to purchase a student visa upon arriving at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport in Amman for JD20 (approximately US$28). This fee must be paid in Jordanian Dinars, but a bank is available in the arrivals hall at the airport to convert money if needed.
If I’m not a U.S. passport holder, do I need a visa?
You will need to do your own research on visa requirements for citizens of your home country to study in Morocco. The CGSE may be able to help you with the required documents. Also, you will need to inform Marlee Meikrantz and Jackie Wong that you will be studying outside of the United States and discuss how you will remain in valid F-1 status during your studies abroad.
Global Ambassadors are returning study abroad students who serve as peer advisors for their program. Please feel free to contact them for a student perspective.
Hello! My name is Bryce Feibel and I am a Senior here at Dickinson. I am an international studies major, as well as an economics and Arabic minor. I am also pursuing a security studies certificate. In spring 2014, I studied abroad in Amman, Jordan through AMIDEAST. I have also had the opportunity to study in Rabat, Morocco through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship. While abroad, I had the opportunity to take courses taught by incredibly qualified professionals from around the world. One of my favorite academic experiences was having class and dinner at my “Economic Development in the Middle East” professor’s house. During the semester, I worked at Oasis500, an early stage and seed investment company, as a marketing intern. After my time abroad in the Middle East, my career goals include returning to the Middle East and continuing to build upon my Arabic language skills while traveling and possibly finding work in the region.
For more information, please contact:
Center for Global Study and Engagement
Prof. Ed Webb, Faculty Coordinator
Departments of Political Science and International Studies
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013