Nestled in the Middle East, Jordan is a friendly country with open doors and a couple of opportunities for high school abroad programs.
Home to the Lost City of Petra, the bustling city of Amman, and hundreds of gorgeous mosques, Jordan has more than just a few sites for high schoolers to explore and through which to learn about the region's history. Further, it's also a popular location for Arabic language schools. Most students will either opt for an intensive language program or an academically rigorous teen travel program. Go to Jordan, and learn by seeing and experiencing.
Jordan is great for students who are interested in ancient history and learning a new language, getting to know the Jordanian culture, and high school students looking for a new and different environment to learn.Photo Credit: m'sieur rico.
Though Jordan is a wonderful destination, there are sadly few program options for high school abroad programs. Still, those that exist strive to give students an academically rigorous and culturally immersive experience while in Jordan.
That said, students options are pretty much limited to short-term study abroad programs. Some incorporate travel and will take students to various different sites within Jordan / the region while others will be more stationary. Each program has a slightly different academic theme -- from religion, to Arabic, to history -- so be sure to read up on the details of what you'll be studying, and not just the places you'll go!
Regardless of your program length, U.S. students will need to get a visa to Jordan in advance of arrival. Because Jordan has a more complicated visa process, assistance is provided by the programs throughout the entire process.
Most programs have students living with host families. Not all host families are required to speak English so homestays are a great way to get a kick start on learning Arabic. You will experience life in Jordan through unique family traditions, home cooked meals, and meeting your local neighbors.
Jordan is an inexpensive country to visit -- particularly if you stick to local eateries and steer clear of tourist spots. Although most programs include three meals a day, it's still recommended to budget $30 per day for any personal expenses.
Like a lot of the Middle East, Jordan has a desert climate which calls for long hot summers and short dry winters. But don't let that fool you, there is a chance of snow during the winter months and the temperatures can have a 30-40 degree range throughout the day. Make sure to pack:
- Light weight clothing
- Flip flops
- Winter coat
- Good walking shoes.
It is important to recognize that Jordan is a majority Muslim country. Although it is not required of women, it's recommended to cover up with long sleeves, skirts, or pants to show respect for the country's cultures and traditions and in return, they will respect you.
Do not show signs of affection in public.
Although there's a pressing threat of terrorism in the Middle East, Jordan remains one of the safest countries in the region. That said, programs take the safety of students very seriously and in the event of an emergency, they will cancel the program and return students home as quickly as possible.
Putting terrorism aside, Jordan is a fairly safe country. Take normal precautions, like staying aware of your surroundings and watching out for pickpockets in major cities / tourist areas. Parents should rest assured knowing that most programs have a 24-hour phone line to reach the students or the advisors of the program at any time.
Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and Polio are recommended vaccinations for Jordan.