I tried to keep my expectations limited when going into my summer experience in Jordan, and that definitely helped me to adjust to the new culture and expectations. The housing was beautiful and in a safe location, but wifi was unreliable. Luckily there was a café nearby with great wifi in case ours went out. Since I was in the internship program, the plan was that I would have class Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and would be at the internship Monday and Wednesday. Since the first month of the program took place during Ramadan, however, most of the internships didn't begin until after the holy month had ended. By the time I actually got to work, I only spent a total of 8 days at my internship. There was also not much work for us to do since NEF was in between projects, and they did not really know what to do with us, so I think there was a lack of communication between CET and the other organizations. When we did get to work, however, we had a great time. We learned a lot about what the organization does and became great friends with our coworkers. The other students in the program were very supportive and we developed a great bond during our time there. The placement in classes was a little iffy, one guy transferred from my class to a lower level because they had placed him too high, and I was right on the edge in the advanced class. I definitely learned a lot, though. As I said, flexibility is key. Schedules changed and requirements were adapted so I really had to be on my toes to know what I was supposed to be doing. My original language partner dropped the program two weeks in, but my second one was incredible. She invited me to a party celebrating the birth of her cousin. That's one thing I really loved about CET, they provide you with a lot of opportunities to develop connections with people in the community and gain these rare and often personal insights into life in Amman. The language pledge was very frustrating, however, because not only were beginner students not able to converse with us for a few weeks until they learned enough words, but they would tell us we were breaking the pledge even if we weren't because they would forget who was in which program. I was often afraid I would be expelled simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or for trying to define a word for a beginner student using my own limited knowledge. It added an unnecessary amount of stress. Also, there was an "internship class" we attended once a week, but it was really more about Jordanian and Middle Eastern politics, which was fine for me because that's my area of study, but others complained that it felt like kind of a waste of time, especially after a full day of classes. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and it has definitely expanded my comfort zone travel-wise. I am much more confident in myself, and I feel like this has opened the door to further travel either in the Middle East or elsewhere.
Relax the language pledge slightly, and communicate more (with the students, and also with the internship programs to make sure we actually have an internship to work in)