OVERALL: My experience in this program was positive. I learned much, had fun, and was challenged.
MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES: I have been learning Arabic in some way or another for the previous ten years, much of which included learning dialects, so I was ahead of the curve in regards to the language portion. I have informally studied abroad in both Egypt and previously in Jordan, meaning I went on my own and sought out a school. Each of those trips were a month long, whereas this trip was two months long.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW: The CET program as a whole is very encompassing, which is a great feature for anyone who has never been abroad or has little experience with the language or country they are traveling in. Both the internship and language classes include a long and short trip, language partners, and the experience to live with a Jordanian roommate. The academics include tests, cooking classes, research paper written in Arabic, and various presentations on topics, of which are usually chosen by the student.
The internship class includes some required reading materials, journal entries, an academic and experiential research paper on a topic related to your internship site, and an presentation on your site location.
THOUGHTS ABOUT INTERNSHIP PORTION:
Because there are many more reviews about the language classes on this site, and because there isn't much of a difference between the academics of the internship and intensive language classes, I will forego talking about it here. My overall experience with the academic portion was positive.
I interned at the Center for Women's Studies at the University of Jordan.
I enjoyed getting out of class and seeing other places. I got the opportunity to meet other people and hear some difference experiences and stories that I would not have heard otherwise.
I was able to "audit" master-level classes that were taught in Arabic. That was a neat experience.
I was able to help staff and students out with their research needs. Everyone was very nice.
-The summer session is short, very little opportunity to contribute.
-Especially for academics, there was little going on. I would have had even less opportunities to do things if I didn't come with a good grasp of the language before.
-The work of the academics, report writing, and internship work can be conflicting and difficult to deal with. Some people, especially because of the shortened summer schedule, questioned whether the internship was actually worth it.
I read about the language pledge before coming to the program but didn't realize it was a cornerstone of the program. I personally really liked the language pledge and the challenges associated with it. I see others saying that it's requirements should be lessened for those with lower levels, but that seems backwards to me. The lower level students are the ones who benefit most from it. In addition, if that is something that detracts from this program, then go to another program! There are plenty of others. But, having heard from other students who came from other programs, they stated that CET was the most beneficial to them.
There will be groups of people who do not use the language pledge when they can avoid it. This can be frustrating. Set out what you want from this program and stick with the people who have similar goals.