When you couple Amman's charming dysfunction with the difficulty of the Arabic language pledge, finding your way in this program is a challenge, but rewarding adventure. Seeing your learning/language skills progress throughout the semester is an exercise in patience and determination. The teachers are excellent (especially Fusha and Aamiya), Middlebury staff is great, and Jordan language partners/mentors are invested in befriending their American counterparts.
Students live in homestays for their 1st semester, which was by far the most fun/rewarding experience. I lucked out by having the best host mom, who became a close friend, but others might not have lucked out as I did.
Emphasis on getting out of the "Middlebury bubble" is strong, important, and one of the strongest aspects of the experience. Academically, students have project week, investing in a pertinent Jordanian topic, and often have assignments where they must interact with Jordanians. "Days of exploration" encourage students to get out and know Jordan. Also, the program staff creates a culture where exploration in Amman and relationship building with non-native English speakers is encouraged.