CET Jordan: Intensive Language

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About

Want to improve your Arabic fluency by leaps and bounds? CET Jordan provides just the context. The program features rigorous courses in both formal and informal Arabic, language partners, local roommates, and a full-time language pledge. You'll take an official Oral Proficiency Interview at the end of the term, perfect for adding to a résumé or grad school application. Arabic-based content courses and excursions—around Amman and throughout Jordan—will challenge your preconceptions and teach you to speak diplomatically about issues ranging from corruption to women in the military. From filming a tourism video to learning a folk dance, CET Jordan will give you chance after chance to experience the diversity and vibrancy of Arab culture. This program is for serious students with at least 2 semesters of previous Arabic language study.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 9.2
  • Support 9
  • Fun 7.9
  • Housing 7.7
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Emma
10/10

CET Jordan: Amazing experience

I studied abroad in Jordan last semester (Spring 2018) and had a spectacular experience. In fact, the challenges of living in a new place, speaking a foreign language, and acclimating to a new culture made me appreciate the experience even more. I met amazing people (Americans and Jordanians alike), learned a ton, and pushed myself in ways I didn’t think possible. The 4-month intensive immersion program improved my Arabic skills in tremendous ways and provided me with a greater insight into the culture. You will work hard, but it’s all worth it. Highly, highly recommend!

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if CET provided us with more information about places to visit and events happening in Amman. There is always more to explore!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Madison
9/10

Life in Jordan

My summer in Jordan was absolutely incredible. Yes, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was SO worth it. Jordan was nothing that I expected. It was beautiful, chaotic, fun, difficult, and intense. Obviously this is not a study abroad to Europe while taking a course in English so you do not get to party or travel to other countries 24/7. This is an intensive immersion program and you come out speaking Arabic better than you would have ever dreamed of. I literally feel like I barely knew Arabic before coming on this trip (after having taken it for 2 YEARS!). After my courses I felt like a new Arabic speaker. I really believe that if I had lived in Jordan for a whole year or the summer plus a semester, I would be fluent. You will also get to see and experience some amazing things/places and meet so many amazing people. If you are able, do it. Do not let the new country, the language, or the unknown scare you. DO IT!

How can this program be improved?
Each week it would be awesome for all of the students to meet and discuss how they are getting along in Jordan - problems, experiences, difficulties, etc.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emma
9/10

CET Jordan Review

Jordan is a beautiful country with extremely hospitable people. During my time there, I was able to see events and places ranging from a family birthday party, Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and the Roman Ampitheatre. To be able to understand the cultural and historical context made understanding the language easier. My favorite memory is staying the night in Wadi Rum but really not sleeping at all because everyone is looking at the stars. It's a surreal experience because you are totally disconnected from the outside world - no phones, no light pollution. CET Jordan impacted my life in such a way that I returned to the States with a new understanding and appreciation for the things we have in America and also for the way other cultures function and operate. To totally immerse yourself in another person's culture is, in my opinion, the sign of respect. One of the hardest things during my time in Jordan was the language pledge. It is incredibly difficult at times and truly, truly pushes you out of your comfort zone. However, because I upheld the language pledge, my Arabic language skills have improved tremendously. CET pushes students out of their comfort zones while simultaneously providing them with an extremely wonderful support system for when things get tough. Every single CET professor is kind and encouraging but also driven to ensure that students learn something new every day. The teaching assistants in the classroom are there for extra support, to help explain something again or go over a worksheet with someone individually if needed. Their goal, just as much as the students, is for the students to learn. Students are paired with a language partner that you meet with weekly, and through them you get to see firsthand what it is like to live in Jordan. In addition to a language partner, students also have a Jordanian roommate. Through them, you are able to speak within your home with a native speaker and get a glimpse of what it is like to live with someone from a different culture. Not only is CET extremely academically driven, it is extremely culturaly driven as well.

How can this program be improved?
My single complaint about the summer program is that it is just 8 weeks and I feel like the first week we should have started classes earlier in order to really utilize our already short time.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Tyler
8/10

CET: Great Experience in Jordan

The program is very solid. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to develop their Arabic or just get out of their University. The program director and employees are very understanding and help you through all of your problems. For example, I got sick the second week and Ahmed(CET employee) drove me to the hospital and walked me through the entire process. Before I knew it, I was out of the hospital with medications in less than 40 minutes.
Through the program you get to see Petra, the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum in the long trip and Um Qais, Jaresh and Ajlun in the short trip. This was a much needed breath of fresh air, as classes were starting to pick and much of the day was spent in the books. Petra was my favorite location from the trip. Pictures don’t do the city justice. Being face to face with the treasury really makes you wonder how a primitive human can accomplish so much in the desert. The Dead Sea was a close number 2 but was very painful(don’t get the salt water in your eyes). If I had studied abroad on my own I would have not been able to assess there locations. I am very happy the program sets these trips up.
Participating in the language pledge for two months undoubtedly strengthened my Arabic. Being in the thick of course work and college student life, I didn’t realize how far I had come. Arriving in Amman, I could introduce myself in Arabic and talk about where I was from and what I studied; after the program, I could maintain a conversation with my uber driver for 30 minutes on the way to the airport. We talked about our favorite music, why I was in Jordan, what I wanted to do, what he wanted to do and companies he worked for. I didn’t realize how far I had come until he dropped me off and I headed back to the states. Overall, I am very happy with my decision to study and I have gained so much from my experience.

How can this program be improved?
My only complaint is that I didn’t stay for longer. A year in that environment, I believe, would give me the opportunity to become even more confident and comfortable in the language. Also, the rules are very strict in the program. I know there are reasons for the rules implemented but I do believe it took away a part of the experience traveling abroad.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kassidy
9/10

Jordan, Summer 2018

CET's Intensive Language Program is rigorous and challenging (They don't call it "intensive" for no reason), but easily the most valuable asset to my Arabic language learning. Prior to this summer, I was terrified of this program and could hardly speak Arabic. I arrived barely able to say more than the basic information about myself.

From day one, the CET staff are incredibly kind and supportive, willing to do anything to help you succeed in learning the language. The classes are small, interactive, and allow you to build relationships with your peers and your professor. The workload, while a lot, was all valuable and sets you up to grow your vocab tremendously and communicate conversationally with others. It was a challenging summer that allowed me the opportunity to grow both academically and personally. I can't even express the amount that my Arabic improved from this summer. I had been studying Arabic for two years prior to this summer and those two years of studying were worthless compared to this summer. The language pledge is one of the most beneficial aspects of the program, forcing you to speak 24/7 and grow in your ability to speak conversationally. I struggled a lot during the summer, but the CET staff were always so helpful and kind - they felt like my 2nd family by the end of the summer, and I always felt comfortable enough to express any problems I was having. They are accommodating and supportive.

The program excursions were one of my favorite parts of the summer. Wadi Rum and Petra are absolutely beautiful and allow you the opportunity to see other parts of Jordan. Prior to the trips, you study relevant vocabulary in class that relates to the trips. I loved how the program intentionally ties together our class work and the trips we took. I learned how to explain where I had traveled during the summer and different aspects of each location.

I cannot express how valuable my time abroad was. It was the most challenging and rewarding summer I have ever experienced. I don't regret it at all and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. If you are serious about studying Arabic, this program is the next step.

Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Kassidy, Thanks for sharing your experience in Jordan! We're glad you got so much out of the program and that your language skills progressed so much! -Shelley Jessee, Director of Marketing, CET

Yes, I recommend this program
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taylor
8/10

Study Abroad in Jordan

احلا
I studied abroad in Jordan through the CET language intensive program in the summer of 2018 and it was truly on of the best experiences I could have asked for. From day one the onsite staff and directors were so helpful and welcoming. They really tried to make sure every student was settling in with ease. The summer language intensive program was a lot more difficult than I was expecting and there is a lot of work since its shorter than a normal semester. The classes could feel overwhelming at times because everything is taught in Arabic but the professors will and other onsite staff work diligently to ensure that you're progressing. Even when it feels overwhelming or you are tired, the professors are alongside you cheering you on.

Aside from the classroom experience CET offers multiple trips that really help bring you into the culture. The first trip, we visited a Jeresh, Umm Qais, and Ajloun, this trip gave us the opportunity to learn more about the history of the region and practice Arabic with our friends in a new setting. The second trip, was also an opportunity to site see and speak with our friends but most importantly it also gave us the opportunity to speak with the locals of Petra, and Wadi Rum.

This trip impacted me in an academic and personal way. Before studying with CET I thought I knew a lot about the region because I studied the Middle East for three years before going there, I was wrong. I knew nothing. Books can teach you about politics on an international level but there is nothing like interacting and with living with the locals.

How can this program be improved?
I benefited a lot from the summer program. However, it was very stressful and I think a lot of the students can say that it was very goal oriented towards passing test. This was not a good motivator so us because most of us there were not getting credit from the University but genuinely wanted to learn the language to learn it, not pass a test
Yes, I recommend this program
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Joni
9/10

Good experience

I really enjoyed my time in Jordan, I learned a lot through this program and gained a lot of experience. We traveled to multiple places in Jordan with the program and interacted with a lot of new people. The classes were difficult but as long as you work hard and stay committed you will succeed. I would advise to future students to make sure that you save time for yourself so that you don't overwork yourself.

Yes, I recommend this program
Cat
10/10

Third Time's A Charm

My semester in Jordan was not my first time in Jordan-I had been twice for study abroad with my school the previous summers; however, this experience was unlike any other. CET offers 2 outlets which are important in learning a language, especially in a foreign country, which makes the program itself stand out from other study abroad programs: the language pledge and native roommates who live in the apartments. While the language pledge was frustrating at times, and also tempting to break when in our apartments or with our friends, it improved my Arabic skills the most and helped me become more confident in my speaking abilities. It always felt rewarding when I would explain a concept to someone, 100% in Arabic, and they understand almost entirely the ideas I was conveying. As for the or for my broken Arabic that they didn’t understand, we would discuss in Arabic until we were on the same page. It was also fun to engage with other students who were at different levels and help one another.
Living in the apartments with a Jordanian roommate also proved beneficial. In my past study-abroad experiences, I lived with close friends, so we did not speak Arabic as much as we could have; this past semester, I shared a room with my Jordanian roommate, which was an experience I loved more than I ever thought I would. There were nights where she and I would exchange stories about our family lives, our friends, or just funny experiences—all in Arabic, for hours.
As for the quality of our apartments, they were more than adequate and provided the amenities one would expect from a study abroad experience. Nothing too fancy and nothing too plain, our apartments came fully furnished and seemed more-or-less clean. Some apartments came with enough plates and utensils for all 3-4 roommates (maybe more than enough), while others came with not nearly enough. Some had pots and pants; others did not. The apartment is on top of a hill and is guarded; and with the directors living there as well, there was never any reason to feel unsafe. Having the directors in the same apartment complex as the students was more than beneficial: most students felt not only safe, but also reassured that help and advice—no matter the situation—were always just a few doors away.
The teachers were exceptional and always made sure that their students understood the material, and that no one felt behind in the class. They were always willing to meet at any time outside of class, for however long the student needed. The classes were small, which I liked—my class had 5 people including me—because it helped the students bond closely and encouraged active participation and, in turn, improved students’ Arabic skills through casual conversation. While we learned a lot of new vocabulary, we focused heavily on how to use these new terms, specifically in giving presentations in front of our classmates (rather than just constantly learn lists of words). We discussed issues that are important to Jordanian society and had many opportunities to go out and ask questions to students, who were hanging out in the streets between their classes, specifically asking about the topics we discussed in classes that day or week. We would come back to class and present on what we had just discussed with our new friends.
The trips and cooking days also served an important role in our learning. We would learn about the places we were going and give presentations on them with our newly expanded vocabulary and have the chance to discuss the sights and history of the places we visited with our friends, language partners, roommates, and teachers while exploring. The cooking days were my favorite; I was able to develop my culinary vocabulary, learn colloquial terms for food, and perfect authentic Jordanian dishes—all while laughing and having fun with my classmates. We would later share our dishes with other classes, and then teach them how to make the dish. There was constant engagement among the students, whether it manifested in the encouragement of others, helping others with homework, or sharing fun stories. There was never a dull day with CET.
I love CET for many reasons, but mostly because it gave me the confidence to speak and not be afraid to make mistakes.

How can this program be improved?
Some of the content classes had heavy material, and students with minimal exposure to the language would be expected to come in and 1) know information about the subject already 2) be able to keep up in learning not only the language, also the information from other classes that just so happened to be taught in Arabic. I understand the importance of the language pledge; however, I think that having the first day (of content courses specifically) dedicated to going over major points and historical events in English would be beneficial. (For example, for religious parties, briefly touch on the groups that will be discussed and where they stemmed from).
Yes, I recommend this program
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William
10/10

My time in Amman

Living in Amman, Jordan for the semester was a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience. CET provided all of its students with excellent living amenities and the staff was always available and accessible if there were any problems. My daily schedule went a little something like this: wake up, make a simple breakfast using fresh ingredients from the local markets, attend Arabic class for a few hours, grab a falafel sandwich (for about 50 cents!), and go back to the university for my politics class (taught in Arabic as well). After class and on weekends my time was my own. Although yes, there was plenty of studying to be done, I found that the most effective way to study was to go into the streets and the markets and talk with Arabs. Throughout the week we stayed fairly local, but on weekends we would often take day trips to one of the incredible sites in and around Amman including Asalt, the old Ottoman capital of the Jordanian province, the roman amphitheater in downtown Amman, the famous “Rainbow Street” where we could haggle with vendors over homemade crafts and jewelry, and Donna, a spectacular nature reserve complete with cave dwellings dated back to the Nabatean Empire (over 2,000 years ago).
Jordan is truly an incredible country with equally incredible people. Jordanians always found a way to help us out, sometimes inviting us into their homes to drink tea and meet their families. Just as amazing were the students in the program with me. I made some wonderful relationships with these students who hailed from all over America- it’s truly astonishing how closely you grow to people when you all find yourself in a foreign land with only limited knowledge of the local language.
Finally, my Arabic skills increased so much throughout this experience in both written and spoken form. The language pledge that CET enforces, although occasionally leading to frustration, was well worth it in the end when I found myself speaking with a fluency I didn’t imagine possible for myself. I loved my experience abroad the perspective it gave me will continue to be invaluable for a long time.

How can this program be improved?
More excursions around Jordan! Those were easily the best parts.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sean
9/10

Best language program in Jordan

There are a lot of programs that enable you to learn Arabic in Amman, but none will match the language instruction with CET. When the professors say that they are there for you 24/7, they truly mean it - they will answer your questions any hour of the day. Since the program is embedded inside of the university, you have an incredible amount of resources available to you, which is great for language learning. Also, the program gives you a lot of free reign to explore the city, country, and region, which a lot of other programs have restricted, so that is good.

How can this program be improved?
The housing itself is fine but it is very overpriced, so you don't exactly get great bang for your buck there.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Tessa
9/10

Spend a Summer in the Desert!

So, Amman isn't really the desert, but it is hot and you have to dress conservatively, so expect to be sweating a lot (or staying inside during the day). This program really did teach me Arabic, from the language partners to the local roommates to the teachers, everybody is so genuinely welcoming and helpful that it's impossible not to pick up on the language! Manal, the program director, is the absolute best. She is so sweet, helpful, funny, and nice, and the days when she came in to teach my class were days where I learned the most. Likewise, CET does a good job planning the short and the long trips -- they are planned so carefully as to even include time for a shower when they know we'll be sweaty after walking around in the sun at Petra, and I believe that I saw more of the country than I would've had I been left to take those trips on my own. The apartment style living is a great way to always be with your fellow students, as well as to have the freedom to explore the city/country as much as possible. If you're looking to stay with a host family, there are other programs out there, but if you're like me and opted for freedom vs. immersion, the apartments with the local roommate are a perfect balance. There is a little bit of miscommunication between the staff and the students, but that is almost to be expected with any abroad trip (and in this country especially..."Arab time" is most definitely a thing). Overall, if you're looking to learn arabic, this is a great program!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Corina
9/10

The Program That's Worth It

CET has found a fantastic academic director in Manal Youssef. She is a strong leader, intelligent, and beyond amazing in the classroom. She and the administrative director make sure you see the tourist-y parts of Jordan, and get an amazing experience in Wadi Rum, but also push you just hard enough so that you come out of the program stunned at how far you've come.
This program was well worth every penny, the only issues I faced were the comments from people on the street, and how chilly it is indoors during the winter! So bring layers if you'll be there close to winter, otherwise, just be ready to learn and learn and learn, more than you ever thought you could. I learned more from this program than it appears from friends did in year-long stays with other programs.

How can this program be improved?
I would like to see more of the structure of the program made clear to students, as well as the apartments. Basically, a little improvement on distributing information and organization, and they're perfect.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Elisa
7/10

Recommended, but with caution

From what I've heard, CET is the one of the best Arabic intensive language program. The curriculum is laid out well, the teachers and directors love the students and work tirelessly to help them learn. That being said, I felt that there were unreasonable expectations placed on the students that led to a lot of burn out, frustration and discouragement. For me, having only finished one year of Arabic, there's a lot of grammar that I thought I would learn this summer, but the focus on grammar was minimal. The idea is that we will learn grammar from context as we read the lessons, but we went through the readings so quickly, often times barely understanding what they were about, before moving on to the next one that the opportunity to look at grammatical structures in sentences was often missed. There were days when I was deeply concerned that I would leave Jordan hating Arabic. That did not end up being the case, and in spite of a lot of challenges this summer, I learned a lot-- the language pledge forced me to speak in Arabic a lot more than I would have otherwise. (I definitely spoke in English with the two Americans I lived with in order to maintain my emotional and mental sanity, but I did my best to maintain the pledge as much as possible.) My vocabulary expanded exponentially and my comfort in speaking, reading, and writing grew considerably. For students considering CET, yes, you will learn a lot, have a great time on the trips that CET coordinates for the program and you will interact a lot with Jordanians through homework assignments, hanging out with your roommate, and meeting with your language partner three times a week (by far my favorite part of the summer!). But also be aware that you will be pushed beyond what seems actually possible. I have two pieces of advice: if your school uses Al-kitaab and doesn't finish the first book at the end of the first year (my university only finished chapter 10), finish it yourself (and learn the vocabulary) before you arrive in Jordan. It lays groundwork for key grammatical concepts that would've been extremely helpful to know. Second, do not be afraid to talk to the program directors and teachers if you're struggling. They want you to succeed, it's just a matter of figuring out how to achieve that!

Response from CET Academic Programs

Thank you for submitting honest and thorough feedback.
While CET tries to prepare students for the fast-paced intensity of the program, it is important for future students to hear directly from alumni like you. You offer tremendous advice that we hope all students will hear: students should verify that they prepare appropriately prior to arrival, speak with our incredible onsite staff if challenges arise, and take advantage of the many learning opportunities available through the program – language partners, roommates, classmates, etc.
It was clearly a challenging summer for you, but I’m thrilled to hear that you were pushed beyond what you originally thought was possible!
Sarah Dixon, Director of Institutional Relations

Yes, I recommend this program
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Elizabeth
9/10

Pick CET if you're serious about your studies

There are a lot of programs in Amman that teach Arabic to American college students, and I met a lot of other American students out and about in the city and had the chance to compare programs - the consensus was pretty much that CET was the best. Between the language pledge, the 100% Arabic usage in the classroom, the long hours of class and the content-based courses (of course 100% in Arabic), I learned more Arabic, and got more comfortable using the Jordanian/Shaami dialect, than I would have anywhere else. We did all get the chance to see all the sites in Jordan and do plenty of independent travel to Istanbul/Beirut/Dubai etc, as well as explore Amman nightlife, museums and cultural events. But studies were really the first priority. CET is also the best program if you're looking to meet locals. The language partner program was fantastic (a little awkward at first) but as I got to know my language partner I really enjoyed our visits and the experience really helped my conversational and vocab skills. Our roommate was also a great resource to us, she was incredibly friendly and helpful. CET is good at putting together a lot of social events for American students to mingle with and get to know local Jordanians in similar age groups.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to see more structure in the lesson plans. Going without a syllabus or any idea of how we were going to be graded or what our homework was on any given day was really stressful in a way that I don't think was productive for my learning.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ryan
10/10

CET is THE choice for Arabic learning

The amount of Arabic I learned studying abroad with CET was worth every dollar (or dinar) and every second I spent there. I grew at a speed I once thought was unimaginable, I feel it would take me years in an American setting to make the gains that did. On top of it I made new best friends, and was immersed in a culture that is strikingly beautiful and sincere. CET rules (and so does the academic director Manal, and my wonderful proffesor Noor!)

How can this program be improved?
If I would change one thing about the program, it would be the reliability of living partners.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About CET Academic Programs

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio...