CET Jordan: Intensive Language

Video and Photos

CET, cooking day
CET, cooking day
Wadi Rum
Wadi Rum
Jaresh
Jaresh
Exploring Wadi Rum!
Petra with the roommates! Sujood (on the left) is a student at the University of Jordan and lived in our apartment for the summer.
Historical mosaics in the city of Madaba.

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.

Highlights
  • Local roommates & language partners
  • Intensive Modern Standard Arabic & Jordanian Dialect
  • Content-based language classes
  • Full-time language pledge
  • Official Oral Proficiency Interview score

Questions & Answers

Reviews

90%
based on 25 reviews
  • Academics 9.2
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.1
  • Housing 7.7
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 15 of 25
Default avatar
Isabel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Experience Learning Arabic in Jordan

CET Jordan is hands down the best program for students who care about Arabic language acquisition. I felt challenged to step as far outside of my comfort zone as I could, but I was never overwhelmed because I had the support of the program staff at each step. The teachers were all extremely friendly and prioritized getting to know the students as people, rather than solely as language learners. That resulted in a positive learning environment, and class became a time to spend time with friends rather than a stressful or boring space. CET is also really concerned with connecting students to Jordanian youth culture, and its location at the University of Jordan, as well as the language partner/roommate programs, gave me a great in to make local friends. I loved my experience during this semester so much that I decided to stay and participate in CET Jordan's Internship Program. My review of that can be found here: https://www.gooverseas.com/study-abroad/jordan/program/38096

For students who are hoping to improve their Arabic, learn about life in Jordan, and have fun doing it, CET is the best study abroad option.

P.S. If any women are concerned about what is okay to wear in Jordan, I wore T-shirts, skinny jeans, and leggings all the time. Maxi skirts and dresses are fine, too, but no need to buy a pair of elephant pants if that's not your style!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The CET Jordan team is so ready to help students have the best time that they can in Jordan. They want each student to achieve their personal goals, and literally stay up at night trying to find ways to do that. However, they are not mind readers. So, if I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to communicate with the CET Jordan team about what your goals are and what obstacles you are facing. If you are open and honest with them about your experiences, they will bend over backwards to help you make it as beneficial as it can be.
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John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most influential Summer of my life!

It's difficult to express how amazing this summer is by writing it all out. I'm usually better talking in person but here we go!

Jordan - specifically Amman - is a beautiful place. Thousands of years of culture and history found in one city is something beautiful. I wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else to spend two months learning Arabic. From the city of Petra to the Mars-like desert of Wadi Rum to the ruins of old castles from the Umayyad era...what's not to love (and I haven't even mentioned the food)?

The best complement to exploring Jordan, broadening my cultural experience, and also learning a language starkly different from my own was the CET program. Hours of classroom instruction paired with real-life, on-the-street homework assignments meant that I was learning relevant material that actually helped and prepared me to live in Amman for two months, not just learning a weird jumble of vocabulary from Al-Kitaab that you can't really use on the streets. By the end of my time here I could successfully negotiate prices with butchers and vegetable sellers, to navigating "almost" flawlessly in another country, like Palestine. This was only because of CET, and how much effort they actually put in to not only the program itself, but also to you. They honestly care so much about your education that they were willing to work with you in any way necessary. If I was with any other program in Jordan, I am certain I wouldn't have learned as much.

Additionally, I've made lifelong friends here. Truly. Jordanians and Americans.

Thank you to everyone at CET in Amman, and if you're trying to learn Arabic, this is the place/program to do it!

What was your funniest moment?
Oof. Not reading up enough on border crossings from Palestine into Jordan.
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Tiffany
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New but Amazing Experience

The CET program here in Jordan is very eyeopening. You have the opportunity to meet so many new people all while being nestled in a lively little street in the capital. But this program is very different from what you may see some of your friends that study abroad in other parts of the world because the coursework is heavy and often found myself in my apartment or in cafes working on papers and homework. But the support given by the staff and teachers is truly helpful. It is a challenging program but it is planned to give the students breaks to explore and learn the culture along with the language. I came to the program knowing none of the dialect and it was extremely challenging at first but being surrounded by the language and being able to speak to other students at your same level is really great and very different from what I experienced at my university. To any future CET students, I would say to keep a very open mind because the country is so beautiful but very different. If you want to improve your Arabic from speaking to writing and just overall getting out of your comfort zone, this program is a good path.

What would you improve about this program?
The workload is very heavy, specifically the number of research papers assigned and it became very difficult to balance the papers, studying, and experiencing the country. It came down to having to decide between these three things everyday instead of having clear free time. I understand the necessity for an intensive program but the length and amount of papers seemed liked added stress that did not help overall with my quality of writing. I would make the paper for the language class the main paper and maybe 2 or 3 pages for the content courses.
Emi
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Way to Improve Your Arabic

CET Jordan: intensive language is the only study abroad program that I have participated in, but after speaking with others who have gone on similar study abroad programs, I am convinced that this is the best one for improving your Arabic language skills. It's called intense for a reason, and I was academically pushed like never before. But for the sleepless nights and the tears shed over homework, my Arabic skills grew exponentially. The teachers are all incredible; they are tough but their main goal is to support you and help you grow. The administration is disorganized at times which can be frustrating, but it gets easier if you learn to go with the flow. It's not perfect, no program is, but if you are looking to improve your language skills CET is a great way to go. And you'll fall in love with the country, I promise it. Word to the wise though: observe the language pledge!

What would you improve about this program?
On an administrative level, planning and communication could be improved, as this would help decrease stress on students who are already struggling to keep up with academics. Communicating more regularly with students would also be a plus- I've seen "weekly meetings" mentioned on some reviews and would agree that this would be fantastic. Further, increased support for students with health issues (mental or physical) should definitely be looked into.
Zoie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Study abroad in Jordan

I came into the program knowing no Arabic at all, and with such limited knowledge that I didn't even know what to be apprehensive about. While my time in Jordan constituted the first time in my life that I ever experienced culture shock, CET has a strong support system that really helps the American students readjust. The teachers and Jordanian roommates in the program were all so genuinely willing to help in whatever way they could. Classes were demanding and balancing the workload with making friends and getting accustomed to local norms was something that I definitely struggled a bit with, but I feel that I came out of the program a more confident person. Looking back on my experience, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go to Jordan, and would not change my decision of study abroad location for the world.

What would you improve about this program?
I think students should be required to attend an information briefing the moment they get to the dorms, and that classes should start immediately the day after. Time is limited, and I would rather start learning immediately, rather than spending time exploring the city or getting situated in the dorms for the first couple days.
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Emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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!
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Madison
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Emma
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Tyler
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Kassidy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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

Default avatar
taylor
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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
Default avatar
Joni
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Cat
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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).
Default avatar
William
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
More excursions around Jordan! Those were easily the best parts.
Default avatar
Sean
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
The housing itself is fine but it is very overpriced, so you don't exactly get great bang for your buck there.