SIT Study Abroad Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East

Video and Photos

Students in Amman, Jordan
Students in Amman, Jordan
Students interacting with local children in Jordan.
Students interacting with local children in Jordan.
SIT students on excursion in the desert.
SIT students on excursion in the desert.

About

Learn about the Middle East’s politics, shifting power configurations, and efforts to promote peace and global security from Jordan, a peace broker in the region.

Over the last two decades, the Middle East experienced major events—from the 1994 Oslo Peace Treaty to the Arab Spring revolutions to the civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen—that continue to reshape the geopolitical map of the region. As a peace broker in the region, Jordan provides an excellent site from which to study territorial conflict and state sovereignty, international intervention, and how geography’s effects on politics and international relations. You’ll learn about the dominant international relations paradigms in the Middle East and discuss reconciliation models with political scientists, diplomats, and policymakers. You’ll also consider the rise of ISIS and the role of Russia and the US in peacemaking in the Middle East.

Highlights
  • Study the Middle East’s complex history from Jordan’s capital, Amman.
  • Go on excursions throughout Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Advance your skills in Modern Standard Arabic.
  • Experience daily life in Jordan during an extended homestay.
  • Customize the program to meet your academic and career goals.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Samara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Experience of a Lifetime

I knew nothing about Middle Eastern culture except for the stereotypes Americans have towards Islamic culture. I wanted to change that. I want to dispel those stereotypes and gain a true understanding of the Middle East, and the best way to do so is by going there. My time in the SIT Geopolitics program was the perfect gateway to be exposed to such a beautiful region in the world. Unfortunately, our program was cut short from COVID-19, but I left Jordan with basic Arabic and an understanding of Jordanian culture. I know I will be back one day to continue learning and exploring such a wonderful country. I'm so thankful and highly recommend this program. (Excursion to UAE is quite fun as well).

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the academic structure to make it slightly more rigorous. I learned a lot and enjoyed the leisure time to explore the city and connect with locals, but the greater the structure the better in my opinion.
Default avatar
Kerent
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 3 Months of My Life

Although my program was cut early, I would not have changed one thing about my semester in Jordan. Primarily, our staff was absolutely incredible, supportive, and super fun. Our classes were challenging but extremely interesting and I was able to speak Arabic with natives. The country itself has the kindest, most hospitable people I have ever met. And the food? I did not have one bad meal while abroad. Amman is such a fun and historic city that I absolutely fell in love with. I met so many locals that I have come to call best friends and truly formed a second home in Jordan that I hope to return to in the future. I truly had no complaints throughout my time abroad and even though we weren't able to make it to Petra or Aqaba, I had an amazing time during the time that I was there.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
On our excursion to UAE, we were able to hold a falcon, get buried in the sand, listen to the azan as the sun set, and learn about constellations from an astronomer. Not many people can say they did all that in one day in the middle of the Umm al-Quwain desert!
Default avatar
Billy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Program!

I could not think of a better program to participate in than SIT in Jordan. SIT focuses on educating the whole student. Not only did I learn so much about Jordanian politics and history, but also the role of Jordan in both a regional and international context. The Arabic professors are experts in teaching Arabic as a second language and are adept at accommodating all levels of Arabic and making the lectures interesting.

Outside of the classroom, they focus on the cultural aspect of being in a foreign country. The homestay experience is a great way to learn about both family life and traditions. I had the ability to attend an engagement party, which very few visitors have the ability to attend.

If you're interested in Jordan, this is the best program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open to everything. There will be a lot of times where you are forced to step out of your comfort zone. Embrace these opportunities.
Default avatar
Trace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Overall Amazing Experience

This was an absolutely brilliant experience. I learned more than I could have ever imagined. The program is extremely experiential, which allows you to learn in a completely new way. We studied Arabic and we would have different activities to do. One day, we were given money for taxis and told to go downtown on a scavenger hunt. We actually used what we learned. We also had our seminars, which were taught by different people each session. They ranged from diplomats, to academics, to business leaders. We learned from the best in Jordan. The internship at the end of the program was amazing. I interned with the Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, which is a Jordanian think-tank. I was able to experience Jordanian work culture whilst learning about regional politics. The entire program is amazing and is much more than a school program. It is certainly an experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of the chance to live with a host family. This is an amazing opportunity to learn the Jordanian dialect and to learn about how average Jordanians live. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and should not be wasted.
Default avatar
Kylie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Every Day Was an Adventure

I loved every second of my time abroad. I wandered the city with friends every day to get our bearings and get comfortable with the different areas, and we found new and exciting things to do together to increase our understanding of local cultures and language. Every friday myself and two friends went on an adventure to a new historic or archaeological or generally interesting site somewhere in Jordan outside of Amman, and at the end of the trip I'd legitimately been all over the country. These trips even inspired my independent research project, which was to work on a historic site to preserve it digitally. I had so much support from program directors to accomplish this, and I fully intend to return to continue doing archaeological work in country.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-wracking moment was that while with another family I'd become close to (not my host family), I was asked to go and order fresh chicken. I had to order it entirely in Arabic, including the number of chickens and how many pieces they were supposed to be separated into. I grew up on a farm, so getting fresh chicken itself didn't bug me, but ordering it in the foreign language was terrifying. I double-checked what I would say with the host brother than went with me, and he encouraged me to simply speak with confidence. That helped out a lot not only in that situation, but also with overcoming fears of speaking a foreign language confidently in general.