CET Jordan: Internship

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Looking for practical experience in the Middle East? CET Jordan-Internship includes a placement at one of Amman’s many businesses and organizations. You'll also also take intensive Arabic language classes (with an official Oral Proficiency Interview at the end of the term to see how far you've progressed) and a Middle East studies elective taught in English--topics range from the refugee crisis to archaeology. From local roommates and Arabic language partners to supportive faculty and staff, the program is designed to help you improve language skills and get to know the Arab world. A highlight is the three-day retreat to Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea. This program is for students of all Arabic language levels, even absolute beginners.

Questions & Answers

I'm not sure about the full semester, but during the summer program there is a long weekend in the middle of the semester where parents could spend time with students. Students have to move out of the apartments on the last day of the program, so if you wanted to stay longer with your parents you would have to figure out other accommodations.


based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9
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Take advantage of every opportunity!

This was my third time in Jordan, having spent the previous two summers studying Arabic with another program. I think what I enjoyed most about CET was that I learned A LOT more about Jordanian culture-- something I previously thought I knew a lot about! The teachers and staff are really friendly and helpful. It's also great for people new to the region because upon arrival they pick you up from the airport and give you a SIM card with a Jordanian data and calling plan pre-loaded for a month. The apartments were clean and spacious. The neighborhood (al-Jubeiha) is nice, but boring. You have to take a taxi to get to the more lively areas of Amman, but it's cheap if you're splitting the fare with a person or two. The apartments are about a 10-15 minute walk to campus, which is convenient.

As far as academics, this was by far the most Arabic I've learned in a semester. Coming in, I would've never thought I could read Arabic books-- by the end of the semester I had read 2. My speaking and listening improved substantially as well, which were my weaknesses.
The content course, which is in English for internship students, was amazing. I felt like I was at my home university with intense and interesting lectures and discussions. I really enjoyed the internship seminar as well. It gave a great insight to more of Jordanian culture, especially in the work atmosphere.

I personally had a great internship experience. I worked in both English and Arabic and my duties varied day-to-day, with tasks such as: translation work, attending meetings and taking notes in Arabic and English, editing photos, conducting research, creating flyers, and assisting with trainings across the country.

There were only two things I disliked, the first being some of the rules (no outside visitors, females forbidden from male apartments after 11pm and vice versa, etc.) They seemed a little ridiculous and overbearing. However, as I understand these rules are set by the central CET office in DC, and that the Jordan staff had no control over them and just enforced them as they were told.

Secondly, because the classes were so intensive, I had little free time. Thankfully I had seen most of the city in my previous two visits to Jordan, but I still would have appreciated more time to explore and hang out with Jordanian friends instead of spending my weekends in a cafe studying. I feel like I managed my time well but still struggled to find a good amount of free time. I struggled to find time at the end of the semester to study for finals, pack all my things, and clean the apartment all at the same time. I think it would be great if they could have one 3-day weekend a month during the semester.

How can this program be improved?
There needs to be more free time. The classes are really intense, so a few 3 day weekends throughout the semester would have been nice. I found myself staying in a lot more than I expected to complete assignments or study. I usually spent my weekends in a cafe writing essays or studying vocabulary rather than exploring the city.

Also, the internship options need to be reevaluated. I was lucky and had an amazing experience at my internship, but some others said they did nothing at all at their work and didn't benefit from it whatsoever.
Yes, I recommend
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Flexibility is Key

I tried to keep my expectations limited when going into my summer experience in Jordan, and that definitely helped me to adjust to the new culture and expectations. The housing was beautiful and in a safe location, but wifi was unreliable. Luckily there was a café nearby with great wifi in case ours went out. Since I was in the internship program, the plan was that I would have class Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and would be at the internship Monday and Wednesday. Since the first month of the program took place during Ramadan, however, most of the internships didn't begin until after the holy month had ended. By the time I actually got to work, I only spent a total of 8 days at my internship. There was also not much work for us to do since NEF was in between projects, and they did not really know what to do with us, so I think there was a lack of communication between CET and the other organizations. When we did get to work, however, we had a great time. We learned a lot about what the organization does and became great friends with our coworkers. The other students in the program were very supportive and we developed a great bond during our time there. The placement in classes was a little iffy, one guy transferred from my class to a lower level because they had placed him too high, and I was right on the edge in the advanced class. I definitely learned a lot, though. As I said, flexibility is key. Schedules changed and requirements were adapted so I really had to be on my toes to know what I was supposed to be doing. My original language partner dropped the program two weeks in, but my second one was incredible. She invited me to a party celebrating the birth of her cousin. That's one thing I really loved about CET, they provide you with a lot of opportunities to develop connections with people in the community and gain these rare and often personal insights into life in Amman. The language pledge was very frustrating, however, because not only were beginner students not able to converse with us for a few weeks until they learned enough words, but they would tell us we were breaking the pledge even if we weren't because they would forget who was in which program. I was often afraid I would be expelled simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or for trying to define a word for a beginner student using my own limited knowledge. It added an unnecessary amount of stress. Also, there was an "internship class" we attended once a week, but it was really more about Jordanian and Middle Eastern politics, which was fine for me because that's my area of study, but others complained that it felt like kind of a waste of time, especially after a full day of classes. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and it has definitely expanded my comfort zone travel-wise. I am much more confident in myself, and I feel like this has opened the door to further travel either in the Middle East or elsewhere.

How can this program be improved?
Relax the language pledge slightly, and communicate more (with the students, and also with the internship programs to make sure we actually have an internship to work in)
Yes, I recommend
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It had its ups and downs

I had the opportunity to intern and study in Amman. I interned 2 days out of the week and studied 3. It was awesome but one has to remember that an internship in a country like Jordan is not like an internship in a traditional internship destination. I was thankfully guided in this experience by the teaching and mentorship of Dr. Zubi AL Zubi, who was the dean of the University of Jordan's business department. He was incredible guide on the ins and outs of interning in a Muslim country. It was also somewhat difficult to communicate in a place where there are so many dialects of Arabic used, but eating was easy, with grocery stores and restaraunts all around and there was always somewhere to watch the World Cup and break fast. It was awesome!

How can this program be improved?
I would change the language pledge. It is useful, but I feel that we had varying levels of Arabic learners and it put unnecessary pressure on the lower-leveled students. It should, at least, be optional for the less-experienced students.

Yes, I recommend

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...