SIT Study Abroad Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

Video and Photos


Examine crucial issues in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a moderate Arab state grappling with political responsibility, social change, modernization, the effects of the Arab Spring, and regional conflicts.

Jordan has made enormous strides recently in healthcare, literacy, and democratic and economic reform. However, it remains challenged by a lack of natural resources, environmental concerns, economic and social issues, and the impact of Palestinian immigrants and refugees, who now make up more than half of the nation’s population. More recently, Iraqi refugees have been pouring into the country and changing the demographic and physical landscapes of the capital.

The program is based in the capital city of Amman, and students conduct academic fieldwork throughout Jordan.

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

The opportunity to conduct independent field researcher as an undergraduate student is what sets this SIT program apart from any other study program in Jordan. At first the prospect of researching a topic, conducting interviews, and distributing surveys to culminate in a large paper was daunting, but the support of the SIT staff made the experience extremely rewarding. During the one month independent study period all of the staff put their personal connections at my disposal calling in favors, providing me with transportation, and even translating for me when my language skills came up short. The ability to conduct interviews and surveys in Al Zaatari camp, the largest of the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, was a once in a lifetime experience that would not have been possible without the complete support of the entire SIT staff. From language teachers who proof read my translations to the staff members who accompanied me into the camp I was reminded time and time again how much the staff believed in me and my ability to conduct meaningful and ethical research. The experiential aspect of this program has had lasting effects on my life, helping me to expand my cultural understanding, language skills, and even make valuable connections that helped me to secure a summer internship and return to Jordan.

How can this program be improved?
The only part of this program that could be improved is the arabic program. Although the instructors are some of the most enthusiastic and knowledgable language teachers that I have ever had, there simply isn't time to expand the language element due to the large amount of time spent in the field and with guest lecturers. I highly recommend this program for anyone whose learning goals are not simply to improve their Arabic, but also to gain meaningful insight into the social, political, and cultural aspects of Jordan.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Four Months in the Hashemite Kingdom!

The SIT program in Amman, Jordan was great for a number of reasons. The staff is made up of a group of amazing and kind people. If we had any issues or concerns we went to the staff and they worked with us. They are also very connected in Jordan, which was especially helpful during the ISP period when we needed advisers and people to interview. I was fortunate enough to interview 15 Jordanians and pass out my surveys to over 70 Jordanian students. I was even able to interview two former Jordanian ministers of culture.

Arabic classes were small and had a lot of individualized instruction. The seminars were larger, but our group was also larger than the usual group. Many of the lecturers were really interesting. The ISP project was a lot of work but the work load in general was not that demanding. We had plenty of free time to explore the city and get to know each other, other foreign students, and locals. I joined a youth tennis group (I was by far the oldest but it was a good experience!) and played at least once a week.

The excursions were one of my favorite aspects of the program. We traveled to post- revolution Egypt, which was a great experience. We stayed in Cairo and also spent a day in Alexandria. We also went on numerous excursions throughout Jordan. I swam in the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea. Swimming in the Dead Sea and seeing Israel on the other side was a really cool experience. When we visited Aqaba, which is on the Red Sea, SIT rented an entire boat for us. We spent the day sunbathing, snorkeling, jumping off the boat, and enjoying each other’s company. We also spent a night in the Wadi Rum desert, where we rode on camels and ran in (and rolled down) sand dunes.

Living with host families was a terrific experience. Over a year later I still email my host family and they send me pictures of my little host sister. It was a good way to practice speaking Arabic, although it is easy to slip into English if your host family speaks some English. You have to force yourself to speak Arabic if you want to improve. I enjoyed living in Amman and being able to take a cheap taxi anywhere. The only issue I had was standing out as an obvious foreigner. Girls in our program often received negative but generally harmless attention (though it was irritating and frustrating- and it was important to be careful). This can happen anywhere in the world, of course, but it was especially bad in the downtown area of Amman.

Overall, Jordanians are some of the most accommodating and kind people I have ever met. Everyone made sure we were comfortable and enjoying our time in Jordan. Whenever we were guests in someone’s home they made sure we had plenty to eat and drink. Guests certainly never go hungry in Jordan! Even if you are not hungry, you can expect to be offered ample amounts of food. It is terrific but difficult to refuse if you are feeling stuffed. The generosity was really amazing though. During the rural Badia homestay I told a complete stranger that I thought her scarf was pretty. She immediately removed it and offered it to me. This was not an uncommon occurrence either. I remember the generosity of the people the very fondly when I think of Jordan.

How can this program be improved?
I would make the Arabic classes more demanding.
Yes, I recommend


Meet the Alumni

About SIT Study Abroad

SIT has been providing immersive, field-based study abroad programs for undergraduates for more than 50 years. SIT offers more than 70 programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs in...