Qualified St. Lawrence students have the opportunity to spend the fall or spring semester in Amman, Jordan. The AMIDEAST program is designed for those interested in studying the Arabic language (both Modern Standard Arabic and the Levantine colloquial dialect) and courses in Middle East/North African studies.
- Based in Amman
- Fall or Spring semester
- Pre-requisites: 3.0 GPA and one course with significant Middle East content (which would include an Arabic language course). A semester of Arabic is strongly recommended.
- Students must take Arabic while in Jordan.
- Live with homestay families.
Jordan is a country of many contrasts. It is at once ancient and modern, formed as a nation only in 1923 and gaining independence from Great Britain in 1946. Jordan is a multi-cultural, multi-religious nation with distinct geographic and climatic regions. Jordan shares borders with Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. It is home for many Palestinian refugees (from 1948 and 1967) and, since the 1990s, Iraqi refugees. It plays a unique role in regional and international politics. The program is based in the capital city of Amman. The city has grown rapidly into a metropolis with over 2.5 million people and maintains a unique blend of historic and modern elements. The city serves as the political, cultural and commercial center of Jordan.
All students enroll in Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian Colloquial Arabic, at a level consistent to their background and proficiency, and select three other courses from offerings in Middle East and North African studies in a variety of disciplines including Anthropology, Art, Political Science, Environmental Studies, Economics, Religion, Sociology and Women's Studies. Faculty members are drawn from a variety of institutions around the region.
In addition to coursework, Amideast provides several forms of experiential learning components designed to enhance the study abroad experience. These components include engagement with Jordanian civil society, service-learning opportunities, language partners and cultural dialogue sessions. The program also incorporates several educational excursions to sites such as Jerash, Ajloun, Petra, Wadi Rum, Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea.
As with most SLU Study Abroad Programs, SLU students are required to live with homestay families. Living with a Jordanian family and taking part in its daily routines and conversations provides students with a unique and valuable insight into Jordanian culture that they could not otherwise attain. Students are typically housed with one other student, in a host family that has been carefully screened by AMIDEAST/Jordan. All host families are Arabic-speaking; English, however, is spoken in most of the homes. All housing is within Amman. Students living with host families will be provided with all meals by their host families but may find that some days it is not possible to return to the family for lunch because of class schedules.
Pre-departure: The CIIS office organizes in depth orientation sessions on-campus prior to the students participation in the program. This includes a program specific session(s) in which the students will learn more about the program, local culture, academic expectations, and any other important information. There is also an orientation session led by the CIIS office on culture shock, and what to expect, as well as safety and security while abroad.
On-site: Upon arrival in Amman, students participate in an in-depth, week-long orientation designed to introduce them to Jordanian culture and daily life and familiarize them with program logistics. Students stay in a hotel in Amman during orientation, and move to their accommodation for the semester at the end of the first week. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities and free time to familiarize participants with Amman. Topics such as safety and health, Jordanian family life, cultural adaptation, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors, receive final language placements, and become familiar with the program’s IT environment.
If you are interested in learning more about the Jordan program please contact one of the following people.
CIIS Office: Karen Smith, Associate Director of Off-Campus Programs - Questions about eligibility, program logistics, and other off-campus opportunities.
Faculty Coordinator: Gisele el Khoury - Questions about program academics.