Semester abroad in Amman, Jordan

<p>My son wants to spend next fall in Amman, Jordan...yikes! Anyone know anyone who has been in that part of the world? I see it's not too far from Syria and the Middle East seems to be on the edge of something really bad....</p>

<p>Although it could be a great experience, I would be concerned. Check with the State Dept online and see what they say. Is this an approved school semester abroad? If so, what info does his current school have, what about the school he will be attending while over there (assuming he will be attending college). My employer sends many employees over to the middle east for short term assignments. They take out extra life insurance on those folks and not because it is not dangerous. </p>

<p>My son spent all of the last school year in Jordan. He spent the first semester in Irbid (very close to the Syrian border) and the second in Amman. Jordan is a relatively safe country, but it’s position is somewhat precarious. It has very few natural resources and depends on tourism for most of its income. Obviously tourism is way down. So far any protests seem to have been limited to perfunctory Friday demonstrations where they complain about different things each week. There does not seem to be a groundswell to get rid of the current government. My son loved his time there and has applied to at least one program to be back there next year. </p>

<p>My son actually liked the program in Irbid better as it’s a much less westernized city and there was much less temptation to speak English. Most of the kids in his program were very good about keeping the language pledge. All of these programs have plans for relocating programs if the political situation should change. In fact the Irbid program had originally been in Syria. </p>

<p>If you have more questions feel free to PM me.</p>

<p>My son was there for a summer program for two months. There was quite a bit of tension politically when he was there - it made for an unpleasant experience. Where he lived had chronic water and electricity shortages, as well. </p>

<p>I think he wished it was a different experience than it was. </p>

<p>You definitely need to go with an open mind. For example - because of water shortages and inadequate sewer piping people do not put toilet paper in toilets. There were washing machines, but no dryers at his university. Women sometimes got harassed especially since most of them were unwilling to cover up as much as local culture dictated. (Interestingly in Amman which is pretty Westernized) in the top restaurants where we observed this,it means you can wear a miniskirt, high heels and no headscarf, but you will be wearing a turtle neck.</p>

<p>True. An open mind is helpful. He loved the day trips and did some travel and hands on learning, but the day to day stuff and the people he was living with - was tough on him. I never would have thought that. Living in a new culture will always challenge us to face new things about ourselves. For him, he realized he needed a lot of structure and social anxiety was a challenge. The different language added to that. </p>