- 2.5 GPA
- Good academic and disciplinary standing
The SIT Experience
This program addresses the political, social, cultural, and economic factors behind the influx of refugees to Jordan, as well as the effects of this influx on host communities. Through field visits and on-site lectures, you will learn firsthand the priorities, principles, rights, and duties governing humanitarian action, in addition to the challenges UN agencies, international relief organizations, and Jordan’s government face in both emergency and post-emergency phases. The program's excursion to Switzerland will allow you to compare and contrast the humanitarian response to Syrian refugees and the challenges refugees and host communities face in the contexts of two countries.
Major topics of study include:
For more information, see SIT Program website.
Thematic seminars merge student experience with academic theory to examine critical issues from multiple perspectives. Students learn from SIT faculty as well as guest lecturers from local universities, research institutes, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and community and professional associations. Field-based activities and assignments complement readings, discussions, and research papers, allowing students to engage in a variety of study methods.
Programs typically offer language study at the intermediate and advanced levels and/or beginning instruction in a less commonly taught language spoken by the local community. Language courses incorporate formal classroom instruction, discussion, and field exercises designed to enhance student engagement while improving oral and written competence. Select programs are taught entirely or partly in the target language.
Students learn appropriate methodologies that prepare them to undertake fieldwork on topics connected to the program’s theme and specific cultural context. Students develop research skills and approaches including cross-cultural adaptation and skill building; project selection and refinement; contact and resource cultivation; observation and interviewing skills; gathering, organizing, and presenting findings; and maintaining a field journal. Students also examine the ethics and impact of their research on local communities and are required to follow the World Learning/SIT Human Subjects Review Policy, which serves as an approval process and guide for ethical field study practices.
Typically conducted during the last month of the semester, the ISP allows students to pursue original field-based research on a topic of their choice within the program’s thematic parameters. The academic director advises each student on developing a project plan. Students also identify an ISP advisor who works with the student on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the student’s research project. Final projects generally include a 20- to 40-page paper and presentation to peers, academic staff, and interested members of the host community.
RURAL JORDAN: You will visit health centers and associations providing health services to refugees in local host communities. You’ll experience everyday life in rural areas of Jordan and study alternative medical treatments.
PETRA: At this UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll take in the splendors of the ancient city of Petra, a world-famous archeological wonder featured in Indiana Jones “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
WADI RUM: Heading further south, you’ll behold the vast desert of Wadi Rum (Valley of the Moon), the shooting location for much of “Lawrence of Arabia” and many other films. You’ll enjoy an afternoon of desert trekking around the vast and awe-inspiring sandstone mountains.
NORTHERN HEIGHTS: More than 80 percent of Syrian refugees are located in northern Jordan. During this excursion, you will be able to assess the impact of refugees on host communities and visit key sites:
SWITZERLAND: You’ll spend most of your stay in the capital, Geneva. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with experts about the international refugee system and learn about the challenges facing health relief agencies providing refugee protection and assistance. You’ll visit the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Explore Old Geneva with its quaint chateaux and fine arts museums. Enjoy a cruise along the shores of Lake Geneva and experience the city’s rich history, architecture, and cuisine. You’ll have time to explore nearby Lausanne, one of Switzerland’s prettiest cities, with medieval shop-lined streets and an ornate 12th century Gothic cathedral.
*The Switzerland portion of the semester program is dependent on several factors and is not a guaranteed component of the semester program.
Spring Semester: Early February - Mid May
Fall Semester: Early September - Mid December
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
Amman is the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan with a population of more than four million. Amman forms a great base for exploring not just Jordan, but the wider region as well and does, despite popular belief, offer much that is of interest to the traveler. The city is generally reasonably well-organized, enjoys great weather for much of the year and the people are very friendly. Roman theater Although Amman can be difficult to penetrate at first sight, the city holds many surprises for the visitor. Visit Amman's Roman Amphitheatre, its many art galleries or the newly opened Jordan Museum, while an afternoon away on a chic cafe terrace, take a course in the University of Jordan or stay in luxurious hotels and dine on the region's varied and delicious cuisine. Modern shopping malls are increasingly abundant in Jordan but open air souqs are what many travelers will remember most. Amman is experiencing a massive (some would say: reckless) change from a quiet sleepy village to a bustling metropolis, some of whose neighbourhoods seem hell-bent on wanting to imitate Dubai. Amman's roads have a reputation of being very steep and narrow in some of parts of the city but the city has state of the art highways and paved avenues. The steep terrain and heavy traffic remains challenging for pedestrians and for the rare cyclist. New resorts and hotels dot the city and there are many things for the traveller to see and do in and around Amman.
Jordan is a country the Levant region of the Middle East that is almost land-locked save for a small 28km outlet on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba and a frontage on the Dead Sea). It's bordered by Israel and the West Bank (Territory of Undetermined Permanent Status) to the west, by Syria to the north, by Iraq to the east and by Saudi Arabia to the south. Jordan has a large collection of archaeological sites, ranging from important biblical attractions to temples carved into the rock.
For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King Hussein (1953-99). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers of the US, USSR and UK, various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed with Israel. King Abdullah II - the eldest son of King Hussein and Princess Muna - assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities, including an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with the United States in 2000, and with the European Free Trade Association in 2001. There is no hostility between Muslims and Christians, and Jordan is one of the friendliest, most modern and liberal nations in the region yet, at the same time, it has maintained an authentic feel of being in the heart of the Middle East. Jordanian culture is fairly homogeneous, but you will probably notice a fairly distinct social difference between the Bedouin areas, particularly in the South and urban West Ammanites, for example.
The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
The homestay provides you with an excellent opportunity to experience Jordanian lifestyles, perspectives, and values while learning about health disparities, community development, and sustainability in Jordan.
You will spend the entire program period, other than the time on excursions, living with a homestay family in Amman. The homestay provides you with an outstanding window into Jordanian urban life and culture. Most homestay families are middle class and maintain the customs of the typical Arab home.
Homestay families may include first- or second-generation Palestinian refugees in Jordan, now a major component of Jordanian social and cultural life. You will be integrated into your host family's daily life, partaking in everyday activities such as sharing breakfast, participating in family outings, and shopping. In some cases, you will have the opportunity to experience a Jordanian wedding ceremony or other traditional cultural activities organized by the host family or relatives. The homestay in Amman allows you to better understand the life of a Jordanian family and gives you a unique opportunity to further enhance your speaking abilities.
Other accommodations during the program include hostels, research institutes, or small hotels.
If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for a visa or leaving the United States.
US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.
Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.
Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.
Within your host city and around the country, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Excursions and general travel require a lot of walking, so bring some comfortable shoes!
This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:
Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options. Scholarship opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities.
SIT offers scholarships and grants that can be found on SIT's Scholarships & Grants web page.
SIT has a matching scholarship for Pell Grant Recipients. More information can be found on SIT Pell Grant Match Award web page.
Students will need to complete a University of Iowa Study Abroad application and a SIT Program Online Application. Information on these applications will come from the study abroad advisor. Final program admissions decision is made by SIT.
Applications are due on February 24 for Fall.
Applications are due on September 24 for Spring.
In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:Study Abroad Resources Health Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.
U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.
Prior to starting the visa application process check in with SIT for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.
In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.
You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.
SIT will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include