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SIT Jordan Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring

Location:

Amman, Jordan

Credit:

Transfer

Program Features

Affiliated Program
Research
Internship

Eligibility:

- 2.5 GPA

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Spring 9/27

Fall 3/4

market with vegetables and man shopping

SIT Study Abroad offers more than 60 accredited semester and summer study abroad programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. SIT also offers the International Honors Program, which is multi-locational.

The SIT Experience

  • Rigorous academic programs through a field-based, experiential approach
  • Undergraduate research through an Independent Study Project
  • Cultural immersion through fieldwork, language classes, and urban and rural homestays with local families
  • A small group of students in each program, supported by SIT faculty and staff, homestay families, in-country experts, and community members
  • Access to SIT's extensive local resources and networks
  • A commitment to reciprocity as the foundation of our educational philosophy

Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action

Examine firsthand the ongoing humanitarian relief response to the regional Syrian refugee crisis while in Jordan and on excursion to Switzerland, with special focus on refugee health response. Choose to take three or six credits of Modern Standard Arabic.

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:

  • The role of UN and international relief agencies in refugee assistance and humanitarian action
  • The impact of refugees on the economy and various social sectors of the host community
  • Health status, risk factors, and health services available to refugees
  • Mental health and psychosocial challenges in refugee populations
  • Gender-specific vulnerabilities within refugee populations

For more information, see SIT's webpage.

SIT Academic Program

Amman at night, city view

Interdisciplinary Seminars

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.

Intensive Language Study

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.


Research Methods and Ethics

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.

Independent Study Project (ISP)

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.

University of Iowa students who complete an Independent Study Project (ISP) must follow University of Iowa Institutional Review Board (IRB) policies and procedures. For more information on the Iowa IRB process please visit the Undergraduate Research Abroad webpage. An additional pre-departure orientation session, hosted by the Iowa IRB, will be offered on campus to help answer questions and ensure compliance.

Program Dates

For program dates, please consult SIT's webpage.

For More Information

Ryan Ourada
Study Abroad Advisor & Program Coordinator

Phone: 319-335-0353
Email: ryan-ourada@uiowa.edu

The University of Iowa
International Programs, Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Amman, Jordan

mosque in Amman

The program is based in Amman, the capital of Jordan, a country that continues to receive waves of refugees displaced by regional conflicts.

Safety

Ruins

SIT places the highest priority on the health, safety, and security of all students. Through their 80-plus years of running international experiential education programs, they have developed sophisticated proactive and reactive risk management strategies. Their proactive risk management begins with in-country assessments of safety and continues through student orientation and emergency preparedness. Their reactive risk management strategies include 24/7 on-call availability, emergency/crisis response protocols, and comprehensive student insurance. Their structure also allows for rapid response and adjustment to changing situations.

Jordan Travel Information

US Department of State Country Information

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.

Living Arrangements

Roman theatre in Amman

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.

Educational Excursions

Street and market in Amman

Southern Excursion

This excursion takes you to southern Jordan. You will visit local health centers and associations that provide health services to local communities and urban refugees living in host communities. You will also have the opportunity to experience everyday life in this part of Jordan and study some alternative medical treatments available to local communities. Highlights of this excursion include:

  • Dana Nature Reserve: The dynamic topography of the Dana Nature Reserve extends from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. You will experience the reserve’s impressive mountains, the ancient ruins of Feinan, the cliffs of Wadi Dana, and the village Dana.
  • Petra: You will spend a day visiting Petra, a treasure of the ancient world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum is among the most stunning desert landscapes in the world. In Wadi Rum, you will experience the exceptional hospitality of desert people and Bedouin tribes and discuss health issues and healthcare systems available to local populations.

Northern Heights Excursion

This excursion takes you to visit the ruins of two Greek Decapolis cities: Jerash (Jerasa) and Um Qais (Jadara) as well as Ajloun's Nature Reserve and the area's historical and natural attractions. The Northern part of Jordan is hosting more than 80% of Syrian refugees; this excursion will enable you to assess the impact of refugees on local host communities here.

  • Um Quais: You will experience the Greek and Ottoman remains of Jadara and enjoy sweeping views over the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee.
  • Jerash: You will experience the extraordinary remains of the ancient city of Jerash, one of the most impressive and best preserved Roman cities outside of Italy, located a little less than 50 kilometers north of Amman..
  • Ajloun: Just northwest of Jerash is the town of Ajloun, home to the Castle of Ajloun or Qalaat Errabadh (Arabic for "hilltop castle"). The fortress was built by Muslims from 1184–1185 as a military fort and buffer to protect the region from invading Crusader forces. You will spend a night at the Ajloun Forest Lodge, which occupies a large grassy clearing, enclosed by oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees. The lodge offers beautiful views of the reserve; occasionally one can see as far away as Jebel Sheikh in Lebanon.

Madaba, Mount Nebo, and the Dead Sea Excursion

  • Madaba: Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of Palestine and the Nile delta located in the nineteenth-century St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church. You will visit the site and enjoy a smaller but still populous Jordanian city. Then, you will travel to Mount Nebo, which, according to ancient tradition, is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land.
  • The Dead Sea: The Dead Sea is the most spectacular natural landscape in Jordan. It is also one of the world's richest sources of natural salts and an important site for skin care with therapeutic minerals.

Switzerland Excursion

The program includes an excursion to Switzerland, spending most of the stay in Geneva, a major international capital. This excursion will provide you with an opportunity to learn from experts about the international refugee system, the global refugee status, and the challenges health and relief agencies face in providing refugee protection and assistance. The excursion includes visits to UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross, WHO, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

You will also get the chance to explore old Geneva, visit chateaus and arts and culture museums, enjoy a cruise along the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva, and experience Geneva’s rich history, architecture, and cuisine. An excursion to Lausanne, one of Switzerland’s prettiest cities on Lake Geneva, provides the opportunity to explore the city’s markets and medieval Old Town.

Travel Arrangements

Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Jordan, taking advantage of any frequent-flyer options and/or internet specials available to them. The cost of travel is not included in the program fee. Information about airport pick up will be given at orientation. Students should book airfare to correspond with the arrival and departure dates provided by SIT.

Eligibility

Students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing. You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university at the end of the semester, too. If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester, your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Costs

PDFSpring 2018 Cost Sheet

PDFFall 2017 Cost Sheet
Updated Fall cost sheet is forthcoming

These documents outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Upfront, out-of-pocket expenses

Some costs are incurred prior to departure and will be due before financial aid/scholarship disperse. Here are the expected upfront costs for SIT:

  • Iowa application fee: $50
  • Airfare: $1,000-$1,500
  • Passport: $135

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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 and Non-UI External Awards.

SIT automatically gives students from Big Ten institutions a $1,500 scholarship. There is no application necessary — the amount is automatically credited to your account. SIT offers additional awards that can be found on SIT's webpage.

Pell Grant Recipients will have their application fee waived by SIT, are eligible for additional SIT scholarships, and are competitive candidates for the Department of State's Gilman Scholarship. Please talk to your Study Abroad Advisor for more details.

Withdrawal policy

SIT's withdrawal policy can be found here: Withdrawal and Cancellation. After applying and being accepted students will then be asked to confirm their participation in the program. After confirmation, students are responsible for the following:

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
After submitting the Confirmation of Participation Study Abroad Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: As determined by the program contract with SIT
Less than 30 days before the program start date Study Abroad Administrative fee: $400 or 50%, whichever is greater
Portion of course fee: As determined by the program contract with SIT
On or after the program start date Study Abroad Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of course fee: As determined by the program contract with SIT

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

Application Deadline

Spring: September 27

Fall: March 4

How to Apply

You can find the application for this program on our website here: UI Study Abroad Application. Applicants must meet with a Study Abroad advisor before their application will be processed. You can schedule a meeting by calling 319.335.0353.

Participants must also complete the SIT application and complete all the application components by SIT's deadline. The SIT application can be found here: SIT Application.

Pre-departure Resources

SIT and the UI have a variety of resources available to you to prepare for departure. It is recommended that you review these materials, share them with your parents, and refer back to them if you have questions.

  1. SIT Pre-departure Guide
  2. A Parent Guide to Study AbroadPDF
  3. Health Preparation Guide for International TravelPDF
  4. List of books, documentaries, films, videos, and online materials related to the Middle EastPDF
  5. Iowa's SIT Pre-departure Orientation

Program Payment

You will be billed for the program on your U-Bill through the University of Iowa's billing office. Billing occurs the semester you're abroad and is due with the first U-Bill of the term. This allows for financial aid and scholarships to disperse BEFORE the bill is due.

Contact a Former Student

SIT has an excellent network of alumni available to help speak with prospective and admitted students. Find a returnee here: Contact a Former Student

Orientation

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.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

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 safety-abroad@uiowa.edu.

Program-Specific Orientation

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.