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SIT Jordan Intensive Arabic Language Studies

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Summer

Location:

Amman, Jordan

Credit:

Transfer

Program Features

Affiliated Program

Eligibility:

- 2.5 GPA

- Good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

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

Academic Program

Develop and expand competencies in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian colloquial Arabic. You will be fully immersed in an Arabic-only environment. You’ll increase your conversational proficiency and improve your pronunciation. You’ll develop skills in counting, giving directions, and ordering in a restaurant, and you’ll cement new skills by writing and telling stories in Arabic. Ultimately, you’ll develop the tools necessary to increase language proficiency independently.

Learn in highly interactive classroom, homestay, and field-based settings. Classes are held at the SIT center from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday. The center offers a number of important amenities including a language and cultural library, a quiet study room, wireless internet, and satellite TV broadcasting live Arabic news channels. You’ll engage local community members in simple conversations until you can communicate comfortably with native speakers.

The program explores the interplay of small and large scale technologies, using the refugee population. Amman is a welcoming, relatively small city, and students frequently explore the city by foot. You will discover gleaming white houses, kebab stalls, and cafés with rich Arabian coffee. You’ll visit the imposing Roman Amphitheater, built under Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161 AD). Your Arabic classes will take place at SIT’s center in the Abdoun neighborhood, an upscale community in West Amman. Abdoun Circle, a hub for restaurants and cafés, is nearby.

For more information, see SIT's webpage.

Program Structure

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.

Cultural Activities

NORTHERN JORDAN AND SOUTHERN JORDAN: On a five-day excursion to north and south Jordan, you’ll receive customized Arabic lessons focusing on the communities you visit and participate in highly interactive conversations about the places you see. You’ll practice Arabic during the entire trip, including during travel. Highlights of this excursion include the following:.

JERASH: See the extraordinary ruins of ancient Jerash, one of the most impressive and best preserved Roman cities outside of Italy. Here, you may have the chance to attend the Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts, an annual international cultural event featuring famous Arabic poets, singers, and writers. Past programs have included the Moscow Ballet’s Cinderella, a flamenco performance by Ara de Madrid, a contemporary dance play by Jollanar from Syria, and a Japanese poetry and music performance by Keiko Koma.

AJLOUN: Ajloun is home to the Castle of Ajloun or Qalaat Errabadh (Arabic for “Hilltop Castle”). The fortress was built by Muslims in 1184-85 to protect the region from invading Crusaders. Spend a night at the Ajloun Forest Lodge, which occupies a large clearing enclosed by oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees and offers beautiful views. Occasionally, one can see as far away as Jebel Sheikh in Lebanon.

THE DEAD SEA: The Dead Sea is the most spectacular natural landscape in Jordan. In addition to being one of the lowest points on Earth, the Dead Sea is the world’s richest source of natural salts.

WADI MUJIB: Explore Wadi Mujib, a spectacular gorge that enters the Dead Sea. The Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world. This is an optional excursion and will incur a small additional charge.

AQABA: Aqaba is an important port city dating back to 4000 BCE. Also known as Ayla, Aqaba was once ruled by the Mamluk Sultan from Egypt.

WADI RUM: Wadi Rum is among the most stunning desertscapes in the world. Experience the exceptional hospitality of the desert people and Bedouin tribes. You may share mint tea or cardamom coffee in Bedouins’ tents or join them by the fire under a starry desert sky.

PETRA: Petra is a treasure of the ancient world, a UNESCO World Heritage site dubbed one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. After hearing a lecture about Petra, “the Rose-Red City,” you will explore the city in small groups to see firsthand the topics of the lecture. The visit will conclude with a debriefing and conversation in Arabic.

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 see its impressive mountains, the ancient ruins of Feinan, the cliffs of Wadi Dana, and Dana village. You’ll discuss and read about the reserve in Arabic.

Program Dates

Summer Semester: Mid June - Early August

For more information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with SIT, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.
  


Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353
Email: study-abroad@uiowa.edu

Amman

mosque in Amman

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

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.

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

Amman

Except while on excursion, you’ll live with a family in West Amman. This offers you an outstanding window into Jordanian urban culture. Most homestay families are middle class and enjoy high standards of living while maintaining the customs of a typical Arab home. You will partake in everyday activities such as sharing breakfast, participating in family outings, and shopping. In some cases, you will experience a Jordanian wedding or other traditional cultural activities.

Badia (Bedouin homestay)

You will experience a two- to four-day homestay in the Badia area, living with a nomadic or semi-nomadic Bedouin family. You’ll experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of a Bedouin community. You will travel on your own to visit a carefully selected family. The excursion takes place during the fourth week of the program.

Educational Excursions

Street and market in Amman

Badia (Bedouin Community)

You will travel on your own to visit a Bedouin family carefully selected for you. During this two-night minimum stay, you’ll experience the daily life, culture, and traditions of one of Jordan’s most distinct groups, the Bedu, or “desert dwellers,” who have learned to survive the unforgiving desert climate. It is difficult to know the exact size of the Bedouin community, but the majority of Jordan’s population is of Bedouin ancestry. Today, most of Jordan’s Bedouin population lives in the vast wasteland east of the Desert Highway. All over Jordan, Bedouin communities are marked by their use of the black goat-hair tent known as beit al-sha’ar, or “house of hair.”

North and South Jordan

On a five-day excursion to north and south Jordan, you’ll receive customized Arabic lessons focusing on the communities you visit and participate in highly interactive conversations about the places you see. You’ll practice Arabic during the entire trip, including during travel.

Passport

US Citizens

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.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

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 the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

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.

Local Transportation

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!

Eligibility

This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA: Students must have at minimum a 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad. In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance, will not be allowed to study abroad, and are wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred.

Costs

The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes 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. There is a $50 application fee charged to a student's U-Bill at the time of application. Please note that for study abroad programs through Fall 2022, students will not be charged the $50 UI application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged. There is also a subsequent $50 application fee charged by SIT. Total application fee charges equal $100.

Estimated Cost Sheet

PDFIntensive Arabic Language Summer 2017 Cost Sheet
Updated cost sheet is forthcoming

How to Apply

Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.

The application process consists of the following steps:

• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.

• Complete the SIT Application. Final admissions decisions to the program are made by SIT.

Application Deadline

Deadlines are relative. This program often fills early. Spots are first come, first served.

Applications are due on March 4 for Summer.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

Coming soon.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Study Abroad Resources

Passports and Visas

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth 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.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

SIT automatically gives students from Big Ten institutions a $1,500 scholarship. There is no application necessary, the credit 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!

Visa

U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by SIT. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

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.

UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Italian visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

Prior to starting the visa application process check in with SIT for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.

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.

Pre departure Resources

SIT will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by SIT and refer back to it if you have any questions.

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your SIT Account often.