The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located near the eastern-most portion of the Mediterranean. Jordan is almost entirely land-locked with the exception of the small port city of Aqaba which is located on the Red Sea. Some of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries have been found in Jordan because this location has been continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic period.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is an ancient city facing distinct modern challenges. Originally built on seven hills, Amman has expanded in size and population from a quaint sleepy town at the close of World War II, to the bustling, multicultural, and modern metropolis it is today. Under King Abdullah II and his father King Hussein, Jordan has made great strides in education, health care, and economic reform.
Characteristics of Jordanian society include an emphasis on family, religion, gender roles, and honor. Life in Jordan revolves around the family. Nuclear, and sometimes extended, families often occupy the same house and children generally continue to live with their parents until they are married. Jordanians in Amman socialize by strolling along Rainbow or Wakalat St., visiting malls, chatting in cafes, and engaging in many other activities that are also common in the Westfamiliar to U.S. students. Jordan is known for its Levantine cuisine including hummus, baba ghanouj, tabbouleh, olives, falafel, rice, grilled meats, and yogurt sauces.
Learn more about being a YES Abroad student in Jordan:
Students will live with host families in order to experience immersion in the local culture. Families are selected based on recommendations by members of the local community and each family is carefully screened and vetted by AMIDEAST staff. Host families reflect a variety of socio-economic backgrounds which offers students perspectives into the variety of lifestyles in Amman. An AMIDEAST Housing Coordinator communicates with host families and students to create a strong support network.
Students will attend private school. The primary language of instruction will be English for YES Abroad students, though the school offers instruction in Arabic as well. School typically runs from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm and uniforms are customary. The school will operate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) system and offers extracurricular activities such as basketball, swim team, etc. The student body is made up of Jordanians and international students.
The U.S. enjoys good relations with Jordan. As an active member in many international organizations, the leaders of Jordan have worked diligently to maintain positive and functional relationships with Jordan’s neighbors throughout regional conflicts.
For more information, visit the CIA World FactBook.
With AMIDEAST’s 60-year presence in the region, we are able to draw on strong local connections and a deep understanding of cultural, health, safety, and security issues. Prior to departure and upon arrival, AMIDEAST staff provide students with in-depth safety briefings and assistance in registering with the U.S. Department of State to receive embassy alerts. Upon arrival in the country, students also attend a security briefing with members of the U.S. embassy in Jordan, including a representative from the Regional Security Office. AMIDEAST works closely before arrival and throughout the exchange year to discuss and prepare for students’ well-being. YES Abroad students are covered by medical as well as political and security evacuation insurance. Students will have access to a 24-hour emergency number and our staff members are thoroughly trained in responding to student issues and emergency situations. Each student receives a local cell phone upon arriving in Jordan, along with the contact number for the local support representative at the local AMIDEAST office. In the case of an emergency, a Duty Officer is on-call 24/7 in both Jordan and the U.S. This number is made available to both students and parents during the program.
For further information on Jordan visit the U.S. Department of State website..
YES Abroad students in Jordan will have the opportunity to take part in various activities to increase interaction with local peers in Jordan. Activities may include field trips, sporting events, cultural excursions, social outings, and community service projects. Examples of enrichment activities include:
Weekly courses in Jordanian colloquial Arabic;
Meeting with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy;
Trips to various parts of Jordan, including Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea;
Community service activities, such as teaching English or volunteering with local NGOs;
Music and dance lessons, Jordanian cooking class, henna, and other cultural activities.