Amman, founded in 7000 B.C., is the capital and largest city in Jordan and is situated in a rolling area of northwest Jordan and just twenty-five miles from the Dead Sea.

Seven surrounding hills, known as jabals, helped shaped the city. Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world having been home to a multitude of civilizations over the years—the Ammonites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Nabateans and Romans, Byzantines and Umayyad Arabs.

Today Amman is a prospering modern metropolis filled with ancient ruins, art galleries, and museums. It serves as a hub within the Middle East for commerce and trade. With a tradition of welcoming refugees and immigrants from nearby countries, Amman is a multicultural and multidenominational city and one of the most liberal and westernized cities in the region.

Study Abroad: Amman, Jordan

My name is Lydia Han, but I go by Hans and I studied abroad at the University of Jordan through the Middlebury in Jordan program. Amman is not really like an ancient city like Baghdad or Damascus, Syria. It came out in the early 1900s and so actually after the 1948, 1967, the two consecutive Arab-Israeli wars, there were huge floods of passing refuges who came in.

And so, that’s what actually grew the city. The city grew out of conflict. So if I walk outside the university gates, right in front me is a big street with all these cars pushing past. And then across them all these are bookstores, fast food chains for students, cafe’s for students who study in and all these clothing stores.

And so, yeah, it’s just a lot of hustle and bustle and noise. But very contained chaos like any other city, but dustier. I think the Middlebury program is really good in that it does make you live with the host family, cuz you really, really do see the nuances of every day life.

And so I live with a host family in the neighborhood of Helda. It’s really nice because you see a family structure and just how things are done. Each language comes with a different set of vocabularies and so maybe in school when we study Arabic formally, we learn a lot of political language and economic language and historical language.

But you really need the language of everyday life, which is what you use when you’re living with a host family, right? You’re like, okay, where do I put my socks? You’re like what’s for dinner? Language is something adaptable to every context. So you have to exposure yourself to every context while you’re learning a new language.

When you’re placed into a completely new environment with different challenges and different situations, you discover more about yourself, because certain things about yourself are brought out into light. Or they’re also created within yourself and the process of you being in that situation. The Middlebury program in Jordan was, in my opinion, the most rigorous, the most intense and for that reason, it’s one of the best programs, I really do believe that.

If you can use study abroad as a catalyst to better yourself as a person in terms of learning as quickly as you can. Learning with different people as well, learning in a different environment, challenging your own beliefs, that’s definitely what study abroad can provide for you.

The School in Jordan is based at the University of Jordan, the oldest public four-year institution of higher education, established in 1962. With a strong emphasis on research, and a rich background in liberal arts, the University of Jordan is an excellent host for students of all academic backgrounds.

This program is designed for students with proficiency in Arabic, who can adhere to the Middlebury Language Pledge® while studying abroad. The Pledge shows a commitment to linguistic immersion and is the key to students’ successful language development and cultural integration.

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