Past students at the School in Jordan have held internships in a variety of fields. Read below about their experiences. Students also participate in community engagement activities. Read about their experiences here

Integrated Technology Group

Ashley Zhuge (Spring 2024, Bryn Mawr College)

I interned at Integrated Technology Group, a private company in EduTech selling subscription based software with a philanthropy branch aiming to help spread education in low-resourced and conflict-affected areas. I performed competitor research, research and concept note revision for philanthropic projects, and composition for grant applications. Through working in the office three days a week and inspiring interactions with colleagues, I gained valuable insights into the work culture in the Jordanian private sector. The experience differed from my prior experience working with local nonprofit organizations and research centers, adding nuance to my understanding of the multiple ‘local cultures’. 

Al Salwa Publishers (Virtual)

Sofie Leathers (Fall 2020, Middlebury College)

This fall, I was lucky enough to intern virtually with Al Salwa Publishers, an award-winning children’s book publishing house in Amman. Al Salwa produces children’s books from across the Arabic-speaking world to bring diverse and creative books to international audiences.  My main task was translating book manuscripts from Arabic to English, through which I soon discovered that translation is a very unique responsibility.  One must preserve the cultural, linguistic, and tonal integrity of the text, while making it “just sound like English!!!” as my supervisor often advised.  Of course, the best learning opportunities can come from mistakes—I was quite surprised when my translation, “he blushed red with embarrassment” was actually “his red balloon popped.”  My cultural understanding also flourished, despite the physical distance from Jordan, as I pieced together Arab and Jordanian norms presented in simple, kid-friendly terms.  My translation efforts were supported by regular Zoom meetings and online correspondence with my two supervisors: the Head of Editing and Production of Al Salwa, and the Director of the Middlebury School in Jordan.  These two lovely ladies offered endless guidance, mentorship, and care, which made the experience as personable as one on site.  Working with Al Salwa has given me priceless gifts—newfound enthusiasm for the art of translation, which will inform my long-term professional and academic choices; interpersonal relationships I’d love to continue in person one day; and, most of all, the chance to spread the joy of reading to kids around the world.  Spreading joy has taken on a heightened importance this year, and I am boundlessly grateful for the opportunity to do so.

Al Salwa Publishers (Virtual)

Piara Biggs (Fall 2020, Middlebury College)

This semester I completed a virtual internship with a children’s book publishing house in Amman, Al Salwa Publishers.  During the internship, I worked for the company by completing translations of children’s books and other literary materials, like parent-teacher book discussion guides from Arabic to English.  Although my interaction with the company was more limited than it has been in the past for in-person interns, I still very much enjoyed working with Al Salwa and feel that my Arabic and translation skills were improved over the course of the semester.  By reading the children’s books I was able to improve my Arabic and learn new colloquial vocabulary, and by working on the book discussion guides, I learned about common themes and lessons that are included in Arabic children’s literature. Reading the different books also gave me more insight into the use of formal vs colloquial Arabic in children’s literature and led me to pursue a research project on that topic at the end of the semester.

Amman Center for Civil Rights Studies

Anyssia Kokinos (Spring 2020, Washington University of St. Louis)

During my spring semester in Jordan I interned at the Amman Center for Civil Rights Studies in downtown Amman. The center is largely funded by different international grants, such as those from the UN, and seeks to uphold a high standard of human rights in Jordan. During my time there, I worked closely with a Jordanian law student to write a report on academic freedom and student unions at Jordanian universities. While most of my tasks were research-based, I also had the opportunity, through the center, to interview Jordanian students about their views on academic freedom and student unions. At the center, I also had the opportunity to work with students from around the world who were studying human rights and law. Prior to arriving in Jordan, I knew I wanted to pursue law after college, but working at the center allowed me to gain a familiarity with the Jordanian law that would have been impossible elsewhere.

Amman Center for Civil Rights Studies

Matthew Kennelly (Spring 2020, College of the Holy Cross)

I worked with the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies, which both researches issues pertaining to democracy and human rights within Jordan, and also has grassroots initiatives to help educate and inform Jordanian citizens about human rights issues in the Middle East. I focused primarily on researching academic freedom in Jordan and the legal and cultural barriers which could impede the free flow of information within Jordan. Even though my time with the center was cut short because of the Coronavirus, it was still an impactful experience where I strengthened my research skills, Arabic skills, and knowledge of Jordanian civil society. 

CARE International

Brendan Sanders (Spring 2020, College of the Holy Cross)

During this semester I worked at the CARE organization at the Azraq refugee camp which is about one hour outside of Jordan. During this experience I was able to work with amazing people in order to help and assist in dealing with the refugee crisis facing Middle Eastern countries such as Jordan. This refugee camp has about 40,000 refugees on average, all of whom are from Syria. My work consisted of administrative work in their offices in order to provide the refugees with identification and money for things like food. In addition to this, I was also able to work outside of an office in soccer arenas or helping build structures in the camp.
    These experiences will be with me for my whole life because I was able to connect with refugees personally and hear their stories and perspectives on the world which is something many of my colleagues at my home institution will never be able to experience in their lives.

Center for Strategic Studies

Julia Kelly (Spring 2020, Scripps College)

The Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan is one of the foremost think tanks in the Middle East and boasts a host of researchers, interns, and other administrative staff. At CSS, I worked directly under Dr. Zaid Eyadat, the director of the center. I both conducted research and carried out administrative tasks. I wrote country briefings and helped on various research projects. I assisted with invitee lists and helped coordinate events. My favorite part of my time at CSS was helping to organize a two-day conference for a royal delegation from Norway. I assisted in the logistical set up the first day of the conference at the University of Jordan, and I helped scope out the location of the conference for the second day at the Dead Sea, and attended the conference as well. Never having worked at a think tank before, I appreciate my experience and learned a lot.

Al Salwa Publishers

Ellise Johnson (Spring 2019, Middlebury College)
During my spring semester in Amman, Jordan, I completed an internship at the children’s literature publishing house Al Salwa Publishers. I worked as their in-house translator and completed nine translation projects (all Arabic language children’s books that I translated into English) in addition to many other small translation projects including back cover synopses, information sheets for book fairs, topical research projects, and blogs.
    This internship was one of my most fulfilling experiences in Jordan, and I’m so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and worked with Al Salwa. I study translation at Middlebury College, so getting to apply the theory I had learned in my classes was an invaluable experience. I loved exploring the topics present in Jordanian and Middle Eastern children’s literature. For example, I translated a story about a squirrel spilling milk, as well as an Omani adventure story in which the main character talks about her life living on the coast of and training to be a deep-sea diver.  Translating stories offered me a new perspective on Arab literature as well as gave me the opportunity to tackle unique translation challenges such as translating dialectical intricacies that might be lost in English.
    Along with abstract translation skills, I also dramatically improved my Arabic comprehension over the course of the semester. Reading two to three short stories per week made me a more confident reader, and the books were filled with practical language that I make use of every day. The office was such a lovely work environment, where I felt empowered to use my Arabic in every interaction.
    This internship was an incredibly positive component of my study abroad experience. I am confident that I will use the valuable knowledge and connections that I made throughout my internship in my career and life post-graduation.

Global Nomads Group

Clare Grindinger (Spring 2019, Washington University in St. Louis)
I liked my Global Nomads Group internship. The staff was incredibly warm and welcomed me into the GNG family. I worked on current and future projects, analyzing the programs GNG has in place currently for enhancement and creating and researching new curriculum material for future GNG programs. I worked with staff from New York City and London, and had the opportunity to interview professors from Morocco to Jordan who work with GNG in Arabic. GNG was a great office experience in Amman! 

We Love Reading

Catherine Cartier (Spring 2018, Davidson College)
This spring, I interned at We Love Reading (WLR), a locally run nonprofit that seeks to foster a love of reading in children in Jordan and around the world. I worked closely with WLR staff to review and produce content for their new website. I also produced two newsletters updating supporters about the organization’s accomplishments. Attending a training in Irbid for new WLR volunteers, called Reading Ambassadors, was my favorite aspect of my experience. I loved seeing the enthusiasm of new participants and talking to them about their aspirations to bring a love of reading to their families and communities. I also greatly enjoyed getting to know my coworkers, who are deeply committed to WLR’s mission. This internship allowed me to see the logistics of running a non-profit in Jordan, and through workplace communications, I greatly expanded my vocabulary.

Center for Strategic Studies/University of Jordan

Rachel Furlow (Spring 2018, GWU)
The Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) is a political and economic think tank based at the University of Jordan. The Center focuses its analysis on political, military, economic, and social issues that concern Jordan and the wider region and has frequently been ranked as one of the premier institutions of its kind in the Middle East. It hosts scholars on a wide variety of subjects and its scholars conduct quantitative and qualitative studies, host events, and collaborate on cross-regional academic efforts. During my time at CSS as an intern, I worked mostly with Dr. Walid Al-Khatib who is an assistant researcher and the Director of the Public Opinion Polling Department at the Center. My primary tasks were research-based including, but not limited to, conducting background research, writing literature reviews, editing English reports, and translating videos and articles from Arabic to English. Overall, the experience solidified my desire to work in policy centers in the future and allowed me to gain experience in a top think tank in the Middle East.


Vignesh Ramachandran (Spring 2017, Middlebury College)
This spring semester I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant at a United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency Preparatory School in Jabal Nuzha. UNRWA serves the educational needs of Palestinian refugee children enrolled with the Agency at several school across Amman and Jordan. In my time at the preparatory school not only did I have the opportunity to hone my teaching skills with the 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, I also had the opportunity to attend classes with them in Arabic - mainly history, science, and Fusha. I also attended several events that occurred at the school with the students, like lectures about mental health, student led discussions about fighting the presence of drugs and gender-based violence in schools, and competitions that the students were involved in. This internship exposed me to the Jordanian education system and more specifically UNRWA’s programs in education. Moreover I developed friendships with both students and teachers, enhancing my cultural understanding of Palestinian refugees in Jordan.

Mabarrat Um el Hussein

Daniel Buchman (Spring 2017, Middlebury College)
Mabarrat Um el Hussein is a home for at-risk and orphaned boys founded by Zain el-Sharaf (HM King Hussein’s mother) in 1959. The Mabarrat currently operates under the patronage of HRH Princess Basma and serves a total of 70+ boys between the ages of 6 and 18 years-old. Some live at home but take advantage of the Mabarrat’s services while others (a little over half) spend Saturday through Thursday at the Mabarrat and return home for the weekend.

My internship had two aspects to it; the first was administrative work. The Mabarrat is constantly looking for funding, so much of my job was to either write, edit, or translate potential proposals using a variety of media. I would work with the Mabarrat’s general supervisor, who is a wonderful hard-working woman named Hanan Gammoh, to locate potential funding sources and work with her to assess what in the Mabarrat needs development or funding. I also translated press releases, wrote donor thank you cards, and made a film showcasing for board members all the Mabarrat’s annual activities. Preparing for the annual Diplomatic Corps Bazar fundraising event was also a large part of the job.

The second aspect was locating volunteers and teaching courses. I was tasked with finding volunteers and supervising their work with the students while setting up other activities throughout the semester. I brought a storyteller and a stage magician to the Mabarrat and organized a visit to King’s Academy. I also taught an English course to a group of local community women, who rely on the course to secure work and improve their quality of life, in addition to establishing a film production course using our newly renovated video lab facility. Throughout this time, I lived in the Mabarrat, so that the boys could get used to me and I could get to know them.

CARE Jordan

Cassandra Wanna (Spring 2017, Middlebury College)
CARE Jordan is an international non-governmental organization, and one of its many roles within the country is assistance to refugee populations. My work with the organization was within Azraq Camp which is currently the second largest camp in Jordan and provides shelter to almost 55,000 Syrian refugees. CARE has a Community Center within each village of the camp that provides activities, Case Management offices, and from which Outreach Teams are dispatched to meet with individuals within the camp from the comfort of their own caravans.

During my time with CARE, I was involved with all of these activities and was able to work within every village in the camp. However, the majority of my time was spent in the after-school activities program for children. I was charged with planning and implementing activities for the children and leading a team of Syrian refugees who also worked with the children. Most of my internship was physically spent within the camp, but I also worked on revision of documents in English, translation of documents from Arabic to English, drafting of proposals, and donor mapping. Overall, this is an amazing organization, and the work although challenging will be most beneficial for the right individual.

Humanitarian Research Services

Katie Preston (Spring, 2016, Middlebury College)
Humanitarian Research Services (HRS) collects vital information on humanitarian conditions across Syria to share with humanitarian organizations working inside the country. Focusing on Opposition-controlled areas, HRS gathers data on the realities of life in different Syrian villages, and tracks the movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for wider use.

My work at HRS focused on the northwest province of Idlib. I was responsible for compiling daily updates of events occurring in ‘my’ province, via different open-source resources. These events ranged from daily bombardments by Government and Russian forces to rises in fuel and bread prices. The bulk of my work at HRS was comprised of translating reports coming directly from Syria. Reports were often standardized site assessments of different villages written in MSA, but also included transcripts of analysts’ conversations in Syrian dialect. Reports dealt with the demographics, healthcare needs, aid distribution, and physical safety of cities and towns throughout Idlib. After translating reports, I would enter them to a larger HRS database. HRS’s interns would also catalog conflict events across all of Syria and enter them alongside the humanitarian data we were collecting and translating. I assisted analysts in their research projects, while conducting independent research. My research project focused on the string of protests that took place in Maarat al-Nu’man in the spring of 2016.

ARDD-Legal Aid

Daniel Peña (Spring 2015, Middlebury College)
Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)-Legal Aid is a Jordanian independent non-governmental organization that seeks to increase access to justice through legal and capacity building, and advocacy programs. The goal is to empower marginalized communities and contribute as a civil society organization to a just and stable society.

My internship at ARDD-Legal Aid has provided me with a much widened understanding of the role of local NGOs in Jordan and their effectiveness in implementing change. While at ARDD-Legal Aid, I was entrusted with a variety of tasks that ranged from donor research and development work to helping plan and execute the first International Women’s Day Conference that was held in partnership with Princess Basma bint Talal. Specifically, I assisted with ongoing data collection for projects; translation of surveys from the programs beneficiaries; a mapping system of Jordanian based civil society organizations; an in-depth analysis of Zakat and Waqf and its relation to humanitarian assistance in the MENA-region, and the first Quarterly Gender Pulse that provided an analysis of the regions media coverage of gender-based issues, specifically in regards to Arab women.

Working with ARDD-Legal Aid, I have had the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge that transcends the walls of this organization to the hearts of those thousands of refugees living in Jordan. Their stories, which I have heard through reporting, stories discussed within the office, or personal interactions on site visits to Zaatari or workshops, has provided me with a holistic image of the Syrian refugee crisis, the challenges facing Jordanian youth, and the ongoing issues and challenges that women in Jordan face. While these stories may have brought heartache and questioning about the future of these individuals within the context of Jordan, ARDD-Legal Aid has proven to be an outlet and source of empowerment. The organization has provided the most vulnerable populations with support through a variety of outlets, units and programming. The projects and events that I have had a privilege to participate in and contribute to at ARDD-Legal Aid, have only furthered my hopes and perspective for prosperity and justice within the region.


Will Brennan-Arffmann (Spring 2015, Middlebury College)
This spring semester I was fortunate to work with Naseem Tarawneh and Mariam Adas on various projects they began this past winter. I helped launch various websites and social media platforms under their supervision, but primarily focused on creating written and visual content for Akhbarek—a website focused on sharing stories surrounding the topics of women’s issues and gender/sexuality in the Arab world. Weekly activities involved meeting with fellow writers and the graphic designer for brainstorming sessions, which typically occurred every Sunday. After deciding on which stories we wanted to write, each person would take on certain responsibilities to complete them by the proposed deadline. I partook in completing different aspects of the story depending on my interests in the subjects; sometimes I wrote an article, while other times I was assigned to photographing or filming content that complimented the written portion of the story. We would prioritize assignments according to their deadlines, and throughout the rest of the week we travelled within the city of Amman (and sometimes explore its surrounding areas) to document stories through photography, film, and recorded interviews.

Another part of my job was to develop Akhbarek’s presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. My primary responsibility was to provide images that either advertised written content on Akhbarek or highlighted accomplished women around the world. I wrote captions for each image in Modern Standard Arabic and English, and sometimes would include phrases in the Jordanian dialect if the post addressed an issue within Amman and/or its surrounding areas.


Community engagement activities

Reclaim Childhood 

Clare Grindinger, (Academic Year 2018-2019, Washington University in St. Louis) 
I volunteer twice a week at Reclaim Childhood which teaches refugee girls how to play soccer and other sports like frisbee and basketball for female empowerment. These girls are refugees from across the Arab world – Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Syria – and it’s so much fun to play with them twice a week and teach them how to play sports and give them the opportunity to have a place that’s just girls. There are four coaches that work with them, and they all come from similar backgrounds to the girls, which is really nice so that the girls can look up to people who they can see themselves in. Additionally there are volunteers like myself who help the coaches in any way we can. There are two locations, one in Amman, one in Zarqa, I go to the one in Amman. It’s really important that whenever I go I’m committed to volunteering because every time I go the girls expect me to be there, and it’s so much fun to show up and I have this group of girls come run towards me and tell me about their day. It’s also a great way to practice Arabic because they can’t speak English, so I learn a lot of ammiya from them, and I’m also able to have that one-on-one genuine communication in Arabic with them which is part of why I’m learning the language, so that’s very important to me. Reclaim Childhood has definitely been one of the best parts of my study abroad experience, and I would highly recommend volunteering with them.

The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD)

Matthew Eady (Fall 2019, George Washington University)
This semester I worked at JOHUD for my Community Engagement activity. JOHUD is the oldest NGO in Jordan. They work with many different refugees, including Somali refugees, Sudanese refugees, Yemeni refugees, and others, programing many activities with the age groups from as low as 5 years old until around 18.

I did various activities with the organization. I started off managing and supervising a FIFA tournament, which was really fun and a very unique experience, especially to do at the beginning of my time here. Then I took up a role working with the 8-12 year-old-group with Yemeni, Somali, and Sudanese refugees teaching English. Working with the students was a really gratifying experience that allowed me to learn a lot of different ways to use the Arabic language and speak more fluently and fluidly. The employees were very supportive and would often step in and help me when I struggled to use my Arabic. All in all this was a really good opportunity to work on Arabic and learn a lot about myself.