Middle East Semester in Jordan

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This innovative program introduces undergraduates to the diversity, commonalities and trends that shape the modern Middle East.  Through a focus on civil society, politics, language and the environment, participants will encounter the complexities of this crucial region.

The program is based in the vibrant city of Amman, a city that has a unique blend of historic and modern elements. Amman became the capital of Jordan in 1921 and has since grown rapidly into a metropolis with over 2.5 million people. The city serves as the political, cultural and commercial center of Jordan and plays a significant role in the region.

This program introduces students to the area through homestays, community engagement projects, educational excursions, dialogue, guest lectures, individualized research and traditional coursework.  Jordan provides the perfect environment within which to study how various communities interact with the forces of globalization to construct an evolving identity.

Living Arrangements

Students reside together in a hotel for the on-site orientation period. During the remainder of their stay, students will reside with Jordanian families in private homes in Amman, giving them an opportunity to practice their Arabic and to learn about culture and family life in Jordan. Breakfast and evening meals will be provided by the host families. Students will receive a stipend to cover lunches and local daily transport. Every effort will be made to obtain homestay families that represent the range of diversity in modern Jordanian society.

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Pre-Departure Orientation and Post-Return 

Students accepted to the program are required to participate in the Cross-Cultural Explorations I course (1 credit) prior to departure and Cross-Cultural Explorations II (1 credit) after returning from the program. Pre-departure preparation is designed to prepare the students for a cross-cultural experience and includes readings, lectures and discussions with faculty and former participants of the program. Students and parents/guardians will receive a handbook of important program information prior to commencement of the program. The on-site orientation will include intercultural training, safety/security and emergency procedures, orienteering and observations exercises. Following return to campus, students will participate in a 7-week course that will guide them in processing, analyzing and building upon their off-campus experience. Credit for Cross-Cultural Explorations I and II is dependent upon successful completion of the semester program.

Courses and Credits 

Participants will earn 18 semester credits for successful completion of the program. Students' grades for program courses will be incorporated into the Earlham GPA. Courses are taught by the Resident Director as well as Jordanian faculty who have been recognized in their respective fields. Courses include:

  • Arabic Language (5 hours)
  • Politics of the Middle East (4 hours, fulfills Diversity International general education requirement)
  • Sustainability in the Jordanian Context: Water and Environmental Challenge (4 hours)
  • Practicum in Research and Community Engagement (4 hours)
  • Reflections on Jordanian Culture and Society (1 hour)

Academic Programs

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The program cost will be the equivalent of one semester of Earlham College tuition, fees, room and board. The program covers academic and educational costs, including field excursions and other group activities as well as room and board while on the academic portion of the program. A deposit of $350 is required after acceptance to the program, which is part of the total cost. Students on financial aid may apply their aid to one Earlham or Earlham-approved off-campus program during their college career.

Additional Costs

Each student should plan for additional money to cover round-trip airfare, passport expenses, books, personal expenses, and costs for the independent travel period. A passport is required for travel to Jordan.

Transportation

Students are responsible for arranging flights to and from Jordan. Information on travel options will be provided during orientation.

Eligibility

Undergraduate students of all academic backgrounds and majors in good standing with the college may apply. Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to apply or participate. Students must have completed one semester of Arabic or the equivalent before the start of the program. Majors from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Final selection of participants will be made by a student and faculty committee. 

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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