AMIDEAST is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in 1951, AMIDEAST in its early years focused on promoting U.S. study to students in the MENA region; today, AMIDEAST programs and services touch the lives of a million individuals a year.
AMIDEAST's partner institution in Amman is the Qasid Arabic Institute. The Qasid Institute has developed a reputation as one of the leading programs in the Middle East for Arabic language learning. Its comprehensive curriculum begins with the proper pronunciation of Arabic letters and continues through to a high degree of proficiency. As the Qasid Institute’s reputation has grown, its programs have made it the program of choice in Amman for embassies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and U.S. colleges and universities seeking excellence in Arabic language instruction.
For additional information, visit the AMIDEAST Jordan website.
The City of Amman
With over 2.5 million inhabitants, Amman is the largest city in Jordan. Approximately 96% of Jordanians are Muslim and 4% are Christian. Visitors to Jordan are exposed to many aspects of the daily practice of Islam. In 2010, Jordan was ranked as one of the most politically globalized countries in the Middle East and North Africa according to the KOF Globalization Index.
Did you know…?
Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra. Known as “The Rose City,” it is famous for its unique architecture carved directly into the rock face. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Notice to Applicants: The travel destination of this study abroad program is in a location currently on Penn’s list ofHeightened Security Risk Regions. Study abroad to this location is subject to review and approval by Penn’s Committee on International Travel Risk Assessment (CITRA). Please refer to Penn’sInternational Travel Guidancefor more information.
The program at AMIDEAST Jordan is for College credit only.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Language Prerequisite: Previous study of Arabic is recommended.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of at least 1 Area Studies course in language or culture by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is required.
Language of Instruction
A full course load on the AMIDEAST Jordan program consists of a 14-17 credit hour course load per semester. Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.
All students enroll in Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic for five credits and Colloquial Jordanian Arabic for three credits) plus two or three other elective courses (three credits each). Five credit courses consist of 80 contact hours and three credit courses consist of 45 contact hours.
Elective course offerings are in Middle East and North African studies and include a variety of disciplines taught in English including: anthropology, art, history, economics, environmental studies, media Arabic, Middle East and North Africa studies, political science, religion, sociology, studio art, and women's studies.
All courses are taught exclusively for the AMIDEAST program, and students take classes only with other program participants.
As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average. The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.
All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by AMIDEAST prior to the start of each semester. More information on AMIDEAST Jordan’s orientation activities can be found here.
Upon arrival in Amman, students participate in an in-depth, week-long orientation designed to introduce them to Jordanian culture and daily life and familiarize them with program logistics. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities and free time to familiarize participants with Amman. Topics such as safety and health, Jordanian family life, cultural adaptation, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. During the on-site orientation students also meet their professors, receive final language placements, and become familiar with the program’s IT environment.
Language Courses & Language Partners
Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Arabic, and Media Arabic are offered at multiple levels. Students are paired with local students as part of the Language Partner Program in order to improve their conversational Arabic. More information can be found here.
Program-organized excursions provide students a way to experience the Arab World first-hand, taking them places they might not otherwise be able to go. More information can be found here.
Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.
Students enrolled in the AMIDEAST Area & Language Studies program in Amman, Jordan have a choice of living arrangements and meal plans:
Jordanian Host Family: Students who select this option will live with a family that has been carefully screened by AMIDEAST Jordan from a database of qualified applicants. Families generally host two AMIDEAST students at a time. All host families are Arabic-speaking; English, however, is spoken in most of the homes. AMIDEAST matches students with host families using a variety of criteria. While all placement preferences may not be met in every case, AMIDEAST will strive to make the best match to ensure a rewarding and pleasant living experience. In the event of a problem, staff members will be available either to mediate or to arrange a new host family placement. Students living with host families will be provided with all meals by their host families but may find that some days it is not possible to return to the family for lunch because of class schedules.
Shared Apartment: Students who select this option will live in a shared apartment with other students from the program. The apartments are carefully selected by AMIDEAST to be safe, comfortable, and convenient to program facilities and public transportation. In the shared apartment, students purchase or prepare meals on their own.
Information regarding accommodation can be found here.
Cost and Finance
Penn Abroad Financial Policies
Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs. Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare. Please see the program budget sheets below for more information. For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.
Financial Aid and Study Abroad
In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs. Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad: Supports undergraduate study abroad focusing on geographical areas, languages, and fields of study deemed critical to US national security. (Excludes study in US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) These US government grants entail a service obligation.
AMIDEAST Scholarships: Provides need-based and blog abroad scholarships for undergraduates studying abroad on AMIDEAST programs.
For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.
To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.