The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan serves as an excellent introduction to Muslim countries, and has a strategic geographical position in the Middle East—bordering Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories. The country covers an area of about 35,000 square miles (a little less than Indiana) and its geography ranges from the high elevations of Wadi Rum to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. Jordan offers exquisite nature reserves, and thousands of ruins and archeological sites, the most famous of which is the dramatic 2000-year-old city of Petra. Jordan’s population has increased nine-fold since 1952, with the current estimate at 6 million. Palestinian immigrants and refugees make up more than half of the population, and more recently Iraqi refugees have been pouring into the country. Over ninety percent of the population are Muslim Arabs, with small minorities of Muslim Circassians and Chechens, as well as Christian Arabs. The visitor to Jordan experiences the Arab traditions of hospitality and kindness on a daily basis. “Welcome to Jordan” is a frequent and genuine greeting.
The School for International Training's Jordan: Modernization and Social Change program is based in the capital city of Amman, a modern city spread out over towering hills. Students engage in intensive Arabic language study, and study the country's rapid chance and growth, with its many complex issues in the environment, economics, politics, development, sociology, and religion. The program includes numerous education excursions to explore Jordan's ancient heritage and contemporary culture.
Fall semester: early September to mid-December
Spring semester: early February to mid-May
Fields of Study
Arabic language, Jordanian culture and society, religion, gender, history, politics, development issues, environmental studies.
A college-level course with Middle Eastern content is highly recommended. 7.5 GPA.
Number of Students
Approximately 3 Pomona students; total program enrollment 25 per semester.
The program begins with a one-week orientation in Amman. After orientation, the following components of the academic program begin: Intensive Arabic Language Study (1.5 Pomona credits), Modernization and Social Change Seminar (1 Pomona credit), Field Study Seminar (0.5 Pomona credits), and an Independent Study Project (1 Pomona credit). There is no P/NC option on this program.
The program also includes educational excursions to Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, and Aqaba. There is a five-day rural visit when students live with Bedouin families in the southern Ma’an region of Jordan.
Students live in homestays for nine weeks in Amman. If homestays are not available due to cultural considerations, students will be housed in apartments. Other accommodations during the program include hostels and small hotels.