I leave for Jordan in just 61 days! I can’t wait for this amazing and unique adventure. I’ve done a lot of paperwork & research to get to this point, and I don’t feel that I’m even halfway done! My flights are booked, I am committed to the program, my transfer credits are approved, and I’ve bought some new clothes that I hope will help me blend in, but I still feel like a complete novice when it comes to spoken Arabic, Jordanian history, and the cultural norms and expectations that I will encounter. This blog will be my journal of experiences when I get to Jordan, and before that, will serve as a place where I provide and evaluate my pre-trip research on what to expect.
First, a little bit about me and my goals for Jordan. I’m Christine, and I will be spending my semester abroad in Amman, Jordan, during Fall 2016, which will be 16 weeks. I am an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio, double-majoring in International Studies and Political Science with a concentration on the Middle East, and double-minoring in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. This will be the first semester of my senior year, but my second semester abroad: I spent Spring 2015 abroad in Luxembourg & travelling throughout Europe. You can find my blog about that semester here.
My primary goals of studying abroad in Jordan are to improve my Arabic fluency, especially in the Jordanian spoken dialect, and to learn as much as I can about Jordanian culture and history through cultural exchange & diplomacy. While abroad, I also hope to travel throughout Jordan, and potentially to other countries in the region, if possible, like Egypt, Israel, or Lebanon.
Before this trip, I have studied Arabic for 3 years in college, but mostly only formal (fusHa / fos7a) Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), with some Shaami dialect studies. In Jordan, I will be taking 12 credit hours of Arabic; 6 hours of MSA, 3 hours of Jordanian spoken Arabic, and 3 hours of Media Arabic.