Frequently Asked Questions

[wpcf*item] [wpcf_question]What are the program dates? [wpcf_answer]Please see this page for program dates [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]When can I begin the program? [wpcf_answer]For anyone who is serious about their Arabic, making a 9 to 12 month commitment is a strong step in the right direction. Our programs are geared towards busy professionals and students taking limited time off from their university schedules. Because of this, we make it a point to offer each core level (1 to 5) in each and every session throughout the academic year. What this means is that you can begin at Qasid at the start of any of our seasonal quarters: winter, spring, summer, or fall. If summer is over capacity, come in the fall; if fall is impossible, we’ll welcome you in the winter. If winter doesn’t work, you’re invited to start in the spring. Breaks between each term allow plenty of time for rest and a quick recharge. This is also an ideal time to take a side-trip to neighboring countries (regional politics permitting). [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]How much is tuition? [wpcf_answer]For details on program costs, please see the tuition rates here. For other costs, the sections here below will provide more information. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]When should I apply? [wpcf_answer]To allow ample time for us to process your application and establish your needs for housing here in Amman, we require enrollment applications for a given term be submitted no later than two weeks prior to that term’s orientation period. Although you are permitted to apply up to the day that the quarter begins, at that point, in addition to jeopardizing your chances of acceptance, you will also receive no assistance with housing and (if you are arriving from outside Jordan) likely have to arrange your own airport pickup. In order to ensure that you do not miss any class days (which are very intensive in nature), and have plenty of time to make all the necessary arrangements for your arrival and stay, we strongly urge early registration. This is especially important for the summer quarter, as we commonly reach full enrollment capacity in mid spring. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]How should I apply? [wpcf_answer]Click here to submit your application [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]How much are living expenses in Amman? [wpcf_answer]We would like to provide a very general idea about living costs in Jordan so that you may budget appropriately. Please keep in mind that the numbers are estimates, and that the only amounts that we have absolute control over are those pertaining to tuition, books, and the like. The following figures are based on what is common here for a Westerner living on a budget. The extremely frugal and the excessively freewheeling are not included in this range. Having said this, we are confident that this represents a reasonably close estimate to the costs you’ll actually incur, plus or minus 10 to 20%.In general, you can use the broad range of 600 JD ($850) to 1150 JD ($1600) per month for all living expenses (including shared housing and utilities, and individual food and city transit) as a base. Please note that the current exchange rate is 1 USD = .71 JD (71 qirsh). More specifically, if coming individually, your costs will be on the lower range of this scale depending on where you live. But for those coming with family members costs may exceed 1150 JD per month, factoring in for added expenses like kids schooling, periodic doctor visits, and rising utility costs in the chilly winters. Please see the related questions below for breakdowns and details.Another cost factor of living in Jordan is the need to renew one’s visa every 6 months by leaving and returning to the country. For details on this, please see the section below titled: _Do I need to apply for a visa? * [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]Do you offer housing? [wpcf_answer]For more details about Qasid housing, review this page. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]Are home stays an option? [wpcf_answer]Many students, seeking to improve their conversational fluency, and longing for a first-hand view of the host culture, may feel that a home stay with a local family the best way to achieve this. But there are many considerations to take into account when judging if such an arrangement is best for you.Home stays can indeed offer advantages, like experiencing full language immersion, improving one’s colloquial dialect, and acquiring an accent. They can also afford an insider’s perspective on regional customs and, sometimes, even lead to lifelong friendships with the host family. These personal connections may be helpful, too, if one hopes to broaden one’s ties in the region with aspirations for future employment or residency within Jordan or elsewhere in the Middle East.However, home stays do present possible challenges too, which should not be ignored.Due to the inherently subjective nature of cross-cultural, home stay dynamics, many students find themselves dealing with one of two extremes. On one hand, they may face a potential loss of autonomy if the daily norms and traditions of the home’s residents impose what the student deems to be excessive restrictions on their independence. On the other hand, a student may also find them self being treated too much like a paying guest – closer to a landlord|tenant circumstance – if there is a lack of inclusion in the family. A clash of expectations may also come about if a student anticipates a greater variety of food and flavors than the modest fare found in many local homes. Also, because Jordanian society can be somewhat conservative, there may be lifestyle impositions placed upon the student, such as limitations on bringing guests of the opposite gender to the home, prohibitions on drinking, and requested modesty of dress. So, all of that to emphasize that, if a student does opt for home stay accommodations, the rules of the house should certainly be clarified in advance.Generally, if this is your first time overseas, or if your proficiency in Arabic conversation is not yet at least at an intermediate level, we suggest living with roommates of similar interests or backgrounds for the first academic term in Jordan. We encourage all students though to consistently strive to immerse themselves in the local culture outside of class times. One of the best ways for students to do this is by forming friendships with local people that they see regularly in their neighborhood, or by finding a language partner. If you follow this advice, after the initial quarter or two, you’ll likely feel more confident about your growing knowledge of local mores and your Arabic speaking abilities, and thus be better prepared to embrace the home stay experience.Regarding costs, host  families typically charge a student a rent starting from 450 JD monthly, which most often includes, wireless internet service, all utilities, and at least a couple of meals per day. So, in addition to buying any extra groceries for yourself, your other recurring expense will be the taxi fare to and from campus, which might amount to around 50 JD monthly. The distance and locations at which most host families reside relative to the Qasid campus naturally varies, but in general they are within a 10 minute cab ride away in reasonable traffic. Qasid also has an administrative fee for coordinating home stay placements, which is discussed below.We like to remind students that home stays are actually a form of Independent Housing, in which Qasid acts only as a facilitator for a student to meet potential host families. The responsibility for, and results of entering into a rental agreement with a host family rests solely on the student. That being said, you should also know that Qasid will not leave you in the lurch in the unlikely event that something goes awry and you feel a need to move out. In such a case, to the extent that the institute is capable and within applicable legal processes, we will assist on your behalf to either resolve whatever issues have arisen, or to aid you in finding new accommodations if need be.On that note, perhaps the most important wisdom we can offer, is to strongly dissuade students from making their own home stay arrangements with families who are strangers. We can share more than one story of an optimistic student who found a host family on the internet through a social networking website or an online real estate service offering rooms for rent, who – after an unsettling or even threatening encounter with their host – ended up coming to Qasid asking for help to get out of the home and into more secure accommodations.The well being and safety of our students is the highest of Qasid’s concerns. Therefore, amply aware of the potential risks involved, the institute follows a precautionary process for finding, vetting, scheduling, and interviewing host families, while also interviewing students to find the best fit for their personality and expectations, and negotiating rental terms between the two parties. Qasid has a 100 JD facilitation fee for each home stay to cover a portion of the staff hours required in these logistics. It is a priceless value when one considers the steps Qasid takes – such as coordinating with local partner organizations to avoid placing students into black-listed host families – which simply cannot be undertaken by students themselves.Instances of harassment or harm arising while in a home stay are certainly not the norm, but it can happen. So we relay the possibility as a reality, not to create alarm, but to honor our responsibility of due diligence hoping you will not be one to whom it happens by making independent arrangements. The vast majority of home stays we facilitate are rewarding and culturally educational on a variety of levels, which is what we earnestly want yours to be if you choose that option.As a closing note, please be aware that the availability of host families is limited, so if you feel strongly about pursuing such accommodations, please affirm that with us as soon as possible so that we can tentatively reserve a family for you. To indicate your desire for a home stay on the housing form submission, simply select the "Other" option and make a note explaining that preference. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]How much should I budget for food? [wpcf_answer]There are many styles and price ranges for food in Amman. Groceries are affordable, although meat prices may seem relatively high, and small shops, conveniences stores, and vegetable stands are found on most streets. Larger supermarkets regularly offer deals and carry a wide selection of international and health conscious foods (but at a higher base price of course). There are falafel stands (a sandwich usually costs about 30 qirsh) and coffee shops, as well as Arab and Western style chain restaurants. If you eat out for two meat-meals a day, you can expect to pay about 150 to 250 JD per person per month. If you cook, the monthly cost can drop significantly, to perhaps even less than 100 JD per person. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]What are some other common living expenses in Amman? [wpcf_answer]

  • Electricity: 30 to 70 JD per household monthly
  • Winter heating costs: These vary greatly, depending upon personal temperature preferences, choice of heat source, a home’s architectural thermodynamics, and climatic unpredictability. Central heating in Jordan commonly utilizes a diesel fueled boiler system that circulates hot water through wall mounted radiator panels. Monthly fuel costs for this (between December and March) can run anywhere from 100 to 400 JD per household. More affordable options (although limited to single room usage) include electric space heaters and the portable, soba heaters which operate on replaceable, compressed natural gas tanks. Because these appliances have an open flame, however, there are important safety precautions that must be heeded with them. Know too that regardless of which strategy you adopt, the primary construction materials in Jordan are concrete and stone, which means the structures here never seem to get as warm and cozy as they do back home.
  • Cab rides: Meters currently start at 25 qirsh and will range between 50 qirsh, called a “nuss”, to 2.5 JD for most trips in and around town. You’ll find buses and shared cabs are much less expensive.
  • Wi-Max or ADSL internet: 25 to 55 JD per household per month (well worth it if several people live together); wireless is free for Qasid students and at various malls and coffee shops around town
  • Cell phone: Many students bring their own phones if they can have them “unlocked”, and then buy a SIM card and service plan with a local carrier for a one-time cost of about 10 JD. For most students, the easiest and least expensive option is to purchase a new mobile phone here in Amman, starting at around 20 JD, along with a service plan.

If you are curious about the cost of particular other items, please don’t hesitate to ask. [wpcfitem] [wpcf_question]Do I need to apply for a travel visa? [wpcf_answer]Most students simply get a one-month visa at the airport upon arrival, which is presently priced at 40 JD ($56 US). There is a currency exchange booth at the Amman airport for you to conveniently acquire local dinars. This entry visa is then extended to cover two 3-month periods if need be, for a total of six months. Qasid will assist you with these two visa extensions and you may ask the staff any of your related questions. Whenever you travel outside Jordan, this procedure begins anew.Such travel is required prior to the expiration of your six-month visa. So if you are staying longer than six months, you will need to take a round-trip journey to another country lasting at least 24 hours. Respecting this deadline is important, for, if you leave any time beyond the six-month anniversary of your arrival date, you will be fined (currently 1.5 JD per day) and possibly have your immigration file flagged.Keep in mind then, that this travel should also be factored into your budgeting plans. For an overnight, fun filled weekend in Istanbul, Turkey, airfare will likely be around $400 to $600, depending on the season, and then food, hotel, and city transportation costs would be added to that, per your personal tastes. Airfare to Dubai in the Emirates is about the same, while the on-the-ground costs for that affluent Gulf state would likely be notably higher. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]Will Qasid pick me up at the airport? [wpcf_answer]Yes, we would be glad to do so. For your initial arrival, Qasid can bring you from the airport to your residence at any hour, day or night. We also can arrange a return ride to the airport for your departure flight at the end of your stay. Arriving students are required to either opt in or opt out of this service by completing the _Airport Shuttle Arrangements form found online within the Admissions menu here at Qasid’s website. And departing students must also use this form to place their requests.To be eligible, if you are attending the winter, spring, or fall terms, we must receive your request within 1 week of your actual arrival date. And for the summer term, this deadline is 2 weeks in advance. Another stipulation is that this service is only provided between 1 week prior to the first day of Orientation and 2 weeks after the last class of the student’s final term. Airport transport for intermittent trips taken during the student’s attendance at Qasid (a six month visa renewal excursion, for example) is the student’s responsibility. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]What should I pack? [wpcf_answer]Generally speaking, Jordan is not the heaven-for-consumers that the US or the UK are known to be, but it does have a wide selection of goods to purchase. Heavy jackets for the winter, bedding, sheets, towels, and the like can all be purchased here. If, however, there is a Linus amongst you who has a proclivity towards a particular kind of blanket, jacket, etc., then it is best to pack it with you before leaving. We also suggest that you bring a sturdy jacket (windproof, rainproof) that you are comfortable wearing. All of this to say that Jordan can be surprisingly cold for students who are used to efficient central heating. Know that it does snow at times, and houses, which typically have marble or tile floors for cooling in the summer, can be extremely cold. If you are coming for the winter, focus on layering yourself and your bedding. In summer, it can get fairly hot (although not as hot as some parts of the Middle East) and air conditioners are still not common. Usually windows are kept open and a fan is used at night, so bring light cotton clothing for this season. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]Are there athletic facilities and gyms nearby? [wpcf_answer]Qasid is located in Sports City; accordingly, there are a number of gyms, swimming pools, tennis and racquetball courts that accommodate both men and women. There is a Gold’s Gym 10 to 15 minutes away by taxi, although you will probably get plenty of exercise just walking up and down the hilly streets. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]Does Qasid offer babysitting? [wpcf_answer]Although Qasid does not offer in-house childcare, basic babysitting services are available at a reasonable cost through various nearby nurseries. [wpcf_item] [wpcf_question]What is healthcare like in Amman? [wpcf_answer]Fortunately the healthcare facilities and professionals in Jordan are fairly advanced. You will find most centers clean and hygienic, the staff friendly and proficient. The cost is also very reasonable – a typical doctor’s visit is about 15 JD, and doctors, dentists, and pharmacies are found on many streets. There are also emergency and 24 hour services available. Most students do not purchase health care insurance, but if you do have healthcare, you can ask your provider for international coverage. Qasid also has many native Jordanians on staff in the administration department who are on-call in the case of any emergencies.

We hope you found this information useful. Doubtless, there are (or will be) other questions on your mind though. So, once again, please email us at, and we will be happy to respond to your queries.